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Subject: Is it wrong to always play someone else's games? rss

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Jason Leveille
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I'm fortunate to live in a city where there are a couple of different active groups of gamers. Having played games as a kid, I stumbled across this community of gamers, and suddenly I find myself playing games whenever I can and really, really enjoying it.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm cheap. I'm tempted to buy games because I think they'd be really cool to own, but then I think, who am I going to be able to play these with? Well, the gaming groups, of course! But they already own all these games! So why should I buy these games if I'm never going to play my copies? If I felt that I would get value out of owning these games, I would, but it seems to me to be a waste of time and resources to buy games that the people I'm going to game with already own.

Lately, after playing everyone else's games for the past three months, I've begun to get this profound sense of guilt that I'm simply taking advantage of the collectors in the gaming groups. Part of me thinks that I'm justified in not purchasing anything, because the collectors enjoy buying and owning games, and I'm contributing my time in playing the games, so I'm helping out the collectors in being able to enjoy their collections.

Is it OK for me not to buy any games? Or should I really start to buy some obscure titles that my group doesn't have and try those out?

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Nick Bos
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You could always provide the drinks and food!

That's how we do it.
Mostly, I'm the one that buys the games. Of course that's my own "fault".

But my friends offered to bring drinks and food whenever we game. And I provide the playing space and games
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Christopher Clouser
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It is absolutely okay. Many collectors tend to love having their games played and are glad you are there to play them.

But I would be worried if your collector friends insist on you wearing white gloves and a surgical mask, these are the type of collectors who DONT want you to play their games.
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Mark Farr
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I am the only one in my family/circle of friends that purchases games. I'm fine with it, and appreciate people who are willing to play. I don't mind at all if I continue to be the only one buying them.

Although, I am not too fond of the same people borrowing my games for months, or, more likely, indefinitely. That, I do find annoying, but they're always welcome to play them with me.

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Oh happy, happy gamer. You have more foresight than most.

Just think about when you have bought those games. You take them along to your game nights, hoping they will get played, then somebody turns up with the latest hot Essen release and your games end up sitting by the side all night, alone, unloved and reproachfully reminding you of the money you spent (wasted) on them.

Then, just imagine if everybody in your group always brought a few games with them. You would be sitting there looking at your collection wishing they got a play occasionally and wondering why you spent all that money on them.

Then, think about how you would feel about the people who turn up without games. Wouldn't you think it was wonderful that they were not going to compete with you to get games on the table and that they would be happy to play the games you have chosen to bring? Believe me, I do.

In short, its OK, dont worry about it.
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Faerun wrote:
You could always provide the drinks and food!

That's how we do it.


That's it. There are different useful things that you can provide: the games themselves, rules explanation, food & drink and a gaming place. I think that it's fair if you offer these other things to the people who buy the games. Particularly I find the "me games & explanation, you place & food" tandem a rather interesting agreement.
 
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marc lecours
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I have spent a few thousand dollars on games. I want to get my money's worth out of them, so I hope they get played. If someone else buys then my games don't get played as much. Also it gives me power to decide on the types of games my two game groups play. I bring a few games that I feel like playing to my group (some heavy, some medium, some light) but I get to propose the games.

So it is OK.
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Russ Fade
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I own a bunch of games but I always end up playing other people's games. Beleive me . . . people desire to play "their" games. I even gave my copy of TI3 to someone in my group partly to ensure it was "someone else's" game which meant someone else would be pushing to play it. (that, and I knew he'd go buy the expansion!


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smilingra wrote:
I'll be the first to admit that I'm cheap. I'm tempted to buy games because I think they'd be really cool to own, but then I think, who am I going to be able to play these with? Well, the gaming groups, of course! But they already own all these games! So why should I buy these games if I'm never going to play my copies? If I felt that I would get value out of owning these games, I would, but it seems to me to be a waste of time and resources to buy games that the people I'm going to game with already own.


Because they will move thousands of miles away and it will be years before you can ever play the original RoboRally with expansions ever again.
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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yes it's alright to play there games, but the thing is there might be a game you would really love that they haven't. Or you just really really loved it, it's beautifull you can't live without it.

Or it is on sale, so two of you buy it (Happend with Aqua Romana, look through the geekfriends how are in the same town as me) or it's cheap when you order from germany so why not buy it (Happend with buth Industria and Die Kutschfart...).

Although that ends up with both of us, not bringing Industria to the club because we thought the other person was going to take it with them.
 
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R S
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I'm the "enabler" in our group.I buy the games, the expansions, the card sleeves. One buddy brings a different beer every week and another helps with the rules (which I struggle with)...

All in all it works out well. And they always play what I recommend!
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Nathan Collins
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Depends on how big your group is. I go to a gaming group every month and there are about a dozen folk and they bring about 3 games a piece. At first i brought 4 or 5 games, but found myself always playing other peoples. Then I stopped one month, but after i realized that i should still bring the games so that others can play or at least see I'm contributing to the play pot.

In your case I'd bring a game or two, even if you don't play it, to show your support of the group.
 
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Gregor McNish
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You don't need to bring games to be a great group member -- showing up on time, keeping to the pace of the people you're playing with, tidying up after yourself, keeping games friendly (whatever that means in your group)-- that's the important stuff.

I've bought stacks of games since joining my game group, but it's been because I loved them and wanted to play them outside the group, or because no one had them and I was curious. I don't really think of myself as a collector (though I do like hunting down hard to find games, and I love trying new games).

I'd say the people who bring/don't bring games in our group is split about 50/50. A couple of us bring around 10 games, others bring 2 or 3. Personally, I like to bring at least a filler, a game that can take 5 or 6 people, and some others that are a mixture of different lengths and weights.

You might want to buy a game or 2 if a) they're your favourites-- can't play them if no-ones brought them, or b) to have something to play in case none of the people who've shown up on time have brought a game -- that's happened to our group!
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In my group it is mostly my games that get played. I don't always pick. In fact, I rarely pick. But from my point of view, I am happy that my games are getting played, whether I pick which one or not.
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Alex
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You're a cheap bastard.
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Mike Kollross
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You don't have to own the games. Just treat them like you do.

helping setup and put away is always nice as well.
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Alex
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Seriously, though, despite the number of games I have, I've always got a list of those I'd love to buy. Why not ask your friends what they're dying to try -- and then buy one? (Assuming you'd be interested as well.)

I guess it all depends on your group and how eager it is to try new stuff.

Otherwise, just go with the flow. Sounds like everyone is having fun.
 
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Jim Ruddy
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smilingra wrote:
Is it OK for me not to buy any games? Or should I really start to buy some obscure titles that my group doesn't have and try those out?


I say don't buy a game unless you want to.

I one of the few regular game buyers in my immediate circle of gaming friends. There are a few occasional game buyers too - mostly party games etc... and the rest just play and frankly no one really notices nor cares.

Buying a game because you feel obligated to do so is no fun and I believe the purpose of this hobby is to have fun.

But - if you see a game you want to play but no one in your group has it, bite the bullet and buy it. Also, if there is a game that is played in your group that you *really* like you may want to have a copy of your own for playing outside of the group.

If they think you are a leech, there's something wrong with them. Like others have said, offer to bring pop or something if you feel guily about owning no games.

Have fun!
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Paul Sauberer
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newsguy wrote:
You're a cheap bastard.


That's true only if he is not buying games from a B&M store.

If he is not buying games from an online discounter, then he is saving the hobby from insidious forces.
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Stephen Glenn
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Another me-too post.

There are alot of folks in our group who buy games, but even if I were the only one, that would be fine. People who buy the games *need* cheap bastards to play with. In fact, people who buy the games are often competing with each other to get *their* games to the table. I'll be honest, having alot of buyers in our group has changed the way I buy games. Nowadays, if I think something sounds interesting but I *know* someone else in the group is going to buy it, I can always try it before I buy it. If you're the only one buying games in a group, that's not possible.
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newsguy wrote:
You're a cheap bastard.

I think you forgot the

To the original poster: For me, I have some 150+ games, so anytime I get others to play my games I'm happy. I would not be bothered if I was the only one in my group buying new games. So don't feel guilty.
 
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Ben Foy
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You should buy the games you really like for 4 reasons:

1.) If the game owner moves away, you can still play the game.
2.) To get really good at a game you need to think about strategies and read the rules, for that you need the game.
3.) You might want to play the game online.
4.) As you get older you might get married and start a family. You can play those games with them.

I am not a collector. I only bought the games I really liked and now I have a very good game collection of about 100 games. Most the games are OOP. I can play the more common games whenever I like.
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Donald Walsh
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This is the BGG symbiotic relationship.

The people that obsess about owning/buying/trading games need a bunch of people that want to play games.

Similar to some of the above posts, I have most of the games in my group, and I do most of the hosting.

I pick the games out to be played. I do send out the agenda beforehand and if most people don't want to play a certain game, then I make changes.

Standard procedure is anyone who buys a game can move it to the top of the playlist, and anyone who hosts can set the invite list and the game list, including using any game(s) in my inventory.

Here's some advice. Take a look at some games you're interested in. Next time you're at you're gaming group mention that you were thinking about getting "this game or that game" and see what feedback you get.

You certainly don't need to buy any games. Just don't be that person who gets games the group already has, you know, your "personal copy". I never understood that. If you happen to be in one of those groups that own EVERYTHING, then just do your shopping from the upcoming releases list:

You: "I was thinking about picking up the reprint of TITAN."
Everybody else: "Yeah!"
Any number of other cool upcoming titles work here, Borderlands, RRT Europe, Kingsburg, Race for the Galaxy, Conquest of Paradise, whatever...

The reasoning behind this is that even hard-core collectors have limited resources, and they're looking at the same upcoming releases lists and have probably already targeted certain games for purchase. However, they probably have some titles that didn't make the final cut, or that they are on the fence about, or feel that a game seems a "must-buy" even if they aren't totally enthusiastic about it; and it's in this group of games that the primary buyer(s) would be more than happy if someone else expressed an interest in getting one of those titles.

Another piece of advice: choose from games that are highly likely to be tradable on the 'Geek for other games. So in case the game meets a lukewarm reception at the group, at least you have say "Starcraft" and not "Blood Feud in NY." Well maybe "Starcraft" is a bad example, cause the box probably weighs 40 pounds, but you get the idea. So then for between $10-15 of shipping costs, you can then try a different game, instead of paying another $30-50.
Note that the same cool upcoming titles work very well in this regard, too.

Oh, and if and when you want to trade that game for another, be sure and check my trade list first.devil
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Lori
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boltongeordie wrote:
Oh happy, happy gamer. You have more foresight than most.


I agree with most of what's been said to the effect that you don't need to buy games, most of your pals who do probably don't mind if you don't, and there are other ways to contribute to the group.

But I totally disagree with the above quote--I was thinking the exact opposite. I think your problem here--and it harms no one but yourself--is LACK of foresight. I have no idea of your situation in life, but what are the chances that you'll be in the same spot with these same people in this same way from now till death? More likely you'll move away or they will, or they'll have kids or new jobs or other hobbies or whatever and withdraw from the scene, taking their games with them. Or those games will wear out or people will get tired of them before you do.

I joined a game group not quite two years ago, and some of the games other members owned that I enjoyed playing in the beginning have already gone out of print. This could happen to your favorite games at any time. Just look around BGG a bit more and you see all the threads about prices on ebay insanely high, lifelong quest for my grail game, consumed with remorse because I got rid of this game years ago, when oh when will this game ever be reprinted, the company that owns the rights won't surrender them, etc.

Of course it depends on what kind of gamer you are. If you're more focused on the new, and like to play a game a few times and move on to the next thing--or if you like to play a game intensively over and over until you feel burned out on it, and then you never want to play it again--then you've nothing to lose. But if you want the games you like now to be there for you in the long term, you'd better start buying your own copies.
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Brett Hudoba
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Those of us that keep buying and hoarding games need continual validation of our mental condition. laugh

Don't feel guilty at all; most game owners (myself included) are all too happy to have friends/strangers play our games and provide a recreational return on investment (which is what it's really all about).

That, and the god complex that comes from being able to dictate what hits the table each session... sauron
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