5 Gaming Resolutions I’m Making for 2019

Resolutions blah blah cutting out sugar for three days then eating a plateful of brownies blah blah I knew 24 months was too long of a commitment for a gym membership blah blah. You know what resolutions are about and you probably have made some yourself in the past for your career, family, and personal health. Well, mine are about board games. So perhaps we should have a discussion about priorities.

Here are 5 gaming resolutions I hope to keep this year.

1. Attack the ‘Shelf of Shame’

It’s the scarlet letter for many a board gamer – that big rack of games that you have never played. Heck, some of them went right from the postage box to the shelf without a second look. It’s time to bring this situation under control.

Right now, my shelf of shame sits at around 35 games. That’s crazy! Some are classics I’ve picked up feeling I need them in my collection but have never tried, like Puerto Rico. Some have beautiful artwork and components that I know would catch the eye of potential game players, like Black Fleet and Histrio. Some are games where the hype just got to me, like Monopoly Gamer. And some are just random pickups from various places, like Unexploded Cow.

Game Shelf Staples

But no matter how it got added to my collection, my hope is that during 2019, I can actually experience these games as more than just interior decor.

I’ve already taken some steps to make this happen. We played Biblios, a game I received for Christmas, on January 1st with some friends, and I’m hoping to break out a few other titles over the weekend when family comes to visit.

2. Buying Fewer Games

This is very closely related to the first point. You see, my spending habits often suggest that I’ve been more a board game collector than a board game player. And It’s not like I spend a lot of money. I often sell games that I know aren’t going to get the playtime, and I buy almost all of my games used. But still! There’s no need to add to the ‘shelf of shame’ when I’m not doing anything to try and make it better.

This year, I need to do a better job of only buying games that are at the top of my wants list and not just those that somewhat intrigue me and are on sale. Impulse auction and Facebook purchases need to be a thing of the past so that I can actually experience games instead of simply adding to a pile. I’ll be taking a few steps to make this better – I’m going to create an Amazon Wish List that helps remind me of my priorities, for instance. I’m also going to give myself a maximum number of games on the shelf I haven’t played before I allow myself to buy another. Of all my resolutions, I can bet that this will be the hardest to stick to. We’ll have to look back and see how this one goes.

3. Host More Game Nights

My wife and I have done a pretty good job of opening up our house to people. We host our church small group meetings every Wednesday, and we have people over at least once a month to play games with us. But when life gets busy, it becomes very easy to allow our weekends to be time where we just veg out and waste the day away.

That’s one of the major reasons I decided to join the One Board Family team! I want to encourage people not to do that! So as we enter 2019, I hope that we can become more intentional with our downtime. I’m hoping that we have more game nights that include multiple couples instead of just one, and that eventually this grows into several people being in our house playing multiple games at once. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

It’s ridiculous to have a giant board game collection if you’re rarely having people over to enjoy it. And if it’s just a few people every now and then, I shouldn’t need a big selection of titles. If I’m wanting to grow and grow the collection, I think it only makes sense to grow and grow the people I play with.

4. Play with Different People

This is similar to #3, but different enough that I think it’s important to emphasize. When we play games, it’s often with the family members, or with about 5 or 6 couples that we’ve gotten to know over the years. Last year, I almost made it a resolution to play games with 500 different people. While I still don’t think I’m ready to make that the goal, I do think that I want to bring different folks to our gaming table.

Why? Well I feel like games can be a great way to get to know people. Take New Year’s Eve a few days ago. My wife and I went over to a person’s house who we didn’t know all that well. I was hesitant at first, hoping to avoid possible awkward conversations, but in the end we had a great time and got to make some new friends. I also got to introduce people to Liar’s Dice, Blank Slate, and That’s Not Lemonade, and everyone seemed to have fun. Maybe I’ve even encouraged some people to go out and look for other games that they might enjoy.

While I’m not going to walk up to strangers in a coffee shop and ask them to play games, I do think that I could ask a co-worker with whom I don’t spend much time. Or a couple at church we don’t speak to as often. Maybe old college friends. Whatever the case may be, I think getting to know more people better and welcoming them into our home is always a good idea.

Rattlebones with friends

5. International Tabletop Day

Now this one is very much for me, and perhaps people won’t resonate with it as well as they do with other entries on the list. However, it’s been in my heart for a few years now, and I think I may be able to finally pull it off this year.

International Tabletop Day is a ‘holiday’ of sorts in which people are encouraged to go out and play games (like I need that extra push at all). The ‘International’ part means that this is celebrated all over the world, but I’m hoping to put a bit of a different spin on it.

One thing that I’ve grown to appreciate in the past few years is how awesome different cultures from around the world are. While this began with some of our refugee work, specifically with people from the Middle East, I’ve tried this year to extend it as far as I can. A major area of focus for me has been on the types of games people play in different parts of the world. I know my Iranian friends love Backgammon, while my Pakistani friends are big on Carrom. While I love getting to play the newest and best thing to hit Kickstarter each month, I also want to be more intentional about looking at what people outside of this country might be playing.

In 2019, I’m hoping to host an International Tabletop Day in which games from all over the world are played. I’ve already begun collecting some different items that would be featured, and I’ve made contacts with game developers like Kenechukwu Ogbuagu KC to get titles from countries that aren’t as well known for board gaming. I’m hoping that on Saturday April 6th, we’re able to have a great time with people from all over the world playing games from all over the world.

Well, that’s my list. What’s yours? Tell us about some of the resolutions you made in the comments!