Me and my meeples

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We know each other pretty well now, don’t we? I mean, I have some idiosyncracies, but you’ve decided they’re part of what makes me valuable as a human being, not part of what makes me a candidate for spending the rest of my life in a psychiatric facility. So I finally feel comfortable revealing my secret shame: board games.

I’m a nerd. I know, you always suspected it, but this is confirmation: only nerds like boardgames as much as I do.

I love them. I obsess about them. And the perfect tool for boardgame obsessives is this: http://boardgamegeek.com/

No, don’t click on the link. Don’t do it. It has an insidious power. Curiosity becomes interest becomes purpose becomes a dark pit of boardgame desiring evil that will suck up your time and money until you’re nothing but a shell filled with dice, cards and meeples (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meeple). Your family will stage an intervention, but it won’t work. A year from now, someone will find you in a ditch wearing a garment composed of boardgame rulebooks stitched together with used dental floss.

These aren’t the games you played as a child. I have come to enjoy Monopoly, and I’ve always liked Risk, but both are held with disdain by the specialists who call themselves boardgame ‘geeks’. This is a new crop of games. The veterans among the titles appeared in the 1990s, but most are 21st century inventions.

My collecting began with Settlers of Catan, then proceeded to Twilight Imperium. The former never captured my imagination, while the latter remains adored but unplayed on a shelf in my study (40 page rulebook, minimum three players, play time of at least six hours, more likely eight or nine – perfect when I was 12 but virtually unusable for an employed, married person).

Carcassonne followed soon after, and it was my real gateway game. My wife and I played it, and played it and played it. Expansions were purchased.

I eventually grew tied of Carcassonne. I can barely stomach a game of it now. But no matter. Other titles beckoned.

Ticket to Ride: Europe

Stone Age

Puerto Rico

Hive

Race for the Galaxy

I was still playing the games at that point. I’d buy one, learn it, play it a while, then get another.

I’ve moved on to the next phase now, though. Christmas and birthday wish lists have become one note: buy me games. I have a list of the next batch I need to acquire. And new games are purchased more quickly than I can learn them and get them to the table.

A Few Acres of Snow

Space Empires 4X

Twilight Struggle

1812: The invasion of Canada

Europe Engulfed

The thing is, I love them all, my beautiful cardboard and plastic children, I mean games. But I need to slow down. We’ve all seen those photos online of before and after methamphetamine addicts. Three years looks like 30 on their faces. Will the same thing happen to me?

New rule: My “want” list won’t be added to until all the titles on it are purchased or struck from it. The habit of adding two new games for every one I purchase must be stopped. My family needs me. The newspaper needs me.

I must…stop…need…buy….games…

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