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Has Hype Hindered Hobby Happiness?
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Thursday, Dec 3, 2015

Hello, Chaz Marler, coming to you this time not from Pair Of Dice Paradise, but from a six month, self-imposed exile in a hole in the ground. With my eyes closed. And my fingers in my ears. Under a hard rock. Cafe.

Why have I been in hiding? Well, you may not have heard, but on December 18th, a new Star War motion picture will be released; the first potentially Gungan-less Star Wars movie in over 30 years. (Write him into the script? Meesa no think so.)

But even sequestering myself under a contemporary music theme-restaurant, it’s been nearly impossible not to have the movie spoiled. The hype for this movie is everywhere, even stretching to star clusters a long, long distance from here. And I don’t want to succumb to the hype, because I’m already coming into it with some skepticism.

So, what could possibly lure me out from my hiding place over a week early? The reason I’ve emerged is because tomorrow I’m going to start on Pandemic Legacy, a game that has received its own fair share of hype, propelling it up to number seven in the Board Game Geek list of all time best games, less than fifty days after being released. Just like with the upcoming film of Interstellar Conflict, I can’t help but wonder if all this hype is going to diminish my enjoyment of the game, because it may be artificially setting my expectations too high, ultimately leading to disappointment.

And these expectations swing both ways, whether it’s disappointment caused by a game by a designer with a fantastic track record (Rattle Battle Grab The Loot), or the delight of a game from a usually mediocre franchise that veer sharply in an unexpected direction (Star Wars Risk). For better or worse, the juxtaposition of our expectations vs. experience has a direct influence on our judgement of a game.

At first, it would seem that the solution would be to go into the game completely objectively. Unfortunately, that may be impossible, because, even after living in solitude beneath the nation’s number one rock n’ roll dining destination for six months, we’ll still make judgments about a game the moment we see its components, even its box art, even its name.

So, maybe instead of trying fruitlessly to experience these things completely objectively, perhaps I should take solace in the fact that, even if both Star Wars Episode VII and Pandemic Legacy both crash and burn miserably, at least they both contains a complete lack of Gungans. Which, I think we can all agree, is something positive that no amount of hype can diminish.
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