What is "normal" in our hobby? For a while I've realized that what I felt most comfortable & familiar with in boardgaming is a little but stuck in the past, not coincidentally the times when I was first diving in deep with it. This is about the 10-year period from 1996-2006, give or take. The hobby today feels different. It IS different. Not better or worse (I try to convince myself), just different. But different in what ways?
In this solo episode I consider this. Before I tackle the present day I think aloud about how the hobby started, how it progressed, and how it got to when I first played Settlers, Medici, or Bohnanza. I think a lot about the perspective of someone working at Origins or Gencon, perhaps at a game distributor's booth, going to those events from the 1970s to the present day. I actually think there are some that span those fifty years(!) in our hobby, if not always behind a booth then at least participating in it. From that vantage point, you'd definitely see things change over time, and I think with some hindsight you could identify some "waves" or "generations" within the hobby. Characteristics more of one time than another. Trends that come & go.
Even within euro-style hobby boardgaming, I think you could subdivide my earlier era to today and note some important differences. That's what I'm thinking about, and I welcome input from listeners, too. Am I all wet here? Or am I onto something? Does it even matter in any way?
I think it may matter in the sense that I'm trying to stay true to the types of boardgaming I most enjoy, while simultaneously NOT becoming a fossilized dinosaur. Can it be done? Of course. Thinking about these kinds of things is how I go about it.
Closer: Mark Madness 2023 tournament! Congrats to winner Patrick Pence!