Gamers are always bantering back and forth about their favorite game. Almost as if it were a badge of honor they wear on their sleeves. Admit it, you’ve done it too; I am just as guilty of doing it myself. In and amongst all the banter one must ask themselves, am I part of the “cult of the new”? A term that rears its head from time to time on a variety of websites and blogs.
If you’re not familiar with it let me explain. In its simplest form, it’s a group of people who only have an interest in the latest and newest games to hit the market. This is what publishers want you to do, fall in love with their newest games. It’s all about marketing, right?
People that fall into this group of gamers are very proud of the collections they are amassing and thereby they are passionate about their likes and dislikes. Just ask one of them! Because people are spending quite a bit of money to build these collections and keep up with the latest and greatest games, they are very passionate about liking what they have spent money on. So to do many of them shun older games in favor of the newest and shiniest games to hit store shelves.
This “cult” of gamers can leave other gamers cold and put off for any number of reasons such as finances, theme, etc. There is one underlying theme that grips the “cult” that many gamers find to be a put-off—shunning of older games in favor of new games.
Having seen the “cult of the new” from time to time locally, especially when it comes to games that are funded by Kickstarter, has me thinking about my own gaming obsessions. Am I a member of this “cult”? The easy answer is yes I am; aren’t we all from time to time. Hell! I write my own blog, so as you can imagine I need to be focused on what’s new and hot and bring that information to my readers. While I may be more passionate about certain games and products over others on the market I don’t believe that I am a full card-carrying member of this “cult”. I am not out to dislike or openly disregard older games just because something new has caught my attention. I must admit that my game interests have changed over the years, but this is a result of external factors like family, work, travel, con management, etc. and not “cultish” behaviors.
Believe it or not, the polar opposite is happening in within RPG circles. There continues to be a resurgence of interest in older RPG systems like earlier versions of Dungeons and Dragons and some of TSRs other offshoot games. The same can be said for some of the other systems from other defunct game companies. In RPG parlance, we call this the OSR or Old School Renaissance. In essence, it’s the “cult of the old”!
If you find yourself in a location, club, group, etc. that is forever shunning older games in favor of the newest and hottest games to hit the market, embrace the gaming experience. Try something new from time to time, but in the end, enjoy your game obsessions; regardless if the game you love is older. Play what you enjoy and find like-minded individuals to play these game with you. You’ll be glad you did!
Ps. If you claim to belong to either of these two “cults” as it were, tell us about your experiences. What are you passionate about and why?
8 Comments Add yours
Personally, I have a tendency to find myself researching new games more than actually buying or playing them. I get fixated on a game for a while, but I always seem to go back to the other games that I have been playing for longer.
That said, I am always willing to play a game once, regardless of its age.
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I find myself doing the same thing from time to time as well. I am always on the look out for new and innovative mechanics and game themes. The problem, if it truly is a problem, stems from those that must have the latest game. While not a big deal in and of itself, but when then those are the only games they play, there in lies the problem.
Cult of the New followers, from my own observations, gravitate to a new game and foresake most other games. It’s as if they are fixated on the newest jewel in their collection, well, at least, until they obtain another new game.
Yeah, I gotta agree with you on this. I’m somewhat a part of the Cult of The Old (and firmly in the OSR camp) but I like to look at whatever’s new coming out too. I’ve gotten on the Savage Worlds bandwagon even though they’ve been around for a while. I’m also rediscovering the greatness that is Castles and Crusades (the True Successor to 3E IMO – Pathfinder be damned) So I’m a member of the OSR but also The Cult Of The New To Me.
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Right there with you. As you know I am firmly rooted in the OSR as well, but there are some RPGs that were recently published or soon to publish that are of interest to me as well. On the boardgame front, I like specific things and will look at older or newer games that fit into specific themes or mechanics.
I have not seen this in the couple of gaming groups I frequent. It seems that we spend part of our time playing latest/greatest to see if it will be on our regular list of games. The other part of the time we play games that are our favorites (old and new). Cities and Knights, Tigris and Euphrates, and Lords of Waterdeep (hey it is 3yo now) are played along side Euphoria and Terra Mystica
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Thanks for the feedback. This “problem” as it were, is not limited to the groups or individuals. It can rise to the surface in either. I happy to hear you are not seeing or experiencing it.
I have a love of both old school games and an interest in keeping up with the newest. For me, rather than being a “collector” anymore though, it’s become an admission that I enjoy learning games that are new to me and having been in the hobby for 30+ years, most of those are actually the new releases. But I don’t get them just because they’re new and hot, but because I enjoy reading rules and learning games. In fact, many of my friends are unhappy with my tendency to abandon a game we just all learned and enjoyed in order to learn a new game. They’d rather play the one they just learned many times and get good at it. I don’t care about mastering any one game. I’d rather move on to learn more and more. Of course I don’t reread books either.
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Thanks for the comment. Seems, by definition, you are a card carrying member of the Cult of the New. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying its a bad thing, but like you mentioned, it does bother some folks. Folks invest not only money, but also time and energy into learning a game and want to get full enjoyment out it before moving onto something else.
As always, play what you like and have fun!