Deader Than Disco / Tabletop Games

  • Drizzt Do'Urden was the hottest thing in Dungeons & Dragons, before the Wolverine Publicity, Overused Copycat Character syndrome, and all the bad Fan Fic. Now, say "I love Drizzt books" on-line and many RPG players will think you're saying "I am a 13-year-old boy who has never read anything else in his life." This is not helped by the fact that said 13-year-olds still love to create Drizzt imitations in about every MMO known to man. If you see any sort of dual-wielding darkish kind of elf in an MMO, chances he'll have a name suspiciously similar to "Drizzt". Even that seems to be a Dead Horse Trope now. This might be partially because the Drizzt books rely on the assumption of the reader that dark elves are evil. If the only dark elf you've ever heard of is Drizzt, you're going to lose something.
  • In The World of Darkness games:
    • Having a character with a trenchcoat and a katana has become cliche and passe. The initial popularity was aided by the fact that in some editions, swords are more powerful than guns and katanas are the most powerful sword, while long coats offer an impressive amount of storage space for carrying around weaponry (like, say, your katana) without raising undue suspicion.
    • In The '90s, Vampire: The Masquerade gained a very poor reputation in Poland for having players that were insufferable goth stereotypes. It ended in the establishment of a WoD-free zone at a major convention.
  • Board wargames, played on maps overlaid with a hexagon grid, were quite popular from the mid-'60s into the early '80s, to the point that they could often be found for sale in major toy stores and department stores. These games covered every era of historical warfare, as well as fantasy and science-fiction conflicts, and were available in formats ranging from "folio" games, played on small maps with 100 or fewer playing pieces, to so-called "monster" games, which required up to a dozen 22" x 34" maps, thousands of playing pieces, and rules of sometimes mind-boggling complexity. (One game dealing with the North African Campaign in World War II infamously included a rule for determining how much water Italian units needed to cook their pasta!) While they haven't vanished, they're very much a niche market today, thanks the one-two punch in the '70s and '80s of role-playing games (most notably Dungeons & Dragons) and the personal computer killing them off as a mass-market hobby. The former opened up tabletop gaming to a far broader audience, leading to a swarm of copycats that came to dominate the industry, while the latter allowed complex rules and game mechanics which were virtually unmanageable in the paper format to be easily managed by the game software.