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Subject: Game Collections - A Metagame? rss

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Tony Ackroyd
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There are lots of people on BGG with huge game collections. They can't possibly play even a small fraction of their games in a year. Then there are a good few of us, myself included, who own a lot of games that they have never played, or even taken out of shrink. We continue to buy and expand our collections despite this.

So why do we do it? Games take up a lot of space. They cost quite a lot of money (value-wise if you aren't playing them). Its hard to learn/teach loads of new games.

I'm coming to think its a metagame. One of set-collection for some people, where they have to have every game by a certain designer/games/company/of a certain type.
One of bargain hunting for others (I count me in this group) where if you can get a game for a cheap price or in a math/ultimate trade then that in itself gives pleasure, even if you then don't get around to playing the game.
Poll
Why do you have too many games?
I don't have too many games - I play them all
Its set collection
I'm a bargain hunter
Retail Therapy
Something else (please add a comment saying what)
      306 answers
Poll created by 1000rpm



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I'm Mike Chapel, and I am an addict.
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Joe Zarate-Sanderlin
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I collect some, I play some. I enjoy some older games for the nostalgia value, I have others that I know may not see the table though I enjoy having them, you know, just in case.
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Brad Fuller
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I've seen people who collect guitars for thousands of dollars each and they have 20-30. Takes up as much room as my games, and cost a lot more. That's just one example, there are many more. I spend 20-30 dollars a month, plus I make 2-3 free shipping orders a year. I don't think that is obsessive, but don't ask my wife.
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Rich P
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I've begun thinking that rather than spend money on a new game, I'd be happier if I could buy free time for me and my friends to play the games I already own. But since that's not possible, I'll spend it on games instead and imagine playing them!
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Tim Benjamin
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Games go out of print so quickly (and mostly so permanently) that if I ever want to play them I better buy them now.
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You know you have a problem when you buy the same game that three other members of your gaming group already own.
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Mark Johnson
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I buy what I think looks interesting because I have no friends that buy board games. Someone mentioned buying them before they go out of print, which is a legitimate concern. I'm not really into the hobby for collection purposes because I'm not opposed to culling games that I don't enjoy or don't think I will enjoy.

I have many unplayed games but I am working on getting through them all, unfortunately I don't get to play as often as I would like so the rate of acquisition is exceeding the rate of playing new games. Regarding the rate of acquisition, I only started this hobby about a year and a half ago, so I have a massive backlog of games to try.

Sooner or later I'm hoping to play all/most of them.

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Tony Ackroyd
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RaffertyA wrote:
Games go out of print so quickly (and mostly so permanently) that if I ever want to play them I better buy them now.

Great excuse. I've used this one myself.
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Chaddyboy
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I just like buying new games, opening them, punching them and reading the rules.

Plus, I get the vast majority of them for free these days, so that helps.
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Dimitri Gia
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I am Dimi, hear me roar! [kidding!] And I am not really addicted... I just have a very weird hobby...

Well, what's there to tell, I realize that I have too many games but it's the collecting bug and tons of reasons to buy more and more games (although I must confess that I'm at a peak now : too many recent games that don't really stand out). So why do I buy more games?
- who was it again that said the following : The life of a collector is a happy life. As they normally have something to look forward to, each and every day... A new game or a new guitar/book/stamp/whatever...
- if I'm not mistaken, we only live once, if I get satisfaction going through new rules and trying to find some of the other and more rare games, what's there wrong with it? After all, I'm not doing anything wrong am I? And furthermore, it certainly beats spending your money to booze and cigarettes... Although I enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage [or two / three / ... ]
- it might be a problem if I couldn't bear it financially but without sounding too cocky : what should I do otherwise with my money? I have nothing to worry about financially, I am healthy so by all means, if I want to spend MY money on games...
- I've played about 1200 games from my collection I think... [doing this 10 years] so I have 800 more to go ;-) I also realize that I'm busy most of the time nowadays but still, I try to make time...

And that's my story... As a collector / gamer / enthusiast What strikes me most is that "we", the collectors, are criticized for our hobby. A feeling of "how dare you buy all those games" radiates from real people and online personalities. Strange though... Jealousy? Something darker? In short : I don't understand it...
/dimi
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Edwin Priest
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I'm an optimist. I actually do PLAN on playing them.
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Caleb
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The "out of print" argument doesn't work for me. I figure that, sure, for any given specific game, if I wait too long I'll miss it. But so what? There are dozens of other games I'd like to try, and more being published all the time. I have no fear of missing out on something and having some hole in my life I can never fill because I didn't buy Game X before it went out of print.

I buy what I think I can play, and to have a reasonable range of options when I sit down to play something. For me, that's around 85 games right now (20 of which are kids' games). I plan to slowly add to this number, culling what I don't play, etc. But I don't feel the need to proactively buy just to protect myself from something going out of print.
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Jesse Dean
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I make sure I play all of my games, and my collection really isn't that large (I have less than 50 games, including expansions.) I expect my collection to increase quite a bit over the next few months. Most of my wish list wants are hard wants. Thing that I DEFINITELY want to get, and will as soon as they are available. Some are ones that I have gone ahead and taken the unprecedented (for me) step of pre-ordering them from Europe. shake After the Flood and Le Havre, I am looking at you!

I think in general it is a good idea to keep your collection lean. Keep only the games you expect to play, and only get games you expect to play. Whats the point in buying a game if you are going to play it once or never play it?
 
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Eric
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I will never have more than 50 100 200 300 500 games... (need to be sure I can update that number in the future...)
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Calavera Despierta
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Yes game collecting, like most collections, are a metagame. But that seems obvious to me. Perhaps to frame this differently, it might be better to ask what things in our lives are NOT metagames. And such a list, of course, is much shorter, and far more difficult to compile.
 
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Andy Foulke
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My excuse is that I'm buying for my kids (heh). That lets me rationalize trying to cover all aspects of history in my collection, for future history lessons
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Andrew Snyder
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Shouldn't you be playing a game with me instead of wasting time on the Internet?
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All of the above and I want to just the right game for any collection of people:
Arkham Horror vs Betrayal at House on the Hill vs A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game
and
The Big Idea vs X-Machina vs Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game vs Dark Cults vs The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
at least that is what I tell my self...
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John Ellerbe
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Port Royal
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I'm a game collector. I have been a game collector for more than 60 years. I have been a member of the AGPC since it's inception 25 years ago. I haven't missed a convention in twenty-five years and have bought games at every one. I have been to auctions in dozens of locations in the U.S. and Europe. My oldest game is circa 1812 and my newest is two weeks old. My favorite games are either very old or very good to play. My excuse is: this hobby gives me great satisfaction, so why not? Hope to see everyone in Texas. Regards, John Gamellerbe
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Sean Shaw
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MWChapel wrote:
You know you have a problem when you buy the same game that three other members of your gaming group already own.


I do a lot of moving, so even if they are in my gaming group this year, two years from now if I move to a new location...and I want to play the game...I'll need to have it then perhaps.

On another note, I play all the games I own...don't really understand this phenomenon where people get more games then they could play, or have games they have not played and won't be able to get to play for a while.

I suppose if my game buying keeps up I might reach that point eventually, but I also find I have slowed WAAAAAY down on my game buying as I check games to see if a REALLY actually want a game, or it's just a passing fad with me.
 
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Kent Reuber
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I have a problem picking up games that I think would be fun in a certain situation. For example, "I'm going to visit my sister-in-law and her husband. Maybe I should buy a cool new game that would play with 4." "This plays 6, but it would be a great game for a convention."
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Nattakorn Vuttichaipornkul
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Too many games? no such thing. That's crazy talk dude
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p55carroll
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I had to vote "something else."

I don't like to resort to psychoanalysis, especially when I'm the victim patient. But I guess I've had a lifelong craving for games.

While I didn't have a terrible childhood, there was plenty of tension off and on, and some hard times. But when the family was sitting around together playing rummy or dominoes or something, it was always a good time.

Or, when I was little, just playing made-up imaginative games, alone or with my friends, was a wonderful something to do.

So now, in my adult life, anytime I think or hear about or see a game, all that childhood magic floods back in. I instantly recall those "days of wonder" (to borrow a phrase), and I long to explore every cool-looking game I come across.

Sure, I've got games in my closet I've never played--some with the shrinkwrap still on. And yeah, I know the only person I'll ever play a game with is my wife--and that'll happen only once in a Blue Moon. (Oops! Sorry--had a game on my mind and got distracted.) But for me, playing the games really isn't the main pleasure.

Actually playing a game is sometimes a disappointment, in fact.

It's like opening presents on Christmas day: for a long time, you'd been wondering what was beneath the wrapping paper, and your imagination conjured up the most fantastic possibilities. But when the wrapping paper comes off, all the possibilities are gone; they've been reduced to one concrete object. Whenever that happens to me, it's a letdown.

As Spock said in an old Star Trek episode, wanting can be better than having. It's not logical, but it's often true.

When I buy a new game, I'm buying into a whole new world of possibilities: "Oh, wouldn't it be great if the whole family got together to play this game, and it turned out to be a game that everybody absolutely loved, and all the tensions and difficulties of life dissolved completely, and we were all young and happy again, and. . . . ." Even though I know that won't actually come to pass, it's such a seductive dream that sometimes I can't help but pursue it.

My dad used to sometimes try to drink his troubles away. I guess I try to game mine away (it's easier on the liver).

Oh--and sometimes there's a bit of "set collection" going on. If I do play a game, and someone says they like it, I'm apt to rush out and buy up every expansion for it. Because I want to maximize the pleasure.

However, I periodically clear out my collection. When I notice my closet is full of games I never play, I sell them all or give them away. I've done that every several years for the past three decades or so. I really hate having a bunch of stuff I don't use. So, I have no trouble at all getting rid of stuff. There's no attachment to the games unless the dream of playing them is still alive.

Right now, I wouldn't sell Lost Cities or Bohnanza or Catan or Merchant of Venus or even Advanced Civilization, because we've had fun playing those in the past, and we might someday get around to doing it again. So, the dream is alive. I'm already glorifying past games in my mind, and I can picture future games being even more delightful.

But then there are all those other games--games I received as gifts, like Sequence. Or misguided attempts to recapture my old wargaming days via Battle Cry and the like. Those games can go, and I won't miss them.

Ideally, I'd like to own just one game--and I'd like it to be a game that everybody I know (including me) absolutely loves and can never get enough of and will never tire of or outgrow. A game that brings back all the wondrous magic of childhood and excitement of good game play for everyone involved, every time.

Anytime I buy a new game, it's in hopes of it turning out to be that one ultimate game.

So, I don't really collect games at all. Not to keep them. Collection is just an accidental by-product of searching for that one game to transcend all games.

As to buying a game quick, before it goes out of print--I tend to do just the opposite. The way I see it, any game that's truly good will stand the test of time. So if a game goes out of print, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the game anyway. If a game in my "collection" is out of print, I tend to think less of it; I'm that much more likely to get rid of it. So no, I'm definitely not a collector. Just a guy with a curious craving for games and a quixotic approach to game buying.

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My "other reason" is that I'm trying to build a well-rounded game collection. To include games of all types; classics, gateways, gamer games, dexterity games, kid's games, etc.

My goal is the game collection as a whole. Not the individual games that make up the collection.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
..As to buying a game quick, before it goes out of print--I tend to do just the opposite. The way I see it, any game that's truly good will stand the test of time. So if a game goes out of print, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the game anyway. If a game in my "collection" is out of print, I tend to think less of it; I'm that much more likely to get rid of it...


Hmm, I see you have Dune and History of the World. I believe those are OOP, and since you won't be wanting them anymore, I'll take them.
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