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Gaming can be a tough hobby. There are so many enjoyable games to play, but it can be challenging to get a group together to play them even on a once-a-week basis. That means many games will go unplayed for long periods of time.
Many geeks have a tendency to be collectors (how many stories have we seen about people with 1,000+ game collections?), but at some point we realize that we’re just not going to get to play every game on our shelf. That leaves two options: keep the game for the rare times that we will play it, or trade it off in hopes to get something we will play all the time (or at least experience a new game). (Technically you also have the options of donating it or trying to sell it for useful cash monies).
So which do you do? Do you constantly rotate your collection to play a variety of games, or are you likely to let a game sit on your shelf so you have it when the time comes around?
Honestly, I have more of a tendency to keep games around. Even if a game isn’t going to hit the table every other week, if I like it a lot, I want to have it for the times when I do play. And some games, like, say, Eruption, are not going to be played with my regular group of gaming friends, but it’s a good game to play with non-gamers, so it seems worth keeping. You just never know when an old gem is going to come out and be a blast to play.
Plus, if you spread games out more, games that might become dull or repetitive hold on to their luster longer. You don’t feel like you’re having the same, repeated experience if you only play it every few months. Kill Doctor Lucky may not have much variation on strategy, and the jokes stay the same, but it’s hilarious every time I play because I don’t play it every day.
Really, the only reason I will trade a game is if it’s not that enjoyable, or if it is too similar to other games I like better.
I’m a trader. If something is sitting too long, it’s gone. Though I should qualify.
There are two kinds of sitting: the sitting because an opportunity has not arisen and the sitting because the desire has not arisen. I’m fine with a game sitting because of opportunity. My 1999 Avalon Hill copy of Acquire—the jewel of my collection—is a game that sits because of opportunity. A math-heavy game like Acquire takes a certain group to achieve, and when that group does not come together, it’s okay when it sits.
But then there’s the other kind of sitting: sitting because desire has cooled. In many cases, it’s not even my desire that has cooled. But as games are such a social activity, if I play a game with enough groups that never want to see a game again, I’d rather send it on its way and get something that will get played.
Besides, trading, bartering, wheeling-dealing: these are things I like in board games. Why wouldn’t I like them in the real game of life?