Gaming: Activity -> Hobby -> Obsession

Yes, this is my game room/home office.

As we all bask in the glow of post-Essen coverage, I bring you this classic post from my personal blog (because the game I was supposed to be reviewing this morning has not yet arrived… though the USPS promises that will happen sometime this week. I am not holding my breath.)

More accurately, the progression could be stated:

  • our family owns a copy of Monopoly, Scrabble and a couple of decks of playing cards
  • our family owns all of the above plus some mass-market kid games, Apples to Apples & Sequence
  • our family owns all of the above plus some “high end” kid games from the “educational” toy story that have this funny red pawn on them
  • our family owns all of the above plus a copy of Axis & Allies and The Settlers of Catan
  • our family owns all of the above plus some of these newfangled cooperative games (like Pandemic) and a couple of games with cool plastic miniatures
  • our family owns all of the above plus just bought shelving to store all of our games that we’ve recently bought after discovering BGG
  • our family owns all of the above plus has taken out a second mortgage on our house to finance a trip to Essen
  • our family owns all of the above plus it’s about to be featured on an upcoming episode of Hoarders

I refuse to answer where I fit on this chart on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Here’s what inspired this… my good friend & gamer buddy (and fellow member of the OG staff), Jeff Myers, blogged about this topic in a different way – his When Does Gaming Move From an Activity to a Hobby? post is a lot of fun to read. (I actually feel kind of bad about hijacking the theme of his post… but the link I have for it doesn’t work any longer, so I’m giving him props and attention this way!)

He included a quiz…

Do you keep track of your plays? If you also keep track of who was playing and who won, then give yourself a star.

My answer back in 2014 (when the original post was written) was: Yes… and no. (Well, not any more. Unless I’m at a gaming event where I’m playing a lot of games, so keeping track of that helps me remember stuff later.)

Thanks to the excellent BGStats app on my phone, it’s now Yes & Yes.

Have you gotten excited about a game before it was published? Give yourself a star if you have translated a game into English (or whatever) because you didn’t want to wait.

Yes… and yes. A lot of times. (My profile picture includes three games which I translated from German to English.)

Have you ever purchased a used boardgame? Give yourself a star if you’ve participated in a math trade.

Yes. Yes. (I’m still very proud of my $5 copies of Tumblin’ Dice & Betrayal at House on the Hill.)

Do your children understand the term Meeple? If you do not have children, then get some and come back to this post in five years. I’ll wait….. Good. Wow, you look like crap. Parenting is hard. Uh huh. Tell me about it… Yep. Give yourself a star if you own a Haba game.

Yes. Yes. (Is having a professional reviewing relationship with Haba USA for a few years worth an extra star?)

And does my children having their own collections and teaching other people board games count for more stars? (Granted, one is a college student and one is a senior in high school… but I like to think I shaped/warped them.)

Have you ever watched a video or listened to a podcast about a boardgame or tabletop games in general? Give yourself a star if you’ve been in one.

Yes. Yes. (I’m proud to have been a guest on BoardGameSpeak, Garrett’s Games & Geekiness, BoardGamesToGo, The Dice Tower… and The Dice Steeple.)

Do you own more than 50 boardgames? If you have more than 200, then give yourself a star.

Yes. Yes. (200 was a line I crossed 15+ years ago.)

Look at your bedside table. Are there any rules to a boardgame or RPG? Give yourself a star if it’s not the first time you’ve read them.

No…. though if Jeff had said “work space”, it would be Yes.

Have you ever played a game and then thought to yourself that it would be even better if those little wooden cubes were actually shaped like ships or sheep or grain? Give yourself a star if you have created specialty bits out of Fimo or other material.

Yes… and sort of. (I’ve replaced or added bits to a number of games.)

My newest quirk is finding better organizing systems for games… and with that, a shout-out to the folks at FoldedSpace as well as another friend and gamer buddy named Jeff who helps me out with 3D printing stuff. (Note: Jeff Leegon has recently started a business doing some nifty stuff with hi-tech machinery for gamers & others… which you can check out at Tennessee Native Goods.

Can you name five games by a single game designer? Just one game designer, not a game designer that is unmarried. That would be weird if you knew which game designers are married or single. That’s just creepy, seriously. Give yourself a star if you have a copy of a game that is signed by the designer.

Yes… for at least 20 designers. Yes (Starship Catan and The Starfarers of Catan – both signed by Klaus Teuber.) And a Race for the Galaxy card signed by Tom Lehmann.

Could you easily spend an entire day playing games? Give yourself a star if you already know what you’ll be doing for International Tabletop Day.

Oh yeah. And yes.

How did some of my faithful readers fare on the quiz?

About Mark "Fluff Daddy" Jackson

follower of Jesus, husband, father, pastor, boardgamer, writer, Legomaniac, Disneyphile, voted most likely to have the same Christmas wish list at age 57 as he did at age 7
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11 Responses to Gaming: Activity -> Hobby -> Obsession

  1. eddybruin says:

    I just returned from a game night playing too many bones just one day after Essen. I’m reading this in bed… While staring at a rulebook of my Essen Spiel auction winning game Witchstone. Is all this in combination worth a star? ;-)

  2. gameguythinks says:

    I had forgotten about that post! If I rebuild my blog, I will make sure to include that old post. Thanks Mark!

  3. Marcel says:

    Yes on all of the questions except one (I don’t keep game rules on my bedside table), but very few stars.
    In your “gamer progression”, I stopped before the second mortgage, and I won’t ever go that far. (In my case, Essen is a three hour drive, so I replaced “Spiel” with “GenCon” or “BGG.Con” to get an equivalent question.)

  4. RebelStud says:

    I have more than 500 board games now thanks to Kick-starter. I got more involved in getting the games produced and support the creators, than playing the games. Don’t worry I intend to play them even if my mates aren’t available to play, thanks to the inclusion of SOLO mode. That means more than one game a day, luckily I am retiring soon and I will have all the time for play. Do you thnk I should Invest on those massage chair to keep me fit? LOL!

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