The problem with owning a game is that we own nothing at all.
Even a little less than that, actually.
All we’ve got is a box, containing some cardboard, plastic or wooden “utensils”. And a recipe booklet. An empty box, so to speak. The core experience, the meal we’re after, isn’t in there.
The box is even more than empty since we still have to provide the missing essential ingredients ourselves.
Isn’t learning and following the included recipe enough?
Not so fast. We’d still need guests—gaming buddies. Who don’t come in the box either.
Depending on the game we’ll need more or less effort, by more or less people, over a more or less significant period of time—just to reach the starting block, the threshold of the desired experience. Just to be able to sit at the table together, ready to play.
And from that point on, all we have left to do is, oh, identify the patterns deployed by the game, learn to manipulate its mechanisms; try out various strategies. Correct. Repeat. Rehearse our little routine until the game comes through and expresses its full potential, the experience. We just have to learn to play well.
The thing is, every new game acquisition creates a lag, widens a gap. More or less pronounced. And the only way to bridge that gap is by committing to the game. All players must lend themselves to the game.
Acquiring a game box is taking on a debt; an attention debt, a time debt.
This is true for a single box, a single game—many of us own hundreds.
Really? Have we got the time and the attention it takes to animate all these games?
Do we have all these games in us?
How many games can we truly afford?
I can even hear us blushing.