Hey hey. 2018 is officially over! I hope the year was a particularly lovely one for you – filled with heath, love, and, of course, games! In 2018 I participated in my first-ever 10X10 challenge…(learn more about the concept here and see my 2018 picks here). It did not go well… For several reasons. The foremost being that I did not maintain it well. I do not normally track my plays and didn’t really get into the habit of doing so for the games I’d chosen for my challenge. This was my biggest reason for failing; I know I played several of the games on my 10X10 more than the necessary 10 times to fulfill my commitment, but I didn’t actually log the plays. Then I felt like I was cheating if I recorded plays of which I couldn’t be absolutely 100% sure…
I felt the pressure of maintaining something extraneous just to force myself to play games I wanted to play more often. And because I didn’t want to extract myself from the experience at hand or lessen it for someone else (my fellow players) I didn’t track my plays nearly as often as I needed to in order to keep up with the maintenance of the challenge. This began to create a feeling of tension as unrecorded plays slipped by, each one a missed opportunity to put a check in a box. This was not fun.
Another disappointment was the shattered illusion that a 10X10 challenge would increase my plays with friends or promote deeper relationships as we dove deeply into a particular game together. Several friends and I worked together on our lists, specifically choosing several titles which we agreed to play together; we would help each other by playing games we shared on our lists. This didn’t actually happen and many of my friends felt pressure to finish their challenges, rushing to fit in the last few games they needed or cramming “undesired” games into whatever available time there was to play – I mean undesired here in a particular sense – instead of playing what they wanted to or were excited about, they played what they had to in order to complete their challenge. I was not willing to do this and this was the second reason I failed.
As I considered my failure I thought I would not participate in another 10X10 challenge; doing one was not fun or interesting to me in any way and was more work than I was willing to do. Then my husband bought me a lovely, personalized 10X10 tracker for my birthday (pictured below)…so I reconsidered. Maybe I would do better, knowing what I know now. Maybe I could complete a challenge if I reduced it (5X5). Maybe I should have chosen different games, ones I could more naturally get to the table. In the end I decided to try again, but differently. I’ll be discussing my 2019 5X5 on SOCMOM and Friends this Wednesday – tune in for my picks and those of my co-host and husband, Nic Trager.
In the end I was disappointed by my initial experience but am pleased that I did not give up. I hope that 2019 will be an exciting year filled with fun and games and I hope that my 5X5 helps facilitate this! Will you be participating in any challenges in 2019? What games are you looking forward to diving into?