As a follow-up to my last economic article, this week's Cracked LCD is all about saving money. The internet has helped make buying board games a seperate hobby than actually playing them, and if you pay any attention to some of the other internet sites out there about board gaming you'll see a vertiable celebration of blowing money on board games that are rarely- if ever- played. Collections are venerated based on size rather than quality or frequency of use. People squawk and squawk about what they bought and where, how they spent their entire tax refund at an online store, and those who might say "Hey, I'm kind of tired of buying games" are regarded as sick or confused.
All of this is terrible for the hobby, particularly if you're new to it and do not have access to a large collection of games- you see stories all the time about how someone got into gaming and then blew their inheritance or whatever. The internet makes you want stuff, and credit cards make you able to buy it. That's part of a larger syndrome that has fed the flagging world economy and since immaturity, irresponsibility, and screwed-up priorities are epidemic in the hobby, I thought it'd be good to let the audience over there know that they don't have to spend a fortune to get into board games. You don't have to blow money on crappy games to get to the good ones and you don't have to load up your collection with a bunch of garbage to feel satisfied. In fact, you don't have to spend anything at all.