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Subject: Third "most popular" board game in the world? rss

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Ben Draper
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So, I was at a pub trivia event last night, and this was one of the questions:

After Chess and Checkers, what is the most popular board game in the world?

Of course, there are multiple ways this could be interpreted: most people who play it, most units sold, highest ranking on BGG, etc.

I assumed that the question was asking about the most people who play the game, and convinced my team to guess Go. The correct answer, according to the answer guy, was Monopoly. I did a quick Google search on my phone (after the fact, I wasn't cheating), and the only information I could find was a couple of "Top 20 board games of all time" lists on random websites, which supported his answer. Of course, this may have been where he got the question in the first place, begging the question.


Does anyone have any idea of the actual answer to this question?
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Ian Toltz
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I'd be surprised if Go isn't played more frequently than Monopoly. I actually suspect Go's probably the most played game in the world.
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Liam Liam
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Yup seems highly dubious. I'd expect Go to be played more often than Chess or Checkers. The number one selling board game, with easy to gather stats would clearly be Monopoly.

I'd also expect to see Mahjong and Backgammon in the top 5.
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Dan Bradshaw
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I'm not sure this is even answerable, because it depends so much on what is meant by "popular" in this context. Most owned? Most played? Top score on BGG?

I would concur that the top two would likely be chess and go, but with nothing to back that up.
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Paul DeStefano
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Asmor wrote:
I'd be surprised if Go isn't played more frequently than Monopoly. I actually suspect Go's probably the most played game in the world.


Popular is defined as 'most held by the populace'... Most played.

That would clearly put Go in first place.

I'd also think Chinese Chess is way up there too.
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Michael Carter
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I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.
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Sven Teuber
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I think "most popular" is not the same as "most played". It's about people who "know" (have heard of) a specific game, but haven't necessarily played that game. This includes "non-boardgamers" - there are plenty of people who don't know the rules for chess, never have played chess, but do know that this is a game and has something to do with a king and a board made of black and white squares.

Go, on the other hand, while popular in Asia, is not exactly common knowledge in western countries. Show someone who's not a boardgamegeek a chess board, and he will say "chess". Show them a Go board, chances are they can't relate.

As for Monopoly, I don't know how "common" it is in non-western cultures. I'd assume that it is the 3rd most popular game in the western world. (And what about Pachisi, by the way?). In Asia... different matter?

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Mark L
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I would imagine that "most popular" in this context means "sold the most copies". In that case, it probably is Monopoly, at least as far as actual figures could be found. All those versions, all those countries...

It's certainly possible that Go has sold more copies in reality. But it's existed since long before modern copyright, and is presumably most popular in China, so accurate figures are probably hard to come by.

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Paul DeStefano
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mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


However, there are 1.3 billion people in China and Go is taught from kindergarden on up.

The thread clearly states "in the world".
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Alberto Segura
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Very difficult issue. There is a lot of facts to have in mind to find an adequate answer, I guess there's people playing Go since 3000 years, but never was so many people in the world as today. Probably there's more people playing Monopoly right now around the world than people has played Go through the history...

I think this question should be bounded by centuries or decades or any criteria. Boardgames from diferent ages can't be compared this way.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


I can't tell if you are trolling. Go is definitely at least number 3. It might be number 2.
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Blorb Plorbst
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I've been told that Carrom is the most popular boardgame in the world mostly due to its prevalence in the Indian Subcontinent.
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Simon DeSmet
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Chinese Chess ism probably the most popular game in the world. Most of Asia plays it. Chinese people play it a lot.

I put chess in second,

then if we accept card games; poker.

If we don't accept card games Mahjongg or Checkers


Go is massively popular in Japan, and more middling in Korea and China (compared with the popularity of Chinese chess or Mahjongg). Go doesn't appear to be that big in europe, i don't know about state side.
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Michael Carter
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Geosphere wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


However, there are 1.3 billion people in China and Go is taught from kindergarden on up.

The thread clearly states "in the world".


But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.
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Mark L
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xipuloxx wrote:
I would imagine that "most popular" in this context means "sold the most copies".


Actually, it occurs to me that it might even mean "sold the most copies in the last year" -- i.e it's the most popular board game right now (at least in terms of purchases).

I have to say that I think it's a bad question -- too ambiguous. I've run pub quizzes (well, table quizzes, but same thing), and I always made an effort to eliminate ambiguity from the questions. I was also always happy to clarify them if asked (within reason)*.



*Unfortunately, this can backfire. Once I asked "What is the sixth largest object in the solar system?" and someone asked "Do you mean object, or planet?"-- which ruined my trap for the unwary, because I'd hoped some people would just count the planets and forget about the sun!

shake

(The answer is
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Earth
btw!)
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Tucker Taylor
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mlcarter815 wrote:
But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.

"I don't understand how Nixon got elected. Nobody I know voted for him."
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Matt Brown
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mlcarter815 wrote:
But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.


Add in other Asian countries. You are seriously looking at this from a US only point of view.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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mlcarter815 wrote:
But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.

But, er, in population terms, China is more of the entire world than the US is, and certainly more than all of your friends and family.

ETA: Can this be real? Are we getting trolled?
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S. Turner
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


However, there are 1.3 billion people in China and Go is taught from kindergarden on up.

The thread clearly states "in the world".


But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.


Just because 300 million Americans haven't heard of something doesn't mean that it isn't popular among 1.3 billion Chinese. If only 1/4 of the Chinese play it, that is still more than the total number of Americans.
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Geoff Burkman
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Bert37 wrote:
Very difficult issue. There is a lot of facts to have in mind to find an adequate answer, I guess there's people playing Go since 3000 years, but never was so many people in the world as today. Probably there's more people playing Monopoly right now around the world than people has played Go through the history...


Very unlikely. You're discounting a rather large Chinese population, and perhaps also suffering from the common misconception that there are more human beings alive today than have lived in all previous history, which is remarkably wrong. Someone can berate me if I'm wrong, but last I read, something on the order of 100 billion human beings have been born members of the species homo sapiens since our obnoxious species has been around.* That and the fact that Go has been around far longer than Monopoly tells us that Go players past and present far, far outnumber Monopoly players.







*And undoubtedly a few who couldn't quite qualify, even now
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Alberto Segura
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sturner wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


However, there are 1.3 billion people in China and Go is taught from kindergarden on up.

The thread clearly states "in the world".


But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.


Just because 300 million Americans haven't heard of something doesn't mean that it isn't popular among 1.3 billion Chinese. If only 1/4 of the Chinese play it, that is still more than the total number of Americans.


I guess there's currently more chinese people playing Monopoly than Go laugh

Anyway, it's a good match to know which one has been more played worldwide: Monopoly in a century or Go since 1.000 BC
 
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Alberto Segura
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MisterG wrote:

Very unlikely. You're discounting a rather large Chinese population, and perhaps also suffering from the common misconception that there are more human beings alive today than have lived in all previous history, which is remarkably wrong. Someone can berate me if I'm wrong, but last I read, something on the order of 100 billion human beings have been born members of the species homo sapiens since our obnoxious species has been around.* That and the fact that Go has been around far longer than Monopoly tells us that Go players past and present far, far outnumber Monopoly players.







*And undoubtedly a few who couldn't quite qualify, even now


You're right, but I guess only a few % of this "older" population were able to play boardgames... cause the majority of the population doesn't have access nor knowledge to games. They're working (or dying at very short age).

I means, in the last century probably boardgames has been played more than all previous centuries together.
 
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Matt Brown
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Bert37 wrote:
I guess there's currently more chinese people playing Monopoly than Go laugh


Based on what? Just like there is training and tournaments for Chess there is the same for Go.
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Chris Cisne
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
I had never heard of Go until recently, so I would find it hard to believe that it would be more popular than Monopoly, otherwise I would have heard of it.


However, there are 1.3 billion people in China and Go is taught from kindergarden on up.

The thread clearly states "in the world".


But China isn't the entire world. If I asked all of my friends and family what Go is, maybe one person would be able to answer correctly.


I concur - China isn't the entire world.

America is.
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Alberto Segura
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matthean wrote:
Bert37 wrote:
I guess there's currently more chinese people playing Monopoly than Go laugh

Based on what? Just like there is training and tournaments for Chess there is the same for Go.


I think Monopoly is currently more popular than Go in China, but I don't have figures

In fact I could see around me, for example, a lot of people buying Monopoly for christmas season, but no one buys Go, Parchis (very popular in Spain several decades ago), and so... it's just my perception, but of course I could be very mistaken.
 
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