Game Gluttony: An Ever-Expanding Waistband

Last night, I was clearing some files off my computer while Jay played a virtual session of Glitter Hearts with friends. I stumbled upon a photo of Jay’s and my game shelves from when we first moved in together in 2016. I was really confused; where were the rest of our games? His games really because I had only started playing in 2015 and didn’t have a collection…yet. But then I reached inside and fully embraced what I had been denying, the truth; we have an addiction. I’m calling it game gluttony.

Game shelves, 2016

Okay, yes of course, I already knew this. But seeing our collection in 2016 and comparing it to now was a bit of a slap in the face. I liken it to a large weight loss or gain. (I am familiar with both.) The changes happened slowly enough and over enough time that I didn’t really understand the dramatic difference. You know how sometimes you see photos of someone from before and now and aren’t even sure if they’re the same person? That’s been me. This time, I saw the photo of our early collection, looked up at current our shelves, and wondered how we had gotten here. Game gluttony.

Game shelves, 2019. Whoa.

Jay’s and my collection is extensive, and its waistband is ever expanding. I love it. I consider our board game collection to be a lifestyle choice. Instead of kids or a mortgage, we have boxes full of adventure, creativity, and cerebral challenges. We also have the need to go to Ikea again to buy more shelves. (Below are two sets of additional shelves we already got and filled from Ikea.)

That said, I don’t want to overexaggerate our game buying habit. We have only backed five or six Kickstarters over the past year, and that was a record high for us. We rarely get more than two or three games retail in a month and have increased our collection with many great finds at Goodwill. For some people, this is appalling. For others, this is small potatoes. I am not here to judge anyone else’s board-game-buying habits.

I consider our habit gluttonous because we gorge ourselves with more games than we can actually digest. Our shelves of shame* leave me with that sick stuffed feeling like I’ve eaten way too much pizza and then had ice cream. Nonetheless, as I write this, Jay is off at our local game store buying Everdell for us. So, clearly, while I recognize this isn’t the best habit, it also is a pretty tame one compared to a lot of them out there. And, during the pandemic, sometimes getting a new game is just the retail therapy we need.

Besides, the hours of fun we have from the games we play could be considered to pay for themselves in entertainment value. If we get a $50 game and play it for two hours on five occasions, that’s $2.50/hr for each of us. That’s math! There are definitely those games for which we don’t get as good of a return on investment, but you get the idea.

A last thought that I want to add is that, as I was looking at our game collection, I realized how lucky we are to be able to have this hobby, the money to keep getting games, the time and a place to play them together, and a shared passion for it. It’s a privilege I sometimes take for granted.

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