Thursday, May 20, 2010

BoardgameGeek: always good for laughs

So it looks as if BoardgameGeek's relentless quest to turn every single aspect of gaming into a piece of quantifiable data has reached another milestone. In addition to the ongoing controversial attempt to marginalize all games that aren't brown-cube-shuffling, penguin-moving, bishop-influencing Euros, the site now features rankings broken down by mechanics. Jesus wept.

So did you know that Cosmic Encounter is, apparently, the 13th-best theme-driven game ev-AR? Did you realize that CE was, in fact, "theme-driven"? Yeah, neither did I.

That place is a real head-shaker, I swear. So much data ... so little thought.
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18 comments:

Fiddler (retired) said...

That's nothing compared to the awful direction the BGG Cosmic forum commentary has taken in the last couple of months. Think it's over for me and face-to-face CE

TheDukester said...

I feel your pain, Fid. I haven't been real thrilled with it, either.

My BGG participation is probably down about 80 to 90 percent compared to two years ago. The place makes me angry every time I visit.

Hell with 'em.

pgocosmic said...

Tell me more? What is the issue? BTW from MY perspective the design of Cosmic was totally driven in my mind by science fiction as a 'theme'. The thing that I wanted to do was to create a social interaction that allowed people to be surprised and befuddled at the possibility of what would happen if strange beings interacted with one another.Not sure about Bill and Jack - but that was my view.

pgocosmic said...

Speaking of BBG...
Best board game ever invented Cosmic Encounter:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/528100/bending-the-rules-of-time-and-space

The Warp said...

There are certainly people that care a lot about the theme of a game, and a ranking structure is at least some way to get exposure for games that people find rich in theme. It's not really an unusual concept or whacked out element. If they had a "how sexy is a game?" or "mood ring rating", that would be too much of a muchness. The other stuff is still pretty apropos of gaming and gamers.

TheDukester said...

But what's a "thematic" game? They can't even decide themselves -- the sheer number of threads with people screeching at each other over this subject is evidence enough of that.

The "sub-domains" (I think that's what they are calling them) appear to be nothing more than another data point right now. No one is posting anything in them (other than the above-mentioned arguments). Which isn't the end of the world, by any means; I just wish they'd ADMIT it's another data-gathering tool instead of continually trying to fool everyone with their "BGG is a community" nonsense.

The Warp said...

Duke, it really saddens me to hear your experiences with BGG have been so negative. For me, I've had a lot of great time spent on the site- plenty of interesting discussions. Indeed, I've had a true "community" experience from it. I am deeply involved in a community of DIY gamers, and custom expansion creators (not just for CE, but with games like Pandemic, Galaxy Trucker, Ghost Stories, even Dune). I get a lot of value out of the site. I agree that there's no shortage of screwheads on the site, but I find it easy to tune out most of the "Agricola is better than Puerto Rico" and "Does anyone else hate it when people take too long on their turn" discussions. As to the value of "Thematic" ranking- I can say that when I clicked on it, I saw a few games that are rated highly this way that I've been curious to play, and it's helpful for me to decide what to get next. I tend to buy some games having never played them just because they're highly regarded by a lot of people (and some people whose opinion I have come to trust, purely from interacting with them on BGG). It's not that greatest feature ever, not the worst I expect. If a small group of people can get value out of it, it seems like it's probably worthwhile to me. Afterall, the site serves many purposes, and it's probably no effort to enable a feature like this. :)

TheDukester said...

A lot if it is my own fault, to be fair.

In the old days, I'd see a "Puerto Rico is better than Dune!" or "Cosmic Encounter is too random!" thread, and I'd just have to get mixed up in it. That's just too much exposure to propeller-heads, career middle managers, angry passive-aggressive drones, and anal-retentive numbers freaks. Then I'd say something witty and the banning would follow. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Now, I (mostly) avoid that. I like the individual game pages, and I've found them to be a better experience than the general forums.

It's a GREAT database; no argument there. But I wish the management would crack down on some of the power-users. There's a core group of about 60 users there that are more or less a shadow government.

TheDukester said...

Oh, and speaking of DIY, Jack: I just posted about Dune Express. FANTASTIC little game.

The Warp said...

Yeah, I have played it now, I do like it. I have to dig up all of the custom Dune stuff I created many years ago... having trouble tracking it down, and it's starting to dismay me.

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