Old view of game collection…

(this is part of my blog consolidation; this post was created a few years ago, but I will update it soon!)

Left shelf: Antique games (top left), card and dice games (bottom left), Avalon Hill and 3M Bookshelf games (top center and right), Kids games (10 and under; center and right)

Left: Avalon Hill, cont’d, RPG’s, TCG’s, and games for older kids (10 +); Center left: “featured” games, eurogames, high strategy, etc; Center right: Trivia, Music, Geography, Sports, Bible, Ancient classics; Right: Party and Word games

Same as above, from angle; bottom units large enough for over-sized boxes

“Featured” games; most aesthetically pleasing, and many of my favorites

This concludes the tour; thank you for your interest. (what you didn’t see was the small bookshelf with a lot of the smallest kids games, two closets in kids’ rooms each with about 20 definite kids games (cootie, candyland, etc), and a stack of about 15 elsewhere in the room.

These are the pics I took a little less than a year ago of my game collection, including the cabinet I designed specifically for holding all varieties of games. As noted above, they aren’t big enough to hold everything, but it makes enough sense to put all the youngest kids games in their own closets; they’re pulled out less and less in favor of the games in this room.

As I write this, in January of 2011, I own 1,140 games. There are quite a few duplicate titles, and it’s interesting to see how they differ. Some are very different games, such as “Billionaire,” one from Parker Brothers, 1973, and one from Crown and Andrews, 2000.

Some are the same game, published years apart by different companies, such as Yahtzee (Lowe, 1956, and Milton Bradley, 1982). Some are the same game, from the same company, but different editions (with different artwork, fonts, etc), such as Clue, from Parker Brothers (I have 1956, 1972, and 1986).

There are also games with many expansions (Carcassonne, of which I own five) and games with many variations (Scrabble, of which I own ten), and some have expansions and variations, such as Trivial Pursuit (I own 19 titles). I do not include multiple copies of the same edition of a game on the list; I keep the copy that is in better shape, making sure it is complete in terms of pieces and instructions, and then offer the duplicate as a prize for a game night hero. Not all of them are coveted…

I’m not in the financial position to just buy games whenever I feel like it; more than I can estimate have come from garage sales and goodwill stores, but as long as they are complete and in decent shape, they’re worth it. As soon as I acquire a game I check out the components to make sure they are complete and accurate (too often, the game will have pawns or dice from another game! Grrr!), and then add it to my excel spreadsheet/database.

Some games are very hard to find any data on; sometimes, especially on older games, neither the box nor the rules sheets have any dates on them, so I have to research them and, occasionally, estimate the year and/or manufacturer. There are a few that are still mysteries, in fact, and I would welcome any input from readers:

Bible Challenge, Youth Edition: no manufacturer, no year; small red box the size of trivial pursuit expansions. “A card set for use with the original Bible Challenge game” (which was self-published in 1984 by Mr James Babineau). Includes two smaller boxes, one for beginners (“From what country did Ruth come?” “Moab!” what a ridiculously easy question that was!) and one for intermediates (“What is the 5th commandment?” “Honor thy father and mother.”) (Wait, that was intermediate and Moab was beginner? I would suck at this game).

White Hunter: no manufacturer, no year; large, flat box with plain white bottom, primarily green lid, with black and white lettering. “The big game of big game hunting” – “Go on safari for wild beasts of Africa!” The object of the game is for the White Hunter to take 5 of the 12 animals before they escape from the jungle clearing. The board is an odd-shaped grid of squares on a simple jungle-background, and the pieces (one White Hunter, 12 hapless Wild Beasts!) are small tiles, roughly the size of scrabble tiles but thicker. Players spin the spinner to move animals to try to escape, while the hunter tries to kill. What a great way to introduce children (aged 7-14) to killing innocent animals for trophies!

I don’t really have an end goal in mind regarding my collection; at one point it was interesting to see if I could play every game, beginning to end, just once, but that is no longer feasible. I’d love to talk more about the more obscure or interesting games I have come across, such as “An Income of Her Own,” or “Mr. Ree.” But in the mean time, I’m hosting monthly game nights and changing themes so that we have a better chance of playing different games every time. Perhaps some night we’ll have to pull out White Hunter or Youth Bible Challenge, or even An Income of Her Own. We’ll see. If we do, I will try my best to report on it!

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