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Subject: What games should a college library have? rss

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Professor of Pain
United States
St. Joseph
Minnesota
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I'm a professor at a liberal arts college and received an email today asking for my input. As part of our Libraries' student outreach, some library staff are exploring the option of making board games available for check out and possibly hosting a gaming event at the library. I think this is awesome and I have some ideas but I thought I would put this out to the wider BGG community for ideas and advice.

So, what games are must haves, what are possible constraints, and what other considerations should be addressed?

Thanks!
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Oliver Kiley
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I'd start with this as a reference point:

A Brief History of Hobby Boardgaming (WIP)

The above lists a lot of important games over the history of board gaming. If I was putting together a game library for an academic purpose (with a little fun thrown into the fire too!), I'd be selecting games that met some or all of the following criteria:

- Games that played a critical role in design evolution (more on this later) by introducing novel mechanics, methods, techniques and would be beneficial to study from a design standpoint.
- Games that predate the 1900's (classic abstracts) and hence of a long historic legacy to them.
- Classic mainstream games from the early to mid 1950's (e.g. scotland yard, clue, monopoly) - many of these remain mass market games.
- Games that provide some historical insight relative to their given theme. E.G, games that might teach us something about a historic time period or teach technical concepts (economics, engineering, etc.)
- Games from notable designers at the peak of their craft
- Games that are exceptionally popular and well-known (and often referenced as a result)
- I'd pretty much avoid everything in the past five years on principal.

Here we go with some suggestions:

Classic Abstracts
- Go
- Chess
- Backgammon
- Cribbage
- Standard Card Deck + Hoyle book of card games
- Tarot Deck
- Mancala
- Mahjong

Mainstream Staples
- Game of Life
- Scotland Yard
- Monopoly
- Rook (interest historical thing)
- Clue
- Sorry
- Trivial Pursuit
- Risk
- Diplomacy

Proto-Euro Games
- Acquire (Sid Sackson)
- Gamut of Games
- 18xx Train Game (1829, 1830, etc.)
- Journey Through Europe
- Enhanced Forest
- Labyrinth
- Rummikub
- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
- Hare & Tortise (first speiel des jahres winner)

Early Wargames / Thematic Games
- Ogre
- Battletech
- Warhammer (earlier editions)
- Afrika Corps
- Squad Leader
- Stellar Conquest
- HeroQuest (yeah right!)
- Cosmic Encounter
- Iluminati
- Axis & Allies
- Merchants of Venus
- Titan
- Civilization

Modern Abstracts & Card Games
- ZERTZ / DVONN / YINSH
- Ingenious
- Qwirkle
- Set
- Decktet + Decktet Book
- 6 Nimmt
- Wizard

"Modern" Mechanical Landmarks
- Trading: Settlers of Catan, Bohnanza
- Area Majority: El Grande, Small World
- Action Point Allowance: Tikal
- Auctions: Modern Art, Ra
- Tile Placement: Carcassonne, Tigris & Euphrates, Samurai
- Hand Management: Battleline, Lost Cities
- Route Building: Ticket to Ride, Airlines, Tsuro
- Role Selection: Citadels, Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy
- Press Your Luck: Diamant / Incan Gold
- Tableau Building: Princes of Florence
- Worker Placement: Caylus, Agricola
- Deckbuilding: Dominion
- Dice in new ways: Castles of Burgundy
- Drafting: 7 Wonders

Modern War/Historic/Sim Games
- COIN series games (e.g. Andean Abyss)
- Twilight Struggle
- Here I Stand / Virgin Queen
- Paths of Glory
- Block Wargames (Command & Colors?) Hammer of the Scots?
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom
- Through the Ages
- Age of Steam / Brass
- A Few Acres of Snow
- CO2 (also for semi-cooperative context)
- Evolution
- Innovation

Modern Thematic Landmarks
- Twilight Imperium
- Eclipse
- Arkham Horror
- Risk: Legacy
- Mage Knight
- Dominant Species
- Battlestar Galactica
- War of the Ring
- Tales of Arabian Knights

Modern "Social" games
- Looney Pyramids
- Fluxx
- Munchkin
- Pandemic (coop)
- Forbidden Island
- Werewolf
- Apples to Apples (CAH)
- Dixit
- Hanabi
- Love Letter/ Coup
- Wits & Wagers
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maf man
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any and all games they can get
start with party/family games and gateway games
the only constraint I can think of would be no legacy games

What I think is most important is to have the person buying the games be able to do what your doing now, research board games and not just assume monopoly and battleship.
Having a decent collection and for it to be introduced by someone who cares about finding good games and games for all. We may hate on Cards Against Humanity but its needed at a college.
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Kiai Weidemann
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Austin
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Game Piece Management is a key issue. Nothing destroys a game experience faster then opening a box to find a horrible mess inside. Make sure you include baggies in the games to group pieces. You might want to have some hair bands to hold cards and possible large bands the hold the boxes while they are moved around.

You would want to have a good supply of the what are often called the gateway games. things like:
Catan
Ticket to Ride
7 Wonders

If you plan big events you might want some big group games like:
Ca$h 'n Gun$
One Night Ultimate Werewolf


And I think you might want a nice supply of good two player games. I do not know many of those, but I think you would want some.
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Professor of Pain
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Mezmorki wrote:
I'd start with this as a reference point:

A Brief History of Hobby Boardgaming (WIP)

The above lists a lot of important games over the history of board gaming. If I was putting together a game library for an academic purpose (with a little fun thrown into the fire too!), I'd be selecting games that met some or all of the following criteria:

Well, I don't know the exact intent at this point (I'm meeting with the librarian tomorrow) but I don't think the primary purpose is academic. That does make me think of games with teachable content that might model real-world systems or events, however, such as Twilight Struggle, Evolution or CO₂.
 
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Oliver Kiley
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Elfbane wrote:
Mezmorki wrote:
I'd start with this as a reference point:

A Brief History of Hobby Boardgaming (WIP)

The above lists a lot of important games over the history of board gaming. If I was putting together a game library for an academic purpose (with a little fun thrown into the fire too!), I'd be selecting games that met some or all of the following criteria:

Well, I don't know the exact intent at this point (I'm meeting with the librarian tomorrow) but I don't think the primary purpose is academic. That does make me think of games with teachable content that might model real-world systems or events, however, such as Twilight Struggle, Evolution or CO₂.


I updated my prior post with a big list of games broken into some rough/loose categories to mull over
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James Wahl
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Mezmorki wrote:
I'd start with this as a reference point:

A Brief History of Hobby Boardgaming (WIP)

The above lists a lot of important games over the history of board gaming. If I was putting together a game library for an academic purpose (with a little fun thrown into the fire too!), I'd be selecting games that met some or all of the following criteria:

- Games that played a critical role in design evolution (more on this later) by introducing novel mechanics, methods, techniques and would be beneficial to study from a design standpoint.
- Games that predate the 1900's (classic abstracts) and hence of a long historic legacy to them.
- Classic mainstream games from the early to mid 1950's (e.g. scotland yard, clue, monopoly) - many of these remain mass market games.
- Games that provide some historical insight relative to their given theme. E.G, games that might teach us something about a historic time period or teach technical concepts (economics, engineering, etc.)
- Games from notable designers at the peak of their craft
- Games that are exceptionally popular and well-known (and often referenced as a result)
- I'd pretty much avoid everything in the past five years on principal.

Here we go with some suggestions:

[...]


Absurdly good list, and could probably be pulled off for around $3K.
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Andrew J.
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Missouri
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pharmakon wrote:
Mezmorki wrote:
I'd start with this as a reference point:

A Brief History of Hobby Boardgaming (WIP)

The above lists a lot of important games over the history of board gaming. If I was putting together a game library for an academic purpose (with a little fun thrown into the fire too!), I'd be selecting games that met some or all of the following criteria:

- Games that played a critical role in design evolution (more on this later) by introducing novel mechanics, methods, techniques and would be beneficial to study from a design standpoint.
- Games that predate the 1900's (classic abstracts) and hence of a long historic legacy to them.
- Classic mainstream games from the early to mid 1950's (e.g. scotland yard, clue, monopoly) - many of these remain mass market games.
- Games that provide some historical insight relative to their given theme. E.G, games that might teach us something about a historic time period or teach technical concepts (economics, engineering, etc.)
- Games from notable designers at the peak of their craft
- Games that are exceptionally popular and well-known (and often referenced as a result)
- I'd pretty much avoid everything in the past five years on principal.

Here we go with some suggestions:

[...]


Absurdly good list, and could probably be pulled off for around $3K.


Yeah, start with this list and come back when you're done. This is phenomenal (actually a good look for my own collection, to boot!)
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J.L. Waz
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the one left off the list...twister every university needs a copy

Seriously though great list
I would add
Splendor
1775: Rebellion
Liberty or death: the American insurrection
A distant Plain
Ticket to ride
Machi Koro
some form of love letter

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Zsolt Lengyel
Hungary
Budapest
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My bet would be mostly around easy to medium weight games, like the followings are:
-Catan
-Carcassonne
-Pandemic
-Splendor
-Ticket To Ride
-Dominion
-7 Wonders
-Love Letter
-Stone Age
-The Castles of Burgundy
-Power Grid
-Tikal
-Istanbul
-Tichu
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