I feel like I'm close to defining my profile, a critical process that has helped manage the addictive desire ('itch') to play board/card games.
It is ironic that the circumstances that started me on the addiction (family gatherings) is what is helping me out and to avoid the pitfalls. Being in a game group setting doesn't help, it inflates and feeds the 'itch' rather than putting gaming in its place; I now feel the right place for games is mainly a prop for when conversation/social interaction has slumped. I choose games that are a cardboard catalyst, to stimulate conversation/imagination and interest in a subject not considered before. It has taken a long time to realise that playing is just part of living, in making memories of having a good time only if the session elicits mainly positive thinking and fun feeling and address the negative ones which shouldn't be the motivation to play. I still spend far too much time on the 'geek, but it is mainly research
What I've learned in the process is the importance of knowing your audience AND knowing your material
to increase the likelihood of a positive, memorable
My audience: being a stay at home dad with 2 young boys limits my crowd; my eldest isn't really interested, my wife will play in certain gatherings with friends, but only my youngest can be entertained when the itch arises. Attending game groups at first fed the addiction, but as time has gone by with breaks going back has objectified what it is like being in this hobby: it almost antisocial and it can be difficult finding players to match my interests and needs. So the reality is that to scratch my itch, solo play is becoming a big part of my gaming these days.
Firstly I am the only one in my inner circles that has this strong need to play.
Secondly I have a good chance of hooking someone passing/dropping by the table displaying a game I'd like to play. There is also a good chance the game will be co-operative in design, the least emotional testing session as there is hardly any confrontation.
To know your material is to have a game collection that sparks enough replay that when an positive opportunity arises, you can easily recall without much rules referencing (either because the game has a simple ruleset or during explanation or play a player can almost formulate the ruleset because of logic or theme). My preferences
Auctions: I respect that they try to level the playing field financially; but the process, though it can be tense if you are in the running, is often a sub-game of memorising numbers/transactions. Also they are only of interest to those outbidded if they are tactically tracking such money movement. I prefer less spectator situations such as Dutch auction (Merchants of Amsterdam), first to pull out ends auction (No Thanks) or 'In the Fist bids (O Zoo le Mio); I find these types more tense and dramatic. These are the games I've recently playedGames on my wishlist