Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why Do I Collect?

A gamer blogged about collecting and buying and the obsession many of us have with this hobby. So here's my response to why.

Why do I collect boardgames and why do I feel the urge to buy and trade them all the time? First - I like to play games. I like the problem solving exercise I get. I also like the competition aspect. Though I enjoy sports and athletics, I'm not a natural gifted athlete in any way, so mental gymnastics have been the only thing I can effectively be competitive at (this might be why I also like golf competitions, since its usually done by handicap). And I like the social aspect. I like sitting around talking and BS'ing about anything. The game is an activity itself, but it also allows for other things to happen simultaneously.
Yeah, so what does that have to do with owning a bazillion (201 and counting) games? When I first started playing, I never imagined I'd own 20 games. But what I found was, if I really liked a game, I wanted to have it around in case I wasn't playing with my friends that owned the game. I also wanted it, in case I wanted to play and they hadn't brought it out to game night. And so, my collection grew. At one point, I started grabbing anything that sounded good or was cheap. I realized I was starting to just horde and started trading most of those games away. My collection is now comfortable. Which is not to say that I won't be getting more games. It just means I like where my collection is currently at. I don't feel like I have any glaring "holes". I have games that are good for just about any number of people 2-8+. I have strategy games, war-ish games, card games, race games, abstracts, ameri-trash games, euro-snot games, filler games, thematic games, gamer games, classics, etc. In fact, I hit a certain point where I wanted to play new games less, and play some of my games that I owned more often. So what keeps me buying now? New and interesting games. Things that I will enjoy. Price helps, but you can sell a lot of crap on Tanga that I won't touch. Expansions draw me in, but there are limits. I haven't touched Runebound yet, due to my completist needs. I've also gotten into some rarer games, but only if I will play them. I don't need to own things I won't play like Rail Baron and Advanced Civilization.


Jaybird said...

Charles, all good points. I know just what you are saying--seems like you just want to have a game just in case. In case somebody does not bring theirs. In case you have to wait for somebody else and you need a filler. In case you want to play something new. In case....

I guess what I was really thinking to myself was, why is the pull so irresistible sometimes?

Red October said...

boardgamers are competitive...many are just as, if not more, competitive than athletes. what's that mean? i have a hunch that many gamers secretly want to grow their collection so they can tell their other tabletop friends how many they have. it seems childish - and it should...after all, we're playing games.

i like to get new boardgames so that i can beat charles at yet another game. :) hey charles, if you start whooping me all of the time, i'm taking you to the gym for a game of basketball!!