Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Not Buying Games

I am not buying games. The more I engage in this non-activity, the more I realize just how much is involved in it.

I go around making wishlists and filling up shopping carts… rearranging item combinations in hundred dollar increments to see what kind of loot I can get. Then I let them sit in a browser window for a few days… come back to it… and get a totally different set of things. I pull out my credit card and consider pulling the trigger… but… then I try to estimate the time it would take to actually get those games played. Do I really want my wife pissed at me for buying more games and then have them sit on the shelf for a year’s time… at which point I’ll probably be jonesing for an entirely different genre of game? It’s tough, facing up to it. First you realize just how pitiful your dreams and aspirations are… then you fold them up and put them away.

How many games do I really need, anyway? In the past few months, I’ve started running my son through Raid on Cynosa. I just can’t bear the thought of making it from his birthday to Christmas without it being played. I’ve played Star Fleet Battles solitaire in the hopes of conjuring up an opponent through sheer force of will. I’ve read large swaths of the Federation & Empire rule book just on the off-chance that I go to Origins next year. I started up my play-by-forum game again, ran an old William H. Keith Amber Zone and finally used Traveller and GURPS Space’s system generation tables in anger.

But playing last year’s games is not enough. It’s tedious. It’s work. It doesn’t keep me from asking myself what it is that I’d really rather be doing. Why did I appoint myself the grand poobah of vintage space gaming? Wouldn’t life go on without me posting my ruminations on Imperial Starfire and FASA Doctor Who? And hanging over my head the whole time is the raw fact of just how much I spent this year on Kickstarter. Do I even want what I bought anymore? And it occurs to me that I could take “not buying games” even further by selling not just the stale, nigh unplayable games of my collection… but I could sell games that I haven’t even gotten yet.

I think about these things… and I realize that it is not enough merely to let old dreams die. I have to have new dreams to replace them with. And that is what makes not buying games such a melancholy affair: I have no idea what those new dreams might be.

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4 responses to “Not Buying Games

  1. jeffrywith1e October 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

    If you are finished buy games, I hope you’re not finished blogging.

  2. Chris Mata October 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Good Post. I can totally relate. 95% of the time my game purchases are just to convince myself I will actually find time to play the game. Time jump to a year later and I am lucky to have played it a handful of times. Keep holding out on F&E, I own multiples of it all, even the 150 dollar play mat. We almost had a game setup this time last year but something ‘new’ came out and squashed hopes of that. I remain…….

    Hopeful. :)

  3. RogerBW October 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I don’t get in anything like as much boardgaming time as I’d like. But it’s not zero.

    Next week I’m going to Essen. This is probably not sensible.

  4. earlburt October 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Maybe it’s time to devise a campaign world. Surely, there’s some genre (hi/low fantasy, post-apocalypse, sci-fi) that you have some hankering to make your very own. Unless you really are satisfied in the various pre-existing universes of Car War America, the Federation, etc.

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