In our latest episode (106b), we talk about the process of discovering and researching board games, and eventually land on how we decide whether to buy them. It has occurred to me that we left out a major factor, and it’s not because it doesn’t affect our decisions, but it’s because I always assume it to be such an obvious thing that it almost never occurs to me to actually make it explicit.
That thing? The cost of the game. And to be clear, I don’t just mean the monetary cost. In that, I also want to include “opportunity cost.” Because while some games can be prohibitively expensive (think “games from kickstarter that massively underestimated their popularity, have to run a second kickstarter just to meet demand, and people who managed to get in on the first kickstarter start marking up the price on eBay 100% or more”), it is also important to count as a part of the cost of a game the other games that you won’t be able to buy because you don’t have that money anymore.
I know that seems obvious to some people, and I’m not here to lecture, but I was thinking about this as I read a few different discussions online about whether or not a game was worth the cost and complaints about how someone really wanted a game but couldn’t afford it. So, I figured as the “Question of the Week” day came, I should ask our listeners about this very thing.
How do you manage your gaming budget?
If you think a game is too expensive, but you really want it, do you save up and not buy a game one month so you can afford it the next, or do you just mentally put it into a pile of “I’m just not going to own these” games? When you are looking at games you want to buy, do you select one from a list, and push the other ones off, or do you figure out a way to budget for all of the games you want?
Talking about money and income can be gauche, but the board gaming hobby is strange sometimes… it can be an unbelievably cheap hobby, or it can be a wealthy collector’s nightmare. I’m really interested in where our listeners fall on that spectrum, and how they deviate or maintain once they’ve chosen their spot… or, really, if you guys think there is another, better way of looking at the cost of games. Let us know!
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll discuss what you say on the show!