I've come to an important realization, and I wanted to share it:
I am bored with board games.
That's not entirely true, actually. I am bored with NEW games. I don't want to try every newfangled game that gets published by some fifteen-year-old with a Kickstarter account and a copy of Microsoft Word. I don't want to read convoluted 36-page rule books that would give migraines to normal men. I don't want to have to learn every game I've got every time I want to play. I just want to play the games I already have and enjoy them.
The problem, of course, is that as a game reviewer, new games are where it's at. I am not going to review Risk Legacy every time I play it, but I still want to play it another couple dozen times. But I need to play the games I'm going to write about, even though what I really want to be playing is another round of Mice & Mystics, only I have to play Crap City Bore Dome because I need to write about it to justify my free copy.
The problem gets worse, too. I have a bunch of games I just don't want to play. They might be good games, but it's hard to give them an unbiased opinion when I'm irritated to have to read the rules in the first place. I'm spending every Friday night boning up on rules so I can play the games the next day, and in at least one out of three cases, I try to forget the rules immediately after I'm done writing, because I liked the game so little.
And you know what else? I have too many games. I know there are some of you that would say such a thing is impossible, but I'm telling you, I have too many. I can't store them all - and keep in mind that my game library started over from scratch last Christmas, when I lost them all in a house fire. So nine months later, I have more games than I can fit into my office. If I never got another game, I could be perfectly happy playing the ones I have for the rest of my life.
Plus you don't need me any more. When I started out, there were maybe a dozen reviewers who were actually doing anything. At one time in the not-too-distant past, I was one of six people in the world with more than 100 reviews at BGG. Now there are 39. And that's not counting the people at other sites who don't even put their stuff at BGG. The market is glutted, and since I'm not going to start doing video reviews, I can't really keep up any more.
I got into this racket for free games. I wanted publishers to send me stuff so I could write about it, and get free games for my efforts. At this point, however, I don't want most of the free games that come to my house. And that is making me reconsider a lot of things. Like, why am I writing about games just to get free games when I don't want the free games? OK, maybe I'm only reconsidering that one thing.
Starting tomorrow night, I'm mixing it up a little. From now on, I'll be reviewing whatever the hell I want. If it's a board game, fine. If it's a movie, great. Maybe it'll be a TV show, or a concert, or a camping trip. Tomorrow night, in fact, I'll be reviewing a Lego set. Yeah, I'll review toys, if I want, or comic books, or word processing apps for the iPad (not really that last one, unless it's so insanely cool that I just can't shut up about it).
Tonight I'm going to go watch some reruns of Oz on HBO GO, which is awesome, in case you were wondering.
Maybe I'll review it some time.
Matt Drake is a game reviewer and the author of the Drake's Flames blog, where you can read more of his crassly opinionated game reviews.