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Number of Plays - When is it enough?

Owner

This is related to my other post on buying habits, where I shared that because I recently bought a bulk of games, I'm trying to hold off on buying more until I've given each new game at least 5 or more plays.

My line of reasoning behind that number is to simply think about cost per play. For example, I bought #Clans of Caledonia for $40 and have played it twice so far. That puts the cost at $20 per play. Personally, I like to have played a game a number of times myself until it at least reaches the cost of a movie ticket (so if I were to play Clans 5 times, that would be $8 per play--in comparison to what... $12 movie tickets these days?). This doesn't mean that I'll just stop playing the game, but it helps me know that my collection is getting enough love where I'm not continuously leaving behind a trace of games played 1-2 times. And this isn't just helpful from a cost standpoint, but encourages me to properly explore a game's full potential.

I'm sure you may have noticed but this thought process removes several factors like number of players and the amount of play time. For example, a $100+ purchase of TI4 with a single play may be well worth the cost to some people if it means 4h+ of fantastic game time with 4 friends ($6.25 per hour per person per play to be exact). Did your friends contribute toward the purchase? No, but if you're the type of person who just really enjoys seeing others have fun, then even a single session may be enough to say it was worth it. Personally, I just like to keep it simple because it's closely tied to managing my own budget and because most of the games I buy will be mostly played with my wife.

Finally, here's my question--at what point do you feel that a game has gotten enough plays that you don't have to feel bad about moving on for a while?

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11 months ago

For me, i think about entertainment opportunity cost. If i buy a $100 NZ game, and 5 of us play it once for 2 hours, thats $10 per person per hours entertainment. Which isn't bad. 

If we play it ten times, that's $1 per person which is amazing. 

Depending on the game, if i get 5 plays out of it, its super cheap entertainment for me. 

11 months ago

Yep, if you play your games more than a couple of times, it actually becomes a relatively affordable hobby, as hobbies go.

11 months ago

And the cost of ones you don't like, you mentally have to roll into the costs of the ones you did like. Thankfully, i like more games than i don't. 

11 months ago

True, but you also don't enjoy every movie. Plus, you can sell or trade games, which you can't do with a used movie ticket.

11 months ago

Oh, absolutely. A night out at the movies costs us about the same as an average board game. And if it stinks, we cant do much about it

Supporter11 months ago

You could whine about it online! Which might be entertainment for some people?

Partner11 months ago

We've played Clans of Caledonia 28 times... let's assume a cost of $42 for easy math, it would be $1.50 a game, or 75 cents per person (not counting letting friends play for free). Well below a movie ticket. We don't have strict rules about plays, because even if we were to get a $20 game and play it once, that would be what other people might pay for a movie, and we trade it or sell it afterwards, which you can't do with a movie. It helps that we don't have other hobbies like skiing or golfing, and we don't have kids.

Supporter11 months ago

I don't figure times played. I figure the amount of enjoyment given in man hours. I love learning a new game or researching games to buy.... So for me I can count those hours in the enjoyment category if I do desire. 

Of course it takes a lot more time to make it "worthwhile" if you are mostly solo gaming. 

Also, it relieves me from the responsibility that I might otherwise feel to play a game like #Advanced Civilization 10 or 5 or 20 times. Of course I don't have that game, but if I did, and played a full game with full player count, I would say it was a good deal. 

11 months ago

I agree that hours is probably a better measure than plays. Maybe that's why I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth from Dune after only 3 plays. I think the type of game it is can also play into it. Dune definitely feels like an "experience" type game, where some other games that take a long time don't quite feel the same. Not sure what it is.

Supporter11 months ago

You have a good point about a experience. It is easier to feel good after one "experience" but it might take several "puzzle plays" to feel like you got your money's worth. 

11 months ago

Yep I would put #Captain Sonar in that "experience" category as well.

Supporter11 months ago

I haven't played it, but I could see that being true... Plus, it is fairly affordable and needs a good sized group so your cost per player hour gets low pretty quickly. 

11 months ago

Yup, 8 of us played it for an hour and we got it for $35. So we're around $4.50 power player hour already. With 8 players it's pretty quick to make it worth it!

Supporter11 months ago

That is what I figured.

Partner11 months ago

For me it's 5 or 6.... but that said, if you find out it's not your thing I always try to trade it for something else, recoup the loss a bit. 

11 months ago

It also seems like a lot of newer games, and even some older games, hold their value quite well, so you could sell them for close to what you paid if you wanted to. Makes it almost like renting games, haha.

11 months ago

I think I'm around where you are as well. At 5 I feel okay, at 10 I got my money's worth, but more than that it was a great purchase. If it gets fewer than 5, I won't feel good about it. One exception to this has been #Dune. We've only gotten 3 plays, but I already feel like I got my money's worth, haha.