Friday, 11 January 2008

reading / writing more than playing

I spend more time reading and writing about games than I spend playing games. Is that sad? A little I guess. Sad because I don't get to play games as often as I'd like to. However at least I do enjoy reading and writing about games. Boardgamegeek, Boardgamenews, Fortress Ameritrash, Mikko Saari's Gameblog, ekted's Gamer's Mind, Mike Doyle's Art Play, Tao of Gaming and NYC Gamer are some of the websites I visit regularly. There is always something new to read about. It is almost a daily habit for me to visit boardgame related websites. It's not an addiction (at least I think so). I don't feel uncomfortable not to surf the internet for some time, but if it is convenient, then I'll do it everyday. It's as natural as breathing and eating. At Boardgamegeek I set "Notify me of new content" for some games which I am interested in, so whenever there are new reviews, articles, photos, etc about these games, I get a notification in my Boardgamegeek inbox. So I can rest assured I won't miss news about these games. For things like geeklists and general discussions which are not tied to any specific game, I will miss them if I don't visit Boardgamegeek frequently enough, but it is okay for me. This is an age of information overload, so it would be too tiring to try to keep up-to-date with everything. A hobby is supposed to be fun and not an obligation.

Recently I have been spending much time writing blog entries, because over my recent holidays I have been playing many new games. I started my boardgame blog for the convenience of making updates. It is much easier to use Blogspot than to manually create HTML pages and upload them. I had expected the frequency of my blog posts to be similar to my previous website updates. However the frequency increased, probably encouraged by the convenience, and also I find that I quite enjoy writing.

The first few months of my boardgame blog were mainly about covering different aspects of my boardgame hobby, my history, my preferences, types of games, etc. I also wrote about my boardgaming experiences, my boardgame sessions, and new games that I played. By now, I'm mostly writing about the sessions and the new games, doing mini reviews and sharing my thoughts. It will probably stay so from now on, with some different boardgame related topics occasionally if I can think of something interesting to write. One blog that I admire a lot is NYC Gamer. The posts are not frequent, but the quality is high. Most articles are interesting, deep and thoughtful. I don't think I have that many interesting things to say, but NYC Gamer is a good example to look up to.

My boardgame blog is mainly used as a record of my boardgame hobby. I like posting photos. I enjoy writing for the sake of writing. I think I will enjoy reading my own blog 10 years from now, maybe laughing at myself for doing such a thing as writing a boardgame blog.

So, what about playing games? At any time, if Michelle asks me, "Do you want to play a boardgame?", I will drop everything and play. Forget Boardgamegeek. Forget Blogspot. With two young children, it is not so easy to sit down to play boardgames frequently. When they are awake, they will come and make trouble. When they are asleep, we are sometimes already quite tired. I organise boardgame sessions on Saturdays, about twice a month, depending on Han's work schedule. Unfortunately since coming back to Malaysia in Dec 2004 / Jan 2005, I have not been able to develop a regular gaming group. So, it is still mostly just Han and I. Sometimes Michelle joins us. Sometimes Chee Seng joins us if he is back from Singapore. Sometimes we have other "guests stars", but those are infrequent. Maybe this year. We already have some potential new recruits.

I try to play as much as I can, and thankfully I also have Boardgamegeek and other websites, and blogging, to keep me happy and doing something related to boardgames.

2 comments:

josh said...

G'day Hiew, I too have been browsing BGG and reading blogs daily and insisted that I'm not addicted to it, somehow my wifey and friends would say otherwise :p

Anyway, I find your writings enjoyable and offer fresh perspective on games :)

Keep it up!

ps: a friend of mine (a recent boardgame convert) is going back to KK for holiday. Thanks to your session reports and recommendation on Carcasean, he now knows where/how to spend his holiday :D

josh from nz

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Hi Josh,

The address of Carcasean is:

S-0-28, Ground Floor, City Mall,
Jalan Lintas, Kota Kinabalu.

Some instructions for your friend: if he/she walks through the front door of City Mall, go towards the right corridor, and then he needs to exit the main building. Carcasean is in the right outdoor "corridor". It is in the block on the right, and further in. They don't have a sign board yet (at least when I was there), so your friend will need to look inside for boardgames on the shelves.

And regarding addiction, I'm very positive I'm not addicted.

I'm quite sure.

I think.