The Eclectic

Posted on Dec 4 2012 by pomomojo in Board Games, Parlor Games

I find it interesting that the word “hobby” is associated with a casual interest in something. If someone admires a painting you did you might respond “Oh, it’s just a hobby,” which seems to suggest that you aren’t that serious about it and only do it to pass time. While this is obviously true in the sense that you are not a professional in whatever skill you choose to call your hobby, I don’t think it’s right to see the interest as merely passing. After all, if you are not performing your hobby as part of your job, then that means you are doing this activity in addition to all your other daily responsibilities, you are choosing this one activity over all the other things you could be doing in your spare time, and you are spending your money on this activity. It seems like your hobby is often the thing you are most invested in.

So I’d like to look at the hobby of game collecting. This is slightly different than the hobby of game playing. You can be a world class Chess player and never in your life spend more than a few dollars on a generic set. While people who spend hours each week playing Chess tend to appreciate the subtle advantages of a higher end chess set, it’s not a necessary part of their hobby. The same person can admire the rules of Chess as well as the beauty of a finely crafted Chess set, but they remain two separate hobbies with a common theme.

I believe there are different types of game collectors and over the next few blog posts I’d like to compare them. For today let’s look at the Eclectic. The Eclectic Collector is interested the entire gamut of board games. The goal is to find games that are rare or unusual that few others own, or to build a collection that can boast every different type of game or gaming mechanism.

Variety is the key for the Eclectic. This variety can take many different forms. Some Eclectics might focus on the visual qualities. Games of every shape and size and color. Games that look interesting, regardless of how they play. There’s nothing complex about Tic-Tac-Toe but the Eclectic might still get excited to display a set done in sterling. An Eclectic’s collection could also be filled with different genres of games – word games like Scrabble, trivia games like Trivial Pursuit, dexterity games like Boule, tile games like Dominoes. Or an Eclectic could even try to find games to represent different countries around the world. This collection might have Mahjong next to Monopoly and Perudo next to Skittles.

The Eclectic’s game collection can be like a museum (if the games are more decorative) or a library (if they get played) with the goal of always adding new items to fill whatever gaps remain. I’d probably put myself in this category as I enjoy exploring the creativity that has gone into so many different games.

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