I’ve been through some periods in my life when gaming was pretty hard to come by. As of right this now, I’m still in the midst of nearly a month where I’ve only played two boardgames (one solo and the other with my wife), and I’m very ready for it to be over. But at some points in my life, I would have felt pretty happy to have one evening of hardcore gaming in a month (let alone 24 hours of it coming up on Saturday), so it’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.
Before finding my way to boardgames and my current game group, I was mostly involved in either collectible games or roleplaying games, and I think that in many ways, the very nature of those types of gaming helped me surivive and cope with my lack of actual gaming time.
In RPG’s, and especially as the Game Master type person, a large chunk of time needs to be dedicated to preparing the scenario or “adventure” for the rest of the group. And especially if you’re one who likes to create your own original setting and stories, then that can be a crap-ton of work. But, if like me for most of my life, you only played once every 2-3 months, then you had plenty of time to do it. This sort of thing is sometimes referred to as “lonely fun”, and frankly, the lonely part was probably a lot more prominent than was the fun bit.
And then with collectible games (especially collectible card games), I was able to spend ridiculously inordinate amounts of time in reading about the games, thinking about them, writing down deck lists, managing my collection, testing the decks, driving to somewhere to buy more of them, and, on the rare occasion, actually playing them with real, other people. And I was usually pretty good at them (which maybe was reasonable considering how much research I put into the whole shebang), but was also ultimately unsatisfied with the upside-down-ness of my hobby gaming time.
So now that boardgames are my thing, how’s it different? Well, aside from the occasional solo game (which I do actually enjoy quite a bit from time to time), there’s a lot less “lonely fun” to be had. These games are made to be played, not so much to be studied in isolation. Sure, I could write here on the blog or record something for the podcast in the lean times, but even that seems pretty hallow if I’m not actually playing games with other people. So, I suppose, like so many other aspects of my gaming life, this renaissance of gaming brought on by modern boardgames has spoiled me completely. I really don’t know what I’d do if something happened to my game group and my regular opportunity to game went away. At least it’s something that I can occasionally enjoy with my wife and which will eventually be an activity I can do with my girls.
But for now, this little dry spell in my gaming life has made me really appreciate my gaming friends and the blessing that I’ve had for nearly 6 years now with the Hypermind Boardgamers. Thanks, guys; I’m truly thankful for all of you…