We'll be back after these messages

If you are a regular reader of polyhedroncollider.com or a regular listener to the Polyhedron Collider Cast you may have noticed a downturn in our output over the last few months. The good news is that we fully intend to continue with the podcast, albeit at a slower pace. The bad news, however, is that I am seriously considering either taking a hiatus from creating written reviews or maybe even stopping completely. Either way I think you deserve an explanation.

The last twelve months have been a bit odd. My wife and I moved house to be closer to my wife's work and it subsequently placed me an hour’s drive away from my regular gaming groups. This on its own wouldn't be so bad, but I already commute for 3 hours of my day, so spending another two of them also driving is not appealing. We have moved to a small town in the Cotswolds and although I have found a gaming group in Stratford upon Avon it didn't really gel with me. This has basically destroyed my gaming time, I have gone from two to three board game sessions, and one RPG session a week, to two or three gaming sessions a month. Which makes it very difficult to review games.

Then there is my enthusiasm for writing reviews, and here I feel I may be suffering from the dreaded reviewer burnout. I feel as if over the last twelve months I burnt through all of my 'board game media fuel' at the UK Games Expo and since then I have been drained of energy. I'm just not enjoying writing reviews at the moment, a problem that seems to be exasperated by mediocre Kickstarter games, tight deadlines and a realisation that with a full-time job and 3 hours of commute I just don't have much free time.

Finally, and this one is the hardest to explain, I'm finding it difficult relate to board game media in general. There are a lot of us around, the barrier to entry is extremely low and so there is massive competition for views and review copies. In the past I have always chased pageviews in the hope that it means we can get hold of a review copy of a game but it was a video by Undead Viking that made me realise that I can't keep this up. I have a full-time job that I both enjoy and it pays really well, and so I am never going to give that up to pursue board game reviews and so trying to compete is both fruitless and unhealthy.

There is also a weird trend I am seeing in board game reviews, that can best be described as a celebration of mediocrity. Some of the reviewer forums and Facebook groups strongly encourage that reviews should never be negative and should always be balanced. Subsequently I am seeing people being applauded for bland reviews and the writers of such mediocrity touting themselves as review experts and it's making me irrationally angry. Again, that's not healthy.

The podcast though is a different affair. The aim of the Polyhedron Collider Cast was to make a podcast that felt like three friends having a chat in the pub about games (and other nonsense). We’ve had a few hiccups along the way, such as poor audio quality, Libsyn removing a third of our numbers due to a "re-calculation" and complaints about our language but I feel as if I have achieved what I set out to create and the feedback from people we bumped into at the UK Games Expo was wonderful. We love meeting everyone and chatting on Facebook, twitter and the BGG guild. And yes, how we talk on the podcast is how we talk in real life, though I think in reality I actually insult Andy more than I do on the show.

So where does that leave us with written reviews. Well they aren't going away completely, not yet. But I am going to be carefully considering which games we accept to review in the future and reducing the number of Kickstarter reviews we do in favour of published games.

Thanks for reading

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