I have a very strange issue with perceived value in the realm of digital tabletop games and physical tabletop games. Recently, I have found myself selling tabletop games at a fraction of the cost on eBay that have never been opened or played. A part of me feels remorse in having purchased them on the intent of getting them to the table, but overall I accept it as just things that were never meant to be. But that remorse doesn't last long and those other contributing factors (ex: it's a 3+ player game) validate my decision. Granted, these games are in the $40+ range brand new, but I don't feel that bad about it. I've also donated games to the Half Price Books for fractions of fractions of the cost due to the inconvenience of shipping them.
If that's the case, why is it that my brain gives me much more remorse for digital board games that I don't play the crap out of? Meteorfall, for example, was a great iOS deck building game at $2.99. I've played now 10 or so games. If this were an actual physical card game that I spent $10 - $15 on, I would have considered it a successful purchase and would have no qualms letting it go. I would have felt I got my money's worth. But right now, as a digital tabletop game, I feel like I haven't gotten my money's worth at $2.99.
Why is this?
Is there some kind of intrinsic value placed on the actual physical nature of tabletop games that doesn't get added toward the mystical idea of "value" for a digital version? Is it because I didn't actually have to reserve table space, invest 15 minutes of "setting it up", and scheduling actual time to sit at a table to play that the digital version becomes less valuable? Because I can play this in the bathroom or concurrently while watching TV that each time I play it its value is only partially justified? How many times do I have to play the digital version to feel like I got my money's worth? 50? 100? It already costs less than a physical version, surely it must also require fewer games to feel like "I got my money's worth".
Alas, I don't have the answer. Perhaps the ease of access has something to do with it. I didn't actually have to set anything up, so my investment of time is simply loading the app and making sure I've played the tutorial. Or maybe it's less about the perception of value with digital games as it is the exaggerated value I put on physical games. Maybe the issue is I shouldn't feel 10 games of a physical copy is "getting my money's worth".
Whatever the case, I should probably just be happy that I do find myself with time to play games at all. Time spent on playing games should be time well spent. I shouldn't worry so much, in this case, about the difference of dollars.