Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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No doubt it's often the case that people think their interests are better than other peoples, but I can't help shake a feeling that there's something extra in board gaming.

Looking at others this morning in the park, there were dog trainers, archers, kite fliers and ham radio nerds having a mini con of their own. Then countless lycra clad cyclists passed us on the way there and back. Runners, Fishermen, so on and so forth.

These interest all have a central subject matter about which they are keen, but whilst there are huge benefits to many of these (any form of exercise can hardly been sneered at!) they seem to broadly have a dead end at the point they are doing the thing about which they are enthusiastic. But it's from this point forward that things seem to move forwards with gaming and I'm not really sure I can define what I think that is. Social interaction is all good, but then just sitting around in a bar with friends is surely a good enough "interest" to cover that off, no? Everything just seems to connect back on itself and build to be this bigger thing than any other hobby I can mention offhand. There seem to be so many facets to it.

I've been a rock climber for a while now too, and yeah it's fun climbing with friends, and the views you can see are amazing, but still it seems somewhat... linear..? Exercise aside it seems similar to the ham radio guys I wandered past this morning. You buy the right gear and you do the thing as well as possible, try new things, break new ground if you can and then you stop doing it and go home again. And that doesn't seem to cover gaming at all well enough.
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Jesse West
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Your commitment to the gaming hobby has biased your view of other hobbies.

Go to your local nitro buggy RC track during a race. You will see a level of commitment to that hobby that would rival any other. If you're not that into nitro RC, you'd never skim the surface of that commitment.

Simply put, you get out what you put in.




Edit - grammar
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Chris
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Detail Brush wrote:
You're commitment to the gaming hobby has biased your view of other hobbies.

Go to your local nitro buggy RC track during a race. You will see a level of commitment to that hobby that would rival any other. If you're not that into nitro RC, you'd never skim the surface of that commitment.

Simply put, you get out what you put in.
Oh I'm sure there's commitment there, certainly not doubting anyone else's commitment in the slightest, indeed other hobbies will take FAR more commitment that just playing dumb pointless games. There just seem to be more interconnections or layers or something. Not better ones necessarily, just more.

I don't think I'm biased towards gaming, but could certainly be ignorant of others, to the same end as bias really.
 
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Mindy Basi
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I can't totally agree, although the extra angle is probably all the collecting that goes on in association with the hobby, which doesn't always correlate with playing games.

Every hobby has growth, trends that go in and out, innovations, collections of stuff, and people who are crazy about whatever it is and devote themselves enthusiastically to it. And they complain about people who are too casual in the hobby. Or other people who participate but don't participate in the manner or style they do, so therefore are ... wrong.

It's human nature, I suppose, to be very involved with things that give us joy.
 
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Derry Salewski
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It's probably a hobby with more accessible breadth and depth at the same time. Similar to reading. You can read twenty books by the same author, or twenty in wildly different genres.

You don't need to find others with super-specialized knowledge. You can buy a new variation cheaply. You don't need a lot of practice to enjoy yourself. But if you want lots of practice, you can enjoy yourself. There's a small, but useful critical world. There are things you have to do by yourself.

*shrug*

But there's a limitation to what you can do. You have to buy a box. You have to go find other people. they have to all want to sit around and socialize.

Whereas something like music, is much more deeply rewarding for sitting there alone in your room practicing the same thing over and over, but has plenty of social time on your own schedule.

I dunno. I don't collect much more than books, games and instruments!

there's probably a bunch of different axis you could measure hobbies on, with gaming high on some and low on others.
 
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Sean Conroy
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Looking at others this morning in the park, there were dog trainers, archers, kite fliers and ham radio nerds having a mini con of their own. Then countless lycra clad cyclists passed us on the way there and back. Runners, Fishermen, so on and so forth.


Think of them as both n00bs and recruits waiting to happen.

I think boardgames could have an edge in, almost anyone can participate without to much effrot or training. Also, you don't have to go *shudder* outside.

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Eugene van der Pijll
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Detail Brush wrote:
You're commitment to the gaming hobby has biased your view of other hobbies.

This.

I run, and am a member of a running forum. Even though that sounds like a very individual hobby, the discussions are comparable to those here on BGG: there's discussions about different kinds of running gear, electronics, shoes, etc; there's talk about statistics (most people keep full logs about how long they've ran); there are different preferences about the type of races people prefer (road, off-road, obstacle, etc; race reports instead of session reports...

Really, people can get excited just as much about any other hobby as they can about boardgaming.
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The closest thing to a genuine angle for me is that people from all of my different hobbies will generally enjoy a gateway game, and have a good time. However, very few friends cross over from my other hobbies (Hockey, baseball, aquarium keeping, camping). A lot of my other hobbies require a natural interest...very few of my friends will just jump on the idea of watching a baseball game or starting an aquarium but almost everyone is game to learn an easy fun game.

Like someone above said, you get what you put into it, though.
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Mark Wilson
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I've been down enough fandom rabbit holes to agree with some of the others who are saying that there's a lot of similarity once you get into the depths of a particular hobby. There's an absurd amount of thought and complexity that can go into most hobbies. For me, at various points in my life (some current), it's been sports, comic books, music (specifically performing, and more specifically violin performance), writing, video games (specifically World of Warcraft), and maybe others I'm forgetting.

All can be equally diverse, and equally as gratifying.

Now, subjectively, I do feel like there's maybe more in board gaming than some other hobbies. So I completely understand where the OP is coming from. But then, the hobbies I'd say that about are some that I've never been into. So, ya know, bias.
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I don't think that there is more to board gaming then other hobbies, I just think that board gaming is relatively inexpensive as far as hobbies go and one can explore a wide array of it's scope more easily than most any others. Imagine if each board game out there cost $1,000+ to buy, and took a solid year of effort to figure out and get any good at playing it. You'd have people walking past you every week in the park going "why does this dude just play Pandemic all the time, that seems like a really shallow hobby" I bet too.
 
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Adam P
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When I speak to other people about this hobby, they are usually surprised just how deep it goes. I think there is a bit of depth to this hobby versus others, but really why compare? It is people who define the hobby, so really it's about the people.

 
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