Friday, January 15, 2010

Gaming It Forward

Photobucket Remember that sweet, perhaps sappy movie "Pay it Forward"? If you didn't see it, the movie was about the power that simple acts of kindness and generosity can have on individuals and how collectively those individual changes can create a larger change. This post is not intended to be that far-reaching but it has its roots in just that sort of sentiment. So, what’s with the picture in this post?

Everything pictured here is something that was given to me for no other reason other than somebody had it and thought I might be able to use it. They were simple gifts, not for Christmas or birthday but simply because they wanted to. I received more stuff in the way of Christmas gifts and that was a wonderful surprise as well (these are not pictured above). But I am getting away from the point here.

As gamers we have a tendency to build up massive hordes, especially miniatures gamers. It is in our nature to collect, gather, and hold on to things whether or not we have an immediate use for them or not. And because we hold onto these, sometimes they never get used again and pass into obscurity. What if we used these forgotten or unwanted items to help others in our hobby?

Some of you may already do this and for that you are to be commended. I have rarely done this, myself and am now thinking otherwise. For me, in the past, unwanted/needed items were destined for resell to private individuals or on E-Bay. There is nothing wrong with this and in some cases I have traded items across the board to other gamers. But the mode for me has always been something for something. None of the stuff in the picture above was given to me with the expectation of something in return. The vast majority of it came from two people each who found themselves with gaming stuff they had no home for. They were given to me as somebody who could use them.

Two of the items in the picture are a very strange curiosity that I have mentioned before. I found a few packs of 15mm Spanish Civil War minis on a table at a convention last year that was marked simply “Take What You Want”. It was piled with magazines, rules sets, miniatures, card packs, and dice. Unattended and off to the side it could be described as something of conventioneers Island of Misfit Toys, though we referred to it as the “Swag Table”. The concept of a swag table was a bit of an inspiration, I thought. What if at every convention there was a place, an innocuous little table off to the side where people could discard the things they did not want but felt others might use?

I intend to keep this mind in this New Year and shall examine my collection when I come across the needs of another gamer and perhaps this may appeal to others of you out there.


  1. This is a great idea! You've got some great stuff there!
    I've got some Legion of Everblight minis that I might use for Martian forces in my VSF game.

  2. This is a good idea. There is nothing wrong with capitalism though so selling stuff on ebay is just fine. I promise I am going to use those pulp guys very soon. :)

  3. Don't get me wrong, therei s still a place for making a buck off your old stuff. There is a big difference between helping a brother out with odds and ends and selling off collections and armies.

  4. This of course all being said I am in the market/interested in 3.5 forgotten realms stuff and 3.5 books as well as anything steampunky that I could use in my VSF. Just in case anyone is interested in parting ;)

  5. Master Chef and I sop stuff constntly, It often goes back and forth several times over the years. Painted and unpainted.

    My philospohy is what goes round comes round. My Auntie Bridie owns a pub in Ireland. She used to give an itinerant tramp a free bowl of soup and a giunness whenever he was passing.

    One day he stopped coming. After a while a man in a suit turned up at the pub. He was the 'tramp's' attorney. The 'tramp' owned an estate and he'd left the Georgian house to my aunt for her kindness and generosity.


  6. Nice mindset here Eli.

    In the past, I've 'gamed it forward' but to be honest it was to give someone enough figs to make an army, then I'd have a new opponent!

    My other ulterior motive lately has been the more I give away, the less I have to worry about painting!

  7. Can't take credit for this one. Mark and Master Chef are the real inspiration here.

  8. I recognize one or two of those boxes... :)

    Those odds and ends that aren't truly valuable laying about I think should go to a good home. If it has real value, by all means, sell it. But little dribs and drabs? Meh. Pop it into a box and ship it out.


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