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Subject: Why do you play games you've never played before? rss

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Ben Kyo
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This is prompted by a friend's observation that I am in a very small minority of gamers, in that I always want to play the same 10~20 complex games over and over again. I look to master games, and hope to find other people willing to put the time in to do the same.

Now, at the time I responded that the majority of gamers do stick to one or two games all their life - chess, go, shogi, xiang qi... - so I'm not really that unusual, but it did strike me that among the ~50 or so local gamers I am definitely in a minority. I'm not sure where the local CCG and LCG gamers fit in, because they do tend to devote themselves to one or two games, but those games are constantly changing...

Anyway, you might want to select more than one option, but I'm looking for just your primary motivation.

Poll: What's the main reason you play games you've never played before?
To play new games
To find games worth spending a lot of time on
To find games worth buying
Everyone else only plays new games
The game doesn't matter so much, it's the company that counts
I haven't played that many games yet so...
I review games
Some other reason
      405 answers
Poll created by Benkyo
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Derry Salewski
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"Because someone who's opinion I trust/I like wants to play it."

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Kathleen Nugent
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Because I'm not the host at some game groups and have to play what someone else suggests. Sometimes that first play is enough to make me want to own that game, but more often than not, I'm happy to have been introduced to it and that's enough.

When I'm playing with one of my two regular gaming partners, we seldom play a new game, though sometimes I'm teaching one of them a game I learned elsewhere, liked, and bought.
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Trevor
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New experiences
New ways to have fun
Different mechanics for different levels of enjoyment
Variable player counts
Different types of players in different situations (casual? family? hardcore? social? party?)
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Ben Kyo
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scifiantihero wrote:
"Because someone who's opinion I trust/I like wants to play it."


Ah yes, I should have made the "it's the company that counts" category much more inclusive. Feel free to put any answers like this in that section, even if you want to get across the concept that you do care about the quality of the game too.

"Someone asked me to" has to be a pretty common answer.
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Ben Kyo
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Trevor03 wrote:
New experiences
New ways to have fun
Different mechanics for different levels of enjoyment
Variable player counts
Different types of players in different situations (casual? family? hardcore? social? party?)

So, in other words, "to play new games", right? I deliberately phrased that answer to be as broad as possible. Perhaps I should clarify that I meant "new to me" rather than "recently published".
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Kyle
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To see if there is anything interesting or if note in the game.
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Max Power
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I play new games because people ask me too and because its a natural extension of having so many choices available to us. I'm constantly in the mindset that there is a better game out there that I could be missing out on.

I'm also very interested in designing games and so keeping up with popular and novel mechanics helps give me insight into my own designs.
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Drew
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It is fun to try new games.
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Bryan Thunkd
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I enjoy variety.
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Michael Schroeder
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New experiences. Playing a game over and over again to master it sounds not so much the same type of experience.
 
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April W
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The same reason I try new foods and visit new places- for the experience! I enjoy discovering new things. Now, I also enjoy replaying the games that I like, and when buying a new game I'm looking for something with high replayability.
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Leo Zappa
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I like to explore. I like to seek new worlds to conquer! Playing a game over and over again to master it has never appealed to me at all. I want the wonder of playing a game for the first time, and then after a few more plays, move on to the next adventure. I do return to old favorites some times, but I definitely like to try new things even more.

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Brad Miller
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1) Because I thrifted it. (City Square Off)

2) Because I just bought it. (Hands in the Sea)

3) Because I think the family would enjoy it.(Codenames)

Edit: See Also: CULT OF THE NEW!!!!
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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Benkyo wrote:
This is prompted by a friend's observation that I am in a very small minority of gamers, in that I always want to play the same highly complex games over and over again. I look to master games, and hope to find other people willing to put the time in to do the same.

Now, at the time I responded that the majority of gamers do stick to one or two games all their life - chess, go, shogi, xiang qi... - so I'm not really that unusual, but it did strike me that among the ~50 or so local gamers I am definitely in a minority.

It occurs to me that one reason why so many players out there in the non geek world stick to one game is that these players aren't aware of the all the games that are out there.

For example, a buddy of mine plays chess. He's not fantastic, but it's the game he likes. Recently he asked me about the games I play. Clearly, even though he's known me a long time, he still thinks of them as sorta jumped up Monopoly. Why would I want to play games like that, so filled with luck, instead of chess? He also didn't know about Shogi or Xiangqi. I think he's pretty typical. Most people have a limited understanding of games outside their own experience.

In this geek world, however, we are all aware that there are LOTS of really good games to choose from. For that reason, many of us like to jump around and try different games that scratch different itches.

Of course, there are those folks who, even if they know about the lots of games, still prefer to focus on one or a few. There's a lot to be gained from exploring a game deeply, exploring its nuances.

You can also do both. You can explore one game deeply (Go, Shogi) and still spend a fair bit of time exploring others.

Just some thoughts.
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Brad Miller
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Lots of people play the same games because they really can't be bothered learning "all these rules"...

Most folks aren't like us. They don't read rule books in the bathtub. They see games as silly kids stuff diversions. And they're too cool for boardgames. They don't know about this vast world because they don't really care about it.

Yet. laugh
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J J
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Two reasons:

1 - because my friends keep buying new games.

2 - because a game will grab my attention somehow, and make me interested in playing it. Happens less and less these days, as I look less and less.

But mostly I enjoy playing the games I already have. I don't need new games. If something quite interesting should come along and insert itself into my notice (like Barony and Istanbul recently), then fine, I'll go there. But I am no longer actively seeking new stuff.

Newness has no inherent value to me, and I loathe the way new games are often presented: "hey, look what I bought, let's unwrap it, punch it, and play!".
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Tim O
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I study, practice, and appreciate game design, so I enjoy seeing new concepts and mechanics.
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Ben Kyo
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skutsch wrote:
In this geek world, however, we are all aware that there are LOTS of really good games to choose from. For that reason, many of us like to jump around and try different games that scratch different itches.

Of course, there are those folks who, even if they know about the lots of games, still prefer to focus on one or a few. There's a lot to be gained from exploring a game deeply, exploring its nuances.

You can also do both. You can explore one game deeply (Go, Shogi) and still spend a fair bit of time exploring others.

Surely though, there are only so many different kinds of itches to scratch? I have noticed though, that for the majority of gamers in our hobby, the itch that needs scratching the most is the need to explore new games.

I do both, because sometimes I find a community or even just one other player that allows me to get deep into a game (Twilight Struggle, Mage Knight, Through the Ages, Go...) but more often than not I don't, and so I get taught another game. Learning a new game is alright, but I do see the first game (or even first few games) as an investment towards the point where I can enjoy the game "properly". Learning a new game while knowing that there's a good chance I'll never get to play it again only pays off in the sense of enjoying killing time with friends... not a bad thing, by any means, but not as satisfying as gearing up towards a real competition.

I do enjoy it when someone is sufficiently invested in a game that they can thrash me at it, and, if the game is interesting enough, I enjoy trying to drag myself up to their level. I think Eclipse might be the most recent example of that (although I'm not 100% sold on it yet), and that's how I got into Twilight Struggle. This seems quite rare among geek gamers, where most people (in my experience) want to have a shot at winning, and/or a relatively even playing field, but very common among chess/go/shogi players, where playing against a superior opponent is usually seen as the best way to learn. Of course, you could just define that as a difference in preference between abstract and non-abstract gamers, but I also love thematic games and random elements...
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James Lautermilch
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For the same reason I don't eat steak and potatoes every day. For the same reason I don't drink apple cider every day. For the same reason I don't watch Saving Private Ryan every day. For the same reason I don't listen to Jazz every day. Need I go on?
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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Benkyo wrote:
skutsch wrote:
In this geek world, however, we are all aware that there are LOTS of really good games to choose from. For that reason, many of us like to jump around and try different games that scratch different itches.

Of course, there are those folks who, even if they know about the lots of games, still prefer to focus on one or a few. There's a lot to be gained from exploring a game deeply, exploring its nuances.

You can also do both. You can explore one game deeply (Go, Shogi) and still spend a fair bit of time exploring others.

Surely though, there are only so many different kinds of itches to scratch? I have noticed though, that for the majority of gamers in our hobby, the itch that needs scratching the most is the need to explore new games.

I do both, because sometimes I find a community or even just one other player that allows me to get deep into a game (Twilight Struggle, Mage Knight, Through the Ages, Go...) but more often than not I don't, and so I get taught another game. Learning a new game is alright, but I do see the first game (or even first few games) as an investment towards the point where I can enjoy the game "properly". Learning a new game while knowing that there's a good chance I'll never get to play it again only pays off in the sense of enjoying killing time with friends... not a bad thing, by any means, but not as satisfying as gearing up towards a real competition.

I do enjoy it when someone is sufficiently invested in a game that they can thrash me at it, and, if the game is interesting enough, I enjoy trying to drag myself up to their level. I think Eclipse might be the most recent example of that (although I'm not 100% sold on it yet), and that's how I got into Twilight Struggle. This seems quite rare among geek gamers, where most people (in my experience) want to have a shot at winning, and/or a relatively even playing field, but very common among chess/go/shogi players, where playing against a superior opponent is usually seen as the best way to learn. Of course, you could just define that as a difference in preference between abstract and non-abstract gamers, but I also love thematic games and random elements...

I dunno, I think there there are a LOT of itches. Looking at my top games...
Sekigahara: hidden movement bluffing press your luck wargame, very thematic.
Innovation: very tactical card game, the number of ways to win are almost as many as the cards, managing chaos.
The Gallerist: complex Euro, lots of levers to pull, options to take, that affect other levers, elegant theme
Agricola: Classic worker placement, higher tension than most (better not starve!)
Forbidden Stars: Ameritrash dudes on a map, card based combat, command system that allows for bluffing and careful calculations overturned
CO2: Semi-coop, you snooze, you all lose, but lots of euro mechanics
Concordia: Smooth as silk trading in the Mediterranean, the key mechanic is managing your cards that are your actions AND your victory points.
Polis Fight for the Hegemony: Knife in a phone booth euro wargame. Constant nasty struggle for resources. Seems so much friendlier than Forbidden Stars, until you find yourself utterly paralyzed and your opponent quietly smiling.
Tammany Hall: Area control political euroish game but with lots of theme, lots of pound the leader.
Food Chain Magnate: Brutal capitalist struggle. Make the wrong move and be completely dominated.

I would say the only ones of these that are at all similar are CO2 and the Gallerist (not surprising, as they are by the same designer). Very different itches.

Now all that said, I also like focussing in on one game. I used to focus on one game a lot more than than I do now. Back in the day, game after game of A House Divided or Victory Games Civil War or Columbia Games EastFront. All 3 were deserving of study (although A House Divided was on the lighter side) and the guys I played against were getting better just as I was getting better. Lots of fun, lots of great memories.

I don't see anything wrong with either approach. Cover a lot of games, focus on a few, or do a bit of both.
 
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Andrew J.
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I'm still pretty new to gaming (about a year in) so I enjoy learning new types of games and figuring out a new mechanic. I do play my favorite games more than other games (Glory to Rome, Escape, etc) but I'm also often eager to find something new that will be interesting. Mostly, I'm trying to assemble about 50-ish games that hit a pretty broad gamut, so that I'll have something for everyone at our game nights.

I also enjoy the collecting aspect (this is a big one for a lot of people) and the process of learning a new system in a game. These are both motivations to try out a new game.
 
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Jason Sadler
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I prefer the experience of sticking with the same games for long periods of repeated play. I buy new games to find out what those games will be.
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Ben Kyo
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skutsch wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
Surely though, there are only so many different kinds of itches to scratch?

I dunno, I think there there are a LOT of itches. Looking at my top games...

...

I don't see anything wrong with either approach. Cover a lot of games, focus on a few, or do a bit of both.

That's a remarkably short list to try and describe a LOT of itches. Is 100 games enough to cover all the bases? 500? (excluding those itches that can only be satisfied by new games). I think about 50 is sufficient for myself.

I'm not saying anything is wrong with any approach. I might sound like I'm trying to argue that mine is best, but that's not my intent. I mean, obviously it's best for me, because otherwise I'd be doing something different, but there's no reason that should apply to anyone else.

I'm actually most surprised at the 3:1 ratio between the first two answers. In our local community the ratio seems to be more like 10:1 or greater.
 
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Larry Nyquist
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I like to play all types of light to medium weight games. I like to have variety and have several different games with different mechanics. I also play a lot of them solo if no other players are available. Playing just one particular game would be very boring to me.
 
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