LET'S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE
It's pretty clear to me that not everyone treats their games with the same reverence that I do. (I'm speaking of the general public here, not the typical reader of The Games Journal whom I suspect is much like me.) I take great care in keeping my collection clean, neat and in the best shape possible. I make sure my game cabinet is organized so that the boxes are not lopsided or falling from the shelves. The components are bagged to help prevent pieces from becoming lost or damaged. I strongly prefer that people not eat when actually playing any of my games. A little care goes a long way to making them last as long as possible.
Perhaps because of this attitude I'm regularly shocked when I troll thrift stores and see how others treat their games. Split corners are very common of course, as are loose pieces thrown haphazardly about. I can understand this if a game has only a few easily replaced pieces but it occurs even with those games that have hundreds of parts, all of which are required for play. There have been numerous times that I've inventoried games, counting hundreds of parts only to discover that a few essential pieces are missing.
It's not just the loss of resale value that upsets me, it's the fact that the game becomes entirely worthless to anyone. Imagine a car that becomes un-driveable if you lose the cigarette lighter. It's the fact that this bothers me so much that I sell parts on my personal website — I get a kick out of being able to complete a previously unusable game. Still, I wish this wasn't necessary and that people treated their games with more respect.
Shadows Over Camelot has received an overwhelming level of praise recently. I do think the game is good although I have concerns that it may have a short shelf-life. As a reviewer this can present a bit of a problem — if a game is incredible the first 20 times you play but dreadful thereafter, do you recommend it or not?
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