At this time of year more than most gamer’s focus will be one what game to next add to our collection. If you are like me this might be an issue if you have run out of room to put games, or if you just have more games than you can play. I was most impressed when I met the Board Game Minimalist on Twitter and got to know him. The Board Game Minimalists is as big a gamer as any, but has managed to get his collection to just 30 games, and it is still shrinking. I wanted to talk to him to better understand his approach to collecting games.
What led to the decision and trim your collection to 30 games?
As I only got into the hobby 3 years ago, I wasn’t really aware that board game collections could go much larger than 5-10 games. So it was normal for me to have a small collection. I also live in a relatively small space in central London, so don’t have the luxury of an entire shelving unit dedicated to games. It’s not so much that I trimmed my collection in that I stunted its growth!
How has this decision changed your attitude towards gaming and buying games?
Because I have a very compact collection, I typically research any games I plan to buy very extensively. This usually helps to calm the ‘shut up and take my money’ impulse that I can get when considering the latest hotness. I’m also very aware that if I don’t enjoy the game I’ll have to go through the hassle of selling it – so generally I’m a lot more cautious than I otherwise would be when buying new games.
What do you value most about games and gaming?
It’s gotta be the human interaction. I come from a video gaming background, and while there’s a lot of ‘remote’ human interaction in video games nowadays, it was always more of a solitary hobby. Board Games give you the pleasure of sitting at a table with other people, challenging each other and socialising, as well as losing yourself in the narrative and theme of a tactile gaming experience.
What are your favourite games and what appeals to you about them?
My list of favourite games shifts quite a bit and more recently I’ve found my tastes shifting. I’ve really enjoyed games like Panedmic Legacy because they provided a fun narrative to experience with other players, but I’ve also started appreciating eurogames that give you a puzzle to solve and really work your brain.
If you could convince people in the hobby of anything what would it be and why?
I would probably say that it’s healthy to not take board games too seriously, they are designed for pleasure and entertainment, so if it ever becomes mentally or financially stressful to purchase games then that’s probably a point to step back and reconsider why we all got into board gaming in the first place.
How did you go about deciding what stayed in your collection and what was trimmed?
Umm, it varies. Sometimes games I buy never inspire me to play them or I might play them once and never feel the urge to get them off the shelf again, I take that as an instinctual sign that I should probably let them go. Most of the time I find games don’t work well at 2 (my most common player count) or perhaps are a bit too complex to set up/learn. Of course, sometimes games just reach a natural end of life where you’ve played them out and that’s an occasion for me to let them go too. I also try to avoid doubling up too much on similar themes or core game mechanisms if I can avoid it.
Thanks to the Board Game Minimalist for sharing his thoughts with us. I hope it inspires you as much as it does me to reconsider my approach to my gaming collection.
You can follow the Board Game Minimalist on Twitter.