Games I like that don't hit the table nearly often enough...
Games I like that don’t hit the table nearly often enough…

And those are just a few of them. My wife walked out this evening and made the brief observation: “I feel sad about not playing some of our other games as much; I’m having fun with Mice and Mystics, but we should play Lords of Waterdeep again.”

The thing is, I agree with her–there are plenty of games I should play again, in fact. Some of them are pictured above. Well, obviously time is one reason why I don’t, but I’m not here to dwell on that, so much.

The real issue I have is: at what point do I say “goodbye” to a game that I haven’t played in a while? Currently, there’s not as much of a space issue, so I’m not in trouble that way.

What I have is a mental “space” issue. I can only devote so much attention to any particular game. Thus, the more games I have, the less attention each one receives. I fear in time, it may come to the point where I put down $50 or more and touch a game once or twice before something new and shiny comes along during the next month that seems more engaging.

Yet, telling myself I don’t need anything new is not a winning strategy. I’ve tried but, after a while, not playing a variety of games does make the hobby stale.  It often takes longer than I think it will to reach the point of having “been there, done that” with all my games, but there does come a point.

This isn’t a bad problem to have, really. I mean, having enough games where being “forced” to choose among many good options is a reality might be close to ideal for some people.

Lest I come off as too whiny, then, let me just say that I feel there are a few solutions I have stumbled upon.

By the time this hits the presses, Thanksgiving in the US will have come and gone, and with it the moment in the year where some of us do (and some of us don’t–I’m fine with your personal choice in the matter, really) pause to reflect on what we have to be grateful about.

As such, the first idea that suggests itself is simply to be appreciative of whatever I am playing and enjoying and to not worry about whether or not I ought to be playing something else; this is a hobby after all, not a chore.

Second, in the words of a certain dour denizen of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, “winter is coming.” The days are numbered where I will be out and about during the chancy winter weather.” I can always hope to catch up with some old favorite games.

Third, after winter, if the season has passed and some of these games still haven’t seen any table time, then perhaps that is a telling enough sign that they might need to go out with the spring cleaning or summer garage sales.

I sometimes wish my games were like video games; it’s fairly easy for me to reminisce about the glory days of video games with fond memories of bygone systems. But, having things broken into “system generations” is much easier on the whole letting go of games front. (That and there is this tendency to re-release “classic” titles.)

With games, it is harder to see that stratification. Sure, at this point, I am seeing “deck building” settle into a geological layer of tabletop history, but it was one of the mechanics that really got me excited and expanded my game collection quite a lot. I don’t think designers or players are quite ready to let that one go, yet.

In any case, if you have a policy on keeping or parting with games, I’d be curious to hear it. Also: if you have a routine that lets you get to different games more regularly, that would be cool to hear about.

As always, game on!

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