Friday Night Shots – Removing the Shrinkwrap From New Games

It’s Friday, a week before Christmas, and the whiskey is flowing while I read blog posts.

Or write them!

I just got three new games this week from 401 Games (my Canadian retailer of choice for boardgames) and as I was eagerly ripping the shrinkwrap off of them, opening them and looking at the counters and boards and stuff, something occurred to me.

So many times, either in a Math Trade or some kind of boardgame sale from one person to another, you see “New in Shrink” in a game’s listing.

And I just can’t fathom that.

I know that most of the time, when I get a game, either from Kickstarter delivery or because I ordered it from a game store (or maybe even bought it from a local one), I will most likely not get to play it for a while.

Either it’s an investment for the future (like most wargames since I don’t really have an opponent for them at all) or it’s something I’m going to have to try and learn the rules for so I can teach it someday, or whatever.

It’s probably going to be at least a month or so, if not longer, before they are getting played. Sometimes it might be a year or two!

Yet I still open and punch them as soon as I can. Those counters are going into baggies. Those boards are getting looked at. I may even check out how it might look on the table.

I can’t imagine buying a game and then leaving it in its original wrapping.

I just don’t even understand the mindset.

Ok, sure. Maybe some people buy games for the express purpose of selling or trading them at some point.

I don’t get that either, but ok. If that’s what you’re doing, there’s no way you’re going to unwrap the game at that point, because part of its value is that nothing has been touched in it.

And yes, there have been games where I’ve done all of this and then realized that it’s never going to get played, and maybe I should trade it for something that I really do want to play.

But for the most part, if I buy a game, I want to own it.

I want to play it.

And I want to sniff that fresh new cardboard smell as I see racks and racks of unpunched counters and I want to revel in it like a kid in a pile of legos as I punch and bag all of the counters.

So those of you who buy games and leave them in shrink, I would like to ask you (unless you are buying them just to sell/trade later, of course).

Why do you do that?

Why leave a perfectly good game in shrink, unpunched, just because you might not play it for a little bit?

I really don’t get it.

Not that I don’t appreciate it when I get one of those in trade.

Not even opened? Cool, I’m all over that!

But as a game consumer, I don’t get it at all.

Anybody want to explain it to me?

I’ll wait.

8 Comments on “Friday Night Shots – Removing the Shrinkwrap From New Games

  1. In the beforetimes, when kids’ birthday parties were a thing, I liked having a few potential gifts around for the unexpected “Hey, Dad, can I go to so-and-so’s birthday party tomorrow? They gave me this invitation three weeks ago.” I still have an unopened copy of Go Away, Monster! because it was out of print for a while and it’s the best first game I’ve encountered, and makes a perfect gift for a second birthday.

    For games I might want for myself, the only type I might do that with would be something with lots of minis I intend to paint. I could imagine using the opportunity to open and paint the new game as a carrot to encourage myself to finish painting whatever’s currently on my painting table. But I could understand others using the same incentive to motivate them in other ways (or meaning to do so, then cooling on the idea of the game, and letting it languish unopened).

    I’m not yet at this level of shopping, but I could also see someone watching deals with such attention that they are willing to buy games when they see excellent deals, not knowing whether they’ll play or resell/gift them. But the investment of time and attention in finding deals and researching games can feel difficult to justify to those who don’t see it as an inherently enjoyable and therefore worthwhile activity but who still find themselves doing it. A purchase eases that tension, and leaving it in shrink leaves open the possibility that it wasn’t consumption, but investment, which alleviates guilt about consuming too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read of people buying Kickstarters to later sell them to chumps who’ve missed out. Which is kind of a win win, except they normally sell at extortionate prices.

    More importantly how’s Dinosaur World? I passed on it given my dislike for the original.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dinosaur World is probably one of those “I have no idea when I will actually play it” games, so I don’t know! It looks pretty cool, and I did watch a review of it that talked about how it played, and it looked really cool.

      Once I do get it to the table, you will find out here, though. 🙂


  3. Regarding the cardboard wargames, even if I don’t intend to play it right away I MUST open it and get everything sorted and ready for when I will play it it is already prepared.
    But then I am more and more conscious of purchases and will buy only what I will, for sure, play and most definitely enjoy and don’t get carried away by the “content makers hype”, as I come to the conclusion that 90% of them do not play the games at all ( some notable exceptions ).
    For the miniatures side of wargaming… well… I better shut up now and hide all those unopened boxes and blister packs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely get that! I’m kind of half-way between you and the others. I probably buy more than I should, but I still can’t wait to open them and look at them.

      And I won’t mention the miniatures. Your secret is safe with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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