Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gaming: Activity -> Hobby -> Obsession

More accurately, the progression could be stated:
  • our family owns a copy of Monopoly, Scrabble and a couple of decks of playing cards
  • our family owns all of the above plus some mass-market kid games, Apples to Apples & Sequence
  • our family owns all of the above plus some "high end" kid games from the "educational" toy story that have this funny red pawn on them
  • our family owns all of the above plus a copy of Axis & Allies and The Settlers of Catan
  • our family owns all of the above plus some of these newfangled cooperative games (like Pandemic) and a couple of games with cool plastic miniatures
  • our family owns all of the above plus just bought shelving to store all of our games that we've recently bought after discovering BGG
  • our family owns all of the above plus has taken out a second mortgage on our house to finance a trip to Essen
  • our family owns all of the above plus it's about to be featured on an upcoming episode of Hoarders
I refuse to answer where I fit on this chart on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Here's what inspired this... my good friend & gamer buddy, Jeff Myers, blogged about this topic in a different way - his When Does Gaming Move From an Activity to a Hobby? post is a lot of fun to read. (I actually feel kind of bad about hijacking the theme of his post... but if it gets you to take a look at his blog, I think that's a win.)

He included a quiz...
Do you keep track of your plays? If you also keep track of who was playing and who won, then give yourself a star.

Yes... and no. (Well, not any more. Unless I'm at a gaming event where I'm playing a lot of games, so keeping track of that helps me remember stuff later.)
Have you gotten excited about a game before it was published? Give yourself a star if you have translated a game into English (or whatever) because you didn’t want to wait.

Yes... and yes. A lot of times. (My profile picture includes three games which I translated from German to English.)
Have you ever purchased a used boardgame? Give yourself a star if you’ve participated in a math trade.
Yes. Yes. (I'm still very proud of my $5 copies of Tumblin' Dice & Betrayal at House on the Hill.)
Do your children understand the term Meeple? If you do not have children, then get some and come back to this post in five years. I’ll wait….. Good. Wow, you look like crap. Parenting is hard. Uh huh. Tell me about it… Yep. Give yourself a star if you own a Haba game.
Yes.  Yes. (Is having a professional reviewing relationship with Haba USA for a few years worth an extra star?)
Have you ever watched a video or listened to a podcast about a boardgame or tabletop games in general? Give yourself a star if you’ve been in one.

Yes. Yes. (I'm proud to have been a guest on BoardGameSpeak, Garrett's Games & Geekiness, BoardGamesToGo, The Dice Tower... and The Dice Steeple.)
Do you own more than 50 boardgames? If you have more than 200, then give yourself a star.

Yes. Yes. (200 was a line I crossed 15+ years ago.)

Look at your bedside table. Are there any rules to a boardgame or RPG? Give yourself a star if it’s not the first time you’ve read them.

No.... though if Jeff had said "work space", it would be Yes.
Have you ever played a game and then thought to yourself that it would be even better if those little wooden cubes were actually shaped like ships or sheep or grain? Give yourself a star if you have created specialty bits out of Fimo or other material.

Yes... and sort of. (I've replaced or added bits to a number of games.)
Can you name five games by a single game designer? Just one game designer, not a game designer that is unmarried. That would be weird if you knew which game designers are married or single. That’s just creepy, seriously. Give yourself a star if you have a copy of a game that is signed by the designer.
Yes... for at least 20 designers. Yes (Starship Catan and The Starfarers of Catan - both signed by Klaus Teuber.) 
Could you easily spend an entire day playing games? Give yourself a star if you already know what you’ll be doing for International Tabletop Day.
Oh yeah. And yes.

How did some of my faithful readers fare on the quiz?

Note: the picture is from my new game room / bonus room... and does not include all of the game shelves.


Peter Schott said...

Greatly enjoyed that post. I'm happy to say that I'm not at the "Essen" stage at this point (nor do I expect to be). I do have a larger collection than most would think normal, but try to make sure that every game in the collection gets some time. Off to read the source post now. :)

Mary Elaine said...

Most amusing, though I have to admit that I'm just not in your league. Too much time playing computer games instead of tabletop games. Though I have to say that Castle Panic is a wonderful solution to having raised competitive children.

Gameguythinks said...

Sometimes hijackings are good.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...


Thanks for the kind words... and for going to read Jeff's original post.

Whether your collection is large or small, enjoy the time around the table!

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Mary Elaine:

There are a number of great cooperative games out there:
- Pandemic
- Ghost Stories
- Space Alert
- Flash Point: Fire Rescue
- Escape: The Curse of the Temple
- Sentinels of the Multiverse

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...


Thanks again for the inspiration... all of my readers should be following you as well!

Alan said...

Mark I really like this post. One of the areas that is considered by several prominent writers as being an effective leader is avoidance of excessive hobbies. I challenged this as a blanket negative in my final in the course. Many positives can come from participation in hobbies to further the Kingdom.