Mechanism pairs and mechanism popularity through the years
Kalle Malmioja
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This is my fourth year with the mechanism pairs of games. I have previously made three geeklist about this on BGG;

* Statistical study of game mechanisms (1990 – 2011). Trends in gaming (2011),
* The Lives of the Mechanic Pairs: Statistics about the mechanics in games (2012),
* Trends in gaming. Study of game mechanisms pairs (2013).

So what is this all about? I’m interested what kind of games are popular or gaining popularity among the players. I like to look for trends on what types of games are coming or going. This also fuels my designs as I look at the mechanism pairs and try to come up with something new.

I gathered the date using BGG1Tool (Nandeck is really nice tool for this and prototyping also) to gather all the ranked games 1-9865 in the BGG database. This was done on the 1st of July 2014 after update.

From these using excel I combined the all the possible mechanism pairs to give different types of games and then checked on last years list to see which types are getting ranked.

Getting ranked is a metaphorical implementation of a published game. I know it isn’t so and BGG favors designers games but that data is available so that is what I’ll use. Also I know that there are many many games with no listed mechanisms or just one (Caylus) and therefore there is little ambiguity how useful this data is but in my mind two mechanisms represent games better as whole than just one.

There are 51 mechanisms (or mechanics as BGG puts it) listed. Pairing them up gives us the following results. I’ll show just the first 25 matched pairs as the while list of 1275 pairs is little overwhelming.

I suggest that you go and read the two blog post about these in here http://firsttheidea.wordpress.com/category/stats/ for further analysis.

The term Slope in this context means for me the change in ranked games per year compared to all other games. If the Slope is positive it means that there are more games coming out/getting ranked this year than last year of that particular mechanism. I can argue that this means the mechanism is gaining popularity or is popular.
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