On a recent episode of The Dice Tower podcast, Tom Vasel was answering a listener question about paring down one’s board game collection and he said that he had a huge problem getting rid of games. Now granted, he’s a special case because he is a professional board game reviewer, he continually gets new games, usually review copies given to him by manufacturers, but I see the same thing going on in discussions on Google+ and other forums. I have a solution to this problem though…
STOP BUYING SO MANY GAMES!
Seriously, this isn’t Pokemon, you don’t have to catch ’em all. I know I’ve talked about this before, this Cult of the New and acquisition disorder nonsense, where people have to keep buying because they think that’s how the hobby works. It’s not. Board gaming, as a hobby, simply means sitting down and playing a board game on a reasonably regular basis. It doesn’t mean having to buy every single new game that come out, it doesn’t mean having to throw money on every single Kickstarter that goes by. It doesn’t mean that you own so many games that you’re lucky if you play a game once or twice before it ends up on the shelf gathering dust. If that’s something you honestly have a problem with, you need to seek out professional help, you’ve got impulse control issues.
I really think that’s a big issue in the hobby board gaming community, I see it constantly, people who spend a significant portion of their income on an endless array of new games and expansions, to the point that they have to struggle to make ends meet the rest of the month. Then they show up on the forum or community and complain they have no more room for games, they post pictures of stacks of games on every flat surface in their house and therefore they have to keep dumping games to make room for the new games that keep coming through the door. There’s a solution for that. Stop getting so many new games. Play the ones you have!
Getting back to the podcast, the listener said he and his wife were playing through all of their games and found that there were games that they didn’t like. Okay, get rid of those. You need someone else to tell you that? Don’t buy games like that any more. You live and learn. If you’re out of room, stop getting new games, or at least be very selective. It sounds like the listener had the problem I talked about above, they just want all the new games, even the ones they hate playing, just because they don’t know how to control themselves.
This whole thing is sad and when you point out to people that they need some self-control, they get mad. How dare you suggest that they’re doing anything wrong, as the mounds of board games collapse on them, burying them in a heap of cardboard and meeples!
Some people just have no clue or common sense.