Monday, June 8, 2015

Games from the Crypt


Having returned from Texas with a 20+ year-old game (Wizards) I hear isn't very good (and I am unlikely to play in any case) and two 30+ year-old supplements for a game (Powers & Perils) I have never played, am unlikely to, and I don't known where I might have stored the core rules for, I am forced to ponder what is it about old games, anyway?

I am something of a collector, true and as Batman's Batcave and Superman's Fortress of Solitude have long demonstrated, it's cool to have a good collection on display. Still, books, comic books, movies--all of those I generally get the intended use out of as well as the collecting aspect. The games not as much.


There's a bit of nostalgia, sure. I remember seeing these things on shelves sometimes or I saw them advertised in Dragon and the like. I think it's also a bit of my love or history and archaeology. These products are a window into the past. They even smell old, whether through the smell of old paper only or musty rooms where cigarettes were smoked (and probably the less pungent Mountain Dew and snack foods consumed). They're a tangible connection to a hobby that, while relatively young, is older than I am.

How about you guys? Do you like old games even if you don't play them?

8 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

I know I do. I like to think I'll get around to playing them, but some I've had for a couple decades and they are only brought off the shelf to look at once in a while. I do this with new games also. I've been collecting the Dragon Age game even though I doubt I'll ever play it. I think back to how mysterious and scary Tomb of Horrors was when I started playing. That excitement of exploring. The old TSR adventure modules, especially the mono-chrome one, hit my nostalgia button. And you can throw in pretty much anything Judges Guild also. It's good to think back 36 years for me now and remember that kid that got excited to gather with friends and play until we couldn't stay awake any longer.

perdustin said...

We can always learn things from old games, even if by negative example only. Usually, there's a spark of creativity somewhere. It so happens I plan on writing a post about Avalon Hills' Wizards. (Perhaps later this month?)

bombasticus said...

Perdustin, once again you demonstrate why you are one of my other favorite bloggers. WIZARDS is one of the great white elephants of the genre, please tell me you have all the essays the designers put together around it.

As for the smell of these things, my whole life is haunted by the pipe smoke and cedar chip experience of finally finding a copy of Spies of Lightelf at a gun show. Couldn't tell you much about the module proper. I think it has gnomes.

Kaiju said...

I feel the same way. Something about the cataloging or archival quality about it. In the back of my mind, I've got a nebulous list of gaming items that I'd want to pick up (at the right price, if I can actually use it or at least get inspiration from it) just because it was a product I'd always seen in Dragon or elsewhere, or maybe that I never saw in person, only heard about in hushed whispers from fellow gamers.

Jim Shelley said...

I think some of it is due to the Chasing the Dragon (See what I did there?) behavior you see in people with an obsession for those things they have had an addiction/passion/obsession for.

I can sympathize. I find myself often sifting through Amazon, looking for rare, old Thrash Metal cds, when I know that there's probably a reason they are so hard to find.

Still, one never knows when you might turn up a long forgotten item of merit.

perdustin said...

Bombasticus, I have the two articles from HEROES magazine and, of course, the designers' notes. If there's any other literature, I'd like to know about it.

bombasticus said...

Awesome. Those are the big ones I have in mind. I thought Thomas Mosbø had put together a retrospective statement but can't find it on their site. This is a revelation however:

http://www.wyndstar.co.uk/artyes.php

Blogger said...

VaporFi is the #1 electronic cigarettes provider on the market.