RDTN Episode 52 – Yellow Submarine: Board Gaming Glut w/ Chaz Marler, Grey Fox Games Captain’s Wager, Tiny Epic Galaxies

At the stadalert of this year, Marty and I wondered if 2014 was going to be an adjustment year for the board gaming hobby. Similar signs appeared in other hobbies right before they either went through an adjustment or even collapse. The baseball card hobby had a surge in manufacturers and this lead to a dilution in the product and eventually, many went under. Comic books soon become the hot collectible and everyone jumped into the market only to see the same thing occur that happened in the baseball card world. And what the heck happened to all those beanie babies? Anyway, Chaz Marler recently did a video series for Boardgame Breakfast discussing the same thing that Marty and I have discussed in previous episodes. So, we asked Chaz to join us for this episode to pontificate on what is to come for the hobby. We aren’t being beanie-babiesdoomsayers, but we are curious what will happen and how the board gaming hobby avoids history that other hobbies experienced.

One key difference that I believe is different is that people are not “collecting” and spending big bucks like they did in the other hobbies. Oh wait…

[table]
Segment, Time
MACE Charlotte Gaming Convention, 02:00
Stronghold Diamonds Tournament, 03:30
Grey Fox Games – Captains Wager, 06:00
Tiny Epic Galaxies, 07:00
Board Gaming Glut w/ Chaz, 10:30
Rank’em, 51:00
Outro, 01:06:15
[/table]


One Reply to “RDTN Episode 52 – Yellow Submarine: Board Gaming Glut w/ Chaz Marler, Grey Fox Games Captain’s Wager, Tiny Epic Galaxies”

  1. Michael R

    I share many of your apprehensions about the present ‘boom’, but I think there is another factor that makes the equation a little more complicated (and of course, I hope that the collapse predictions do not come to pass, so I want to believe that this observation has a major impact). Board games create a shared social space, often with a depth and complexity that makes direct comparison to baseball cards or (dare I say it) even comic books a little superficial. I agree that the market indicators appear to be charting the same course, and that there are similarities in habits between the ‘collectors’ of all types. But do the majority of hobby board gamers buy games and support the market infrastructure of the hobby with dollar ROI in mind, or because they enjoy the experience that the games provide and have gathered communities around those experiences which, in the end, transcend the game space altogether? I’m sure there are other reasons as well, but what motivations are primary for the average board gamer? If the motivation has more to do with something intrinsic to game experiences and communities, then I think (hope) we are more likely to continue to have an appreciable variety in the game design / publishing space, even if the scale and sheer number of new offerings decreases somewhat through natural market correcting forces.

    At least, I’d like to believe this scenario is possible. 🙂 Not much goes on in the baseball card market these days, but I think that’s partly because you can’t have an experience with a card collection or catalog – even with the greatest card collection on the planet – that is in any way comparable to a half-day round (with a few friends) of Advanced Civilization, Diplomacy, Die Macher, Antiquity, or a hundred others (bigger and smaller) that I might have named instead. An experience generating substantive narratives that become a permanent part of the shared life and memory of a community.

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