When I wrote about how I can’t seem to write lists of favorite games, someone pointed out that it was a useful exercise in figuring out what games you would try to get again in case of fire or flood or such. Yeah, that is a very good reason.
About ten years ago, I went through a reverse process. I did a massive purge of my game collection that I really needed to do between moving and becoming a parent. Games were taking up space that was needed for more basic life stuff. Seeing as how I was a game hoarder, it was also very good for my mental health.
But looking at it from that viewpoint of rebuilding a lose game collection, it’s a good question. And it shifts the question from what is my ideal game or my favorite game to the much more concrete question of ‘What actually gets played?’ That shoves a whole ton of games out the door.
I have gotten rid of a lot of ‘someday’ games, unplayed games that I am convinced will.l be wonderful when I eventually play them someday. (Someday!) Those games wouldn’t make the ‘buy again’ list. Ruthless practicality will be the rule of the day.
The other day, as I watched our son tell an elaborate story of wind spirits fighting fire demons with pieces from different GIPF project games, I realized that if I lost all the GIPF games, I’d really be intent on getting ZERTZ and YINSH again. I like the project on a whole but those two games are the ones that really see play. That was a bit of a revelation.
When you look with a cold, hard eye at what actually hits the table, you realize what actually sees use and what is worth having in the closet. Which isn’t always fun since that kind of breaks up some comfortable illusions.
I certainly don’t want to lose my collection due to a fire. For one thing, that would put us in danger. But my rebuilt game collection would be a lot smaller.