I don’t consider myself a game collector per se. You, on the other hand, might feel like I’ve broken from reality and need a good old Atomic ‘You Are One Whether You Like It Or Not’ Noogie. Comparing my modest collection to real geek collections is irrelevant to the non-gamer. Which is another way to say…most people view my hobby as something on the far side of requiring prescription drugs.
I buy games for the sole purpose of playing them but I must admit I do purchase games now and then just because…well…just because. I own roughly 60 ‘Euro’-games of all shapes and sizes, price ranges, and levels of difficulty. I have a smattering of 2-player games, card games, abstracts, and games steeped in theme. I’m not a wargamer or a miniature gamer. My gaming ‘sweet spot’ is a game with a 60-90 minute time span that supports up to 6 players.
Since Christmas, and to be honest with you and myself, even before that, I think I’ve reached my threshold of what I can effectively play given the time I devote to the hobby. I’m starting to notice that I have games I haven’t played in a long, long time as well as games I’ve never played.
That’s not to say that they aren’t good games but how many games can my level of geekiness support? I’m definitely not in the hobby for purposes of honing my skills in a small subset of games. Many people can own a few copies of chess or Go and play them exclusively…reading all the books, following the tournament play, etc. My fickle-bone labels that depth-first approach ‘work’ and I’m into the fun of ‘breadth-first’ gaming. To me, playing lots of different games is what makes it fun. But what do I do when I can’t play the games I do own and I see new games that interest me?
I could join CABS (I actually plan on doing this btw) and play games that other people and the club owns. But I hesitate because that means I’ll tie a monetary outlay to a time commitment. In other words, time is very precious and a club membership nags at me like an unused membership at the gym. It feels like money going to waste when I don’t use it. I could try to game more with my monthly group. But again, this is difficult since I’m the geekiest gamer by far and again, time is precious so monthly is about all I (and they) can muster. If my time is so precious then isn’t it ludicrous to think about how I might fill it with more gaming? In pondering just that question though, I think the real problem is that although my time is precious, the real root of the problem is that my gaming time has to be opportunistic rather than planned. It’s because of this that owning a game allows me to walk over and grab it at my leisure. So given that, we’re back to what do I do to try to play what I already own?
I could swap/trade games on BGG’s highly active marketplace. I could eBay them. I could sell them for Geek Gold on BGG. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. There is some nugget inside of me (most likely my suppressed collector-bone) that wants to hang onto the games I own. I only buy games after putting effort into investigating them, reading rules, session reports, etc. Giving up on a game just because I don’t play it seems like a cop out especially when memory tells me the game was g-double-o good.
So, I’ve adopted a personal mission to blow the dust off the games in my collection that I haven’t played and to get them to some sort of gaming table. What follows is the short list in no particular order. If after a few plays I renew or otherwise reaffirm my interest in them, then I’m going to keep them and not feel guilty about taking up valuable shelf space. If for some reason my recollection of game play proves to be better than my new reality, then I vow to get rid of them. However, getting rid of a game usually means an increase in the incline of the “get a new game” slippery slope.
Tikal (many, many plays but long ago)
Mexica (a dozen or so plays long ago)
Samurai (one of my favorites but alas, long ago)
Through the Desert (Many plays but I may have lost my interest)
Puerto Rico (too fiddely maybe)
Tigris & Euphrates (only 1 play)
Stephenson’s Rocket (only 1 play)