When You Stop Giving A Damn

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Sagrilarus     
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I think one of you guys has my Summoner Wars Master Set.  It’s not on the shelf.  Do me a favor, play it, or return it.  I don't much care which.


I used to have a game collection.  Now I have games. 

I used to keep track of what I owned and be able to speak to it with confidence.  Now I have a pretty good idea of what’s in the basement, but if someone asks I always make it a point to check I still have it before I promise anything.  “Through the Desert?  Yeah, I think it’s still down there, but let me have a look.  It may be out at a friend’s house.  My games are in three piles now so it’s more confusing than it used to be.”

The resignation you’re head ring isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s been a bit of a relief.   I’ve finally entered the next stage of the hobby boardgamer lifecycle.  I’m not sure exactly what the official name of it is, but for the moment I’m calling it “Stopped Giving A Damn” because it’s a simple synopsis of the feeling.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy gaming and these days with so much else going on it’s a real treat when I get to do it.  But the inventory, the “collection” has become tedious to keep perfect track of, and I just don’t care.  Games split into three categories – Have It, Had It, and May Still Have It.  It’s kind of fun to stop home and . . . hey!  I still have The Adventurers!  I haven’t see that game in a couple of years!  And what the hell is that?  I have painted figures for it?  When did I get those!  Seriously, not keeping track can be a real treat some days, and it’s good prep for my older years.

So I hear a couple of guys talking about Summoner Wars and how much they enjoy it and how they’re chasing after all the booster packs in order to complete their set.  The conversation is still rolling around in my head when I get home that same evening when I go to the game shelf to locate my copy, and it’s gone.  Now, no one has thrown it away.  We’re not throw-away people (a topic worthy of a far more depressing article all its own) and besides, I’m the guy that carts everything to Goodwill.  I wouldn’t have sent it.  So the overwhelming likelihood is that I lent the copy to somebody, likely a close friend in real life or online, and that they have the copy sitting on the shelf or in the trunk of the car taking up their space instead of mine.  If I knew who they were that would be a solid turn of events.  I’d forward them a few more of my bigger boxes because they don’t all fit on my shelves anymore.

In the past that would have distressed me.  Summoner Wars cost me a few bucks and I could sell my copy, or trade it for another game that’s caught my eye.  But I’ve gotten to the age where the money involved isn’t terribly critical, because a) I have enough to go buy a board game; and b) I just don’t often get interested enough in a game to actually do that.  I like games, but I have about 100 on my shelf, and maybe as many as half of those haven’t been played in a couple of years.  I don’t need to buy even one more game for the rest of my life if I don’t want to.  My wife’s hobby – quilting – has the acronym “SABLE” to describe the endless boxes of fabric swaths they purchase through the years.  SABLE stands for Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy, and it applies to our hobby as well.  I’d love to punch out half a dozen plays of D-Day at Omaha Beach before my next birthday, but half a dozen before my last is likely a more reasonable goal.  I’ll never give the games I already own the level of attention they deserve, and it’s likely I’ll pick up a few titles now and again in the coming years.  In short, I have plenty of games.

So Summoner Wars is out there somewhere.  And you know what?  I don’t really give a damn.  I’ll tell you what, if you have it or if you know who does, do me a favor – play it.  Take the game out and give it a hell of a run and then let me know when you’re done with it.  I sure won’t mind getting it back, but if you’re playing it you’re getting my value out of it more than if it was sitting on my shelf, and that’s a net win.  At some point the kharma will come back to me.  Just don’t let it sit on a shelf somewhere not being played.  Heck, I could do that.  Probably would have.

 

S.

When You Stop Giving A Damn There Will Be Games
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Posted: 06 Feb 2018 08:17 by ubarose #262965
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I'm more at the "Oh well, whatever." stage. I was just thinking of the game "Funny Friends" the other night. It's not on the shelves, and I don't know if I gave it away, if it burnt up, or if it was never unpacked. Oh, well, whatever.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 08:21 by SuperflyTNT #262966
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That's where I'm at.

I think at some point they stop becoming a "lifestyle" and just kind of melt into the background of your existence, no longer in the forefront of your daily thought processes.

Thank God for that.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 09:38 by jeb #262984
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I just did a big re-org on my "collection" (it's a pile of rando garbage) and put the really good stuff out front, moved the losers to the back, and made a big old box of shit for the library, FLGS, and friends with kids. Good stuff, but not for us anymore. Feels good to clear things out. It's gotten us playing stuff we'd forgotten about.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 09:42 by san il defanso #262985
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I definitely had to come to the point where I owned my games, not the other way around.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 10:30 by ubarose #262991
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Kickstarter has also taken the fun out of collecting unusual, limited print run games, like Demono and Mushroom Eaters. Ten years ago if I came across something like Dungeon Degenerates, I'd be all over it, now I'm just over it. Whatever.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 10:39 by jeb #262994
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I used to know what games were worth. KS has messed with all that math in my head too. I was looking at the (now so pretty) collection with my daughter and told her if I croak she needs to disposition these. I said, "Go to the FLGS and ask for Tim. Tell him I died. Tim will say, 'Oh, that's tragic, I am so sorry (beat) what is going to happen to his games?'" Then bring Tim here and let him help you move out some of this weird shit."

Like TITAN. Valley Games ed? Isn't that back to being worth a zillion after being dumpster juice? I am getting unsolicited asks for RUTHENIA. I think my collection-complete ARKHAM HORROR is worth less than shipping it, but my box of jumbled HEROSCAPE stuff is close to a car payment. This is a weird hobby. I am immensely invested in it, but I don't care about my investment in it enough to know the vaguest sense of its worth.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 11:11 by Gary Sax #262999
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Totally. Like I think this clash of cultures expansion by itself worth hundreds. How fucking random is that?
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 13:03 by Sagrilarus #263032
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Gary Sax wrote:
Totally. Like I think this clash of cultures expansion by itself worth hundreds. How fucking random is that?

Even more random than your example displays, because it could be reprinted tomorrow and your copy will be worth $2.

For a while I was trying to gauge value, but it's such a moving target. Even the never-played copy of Buffy that I just scored at the thrift store isn't worth what it used to be worth, because the TV series it's based on is getting too far back in history. Won't ever be reprinted, but it's value decreases in spite of its sterling reputation.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 13:16 by Jackwraith #263033
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Many years ago, I decided that each game was worth exactly how much I felt like playing it or simply keeping it on the shelf. I've traded things any number of times that look like I got robbed in the deal. But they had something I wanted and I had something they wanted that wasn't being played. That's the be-all and end-all to me. If I'm not playing it and can't see myself wanting to play it in the future, it's nothing more than cardboard taking up space on my shelf. If I can make a trade, I make a trade. If I really don't want it and can make a sale, I'll generally make a sale. My "value" was in owning if for years and (hopefully) having fun with it. Beyond that, I don't really care.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 14:16 by jpat #263038
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Jackwraith wrote:
Many years ago, I decided that each game was worth exactly how much I felt like playing it or simply keeping it on the shelf. I've traded things any number of times that look like I got robbed in the deal. But they had something I wanted and I had something they wanted that wasn't being played. That's the be-all and end-all to me. If I'm not playing it and can't see myself wanting to play it in the future, it's nothing more than cardboard taking up space on my shelf. If I can make a trade, I make a trade. If I really don't want it and can make a sale, I'll generally make a sale. My "value" was in owning if for years and (hopefully) having fun with it. Beyond that, I don't really care.

Yeah, I'm kind of weighing that with my copy of TI3 plus expansions. Granted, it's easier to contemplate dumping it when the market is glutted an the game has, for most people, been replaced, but someone's shown some interest in it for a game I at least might get played, so I'd rather focus on that than whether I'm losing value (which I certainly already have in a dollar sense and might lose more still). We've been giving away a few things here and there (Tales of the Arabian Nights, Rampage) and will probably do more of that, too, to people who might actually want this or that.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 14:55 by Michael Barnes #263040
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I remember back when I really started selling games off the shelf...I remember holding a copy of Piratenbucht (the original version of Pirate's Cove) in my hands and I had just sold it and I was thinking "Oh man, I wish I hadn't have done that! I'm going to miss this game! What was I thinking!" But then I sent it off and not once have ever thought "I sure do miss PIratenbucht". There have been any number of other games over the years that I've held in my hands and thought "You know this game is really cool and I like it, but I like $50 more than I like this game". I know you guys all think "how could he be selling that, it was his favorite game of the year" all the time...but the truth of it is that I just do not give a damn myself. There are games I want to own and feel like give me value year after year- like the copy of Catan (my second) that I've had for 12 years. I've owned Catan since 1996. And I would never sell it because I DO give a damn about that game, and...more importantly...I play it pretty regularly. I've even thought about upgrading to a newer edition.

I, as you might have guessed, really like selling games. I like speculating. Part of the fun of the FOMO crisis back in 2016 was that I knew that stuff would skyrocket in value and it was available, briefly, at retail-ish prices. So yeah, I did want both of the BBTM expansions...and I played with them a few times and then made $100 over what I paid for them. Yeeha!I like flipping games. I like getting a hold of something with value and turning it over when I'm done with it and moving on. I like getting good games into the hands of good people, and I like making some money so that if I want something like a $110 Warscryer Citadel, I can buy that without dipping into "real" money.

I am at a place now where, other than some transient stuff from reviews and some dead stock (Piratoons...), I have only games that I give a damn about. I give a damn about all of my GW stuff- at 42, I've realized that my midlife crisis was in fact Games Workshop. But even that stuff is subject to the flip- I funded most of my recent interest in Frostgrave by selling a couple of kits that were still in shrink that I hadn't gotten to yet and the Soulblight Necropolis game mat (which came out last year and went OOP almost right away and I made $40 over retail on it).

Everything games is for sale as far as I'm concerned, because I do not give a damn. It's all a liquid, fluid commodity. If I'm not having fun with it, it's time to go. If it ain't playing, it ain't staying.

I know a supercollector...this guy has more games than you ever will. You seriously would not believe it if you saw it. I am really surprised he's never been on some kind of reality show (or Hoarders) or some kind of human interest news story. The master bedroom of his huge house is bigger than many apartments but...it's not used as a bedroom, it's a game storage warehouse. It is INSANE. You walk in and there are shelves to the ceiling and about a three foot space between each to form an aisle. This dude has THREE copies of Jati, that's how serious it is. But you do have to wonder, how much of it does he really give a damn about?

It is funny how some things just carry about $0 value these days...like Jeb said, I think a full set of Arkham Horror is practically value-less. I did trade a full set for a Wii U a couple of years ago, but I think now you couldn't sell it for half retail.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 18:12 by bryce0lynch #263064
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Everything is crap.

A few years ago we held a garage sale for my wife's parents. It was all crap. I had a vision of a Chinese factory producing it and a conveyer belt taking it directly to the dump.

Unless you spent $5k on it, it's crap and even then its probably gonna be pitched when you die. No one you know wants any of your shit.

I just recently got rid of a slot racing set. It sits around and I drag it out every four or five years. My wife said "oh, you like that!" Yup, I said, and I'll just spend $100 and buy it again if I want it.

Post industrial, and getting more post every day.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 18:45 by san il defanso #263070
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I just finished shrink-wrapping my games for the shipping process, after having sold about a third of my collection, maybe a little less. Two things stood out to me.

First of all, I didn't miss a single game. I didn't find myself wistful for games that moved on to others. There were some great games there, but I wasn't playing them, and in some cases I didn't really want to. Better to unload them for a song than lug them across the world.

Second, the games left fall into two categories. Either they are the absolute best games I know, or they have proven themselves to be played frequently. As Barnes said way back in 2009, the collection got a lot leaner, but it got a lot meaner in the process.

In weak moments I wonder what I will do if a box gets lost in transit. But with very few exceptions, I can live with it. It's just stuff.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 18:46 by stoic #263071
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I stopped giving a damn about games after I acquired a superb example of most of the game types. Most new games are simply derivative of previously released games--and, many of these new ones aren't creative at all. They're simply rehashed games with unnecessarily more expensive and chromed components or new settings. As unique hybrids arrive or truly new and innovative game mechanics are introduced, I become tempted again, enough, to want to try that new experience; this is becoming rarer and rarer. I'm also trending now toward just wanting to play the great games that I've already got. It's like putting on your favorite shirt, shoes, or, just sitting in your favorite chair--it feels right. Likewise, I also like to relive good books, good movies, good company, good food, and great moments--it's comfortable and homey. I'm open to new things, but, it's ok to be comfortable where you are too.
Posted: 06 Feb 2018 19:19 by cranberries #263073
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I was depressed at what Space Hulk third edition sold for, but I made $98 for that thrifted copy of 1999 Acquire, which I sort of wish I had kept, but my kids will never play it. My kids are older and wedded to their phones, and that is just the way of the world.

I only have games I can't really sell (Thirteen days) or won't sell, that are undervalued (Duel of Ages II, in part due to Defanso's impassioned defense of it). I'm keeping Cosmic Eidex because it is so small and potentially rewarding. I've got Downforce and have given away Daytona 500 and Detroit-Cleveland Gran Prix (which I wish I had given to friends instead of selling for a pittance). I'm holding onto Pax Pamir, Thunder Road, Heroscape, Hive, Dixit, Zimby Mojo and few card games. We have played so many games of Hive, and Heroscape was part of my boys' childhood.
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 01:52 by indianajens #263080
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I own hundreds and hundreds of games, but I am not really a collector: I don't really like the idea of owning many games and even if I had the money and the room to own everything, I wouldn't want to. So I don't mind selling games if I tire of them, and I have sold hundreds of games over the years. And yes, most of the time I don't miss or give a second thought to the games I have sold. A few times I do regret it (I even made a sad geeklist on BGG about that some years ago ;-) ).

But these days I mostly sell games that are easy to get rid of, and unfortunately that mostly means newer games: Kickstarter and cult of the new has made the selling of older games quite hard and, say, a ten-year old euro is most likely worthless, regardless of its qualities as a game. :( So I maintain a brisk rate of buying and selling newer games, whilst not really getting rid of that many older games.
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:19 by MattDP #263088
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stoic wrote:
I stopped giving a damn about games after I acquired a superb example of most of the game types. Most new games are simply derivative of previously released games--and, many of these new ones aren't creative at all. They're simply rehashed games with unnecessarily more expensive and chromed components or new settings.

This.

The trouble I have is that, now finding myself with multiple examples of different types of games, I find it hard to know which to sell. There are lots of places this indecision springs from: which is better, which belongs in which "type", what things are worth, what might accrue in value. Indeed, with the lower value stuff, whether it's worth the effort of packing it up and walking to the post office. It's enough indecision and inertia to make it hard for me to get round to actually selling things.

And it's stupid. I own about 150 games and, in any given year, I play maybe a quarter to a third of them - and it's often the same ones. There's certainly no need for me to keep a collection even three figures in size, even considering boxes I retain for nostalgia value. I need the motivation to flip titles and this thread has given me some: I've just been to list a bunch of sales. Even now, though, I'm baulking at flogging my copy of No Retreat because it's just gone OOP and might go up in value.

I've sold a lot of games over the years - over £1k worth via BGG alone, apparently (the fees are less than Ebay). And I've regretted and re-acquired exactly two of them, and one of those turned into a shelf toad. Oddly both were expansions: they were the Greek expansion for C&C:A and Under the Shadow of the Dragon respectively. That regret rate should be more motivation to get selling. But it doesn't seem to work like that.

I've just remembered I've got an entire box of Warhammer odds and ends in the loft. 6th edition and earlier, some of it painted and - as a result - all almost entirely worthless. I gave most of my Vampire Counts army to a friend of my daughter's who was starting out in GW, and it felt great to pass a torch on to the next generation in spite of the many, many hours I spent painting. Circumstances like that aside, what are you supposed to do to "flip" stuff like that?
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:35 by Chapel #263089
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I have so many lifestyle games in the garage of my hobbies past. 40K, ASL, Magic the Gathering. Heh, I have four large boxes of Magic. Over thanksgiving my nephew wanted to look through it, and he looks up and says "Is this a real Black Lotus?!"...was like, "yeah probably, should be a full set" :) . I don't think I've even seen those cards since 2001. Then he went ape shit going through my original D&D collection. I love newly minted gamers.

But I don't git rid of anything. At some point Indiana is going to tell me that I belong in a museum.

There is definitely a good portion of my collection that languishes in the dark corners of my storage that I don't really "care" about, but I still play most everything....from time to time.
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 08:31 by Gary Sax #263098
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^my perception, Chapel, is that you have a very, very active ftf gaming life. I'd probably feel comfortable with how large my collection is if I was playing games every week, multiple times a week with a lot of diversity. I think the most depressing version of this is where you don't play a ton of your games but still own lots; I play a fair amount of games but they're mostly 2 player or online which leaves a ton of my favorite games unplayed.
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:10 by ubarose #263108
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I'm going to backpedal a bit on my earlier statement. After some consideration, I think that, with the exception of a handful of games, no single game is important. Almost any one of them is replaceable. However the collection as a whole does have an emotional significance. Just being in the game room, surrounded by the shelves of games, gives me a feeling of comfort and security. Browsing through them is like browsing through a photo album or scrap book of memories that connects all the way back to my childhood - playing with my brothers and father as a child, with my husband when when we were teenagers, with my daughter when she was a child, and with my many gamer friends. However, I am probably an outlier, since I lost most of the other memorabilia of my life, and may never get over the trauma of the loss of most of my stuff, and the shock of the destruction of my home. I don't fully understand it, but there it is.
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:26 by Chapel #263115
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Gary Sax wrote:
^my perception, Chapel, is that you have a very, very active ftf gaming life. I'd probably feel comfortable with how large my collection is if I was playing games every week, multiple times a week with a lot of diversity. I think the most depressing version of this is where you don't play a ton of your games but still own lots; I play a fair amount of games but they're mostly 2 player or online which leaves a ton of my favorite games unplayed.

I'm my case, it's certainly a lot more opportunity, than time. With 2 young kids and building a new company, I usually get about a game night a month recently. But theoretically I could play several times a week. Role playing, board gaming, wargaming....it's a cornucopia around here. But no time!

But I am like Uba, my game room soothes me like a meditation chamber or a reliquary... It's my religion.