Following the board gaming community on Twitter, BGG, at your game nights or right here on our very own blog it’s easy to get wrapped up with the latest and greatest games. There is a significant pull by the “Cult of the New” in the community. This is often reflected in the BGG rankings, the games you read about, and the games we see hitting the tables. I wanted to take a step back from that for a moment and try and resist the fear of missing out or FOMO as you’ll see it called.
I recently had the chance to revisit a classic game and introduce it to my spouse and 13 year old son. I was on a ski holiday with my family and a friend of mine who I game with regularly drove up to the cottage to join us for an evening. He brought with him a big box of games, one of which was Puerto Rico. I knew my wife would like this game and we asked my son if he wanted to try. After running through the concept of the game and the basic mechanics of playing we were off. After a few rounds it was obvious that not only did the 2 new players understand the game but they were starting to make some quite clever moves to block and hinder the two veteran players. The final scoring was close with only 15 points separating 4th and 1st place but the real great thing was that my wife and son had a good time and said they’d want to play it again.
This experience really cemented in me something that I have been trying to focus on this year. I’ve been trying to focus on enjoying the game experience regardless of the age of the game. I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that new is good and old is bad. Games that were wonderful and rich experiences 2, 5, 10 years ago can still be rewarding and fun to play. In fact some are better as we dig into them.
Now obviously as part of the To Die for Games team I need to keep abreast of new releases, the latest designs, and board gaming trends but I don’t want to get such tunnel vision for the next big game that we forget that you can have an amazing time playing a game that you owned forever or that you just bought for a steal second hand because it’s no longer the community darling. I think if we find a good balance of enjoyment in New and old games it will be healthier for the hobby and our wallets.