Dice are like any other technology. When people start talking about the sensual quality of its use, then you know the technology is already dead.
The current arguments about paper books, for instance, in which people talk about their smell, or the tactile feel of a book in their hands. I happen to think books have a purely technological superiority - I can upload the page I want in a book in about two to five seconds, thank you muchly ... about the time it takes the e-book to stop showing the company's marketing logo. Still, that's not the argument you hear - it's all about a book's feel.
So it goes with dice. Carl, in a comment yesterday wrote,
"You can't shake a number generator in your hand and blow on it. You can't throw it soft so it barely rolls or hard so it bounds around for an eternity. There is no moment of suspense as the rotation slows and the final tumbles produce a result."
There it is. The pathetic bleat of the last ditch argument. It feels better.
I don't want to bad mouth dice too much. People worship them. But if we're going to propose that dice are so special that an instant video of a result isn't as interesting, we're going to be quickly up shit creek.
Has anyone invented a video game that includes a reader pad for dice? This is totally possible. You plug the pad into your USB port, you throw the die on it, the pad reads the grooves in the downside of the die and declares you've thrown the obverse side. There you go! A video game that takes into account the moment of suspense that can only be gained by ROLLING A DIE.
Tradition is a beautiful thing. Here's the thing about tradition. Most of the time, it is only tradition because at the time of its creation, that's all there was. This is a good reason because it is the ONLY reason. Usually, when it ceases to be the only reason, the tendency is for human beings to concoct additional, backward-in-time justifications towards the argument that IF there were other options, we would still have taken the one we did, because its better.
Fact is, we don't know that. Some people just wish that. But I promise you, if TSR could have made money in 1979 by producing a really keen electronic device that randomly rolled any number you wanted, that was small and self-portable and made a really cool Star Wars beeping sound when you punched a big red button, we would be arguing about the value of that.
Dice are going to be around a long time. No one has to worry they won't be able to use dice in their games. But it isn't because they're "better" ... that is just bullshit. It is because dice are older.