Is Being a Completionist Good or Bad?

The more I delve into the hobby of board gaming, the more I find that a lot of gamers are completionists when it comes to their gaming collections. Now, completionism isn’t just for board gaming, it happens with books and movies and other nerdy hobbies as well. But it is a trend that most recently came to my attention because of board games.

What is Completionism or Being a Completionist?

I think it’s best that we start by nailing down our premise. Completionism is the desire or drive to have everything of something. Growing up, I tried to complete sets of baseball cards, people need complete series of books or movies, or all of a television show. For board games, some people want all the games by a certain designer or in a certain series of games. For example, Marvel Champions, people get everything for that.

Is Being a Completionist Good or Bad?

I’m going to give a bit of a non-answer here. The answer can be that it’s good sometimes and bad other times. Having all of Marvel Champions, for example, isn’t extremely expensive and it brings me joy. Having all of the Dresden Files books means that I can easily read them whenever I want. Having all of the Star Wars movies means that I can suffer through the prequels if I really want, but more so, it means that I can watch the whole series whenever I want. Having all of Marvel Champions or Dice Throne means that I can play with whatever characters I want.

However, there can be bad sides of this as well. For Marvel Champions, I have all of the base material for it. However, there are promos for it that I don’t have. And for me, I do not care that I don’t have them. But other people to truly complete their collection will go out of their way to pick them up at a premium. When a board game YouTube channel runs a Kickstarter for future years and has a promo for Dice Throne in it, Man Vs Meeple had one, people will back promos they don’t need. For books, people will need all of their Harry Potter, Dresden Files or other series to all be identical. So there can be an obsessive side of being a completionist that is not as good.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

How Do You Balance It?

And I really do think this is what people need to think about if they are a completionist, how do you balance it. You can’t ever have a complete collection or books or board games or movies, there are too many different ones in the world. And some things are extremely hard to find There are board games that are rare that might be part of a series or certain promo cards or game editions that might be hard to find that will cost hundreds of dollars if not more. Books can be even worse if someone has started a collection of first editions for a book series.

I try and take the approach of collecting all of a few things. For example, I talked about Dresden Files. I have all the books in that series and I have all the Harry Potter books and all of the Stormlight Archive thus far. Those book series, one of which is completed, are the series that I want all of, and I know that. However, I want all of them, I do not need them all to be the same. I have two different types of paperbacks for The Dresden Files and some of them in hardback as well. For Marvel Champions, I have all the regular cards for it, and that’s enough of a complete collection. I say that I have the complete game play collection for it, I don’t have all the extra fancy pieces. With those as well, I’ve read all of the Dresden Files books I own at least twice, and I’ve played Marvel Champions six or seven times. I want my collections that I am completing to be things I actually use.

What To Ask Yourself

So, to wrap this up here, I think that being a completionist is fine, as long as it doesn’t have to be for everything. I have 3 Ascension games/expansions, I don’t need all twenty of them or however many there are, because while I like the game a lot and I might get more, I will never need or use it all. So ask yourself a few questions as you find yourself having the urge to complete a collection.

Will I use it? I touched on this in the other section, but I’ve read all of Harry Potter and The Dresden Files multiple times from the copies that I own. I have played Marvel Champions a handful of times, sure there’s lots I haven’t played in it, but I’m still using it.

Am I fine with it not being perfect? This is I think the bigger danger zone than the other question, but I think that one is still important. I have complete collections of things, like I mentioned as well, but they aren’t perfect collections. I don’t have all the promo cards for Dice Throne or Marvel Champions, my book series don’t all look identical. And that is 100% fine with me. I will be concerned, for myself, if I start to have certain standards for how the collection must be complete.

I am curious, do you find yourself being a completionist? Do you have to have it be perfect or what are your standards? What do you find yourself needing or wanting to have all of?

Email us at
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.
Support us on Patreon here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.