What is frugal gaming? I reached a point last year when I looked in my cupboard and found whole shelves of unpainted miniatures, half finished projects and unplayed boardgames. How much time and money and effort had I spent on these products and projects? I made the decision to stop this trend and ensure that not only did I cut down on what I spent, but also to ensure that I got the most out of what I already had. My Year of Frugal Gaming was born.
Some of us have been hit hard by the economy, losing jobs or struggling to make repayments, those of us lucky enough not to be directly affected still feel the looming recession hanging over us. People everywhere are examining what they spend their money on and cutting any unnecessary expenditure. None of us is considering giving up our hobby and I’m not suggesting that we never buy another miniature, another pot of paint or a new boardgame. What I do think is that we need to look at our spending habits and make some choices.
This all seems very well and good and we can pat ourselves on the back for a wise decision, but what will the effect be on the hobby in general? One of the things that keeps people gaming is the sense of community in the hobby. We have lots of small companies (and a few large ones) speaking directly with their customers over the internet and meeting them face to face at shows. If we reduce what we spend, then these companies are going to suffer. We all want to spend more wisely, but don’t want to lose the fantastic range of companies out there.
So do we have a social responsibility to help these companies through these difficult times? Yes, I strongly believe we do. This may not seem to agree with the approach of this blog (‘Spend less, game more’), so what do we do?
One of the problems we all have is the large amounts of unpainted miniatures, unfinished projects and unplayed games in our cupboards. We all are overloaded with quantity of miniatures and games, do we really need many more? Probably not. So here’s my idea.
If you want to buy more games or miniatures and you want to support the companies, buy wisely and buy quality. Instead of buying 20 figures that are unlikely to get painted. Buy 5 high quality figures that will get painted and will look fantastic on the table. Instead of buying three boardgames that you probably won’t play, go for the dream purchase that you’ve always wanted. The cost will be about the same (same cash into the hobby), exactly the same number of figures will be on the table and games will be played, and the quality will be much improved, so we all win.
In short then, carry on spending and supporting the hobby, but spend wisely, and improve the quality of your gaming.
I look forward to your thoughts.