This year, it struck me that me exiting the boardgame hobby is a possibility. Not that it is likely in the near future, but this is probably the first time I considered it a possibility at all. One of the reasons is I have got back into another old hobby not related to boardgames (or any games at all). The other reason is I have been quite jaded about some aspects of the boardgame hobby for quite some time, in particular the quantity of new games that are being published and how very very few of them excite me. Almost all of them feel very been-there-done-that. Even some which seem to have unique ideas elicit only a "so what?" from me. Hmm... I probably shouldn't be spreading this negativity here. On the brighter side, I am trying to focus on playing fewer games, but good games. Games with some depth. I try to do multiple plays of games, to better appreciate and enjoy them. I find that I more often think of playing again older games that my friends or I already own, than seek out new games to explore. I think I am getting more contented with games I already have access to, and am more keen to get them played more frequently.
My BGG addiction is reducing. One big change in my BGG browsing habit is that instead of sorting articles (blog posts, geeklists, reviews, forum posts and game forums posts) by recency, which ensures that I don't miss any article, I now sort them by hotness, i.e. only those highly thumbed (recommended) float to the top of the lists and are visible. I don't need to visit BGG daily now. I still open up Google Reader daily, going through all my boardgame related subscriptions. However I often just mark an article as read after looking at the title and deciding I am not interested.
As I pondered the stages that I go through in my boardgame hobby, I thought it would be interesting to list them down and see whether others experience similar stages as I do. The stages below will not occur in the same order for every person. It is probably more like a checklist to determine how deep into the hobby you are. The dates I put in this table may not be very accurate. They are only the best that I can remember. Hopefully these will bring out a chuckle or two as you go through them.
- Wow! Didn't know there are so many different types of boardgames; got to buy every good one that I like.
- I self-make a boardgame (including making Print-and-Play games).
- I try to introduce boardgames to anyone I think may like them.
- I play a boardgame online (vs another human player).
- I make my first bulk boardgame order from an online retailer.
- I buy a game(s) so that I can reach the free shipping threshold.
- I follow specific designers and publishers because I know theirs are the types of games I will probably like.
- I attempt to buy most of or all of a particular designer's games.
- I meet a fellow gamer that I got to know via the internet.
- I reach 50 games owned.
- I reach 100 games owned.
- I start a boardgame blog.
- I participate in game trading.
- I sell a game.
- I cull my collection (by 10% or more).
- I teach my children boardgames.
- I pre-order a game.
- I Kickstart a game.
- I buy a very expensive game.
- I'm running out of shelf space.
- 24-hour marathon session (short breaks / naps allowed).
- I mostly play with just a few friends who are also into the same types of games.
- Light games don't feel very satisfying anymore. I need something deeper and more challenging.
- More than half of the new games sound bland.
- I reach 200 games owned.
- More than 90% of new games sound bland.
- Exiting the boardgame hobby is a possibility.
- I take time off boardgames.
|Q4 2003||In my case, and probably this is the same for many people, it was the discovery of BGG. I remember my shock at how low Axis & Allies (1984) ranked (around #250 then). And what's this Puerto Rico thing (then #1)?|
|Q4 2003||I think the first ever boardgame I self-made was Reiner Knizia's Samurai. I played a computer version of it and didn't even know it was originally a boardgame. I thought I was very smart for observing that it could be a boardgame to be played with human players. I have never done a Print-and-Play boardgame though.|
|Q1 2004||Introducing boardgames to my friends in Taipei was very successful. Too bad after I left Taipei, they gradually drifted away from boardgames.|
|2004||It was on BSW. I remember playing Carcassonne, Power Grid, San Juan.|
|N/A||Not offered when I buy from overseas, because it's international shipping. Not taken advantage of when I buy locally, because, hey, I'm a rational buyer.|
|2004 (2008)||Since around 2004 I have been following Reiner Knizia's works closely, and to a certain extent Rio Grande Games' publications. Only around 2008 I started paying specific attention to some other designers and publishers.|
|N/A||I did buy many of Reiner Knizia's games at one stage, but I was still selective. I like many games by Martin Wallace, Uwe Rosenberg, Vlaada Chvatil, Wolfgang Kramer, Marcel-André Casasola Merkle and Larry Harris, but never felt the urge to buy a game because of who designed it.|
|Jan 2005||That would be Han.|
|Jul 2007||I created a boardgame section at my old personal website around Jun 2005. But it was only in Jul 2007 that I started blogging. My "Boardgaming in Photos" blog posts are based on my old boardgame section.|
|Aug 2007||I've only done this once. I'm too lazy to arrange trading.|
|N/A||I still hold on to every stinker, just because I dread the logistics of selling.|
|N/A||I don't think I can pick enough games to get rid of to make 10%. Some I can't get rid of due to sentimental value. Some due to the mentality that I will play them again, some day.|
|2008||No just playing with game components, but playing with at least simplified rules. Not so sure about this date, but I think I started when my elder daughter was about three.|
|Jun 2009||Martin Wallace's Automobile. I read the rules beforehand, and was quite confident that I'd like the game. I was right.|
|N/A||Not sure whether this should be lumped with pre-ordering. This should be considered the same as participating in a P500 system, because publication is dependent on the funding goal being reached.|
|N/A||Everyone will have a different definition of "expensive", just use your own. For me, I have bought some expensive games, like Indonesia (~MYR330 / USD105), Automobile (~MYR251 / USD76), Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition (~MYR313 / USD100), but I don't feel the prices are too excessive. Antiquity, which I'm still trying to find at a reasonable price, going for MYR470 / USD150 is excessive.|
|N/A||Well, this is a bit harder to measure, because in the past I have purchased more shelves for games before running out of space. If I hadn't, then I would have already run out of space originally allocated to boardgames. Also, different people have differently sized homes / boardgame storage rooms / boardgame space. The way I measure this is you run out of space before you have time to make more space, and you have to temporarily place your games on the floor, or on other shelves which are meant for other things, or in any other non-ideal locations.|
|N/A||I think my longest single session was 9 hours (Here I Stand). I have done a (primarily) boardgame trip before, but we did have long breaks and it more a relaxing trip than an intense marathon session.|
|2010||I have been hoping for many years to build up a regular boardgame group with maybe 5 - 10 players, i.e. like the gang in Taipei. It never quite worked out. Many friends came and went. Eventually I became too lazy to evangelise, and settled into a comfortable routine playing with Han and Allen, and sometimes at OTK.|
|2010||I thought this happened earlier, but as I went through my game purchase records, I found that even up to 2009 there were some relatively light games that interested me enough that I ordered them.|
Note: Table edited on 19 May 2012 based on feedback and suggestions received.
Any other important milestones that I missed?