What's your number?

This week, we are taking a look at the number of board games that sit on the shelf new and never played.

After buying a massive of new games for Cody's birthday and not being able to play them all (and already having other games unplayed) this has been on our mind a bit lately. I assume that this is a typical conundrum facing most games but we have been wondering lately,  should we be ashamed of it? Is there a reason certain games don't get played? Should we stop buying those sorts of games? And what can we do to make sure more games are hitting the table?

What spurred this topic one might ask, the answer is a couple of things;
1. A video by Dice Towers where they discussed how often games get to the table (not nearly as often as we think).
2. Our games-o-lution goal to keep track of all our game plays (we need to step up our game)
3. After we moved and I unpacked and organized our games I realized how many games we hadn't played, and 
4. Budgeting, when only one person is working can we really afford to buy new games? Shouldn't we just play the games we have but haven't played? 

Lets just rip the band-aid, we have ~36 unplayed games (not including expansions).

While this may not be a lot of unplayed games in comparison to some gamers, its a pretty big ratio of unplayed to played when you consider that we have somewhere between 80 and 100 games (not included expansions). This means that almost half the games we own have yet to hit the table.  Now in our defense, some of these games require more players than our usual two player games, others were bought very recently, and some of them I have played at games nights but we haven't played our version of the game. See, it doesn't seem so bad when I justify it, right? 

Hopefully we aren't being judged to much, but personally I feel a little ashamed by our number, and a need to lock Cody in a room until we have played them all, then go out and buy all the other games... That's how it works right? Alright, I know that's not how it works, at least not until we win the lottery... 

What now??

So, now that I have exposed our number to the entire internet, talked about how we aren't playing enough board games, and that we need to start a budget on our board games - what is next? 
Moving forward we are going to try and get more games to the table and lower the number of unplayed games. How you ask? Well we have a plan!

1. Game more!!!
Cody and I are thinking that we need to expand our board game playing circle from just the two of us. As it turns out one of the local board game stores in Barrie has a board game night on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The hope being that we can meet new people, play some games that we haven't been able to, and maybe find a weekly board game group!

2. Budget / Rewarding Playing

Cody and I have started to track our gaming as a way to encourage us to play more games, and limit the number of games that we are buying (the second part hasn't worked yet but we shall see). We have setup a system where our board game fund comes directly from the number of board games we are playing. The more we play, and the more new games we play, the more money we will have for board games. Think swear jar or piggy bank for board game addiction: 
  1. For each game we play that we have played before - $1 
  2. For each game we play multiple times in a row - $0 after the first play (but definitely fun)
  3. For each game we play that we haven't played before - $ 4.
3. Learning New Games

Looking at our collection I think that a big reason that some games don't make it to the table is because we are afraid of the rule book/setup - Examples: Blood Rage, Arkham Horror, Battle Lore. We know that these are going to be great games but the rules can be tricky, and learning new games can be frustrating, especially when we are tired. So, we have decided to invest a little more time in learning new games. By learning games before we try and play them and watching a play-through it will hopefully take some pressure off and make it a little more fun to learn new games. Also, not trying to learn a new game at 8 pm on a Friday night after a very long week.

4. Instead of a 10x10 a 1x your collection

While this wasn't on our games-o-lution I think it is a great idea. Instead of concentrating on playing through 10 of your games 10 times, trying playing all the games in your collection at least one time per year. This likely isn't possible for those with massive game collections (depending on how often you game) but with our collection it would be something to work towards!

Is buying games and not playing them a theme in the board game community or are we just hoarding? Feel free to comment with your number so we don't feel so alone in our shame.  What do you do to try and get new games to the table?

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