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Around the end of the year, I usually take a look back at my gaming over the previous 12 months.[1] This time around, I decided to graph my board game and RPG sessions for every year for which I have complete data: 2009-2017.[2]

Here’s a graph comparing RPG and board game plays for these years, with solo and group RPG sessions broken out:

And here’s the raw data:

I love tracking this stuff, in part because what emerges from the data isn’t always what I thought would emerge. For example, I knew 2016 was on fire in terms of playing RPGs with my two groups, which the data supports, but 2017 felt just as RPG-packed to me — which the data doesn’t support. (Or rather, it supports that conclusion in terms of overall sessions, but not group play; I did a ton of solo gaming in 2017.)

I’ve also felt like my board gaming dropped off since I moved to Seattle, where my gaming group plays board games maybe once every 2-3 months, rather than roughly twice a month back in Utah . . . but the data doesn’t really support that gut feeling. Ignoring 2013, with its +50% spike, I’ve averaged 174 board game plays every year from 2012-2017.[3]

The data doesn’t lie about 2017, though — and the data and my feelings on the matter align perfectly: Gaming-wise, it’s been a great year. I’m in my happy place, playing and running sandboxes and zero-prep RPGs, and still fitting in a solid amount of board gaming along the way.

Here’s to 2018!

[1] See My 51 in 15 for 2015 and My 2014 in games for that year. I thought I’d done one of these for 2016, but I guess I didn’t.

[2] I started logging board games in early 2008, but didn’t start logging RPGs until almost the end of 2008.

[3] The chart also shows a pretty clear swap that took place in 2016: It was a low year for board games but a massively high year for group RPG play; time for one, broadly, comes from the other.

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