What is it Really Worth?
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
There are very few things I enjoy more than a good board game. In fact, the only two things I can think of that I like more than board games are spending time with my family and Dr. Pepper(I have a mild addiction). Today, I got to play a game called Gloomhaven for the first time.
Gloomhaven is basically a prebuilt Dungeons and Dragons campaign where the box is your dungeon master. It is an incredibly intricate game utilizing thousands of cards, tokens, figurines, and different board configurations. The box all this comes in weighs over 20 pounds and costs over $100. The natural reaction to that statement is that $100 is a lot of money for a board game. But is it really?
We all have individual definitions of an object's value. This definition is usually based on our core values, the things we already have, and what we perceive as important. Take food for example, I am willing to pay a little extra to get exactly what I'm in the mood for that day when I'm hungry. My wife would rather spend our money elsewhere and usually places the cost per calorie intake above what she is craving at any given moment. Of course there are also the aspects of convenience, accessibility, and health to take into consideration when talking about food.
Entertainment, which is where I would classify board games, has always been the easiest category for me to classify value in. Quality and time-of-use are all it really comes down to. Quality is really a yes or no question for me in this situation. Did I enjoy the time I've been doing this? Simple as that. Then all that's left is how much will I actually use the object in question. As a general rule of thumb, my goal is less than a dollar per hour of usage. A $5 two-hour-long movie that I will watch 3 times over the next 30 years? That was worth it. A $60 video game that I will spend over 100 hours across multiple playthroughs playing? That is well worth it. A few thousand dollars on a ring to get to watch the love of my life grow old beside me? Best money I ever spent in my life!
During the six hours that I spent playing Gloomhaven today with three of my close friends, I reflected on this definition of value that I developed a long time ago. As I thought about it I very quickly went from I cannot believe James spent this much money on a board game to I can't believe that I am going to get to spend over 100 hours playing this game with these three over the course of the next few years and it only cost a hundred bucks.
Once an individual's perceived value of an object exceeds its cost that is when we make purchases. Usually, those purchases are made with money. Sometimes we make them with our time. Every once and a while something costs us a relationship. Some of these purchases we come to regret and some of them are the best decisions we make in our lives. So be careful about what you buy and what you are using to pay for it.
I hope this message has found you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father wondering...
What has value to you?