After reading not one but two gushy posts this morning about how great Sentinels of the Multiverse is, I have jumped off the fence and fully decided to purchase it. I was about to pull the trigger at Amazon when I realized that, just two days ago, I purchased Terra Mystica. I haven't even played it yet. I haven't even opened it yet. When I got home last night, waiting for me on the doorstep was the "Forbidden Laboratory" expansion for Mansions of Madness. That's still in its shipping box. On my bookshelf next to Battlestar Galactica is the "Daybreak" expansion. Unplayed (though I have, at least, opened the box on that one), and I've owned it for nearly three weeks, now. And here I was, about to order up yet another boardgame. Ashamed of myself, I closed the window (but not without putting Sentinels on my wishlist first, to be ready to purchase once this bout of shame is gone). And all of that is just the boardgaming side of my hobby.
At this point, I would not be surprised at all if I discovered that I spend more time researching games and shopping for them than I do actually playing them.
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration (maybe). But I do spend an incredible amount of time acquiring new Things instead of appreciating/valuing the Things currently in my possession. "Things" in this case is, of course, games. Why is that? Why can I not be happy with what I have? Why do I spend so much time obsessing over what to get next instead of what to play next? What the hell is wrong with me?
Okay, so let's be nice to myself here for a second and realize just a few little details. For one thing, the "Forbidden Alchemy" expansion was purchased because it was on sale for a ridiculous price. I would not have purchased it otherwise. All bills are paid. I have no financial trouble of any kind. All other spending is within normal, budgeted levels. That excuses me from worrying about this habit putting me in any trouble. But I'm still left with the why.
Let's take Mansions of Madness for just one moment. That game comes with five different mysteries. Each mystery has several variable details to ensure a different game every time, even within the same mystery. So assuming three completely different game experiences were to come from every playthrough of every mission, I've got at least 15 unique playthroughs of Mansions, not counting any variations to games as a result of player groups. And that's a severely conservative estimate, by all accounts. I, however, have only played one of the missions, several times, with different groups of players and different variables. So I haven't even played Mansions a third of the amount of times it can sustain before running out of new experiences. Yet an expansion for it, adding five new mysteries, new cards, clues, characters, mechanics, the whole shebang, is sitting on the floor of my room. I did just say I got it as a bargain...but if you buy something you don't need, then it's not really a bargain, is it?
I also will try to remind myself that I'm still dealing with some Stuff right now. Good ol' fashioned "retail therapy" is always a fine distraction. But when is enough, enough? For now, I'll try and remember something a wise person once told me. "Ed, the answer to every 'why' question is always the same: because."