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Subject: OBG 84: The Dewey Game Collection Lifecycle rss

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Bob Wieman
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I have been looking at this in my podcast queue with excitement, because I figured a Dewey theory on this interesting topic would be insightful, and hey, I was just burbling about the Jones Theory and wanting to hear OBG podcast about it. So I put it way back in my queue, like dessert.

So I finally turned it on, and it is completely unreasonable for me to feel as giddy as I did when Don said "and this comes from one of our listeners, a Bob Wieman, who is Scho...leologist on BoardGameGeek..."

And you said "Wieman" right! Yay! (I don't know how to say "Scholeologist", so you must've gotten that right too. I've been saying it like "school": `Skoh-lee-awl-oh-jist')

After I got over my giddiness, it was an excellent episode (even apart from the appeal to my vanity -- although I stayed pretty biased from that). Although Don's Acronym Envy is showing. Here, let me help:

The Dennis Theory of Game Packaging: the publisher's purpose of the inserts is to keep the game components undamaged up to the point of sale. From their point of view, inserts that make it easy for owners to set up, take down, or play the game are strictly optional extras.

The Dennis Theory of Board Graphic Design: If looking at the board makes me sad, I'm not going to keep playing.

The Dennis Theory of Rulebooks: if the rulebook sucks, it's not worth Don's time to figure out the rules.

There, now you have the 3D Boardgame Design Theory Framework!

I thought the discussion on game collection management was both deep and broad. One area that piqued my interest was some of the reasons other than regular playing that people perceive value in their games. For example, Don touched on the collection of space combat games he has for possible reference. I think there is a real need for someone to archive games that might have significance, either as games or as general cultural artifacts. On the other hand, even if someone needs to archive a bunch of games, that someone doesn't have to be me (or 99.99% of the other collectors out there.) I'm going to assume Geoff Engelstein has just about everything covered.

Another (usually illusory) justification for holding on to games you don't play was speculation: "It might be worth something someday!" I remember how the comics market exploded and crashed in the 90's because everyone decided they were a collector. Does anyone know what sort of speculative market is out there? There's CCG's, which I think already crashed -- I'm pretty sure my Star Wars CCG complete set has depreciated steeply, and that's a property that people recognize. I don't want to know about my X-Files cards.

But is there any significant market in collecting recent non-ccg games? Is anyone holding on to a mint shrink-wrapped first edition Agricola in the hopes of hitting the big time?

One last thought occurs to me: there are two further reasons I hold on to games, that I think are common among packrats: one is that the games you don't play get shoved to the back and you don't see them or think about them. The other is that vague notion that you'll get around to them someday.

And as much as Don disparaged it, the DGCL is the sort of insight I think I've hit in many fields: I used to be a profligate comic collector, then I nearly stopped entirely, and now I'm much more discriminating, but still collecting. Same with fiction books, same with internet reading, etc. Is it partly just age? I think age makes you realize that your time is pretty limited, there isn't some imaginary future time when you'll get around to these games you aren't playing now. (And having your own place makes you realize your space is limited, so you can't afford to shove games to the back forever.)

Sometimes people's culling overcorrection phase is total, and they quit a hobby completely. They quit cold turkey, because they realize they couldn't keep on the (expanding) trajectory they were on, and don't see a possible critical collection-management option.

Thanks again for a great episode.
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Donald Dennis
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Scholeologist wrote:
I have been looking at this in my podcast queue with excitement, because I figured a Dewey theory on this interesting topic would be insightful, and hey, I was just burbling about the Jones Theory and wanting to hear OBG podcast about it. So I put it way back in my queue, like dessert.

So I finally turned it on, and it is completely unreasonable for me to feel as giddy as I did when Don said "and this comes from one of our listeners, a Bob Wieman, who is Scho...leologist on BoardGameGeek..."

And you said "Wieman" right! Yay! (I don't know how to say "Scholeologist", so you must've gotten that right too. I've been saying it like "school": `Skoh-lee-awl-oh-jist')

Thanks for the topic, I tipped you 5gg on the panhandling for topics thread. It turned into an interesting discussion, and it was great having Cody and John on the show. We'd welcome them back any time.

Scholeologist wrote:
After I got over my giddiness, it was an excellent episode (even apart from the appeal to my vanity -- although I stayed pretty biased from that). Although Don's Acronym Envy is showing. Here, let me help:

The Dennis Theory of Game Packaging: the publisher's purpose of the inserts is to keep the game components undamaged up to the point of sale. From their point of view, inserts that make it easy for owners to set up, take down, or play the game are strictly optional extras.

Ha!

Scholeologist wrote:
The Dennis Theory of Board Graphic Design: If looking at the board makes me sad, I'm not going to keep playing.

And I may not start playing it unless the reviews have been amazing.

Scholeologist wrote:
The Dennis Theory of Rulebooks: if the rulebook sucks, it's not worth Don's time to figure out the rules.

Hmm, you may be on to something there.

Scholeologist wrote:
There, now you have the 3D Boardgame Design Theory Framework!
This is why I sucked at school. All of these make perfect sense, and certainly sound like things I've said, but I never would have thought of "laying claim" to something so obvious. If I ever need a publicist to point out where I've actually had an opinion amusing or interesting enough to share, I'll give you a call. (Though the coolest thing about your ideas is how it lets me know someone has actually listened to more than one of our episodes.)

Scholeologist wrote:
I thought the discussion on game collection management was both deep and broad. One area that piqued my interest was some of the reasons other than regular playing that people perceive value in their games. For example, Don touched on the collection of space combat games he has for possible reference. I think there is a real need for someone to archive games that might have significance, either as games or as general cultural artifacts. On the other hand, even if someone needs to archive a bunch of games, that someone doesn't have to be me (or 99.99% of the other collectors out there.) I'm going to assume Geoff Engelstein has just about everything covered.
Agreed! What other reasons could someone have for violating the bucket?

Scholeologist wrote:
Another (usually illusory) justification for holding on to games you don't play was speculation: "It might be worth something someday!" I remember how the comics market exploded and crashed in the 90's because everyone decided they were a collector. Does anyone know what sort of speculative market is out there? There's CCG's, which I think already crashed -- I'm pretty sure my Star Wars CCG complete set has depreciated steeply, and that's a property that people recognize. I don't want to know about my X-Files cards.


But is there any significant market in collecting recent non-ccg games? Is anyone holding on to a mint shrink-wrapped first edition Agricola in the hopes of hitting the big time?[/q]

I'd say there isn't a market now. Just like comic books there needs to be a significant market, long enough, to build value. So it may be possible that in 30 or 40 years down the road that there will be a market but I believe technology will actually prevent that from ever happening.

It is getting easier and easier to keep games in print. Also with larger touch screens for digital games on one hand and the ability to print 3D objects in color on the other, both added to our current ability to print out graphics or on-demand cards from services like game-crafter, the innate value of having access to any game will drop. On the other hand,the price may shoot up for eccentric collectors of rare first editions, but they'll probably be looking for perfect condition versions.

Scholeologist wrote:
One last thought occurs to me: there are two further reasons I hold on to games, that I think are common among packrats: one is that the games you don't play get shoved to the back and you don't see them or think about them. The other is that vague notion that you'll get around to them someday.


At least one of those sounds like a prime opportunity to do some culling.

Scholeologist wrote:
And as much as Don disparaged it, the DGCL is the sort of insight I think I've hit in many fields: I used to be a profligate comic collector, then I nearly stopped entirely, and now I'm much more discriminating, but still collecting. Same with fiction books, same with internet reading, etc. Is it partly just age? I think age makes you realize that your time is pretty limited, there isn't some imaginary future time when you'll get around to these games you aren't playing now. (And having your own place makes you realize your space is limited, so you can't afford to shove games to the back forever.)


And moving. I've moved a lot over the past few years and I know I'll probably be moving again in about 12 months. Any games I don't love, and want to transport multiple times, will be going away before I move.

Scholeologist wrote:
Sometimes people's culling overcorrection phase is total, and they quit a hobby completely. They quit cold turkey, because they realize they couldn't keep on the (expanding) trajectory they were on, and don't see a possible critical collection-management option.

Thanks again for a great episode.
Thanks for your feedback.
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