Monday, November 21, 2011


Sometimes, this hobby can be a little depressing.

I woke up the other saturday and really felt like playing a board game or two.  Unfortunately all my friends were busy; some were at work, others with family or visitor obligations. My wife's idea of the perfect saturday morning involves missing most of it due to sleep, so I really had no one to turn to.  Not to mention it was pretty last minute anyways.

I'm not much for playing board-games solo.  I much prefer to match wits against a human opponent, or if it's a cooperative game to, you know, play it cooperatively.  So playing by myself doesn't usually cut it.  Man, that was kind of a depressing morning.  One of my favorite things in the world to do and yet... no way to do it.

It happens a lot, really.  Even when we try to pre-plan.  Most of my game-playing time happens during lunch; which means any game that takes longer than an hour doesn't get much showtime.  Friday is my only constant game-night; but my gaming group favors RPGs so boardgames only get a few weeks every so often when we break between campaigns.  Beyond that, things happen in life and there's just not always free time.  We have homes, we have chores, we have church things to attend.  We like to spend times with our wives, who don't always want to spend 2 hours of their evening playing a highly strategic board game.  It's a discouraging struggle to have something you love but not often have the opportunity to enjoy it fully.  Lunch games are always a rush.  And there's always that other game on the shelf you want to play but just can't seem to find the time.

And then of course, you don't have infinite money.  So now you have to choose between an old game you've been wanting for a while; or the latest game everyone's talking about.  Board games don't go out of style as quickly as video games, so people still talk about the great things from 5, 10, 20 years ago.  How can you possibly budget for both the new games you desire and the old ones you never got a chance to play?

And then you have the games that you know you want to play; the game you know you'll love but you're just not sure it'll go over well in your gaming group.  Maybe it takes too long; maybe it's a theme no one else likes; it just doesn't seem likely to hit the table.

Don't get me wrong; I love this hobby.  I haven't dumped a load of spending money into games and invested all this blogging time for any other reason than I'm in, all the way. 

But I chose this hobby to pursue, and sometimes I wonder why.  With the difficulty of pulling games together; the interference of too-small maximum players or too-many minimum players; the toughness of deciding what to buy and when.  Sometime's it's just discouraging and even depressing.

You ever feel like that? Or is it just me?


  1. Sometimes I wish I could play a LOT more, yes. My wife is NOT a gamer. And although my kids really like to game, they also understandably like to do many other things. And right now I don't have the time to regularly commit to a peer gaming group (there is a great one in a town about 30 min. away).

    However, on the flip side, I know I'm the type that can get burned out on things if I get too much of it. This "forced moderation" in gaming also keeps me from ignoring other things I should be doing, too. When my kids are out of the house eventually some day, I'll be able to pursue gaming more with "people my own age"...ha!

  2. Jason, I like what you said about "forced moderation." That's a good thing for me, too, as I would probably become burned out.

    To your point, Wolfie, it can be a discouraging hobby, but I guess it's what makes the times where the game does come together that much sweeter. Of course, there IS the bummer of games that sit there. (Puerto Rico!)

    And Saturday mornings might work for me once it's too cold to work outside on the weekend. :-)

  3. It's something that every gamer has experienced. However, the same could be true of any game that requires physical presence and other people. If you really liked pool, or basketball, or tennis, you'd be in the same boat. Can't do any of that without someone else there - and those require specialized equipment.

    So it isn't unique to board gaming at all. That said, it is lame when you want to play and no one else is up for it.

  4. @GeekInsight: That's so true. I have a hard time playing fooseball nowadays because it takes another person AND a fooseball table. Hobbies! I should have taken up something solitary, like knitting.


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