Too Many Board Games!

A bit of board game backstory, here: I’ve been loosing weight for more than a year, now. Part of what helps motivate me (among other things) is something we set up quite recently. Every week, I choose a sub 50 dollar “wellness win” to help motivate me with a non-food reward. Many of these wins have been almost entirely board games.

I own quite a few board games. It is a problem some would love to have. I enjoy many of them, and some I haven’t even been able to play, yet. Despite this, I keep looking for my next “fix”. Right now, it’s roll and writes and print and plays.

Supermarché, a print and play that I had my wife laminate for durability.

So, should I do with these games? I am planning on pulling out every game from our overstuffed closet and evaluating the need/love of a game, sorting it into piles. Essentially, I need to weed out the cremé of the crop, and sell/donate the rest. Honestly, though, I never thought I’d be in one of these guys shoes, so early into my adventures in the world of board gaming.

New Board Games Rules

  • The game must be a up to five player game. This allows for everyone in my immediate family to play at once
    • This rule is relaxed for print-and-play, solitare-style games
  • The game must have a general “complexity” score of 2.2 or less at BoardGameGeek
  • Games with expansions either need to have good storage mechanisms (Wingspan) or be small enough as to not have that issue
  • More “fiddly” games with lots of peices are to be purchased less in favor of more travel appropriate games (we often transport games to grandma’s house, I hate loosing parts)

With this initial set of rules, I will be able to weed out games that may be fun, but difficult to manage. Storage is at a premium, and we have plenty of games to pick from. The onus is on games that we really enjoy, versus learning new mechanics.

The Rental Economy

It’s coming! Microsoft has finally started transitioning people into a purely rental system. Coming soon, you’ll be able to subscribe to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and run a full-scale Windows machine in the cloud. This has been a rather overt goal since Windows 8, with it’s insistence on having your Microsoft.com account tied to your local login account.

The technical component of this seems neat. You can run this Windows box in Azure and connect to it using just about any tech you’d like. Phone, Linux, Mac, whatever. That means you can get your desktop anywhere you have Internet. This is not unlike Google’s upcoming Stadia, which takes the same idea to gaming. Seems like data centers are the new hotness. Study up, kids.

That all being said. I hate it.

I mean, I’m not opposed to “Cloud Computing”. There are real benefits to being able to access vast arrays of computing or storage resources for cheap. I, myself, have used these kinds of resources for my own needs. It’s great to be able to spin up a machine or two to get something done quickly. Many companies rely on this very resource as part of their core business. I even utilize it for backups, caching and image processing.

Cloud Computing allows for the normalization of the idea that you no longer own your system, and therefore your data. You can now rent your operating system, storage, emai/groupware, office programs, invoicing, website, user directory, etc. Soon, I wouldn’t bee surprised if Microsoft started pushing into Google’s Chromebook territory by offering lightweight systems that just connect to their Azure Virtual Desktop. This is especially dangerous, because they already have a majority of mind share in the consumer desktop market.

These sorts of services are dangerous. You can be cut off at any time, for any number of reasons. Stuff as benign as “bank failed to authorize payment” all the way up to the very serious, Executive Order preventing you from accessing services. Once you’re out that’s it. You don’t have any recourse. All your data is gone. You don’t own any part of the chain, after all. You’re just renting.

This has been a long time coming. Microsoft tested the waters with Office 365, to great success. People balked, at first, at renting Office, but now if you’re not using Office 365 or one of it’s competitors, you’re basically wasting money on licensing, and IT operations time. Now we’re getting virtual desktops. VMWare tried this with some limited success in Horizon, but I think Microsoft is going to sell this well enough that we see companies start to move to it to save money and hassle. Time will tell, though.

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