My board games are my treasures, and the ones I keep in my house are treated with great care. I have some boxes with dinged-up corners and some cards that are well-shuffled, but I don't see any of that as problematic.
The games I keep in my classroom, though? MY GOD. These trusty soldiers are battle-tested, and in a couple of cases, they have earned the board game Purple Heart. My Castle Panic cards are looking pretty bad—and to my eternal rage, someone stuck gum between two of them a couple of weeks ago while I was out and had a sub. A couple of students and I did our best to clean them up, but they're still a bit sticky... and now scratched up from the gum removal. My Splendor set is still usable, but you can tell those cards have been shuffled a few hundred times and a lot of them are getting frayed at the edges. Jenga, Connect Four, and UNO are irredeemably destroyed, but that doesn't matter so much to me. I didn't buy those games for myself.
So here's my question: At what point do you replace well-loved board games? Is there a rule of thumb for this? Generally, if a game is still usable, I don't see any issue with wearing it all the way into the ground. But I think that Castle Panic and Splendor might need replacing. They are so beaten up that I would feel weird bringing them out to play with other adults. Is there a point of no return for you, after which you want to replace a game?
Also, let's get real: Games are expensive, and new ones are coming out all the time. At what point is it financially a good idea to buy games a second time?
Castle Panic and Splendor might be worth it, though. Not only do I enjoy both, but my students love them best of all my "non-traditional" board games. The reason they are so beat up is because they see extensive amounts of play. Even though I will no longer be at my school next year to play with my students, I like the thought of them being able to break out their favorites and continue the gaming tradition after I have gone. I know there are other teachers who would be happy to adopt my veteran board games and give them the love and care they need.
Have any of you made decisions like this before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!