This article is a tale of change in the hobbies I’m able to spend my time on and isn’t an indictment of Board Gaming as a whole. Also, before reading further, please know that the explanation I am giving in this article is my own and not something I’m trying to convince anyone else they should do.
In the few years before having children and in a time where disposable income was at it’s peak, my number of hobbies exploded. I had ample amounts of time and a group of willing friends and family to partake in all kinds of gaming, miniatures, board games, painting, building terrain and tables for our grand scale wargaming. In addition to that, I enjoy watching TV and Movies and playing video games on both consoles and especially PC games. That long winded explanation above is the reason that I needed to cut back, it takes a lot to explain how many different hobbies I have.
While I enjoy spending time doing all of these things, the quantity of time available has been cut in much smaller chunks with varying frequency. I spent a lot of time in between work and home pondering how to even start doing anything hobby related again. Having less time makes it much more difficult to decide which hobby gets that small allotment of time. Over the last 2 years, it’s put me into a state of analysis paralysis when trying to sort out what to do next (the most first world problem you could imagine…). In the end I decided that the amount of time I’ve spent painting miniatures would be the hardest to part with, so I made that hobby the priority. A group of us have been partaking in Dungeons and Dragons (5e), and there sat around many shelves and bins full of board games on shelves.
As the title of the article suggests, I decided to get rid of a large majority of my board games. Even at the time of writing this article, I’m still in the process of selling them and placing them into, hopefully, good homes where they will be played to exhaustion. When I started playing board games, it was something that was new to all of those involved and we all became very enthusiastic about playing, reading, collecting, and watching the industry that is Board Games. I amassed a collection of board games new and old that totaled over 100 at it’s peak and yet, in the last few years only was able to pull out a game a few times a year at best. Even worse, I still am unable to find time to go play board games with anyone.
This will change, but when it does change, my approach will be a fresh start. I opted to keep some of my most favorite games and some of the collectible stuff like Hero Quest by Milton Bradley or Warhammer Quest by Games Workshop. These games will hold a place on a shelf wherever I go, but only one shelf. I’ve also set aside space for games that I have started playing with my oldest child. The amount of space I have dedicated in my house is large and overflowing. I know I’m not the first person to hit this point in life with kids and dwindling time available to have a hobby, let alone multiple hobbies. So rather than sit on all these wonderful games and let them collect dust, I’m purging them and sending them back out into the collective group of gamers who will hopefully play these games.
The irony I find in this is that now I spend my hobby time listing stuff on eBay and selling to friends locally, it has become its own hobby. It’s strange, but each game I ship out is its own little adventure to a local post office full of people that actively don’t want to help you send your package for one reason or another. A person on PayPal who decided to send an eCheck (I work in tech and I did not know this was a thing). That eCheck, took longer than a real check to clear, clocking in at 11 days. The time spent finding boxes and packing material and time to stop at the post office all add little bits to this adventure of purging board games. I also had been paying so little attention to the Board Gaming industry as a whole that I hadn’t kept track of what games were worth or what was happening to them. I had no idea that Railroad Tycoon had been converted int Railways of the World or that Colosseum had been out of print and gone up significantly in value.
This entire process has been exhausting and yet I have a feeling of progress and renewed interest in the hobby and look forward to finding games that I can play with my kids and hopefully someday return to the local board game group. The most satisfying part of all of this is that I have a focus on what I want to accomplish. I’ve re-organized projects and I’m spending time going through things. That decision lead me to thinking about something I rarely do when it comes to ‘Hobby Time’, how much can I really do? I still don’t have an answer to this, but what I was able to do is decided that I should get rid of things I won’t get a chance to get to in the near future. What good is a game that sits on my shelf never getting played? That game is no good to me, but could bring a group of people together to play that game instead. Selfishly, this also free’s up space for Miniatures to be pulled out of bins and put on display!
People might read this as “you sold the majority of your board games”, I look at this as if I’m “doing some spring cleaning”.