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Subject: How far will you go? rss

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Greg Schmittgens
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Wichita
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Recently, I've seen postings, here and elsewhere, from "gamers" saying they're located at point X and they can't go to point Y to game for a session (sometimes even a full day) because it is too far to drive. When I check the typical distance on mapquest, I find the "gamers" would have to drive 15 miles, 18 miles, sometimes 30 miles.

I know I'd drive 20 miles to play a game. Heck, once I drove 7 hours (between Denver and Wichita) to spend one long day playing.

How far would you be willing to travel to play a game? To play (multiple games) for a day?

If possible, give some info on your location (I'm wondering if it's a regional thing).
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Paul DeStefano
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50'.

If they didn't show up when I invited them, its not like I'm going to hunt them down.

NY.
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Leo Zappa
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I'm in Aliquippa, a small town north of Pittsburgh, PA. I'd go (and do go) 1 hour in any direction for gaming. This equates to about 30-45 miles, based on traffic, construction, and lousy roads. One hour driving is my limit.
 
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p55carroll
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When I was a kid in my last year of high school, running a wargaming club, I used to travel about fifty miles twice a month for gaming. I was in northern California.

Now, thirty-odd years later, I guess I might drive across town. But I'd rather not, as I prefer to play games with friends and relatives--people I already know--right at home.

I think of games the way I think of books and TV. How far would I go to watch TV or read a book? As far as my living room or den, usually. Now and then I might go to a friend's house or the library. That's about it.
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Maia McGrath
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Austin
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We're in Austin, TX. Will happily travel an hour for an evening of gaming or several hours (up to 3) for a day of gaming.
 
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Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
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I'm in Connecticut.

Naturally I'd prefer to play close, but I've regularly driven an hour or more for a gaming session, particularly if it's going to mean a full day of gaming. My last two game days I hosted. In one case my friend drove 1 hour and 15 minutes each way for games of Tide of Iron (four battles!) and Clash for a Continent: Battles of the American Revolution and French & Indian War. Yesterday I had two friends over who had driven about an hour for a game of Axis & Allies: Europe and a quick game of Bosworth.
For an evening's gaming I generally won't drive over an hour for the simple reason that it generally leaves too little time to play.

I think regional differences will definitely apply. I think I'm willing to drive farther than many New Englanders, who generally think going 50 miles for anything is a very long trip. On the other hand, I spent some time in Oklahoma while in the Army and I know we didn't think anything at all about driving sveral hours to go out for the evening because there wasn't anything closer.
 
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H-B-G
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Halesowen
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I suppose a lot must depend on how far you need to go. My weekly trip is a little under 2 miles, the furthest I go on a regular basis (5-6 times a year) is just under 50.

But then Halesowen is only a few miles from England's second city Birmingham and there are quite a few possibilities near by.
 
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Don Barree
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In the 1990's I drove 137 miles each way from Bridgewater, NJ to my friend's house in Harrisburg, PA 6 times a year and did that for almost 5 years in order to get in a full day of gaming. I would leave my house at 7:00 a.m. and return between 2:00 and 3:00 am. I got in roughly 14 hours of gaming for 5 hours of driving. This all ended abruptly when my friend passed away unexpectedly.

These days I travel 21 miles each way every other Saturday for my game day and have been doing it for just under two years. The rest of my gaming takes place within 5 miles of home.
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Ted Groth
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It depends a lot on the situation. I would guess for many people this has a lot to do with time available, and what other opportunities they have. If you are on your own, you have a lot more choice of how you spend your time!

When I was in college, and for a few years after, I would drive for several hours to go swing dancing, or contra dancing, in addition to the dance available right in town. Yeah, I know it isn't gaming, but I wasn't into gaming as much back then. I expect that if I was, that I would have driven the distance for gaming instead. At that time, I lived in Ohio near Cleveland, and then New York state, north of New York City.

Well, I met my wife at one of those dance events, and I'm glad I did. Now that I'm married, and also, more senior in my career, I have more responsibilities, and less free time, and so I am less likely to take off for such a jaunt. What is more, my free time needs to coordinate with my wife, so driving several hours to play games with some game group just doesn't happen.

What does happen is we will drive for a couple hours to visit an old college buddy of mine, and his wife, and when we get together we usually devote part of the visit to playing games. Would I drive 100 miles just for the games? No, but I will do it to play games and visit with a good friend.

I also am part of a regular game group here in Olympia, WA that meets officially once a month, but we meet less than a mile from my house. But I missed the last three(!) months because I was travelling on business each time.
(apparently I would travel thousands of miles to avoid gaming?) cry
 
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We're in central NY, and we have a couple weekly game nights a mile or two away. We regularly travel up to 2 hours to go to different game stores, but don't often game there as it would be too much/too late to come home. We mostly game at home, just the two of us, but do sometimes get together with friends about a half hour away. If it was a daytime event, I might go an hour and a half or two hours. A night time event, not more than an hour, but it's not really an issue for us.
 
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Andrew L.
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Lawrence
Kansas
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I have just started driving about an hour and 20 minutes (when you include construction and traffic) to game with a good friend of mine in the KC area.

I guess the real reason I am willing to go that long (and longer, I would drive to Salina or Wichita for a day long game session) is because I don't have a ton of wargamer friends, so anytime I can get somewhere where games are on the table, I am up for it.

I also just realized that if you aren't from kansas, there is a good chance you don't know where the heck Salina or Wichita is...take my word for it, it's three hours from my house.
 
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When our good friend Craig moved to Calgary, we'd make an annual pilgrimage from Vancouver there to spend the weekend having a guys gaming weekend (and to visit Sentry Box, which is a pretty amazing store, and the Willow Park liquor store which has an amazing collection of scotch you can't get most places).

Round trip is about 2,900km (1740 miles).
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Leland Olson
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South Beloit
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Roscoe, IL.

I think about this issue less in actual miles and more in terms of commute time. A seemingly short distance may take a long time due to speed limits and path taken whereas a longer distance may actually take less time if I can hop onto the highway to get there. Driving more than an hour to play a single 1 hour long or shorter game isn't very productive to me, but a 3+ hour gaming session with a 1 hour commute (one way) works just fine.

I used to routinely drive back and forth every day to Gen-con every year while it was in Milwaukee (1+ hour drive one way) to play games at the con. Driving to Indianapolis is out of range as I would then have to stay in a hotel. (which also excludes Origins...although I may make that trip one of these years).

The furthest I have driven to play games at a friend's house is Rock Island/Moline (2-3 hour drive one way). Granted I would be unwilling to drive that far every weekend but once every couple of months is ok.

Fortunately, my weekly gaming either happens at my house or at my FLGS in Rockford (a 20 minute drive one way). However, I would be willing to drive up to an hour away every week to play multiple games if need be.
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Elroy Davis
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I'm in southern Vermont. Several times a year, I drive up to 3 hours, one way, for a day of gaming. For a single game, I'd be willing to drive up to an hour on a weekend. Weeknights are tougher.
 
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Adam Daulton
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Most of my gaming is within 10 minutes of my house. In high school I traveled 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to some LotR:TCG tournaments. Once, while I lived in Iowa, I traveled two hours for a full day of board gaming. So I'd guess that is about my limit, 2 hours one way.
 
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Andrew W.
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Monessen
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desertfox2004 wrote:
I'm in Aliquippa, a small town north of Pittsburgh, PA. I'd go (and do go) 1 hour in any direction for gaming. This equates to about 30-45 miles, based on traffic, construction, and lousy roads. One hour driving is my limit.


You and just about 90% of the residents of the adjacent counties of the Pittsburgh area that I have ever met. I don't know what the communal fear is. Pittsburgh I think I have heard that it has around 446 bridges, and people still seem to refuse to cross over a river, Not a good plan in a city with a confluence.

I live 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh's downtown, almost all the way to Washington, PA...and people act like I live on the moon or in Oklahoma.

I can understand the viewpoint for like weeknights after work. By the time you drive there and back, you spent more time in the car than where you are traveling, when you have to get up for work the next morning.

On weekends though, c'mon, live a little. It's been awhile, but I've made roadtrips for all day gatherings to Erie more than once just to enjoy some good company up there.

There's more to Western Pennsylvania than just an hour there and an Hour back, Pittsburgh!
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Bob
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Up to 30 minutes each way is usually fine. For us it's a matter of how far away _and_ how often the group meets. Driving 1 hour each way once a month is easier to absorb (fuel wise) than driving an hour each way every weekend...
 
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J C Lawrence
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30 minutes travel time without a blink, up to an hour's travel time if well justified.
 
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Joe
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Maple Valley
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I drive 30 minutes right now, I would drive up to 2 hours for an all day affair if we started early.
 
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Jeff Forbes

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I've sort of settled in with a group that's about 40 minutes away (44 miles) - seems to meet every other weekend, which is a perfect frequency. Usually seem to get 6-8 hours of games and hanging out in.

If someone wants to play a 1 hour long game and do nothing else, I'll generally pass, and certainly wouldn't drive more than a few miles. If the one game is Die Macher or something like that, sure, I'll drive 30 minutes if I've got the time.

Furthest I drove was ~110 miles each direction for 2 full days.

 
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Matthew Kloth
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[Amount of time spent gaming] = 2 x (time to get there + time to get back)

Play Time Commute (one way)

< 1 hour < 15 minutes Quick filler at nearby friend or relative's house
(stop buy and play a game of Canasta with Grandma)

1-2 hours 20-30 minutes Strategy game with gamer(s). Probably unplanned.
Call up in the afternoon to see if anyone wants to play

4-8 hours 1-2 hours Game Night. A monster game, or a few heavy strategy games.
Likely planned a week or month ahead of time

8-12 hours 2-3 hours Convention, Tournament, or Gaming Event.
A whole days worth of gaming. Definetly planned ahead of time.
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Eugene van der Pijll
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Leidschendam
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GS in KS wrote:
How far would you be willing to travel to play a game? To play (multiple games) for a day?

For an evening of games (5-6 hours), I'd be prepared travel about 12km (40 minutes).

For a game day with friends (~10 hours), I'll travel about double that: 80 minutes (~100km).
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Hal
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Being limitted to public transport, the issue is about cost more than anything else for me. I was happy to pay the £4 return bus fare/local train fare to get to Liverpool for an evening of gaming (took about an hour to go 13miles), but I would be much less happy to pay a £15 train fare to travel the same amount of time and get further.
 
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Seth Owen
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pijll wrote:
GS in KS wrote:
How far would you be willing to travel to play a game? To play (multiple games) for a day?

For an evening of games (5-6 hours), I'd be prepared travel about 12km (40 minutes).

For a game day with friends (~10 hours), I'll travel about double that: 80 minutes (~100km).


40 minutes to go 12 km?!! That's some traffic!!

I've seen a few people mention an evening's gaming at 5 or 6 hours. Is that how much time you can get in? I usually figure an evening at closer to 4 hours. If you start playing at 7 p.m. and finish by 11 p.m., considering getting out of work time, travel time and trying to get home by midnight so work in the morning isn't too tough. What time do you usually try to start playing and how late will you go?
 
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Leo Zappa
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jocose wrote:
I drive 30 minutes right now, I would drive up to 2 hours for an all day affair if we started early.


Hey guys, look, it's Governor Sanford! Hey Gov, we're talking about BOARDGAMES here. Anyways, everyone knows you can't drive to Buenos Aires in two hours!



...Get it, "all day affair"? You know, Sanford, the guy with the Argentinian girlfriend...It's a JOKE! Geez, tough crowd!

cool

Don't forget to tip your waiters and waitresses...I'm here all week!
 
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