Like many of my peers, I suffer from Gamer ADD (aka Corvus Disorder, if you prefer). I’ve discussed this before, but it’s very hard for me to focus on just one game, and I already have more games lined up then I’ll ever get to play or run. I’m better than I was, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been left with a metric ton of games I want to use before 2012 comes and (circle one) the sun explodes/the earth explodes/the universe explodes/Nicolas Cage stars in another crappy movie/the Nephilim-Chupacabra-Arctic Nazi Axis proves Coast to Coast listeners right.
That, and the fact that I have less and less discretionary income as family needs seem to become more and more expensive, mean that in a lot of ways, the bar has been raised for what I’m willing to actually pay for in terms of RPG product. The idea of DIY or DIWEG (Do It With Existing Game)* becomes stronger, even as some truly amazing products are coming out the door.
This doesn’t mean I don’t spend anything on RPG product, but it does mean I find myself more and more selective with what I’ll buy. Multiple “core” rulebooks become a bit of a turnoff, with the “Collect all 10!” mentality being extremely so. Being able to view a solid review, sneak peek, or read through the book in a game store matters more than it once did.
I don’t know how many other gamers have this, due to the economy, getting older, or both, but I know I do. Basically, there’s more product out there than ever before, but I can’t keep up like I did. My dollar has to go farther than ever before. And whereas 5 years ago my RPG budget probably went 80/20 between RPG systems and accessories, today the split is likely 50/50 and going the other way. The reason? People keep making new toys and accessories for our gaming, and I’m thrilled with a number of RPGs I already own. The accessories can be used regardless of system, which makes them a better investment for me right now.
Of course, there are great games that I still pick up; most recently was ICONS, but I guarantee I’ll grab at least one other new RPG this year. It’s just a more competitive field, with more stringent requirements, than it was for me in 2004 or 2005.
This is still a young hobby, in a lot of ways; things are still being sorted out, different models tried. But some of the experimentation we may have gone with when younger has settled down somewhat into an expected framework as we learn (often by trial and error) just what we want out of a game.
So how about it? Have your gaming purchase habits changed as you get older or gained new responsibilities? If so, in what way?
*-RPGnet’s version, DIWW, (Do It With Wushu), is less welcome here.