The Goal of Gaming Goals
Every year I make gaming goals and I started them because years ago on an episode our friend Brent had discussed his goals. Ever since that year I have planned and made goals. The first year I started with a very popular gaming goal of playing 10 games 10 times(10 x 10). At the first of the year you create a list of eleven games and throughout the year you track plays of those games with the goal of playing 10 of the 11 games 10 times each. My first year I did not make it, but the next year I picked games that were maybe more ideal to hit the table. I did not just pick games that only I wanted to play but games I knew others would want to play also, and be willing to sit down at the table together and get these done. Ever since that first failed year I have been able to meet all of my gaming goals.
The first thing I learned is that my list is not all about me. I needed to pick games others were interested in too. Having someone who wants to play the game also makes reaching those goals much easier. Also, I learned that I struggled getting campaign games off of that list if my game group folks fluctuate at all. Trying to get consistent players to consistently show up was a trial too. All of us have life issues that interfere with game night from time to time. So, for me, I had to blend games I knew I could get my wife to play, games I would play with my more serious gaming friends, and build a list that could get that all to come together.
After a successful year of completing my 10 x 10 game goal, I decided to start adding a play count of playing individual games within the year. First, I started with 250 games in a year, then I jumped to 500 games. Over the past five years I have kept that same number. Some years, like last year, that goal is crushed, but until I know that game count is going to be consistent I will continue to keep that goal manageable. If it becomes too much of a struggle then the goal loses all the reward I would be gaining from it. I also began to add an additional goal of what I call an organic 20 x 10 list which was 20 different games played 10 times during the year. These 20 games would include the 10 set games, but would also include 10 other games that were found enjoyable during the year and naturally were played nearly 10 times each without much pushing. Toward the end of the year I would then make a push to get those game counts to reach that 10th play.
My final two goals that I added to my annual list were a set number of new games and a set number of games I would play with my wife each year. There are so many games out there, I felt that I needed to set a goal to make sure I was playing at least a minimum count of new games each year. And, I also wanted to focus on playing games with my wife. I have all of these games and some of the games I purchase are purchased with getting her to play them in mind. Whether that is with our daughters, at family get-togethers, or at BBQs with friends. I wanted to ensure that some part of the hobby that I love so much could include her at some level.
For the year 2023 I have changed some of my focus on the goals I make. Instead of having a set 10 x 10 I am sticking with only doing an organic 40 x 10 list, meaning that throughout the year I will play at least 40 games 10 times each during the year. I am hoping that not having a set list opens up more opportunities to play games new to the group. Other than that goal, most of the other goals will remain the same. Five hundred games played during the year, 200 games played with my wife, 40 “new to me” games during the year, play 30 games that were on my shelf of shame before the year began, and finally, play at least 100 different games during the year. These feel like very lofty goals for me. Some will be easier to reach but some will be a great challenge, but the important thing is the goals are obtainable with some work and some help from some awesome friends.
So why do I make game goals? Can’t I just play whatever I want? Does making gaming goals disrupt or interfere with game nights? I make gaming goals to give my year a focus point and reason to experience games more than once and to get a much deeper feeling on a wider breadth of games. Yes, I can still play whatever I want. Yes, it does interfere with game night. It is mostly a positive thing unless you ask Logan about playing Space Base, or Andy about playing Seafall. But, to help with both of their ill feelings for my gaming goal, adding the organic list in place of the set list provides more options, and it also drives me to play even more games that one or two extra times to get it to ten plays.
I feel that gaming goals are a very positive thing for me. I know they are not for everyone, and that goes for tracking game plays too. Not everyone tracks games or makes gaming goals, but those that do... They get it!
How about you? Are you a game goal setter? Or, are you someone who simply wants to play whatever is put on the table and are eager to experience something new or fun?