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Subject: Board games / Video games - observation rss

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Jack Dowden
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My son & I were talking the other day. We were basically looking at our new games - about a dozen or so since GenCon. He noticed the more new games we got the less the older games hit the table and he began comparing Board games to Video games - buy them, play them, beat them, lose interest in them, trade them off and move on.

I suppose that's only natural, but do you agree that board games are becoming like video games in that most people lose interest and look for the next new thing?

With Video games there are the occasional games that endure and you'll never trade away. Twilight Imperium is probably that game for me. I love it...we don't play it much, but I don't see ever getting rid of it.

So...what's you take? And what game will you NEVER part with?
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Paul DeStefano
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Games are cyclic. You play game X for a month, decide to move on to game Y.

Next year, game X makes a comeback.

Its natural.
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Juan Medina
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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I think one of the reasons people do get tired of some games is because:

- They play the game too much.
- They don't play the game enough.

I do throttle certain games to give them longevity, because I do know they will get old rather quick if we just play them non-stop. Paul's comment is what I aim for, to make them cyclic.

To make matters interesting, both me and my wife are very much into the collecting aspect, so we do not trade games as a rule of thumb.

I do fear the behavior of people that only want to play new and different games is a bit too commercial driven. I avoid trying new games just for the sake of that. I talk about that type of gamer as the one that "consumes" vs. the one that "enjoys" games. Being in a gaming group I have been able to see some people on either category. I definitely strive to fall on the latter one.

The list of games I would not part with is probably really long, but there are a couple jewels to be mentioned: The Resistance, Arkham Horror and El Grande.
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Tim
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PrivateMeggido wrote:


I do fear the behavior of people that only want to play new and different games is a bit too commercial driven. I avoid trying new games just for the sake of that. I talk about that type of gamer as the one that "consumes" vs. the one that "enjoys" games. Being in a gaming group I have been able to see some people on either category. I definitely strive to fall on the latter one.


To be clear, Juan is talking about me here. modest

He's not wrong, either, though the reasons for the buy and sell behavior may be unknown to him. I do consume games. I buy games that sound interesting, and I get rid of the ones that don't live up to my expectations. Most recently, I basically sold a game to Juan *during* my first play of it. This past year was my honeymoon phase of gaming, and the folks with the really big collections weren't able to make it to game night regularly enough to satiate my quest to try new games. If I wanted to try a new type of game, I had to front the money to buy it. 9 months later unplayed or played once, I see no reason to keep it on my shelf. If I look at a game and think, "Uluru was fun... but there's no time I would choose to play that over Ricochet Robots." well, then there's no reason to have Uluru taking up my shelf space, especially if there are others out there who would enjoy them.

And to be fair, Juan's whole family plays games with him, which is maybe why he can appreciate such a broad collection for broad tastes. My wife only likes Battle Line and the occasional deduction game... maybe Pandemic. As far as she's concerned, everything else in my collection can just go. So, if I don't like a game, and my wife doesn't like a game, should I keep that game in my collection, or sell it to someone in the group who does like it? It's an easy answer for me, though I do have a handful of games (maybe a dozen) that I consider to be my "collection" that I have some sort of emotional attachment to.

My buying frenzy has calmed down a lot lately. I'm still prone to pick something up on a whim, but it's gotten much better. There are only two games from Essen that I even want this year.
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Johan Haglert
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Well, to me Warcraft III has had hundreds eventually 1000+ games and I would still be willing to play it.

Mario cart and Super Smash Football / soccer works in company but it's not even close.

For board games I have no experience but I suppose some people are willing to play the abstracts forever.

If the game is focused on a story and played by it I assume it gets old quick. If the mechanics led to optimization and you try to optimize your best and win I assume it also can get old pretty quick. Less so if your partners can interfere with your plans. I guess things like Decent there you grow a character (and games with dice and luck elements ) which also plays a story but not a scripted one may last longer?

If all you're doing is building a machine and you get it good enough.. well ..

Or maybe I'm wrong.

I played Zelda Phantom Hourglass. I beat it. I will most likely not play it any more. But it has a story and puzzles and once beat what are there to play for anymore? In wc3 multi-player you "can't" optimize because your opponents will do other things, the maps will be different, your decisions and strategy will be different (or well, mine are) just because you want to try something else more or less all the time.
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Juan Medina
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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tofarley wrote:

To be clear, Juan is talking about me here. modest


Hahahaha, not in particular, no, but you fit some of the criteria. I actually think you are quite on the good end of that trend. As you say, I think you buy games that are new not just to buy them, but because you are in a constant search for interesting mechanics and obscure game arcane knowledge. That I see value in. You mean to play the games when you get them, and I am quite sure you don't buy them to use them and discard them. You are in a quest for the grail of games.

What I want to avoid being is the person that just buys the game cause it is new, no other reason. And you are talking to a guy that got his collection from 5 to 300 in less than a year. Because I like the games so much and it is easy to see that I am more than willing to get more games, I don't want to do it just out of habit, or because they are cheap. I intend to play every game I get at least 10 times.

tofarley wrote:
And to be fair, Juan's whole family plays games with him, which is maybe why he can appreciate such a broad collection for broad tastes.


That does help a lot. I also play with friends that are not into board games, meaning they don't own any or plan to buy any. They are happy to play mine, but I don't think they would play them if I was not there to provide them and teach them. One of the best ways to keep your old games fresh is introducing them to new people. I brought up complete newbies all the way from the ten minutes No Thanks! game all the way to the four hour Arkham Horror session. Checking out the past few months I played more games at home and with non-board gamer friends than with my board game group!

So, to reiterate my points, don't get new games without first attempting to keep/rotate your old ones, and involving new people does help doing this substantially.
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Daniel Velazquez
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Part of it is the consumer side of it, buying more and more games. It's also part of playing. You just don't have 1 game and play it all the time. You have a lot of games, depending on the number of people and experience they're looking for.
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Tim
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PrivateMeggido wrote:
You are in a quest for the grail of games.


Very much so. Most people, I think, would play a game with a certain mechanism -- say hidden roles -- and say, "Okay, I have a good hidden role game that I enjoy. I have no need for another game of this type." whereas I want to explore what it is that makes a hidden role game work, and I want to see what other games in the genre have to offer, and what others do differently. So I buy a bunch of games, try them, and sell or trade away the ones that don't stack up. Note that this behavior extends beyond games and into the rest of my life. I am very much interested in learning something "new" or exploring a new concept, but I lack followthrough. I don't want to be an expert on anything in particular, I want to know a little bit about as many things as possible. It's served me well thus far (though I see where the need to specialize is going to be important going forward).

I have a bit of a creativity bug in me. I always say that I play games for the social experience, but I think it's just as true that I play games to explore new mechanisms. I am definitely more interested in seeing how a game works than I am playing it enough to ascertain the optimum strategy (for the same reasons above). I fully believe that somewhere inside me a game design is trying to force it's way out, and every game I play is like a little research session that I can use to make my ultimate game.

Though I will admit that in recent months I've been lamenting a bit about the sheer number of games available, and wishing that it was easier to play the same game day in and day out. I've recently found a fantastic game in Triplanetary/MayDay, and for the first time I found a game that I do want to explore more deeply. But with so many other people in the group, each with so many games they too want to explore, it becomes impossible. Instead, as other's have said, you have to "cycle" it a bit, so as not to let anyone burn out on it. I really do feel that I have about 10-20 games in my collection that I could cycle through now and have no want of other games.
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