My life has been so hectic recently that it's been tough to find gaming time. (Hopefully that will change soon, because all work and no play never leads anywhere good.) At least I have the benefit of running a board game club at school, so I am never without at least some kind of board game fun every week.
I am, however, lacking variety in my gaming life.
When you game in groups, you have to do the polite thing and play games that everyone else will be interested in. Since I play with teenage students, many of whom are new gamers, this means that I play the same games over and over again. My students adore Ivanhoe, Splendor, Castle Panic, and Jaipur, and they will ask to play those games repeatedly. But I am getting burnt out. There is comfort in the familiar, and it's convenient to play games that are easy to set up and play on autopilot because I know the rules so well. Eventually, though, it's not fun to make the same types of strategic decisions over and over again.
I usually keep smiling and playing anyway, because today's Castle Panic could lead to all sorts of interesting places in an enthusiastic kid's gaming life. And the games my students are coming to love are awesome games—I am so proud that when they think of "board games" they are now thinking well beyond Monopoly and Connect Four. (Although they still love the classics, too.) A whole new world is opening up for them.
But.. I am so sick of playing Splendor. It's like my gaming life is a bag of potato chips that I can't stop eating, even though I'm not craving potato chips and I'm not even very hungry.
My gaming crisis is actually very fixable. It just requires that I set aside time to game on my own, even when I could be vegging on the couch or playing Breath of the Wild on my Nintendo Switch. (Addiction, thy name is Zelda.) One of the great joys of being a solo gamer is that you get to play what you want to play, when you want to play it—as long as you are prioritizing board games over other downtime activities. I think it's time for me to recommit to my hobby.