Another year down, another great set of additions to the pile of shame1.

I’m not one for resolutions or the like but looking backwards at what went right and wrong is always a useful tool, so I’ll spend a few minutes just looking backwards at my gaming life.

A Brief Trip to Vancouver

AKA it’s better to game with others rather than yourself.  I haven’t been to a gaming convention2 since I was a tween – a word that didn’t even exist yet.

That changed this year.

Quinn, Paul, and Matt from Shut Up and Sit Down hosted the inaugural SHUX in Vancouver – a mere stone’s throw from Seattle.  So we made the trek up there and had a blast.  What I learned was fairly simple:

  • You don’t need to bring a lot of games.  I so overpacked on games – in a way like bringing my formalwear to my beach vacation just in case.  I ended up bringing around 13 games3.  We played 5 of them.  Everything else was joining others, borrowing games, etc.  The kindness of strangers is overpowering.
  • But who needs a lot of games, anyways?  We ended up playing Flamme Rouge – including a great tournament set up on the SUSD website – and Lords of Vegas each 4 times.  The love of the hosts for those games made them instant hits and it was a great experience in teaching (and losing) great games.  It reminds me that I don’t need a huge game collection because gaming is a long tail experience.
  • Timbits are AWESOME.  You Canadians don’t know how good you have it.  You have Timbits.  We have Krispy Kreme.  No comparison.  It’s the ’95 Bulls versus the Washington Generals.

I’ve heard good things about BGG.Con and less good things about the hugeness of GenCon and Origins, but have always been told – YOU MUST GO AT LEAST ONCE.  I probably will, but I must say – going to SHUX was an experience like being shown Dungeons and Dragons as a 8 year old.   It will leave an indelible memory for a long time.  If you AREN’T already visiting SUSD, I would recommend doing so – just for the opportunity to join us next year.

Top Games Versus Too Many Games

I’ve already alluded to this a couple times.  But here’s the thing – there are more GREAT games being released than I will ever play.  My collection has grown unmanageable large like I’m collecting $60 bubblegum cards.  The reality is that I cannot play every top game that comes out, let alone buy them.  Off the top of my head, I can think of Flamme Rouge, Codenames Duet, Ice Cool, Clank, Escape from the Aliens from Outer Space, Adrenaline, Sagrada, and Nmbr 9 enter into regular rotation.  That means less time for Istanbul, Acquire, Lords of Vegas, Splendor, etc.  Each new game presents multiple zero-sum problems – time for playing, money out of the wallet, and space on the shelf.  We’ve reached the tipping point of great games before we’ve reached saturation of new players.  To me, that’s sad because that means there’s a lot of games that will just wither on the vine when they should be played.

The Beginning of the End?

There’s a point when you realize that things are going to change sooner than you like.  I have two boys in high school and one girl in early elementary school.  Now, I’ve done a good job of converting my lil girl to a gamer and my wife tolerates my habit, but there’s going to be a gap there.  I’ve got two years until both my boys are gone to college.  It’s time to start building up a robust external community so I’m not sitting by myself playing Terraforming Mars for the next 50 years.

So, there’s the shallow introspection of 2017 – Go to SHUX ’18, Stop buying new games, and Make new gaming friends.  Here’s to a great 2018!