How the mighty have fallen! I have been steaming along at about 70 games played per month since the middle of 2005. In the month just completed I only recorded 28 plays. Woah, what happened there!?
Well, domestic bliss, for one thing. I used to go out gaming 2 or 3 nights a week. Since the arrival of Scrabblette I have stopped going out on Thursday nights (sorry, CyberKev) because often that is the only evening we have alone together. Scrabblette and I usually play a game that night by ourselves, so assuming I would previously play 3 games on a Thursday night, that's a net loss of 8 games per month. Also Wednesday nights have gone from Book Realm to cards with the CyberKevs (sorry, RealmKeeper), which is another 8 games per month. Critical Mass is untouched - Scrabblette has accepted that Critical Mass is a part of our life.
Also in February I didn't get a chance to go gaming on any weekend - I had a lot of things on. For example, thinking about moving house, trying to get fit by playing squash, and visiting my sick mum. My weekends are crazy busy and I haven't been able to make it to QUGS regularly at all. I hope some of those things will change.
I also played fewer short games in February. In December I played 7 games of Diamant and 5 games of Xe Queo!, not to mention Loopin' Louie and Coda and so on. The only short games played in February were 3 games of Quarto. Everything else was somewhat substantial.
The substantiality is an interesting side effect of spending more time gaming with Scrabblette and less with other people. If I'm going to spend 3 hours on one game I'd rather do it at home in my pyjamas with Scrabblette beside me than in a more traditional gaming setting. In February we played Goa, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, Taj Mahal, Wildwords and St Petersburg, each of which took a couple of hours.
It also seems that I've been playing games that I like more than usual. My stats calculate your average rating for games played in a month, and my average for February was 7.4 compared to 6.8 for December. December's average is down because I played Top 50 games I didn't even expect to like such as Railroad Tycoon and Twilight Imperium 3, but 7.4 is one of my best-rating months ever. As those numbers are not inflated by (for example) 17 games of Quoridor (which I rate a 9), that's a good result.
So was February a bad month for gaming or not? I don't know how to judge these things. I would certainly like opinions on this, as a purveyor of statistics. If I pass up a game of Scrabble (which I rate a 10) for 3 games of Diamant (which I rate a 7, I think), have I made a wise choice? Is it better to play 2 games of Tichu (rated 7) or Trias (10) and Dungeonville (5)? Someone somewhere must have a system for this.
In any case, when I got home last night Scrabblette had Through the Desert waiting on the table for me. What more could a man want?