Among the boardgame community, there are quite a few people who will generally only play new games that have just come out. They must have as much of the new “hotness” as possible, even though they’ve been raving so much about the new game that just came out that they now consider their favourite game ever, something new will come along and divert their attention.
There is a name for this among boardgamers: “The Cult of the New.” It describes people who will rarely even consider playing something that’s a couple of years old. If they do, they’ll do it begrudgingly, and only if you agree to play “Hot New Game #52” that just came out last week and they picked up on the first day.
And when “Hot New Game #53” comes out on March 1?
I don’t subscribe to this myself. I have neither the money, the inclination, nor most importantly the time to indulge myself with this kind of thing. There are too many games coming out to keep up.
Also, as fellow gaming blogger Katie Adley said on Twitter:
Sometimes we all need to remember, including myself that this hobby is about more than buying the newest games and having a huge collection.
— Katie Aidley (@katiesgamecrner) September 8, 2017
I do fall victim to what some may consider a subset of this mentality though.
That is “The Cult of the New to Me”
You can see that in my monthly “New to Me” posts (the August one is here).
That’s the thing. I do love to learn games. I love to broaden my horizons. I love diving into game concepts that I’ve never experienced, or seeing how familiar concepts are used in different ways.
And I have to admit that I do love getting a new game, opening it up, and punching out all of the counters, looking at the board, checking out the rules, and imagining what it will be like getting it to the table.
The one difference for me is that it doesn’t have to be the new hotness, and most of the time it’s not. It’s a game that’s a couple of years old, or even older.
I can wait for a sale (money) and until I may have the time to play it (which is why I haven’t bought any new games recently, though I have kickstarted three games and two expansions). The last big group of purchases from earlier this year is slowly getting played, but I’m trying not to buy anything new until more of them do.
(with one major exception in the next few weeks…especially after watching the below video)
Even more important for me is that feeling of experiencing a new game. Some of that can be 2017 hotness, if somebody else has bought it. Or it can be the excitement of playing a 2014 game like Orleans. Or something even older, like 2009’s Automobile.
But I also have my favourites that I will play at any time, not to mention that since I have bought many of these games I want to get a fair number of plays from them. For a game I own, I almost get more satisfaction from the second play than the first, because that means I was able to get it to the table again. That it was enjoyed. And, most of all, that I didn’t buy a shit game (though admittedly sometimes it does take a few plays to come to that realization).
I like a good mix in the games I play. I game almost every Sunday, and every other week at work during lunch on Thursdays (though we never play any new to me games at work, as I have to be the one teaching it). For me, a mix of 3-5 new games a month is a good month. I feel like I’ve earned my cult membership when I am able to achieve that.
So far, I’ve been able to do that!
I see a big problem with those gamers so tied into the new hotness that they can legitimately be called members of the “Cult of the New.” It can reach almost obsessive levels in some people. It’s not healthy, especially when their collections balloon to 1000+ games and they are having financial (or more likely, space) issues.
I don’t really have a problem being in my cult, though. New experiences are supposed to be cherished and I love them.
And…since I have never heard this term before, maybe I can be considered the founding member of the “Cult of the New to Me?” I can attract followers, maybe charge membership dues, that sort of thing.
Don’t worry. I will be a benevolent leader.
So what about you? Do you see yourself as a member of this cult and you didn’t even know it? Do you prefer new (to you) games or do you like to thoroughly explore a game and forego new ones for the most part?
Are you even part of the Cult of the New? If so, how do you manage it?
Let me know in the comments.
Want to find all of my “New to Me” posts? Just check the “category” drop-down menu on the right side of the page and choose “New to Me.” It will have them all.
Want to see them as they come out?
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