Katie Boes, guest blogger at Get Rich Slowly, confirms what a lot of game hobbyists already knew: board games — and it’s reasonable to extrapolate from there to role-playing games, because a few books and dice can provide the basis for weekly entertainment for years — are a darn good deal for the money invested.
In particular, she points out that a game costing $50 at purchase costs a dollar per play over 50 plays. Ratios may vary, certainly, depending on how much a person actually likes the game, but that’s what game nights and conventions are for. Both are great places to find that right game because someone else has already taken the financial plunge. Some people use conventions solely as a place to try the latest and most talked about games. My friend Alex bought Android untried in part because he recognized he had already benefited extensively from other people bringing new games to the table at various game-playing gatherings, and so took a turn himself.
In addition to the financial benefit, Katie also cites the entertainment and educational benefits — both for young and old; my mental math skills have become a bit more nimble since I’ve been playing board games. She also recommends places to try out and learn more about games before buying, including the mega-website Boardgamegeek.com and public board game gatherings — like, say, those at Quarterstaff Games in Burlington, Triple Play in Lebanon and Border Board Games in Derby Line — as an excellent place for the prospective game owner to try before they buy.