Gathering Effects 2008
Randy Cox
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Every year, I examing games played data for the full week prior to the Gathering and the full week of the Gathering (this year, 3/23-29 vs 4/6-12, and there is overlap on the week in between). As this site grows, the impact the Gathering plays diminishes a little, but it's still noticable.

Sure, there are always people who say things like "But that game is new and would have seen a surge even without the Gathering" or "So few people at the Gathering log games that it doesn't matter." To the first, I say, "So what?" and to the second, "Very few people AT ALL log games here."

And there will be Gathering attendees who say, "Wait, I don't fill in my games played until October of every year...I haven't got my data in." To that, I say, "You snooze, you lose."

Anyway, here is how game plays have fluctuated as a (partial) result of the Gathering.

*Method: I took all games with at least 5 plays for each period and ranked them from top to bottom, giving them a percentile rank. So, if a game ranks 74th percentile, that means that it was played more frequently than 74 out of every 100 games that week (amongst games played at least 5 times).

*Note: the games played feature has a bug in that it sometimes leaves out games (e.g. if there are a few pages of games played 6 times, a game could be omitted). I tried to mitigate this by cutting and pasting data twice (once by sessions and once by unique players), but there could still be some missing data.
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1. Board Game: Airships [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1622]
Randy Cox
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This game didn't even make the list from the end of March and ranked 38th (95th percentile) the first full week of April. That's a score of +95. I don't know if it just hit the stores or was just a lukewarm game that not a lot of people cared about before. Having played it, I suspect it will slink back into the forgotten area very soon.
 
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2. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2058]
Randy Cox
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OK, I understand this one. I don't think it had come out prior to the convention and was therefore played quite a bit during the few days it was there. Rose from nowhere to 89th percentile.
 
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3. Board Game: Shanghaien [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1963]
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Here are three games (or expansions) that rose from nowhere to prominence during the first week of April.

Shanghaien (+82)
Last Night on Earth: Growing Hunger (+76)
Money (+70)
 
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4. Board Game: Change Horses [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:14203]
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To round out the invisible-to-top-of-the-heap group, here are a few. The first one will fade in the backstretch, I fear.

Change Horses (+65)
Flaschenteufel (+63)
Take it Easy (+63)
Elasund: First City of Catan (+60)
TZAAR (+59)
Dreamblade (+59)
Micro Mutants: Evolution (+59)
Dead Man's Treasure (+59)
Code Omega (+58)
Khronos (+57)
Beowulf: the Legend (+56)
Neuland (+56)

I did see some of these in reasonable rotation at the con, but I can't say that's the only reason these blipped up on the RADAR.
 
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5. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1242]
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Then there are games that were played at least 5 times each week, but with substantially better tallies during the GoF...

Oasis is our top such game, rising from 670th (11th percentile) to 241st (65th percentile). That's a score of +54. In reality, this could be a tainted figure, as there are 4 games with this title, and they'd all be lumped together in this spreadsheet if a couple were played more than 5 times. Unlikely, but possible.
 
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6. Board Game: Witch's Brew [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:680]
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This dreadful game locks down the number two spot amongst games played both before and during the first week of April. It jumped 53 percentile points to be in the 83rd percentile of games played last week.

Our only other 50+ point jump went to an old favorite--Raj.
 
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7. Board Game: Big Points [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2512]
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Big Points wasn't doing so poorly before (40th percentile), but it cracked the top 100 in games played during the first week of April 2008, rising 48 points.

Others that rose quite a bit (though not to Top 100 status):

Struggle of Empires (+47, 14->61)
King Me! (+46, 5->51)
Connect Four (+41, 18->59) *surely not GoF associated data*
On the Underground (+40, 39->79)
Palastgefluster (+40, 41->81)
Puerto Rico Expansion (+40, 11->51)
 
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8. Board Game: RattleSnake [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:4008]
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I've already mentioned that Big Points went from respectable to Top 100. Here are others that did the same...

Rattle Snake (+27, 59->86)
Metropolys (+25, 63->88)
Hanging Gardens (+22, 69->91)
Stone Age (+15, 82->97)
Ubongo (+9, 78->87)
Manouevre (+5, 85->90)
 
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9. Board Game: Blokus Trigon [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:894]
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What about games that were played a reasonable amount previously and at least registered during the Gathering, but nowhere near at the same level? Here they are:

Blokus Trigon (-61, 72->11)
Formula Motor Racing (-57, 67->11)
TransEuropa (-54, 71->17)
Scattergories (-51, 63->12)
Kingdoms (-50, 77->27)
Big Boggle (-50, 56->5)
Sticheln (-50, 67->17)
 
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10. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:414] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
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And what of the games that cracked the Top 100 previously, but fell off substantially?

Chess (-17, 90->73)
Hamburgum (-17, 90->73)
Colosseum (-14, 88->74)
Cities/Knights Catan (-12, 87->76)
Wits & Wagers (-12, 96->85) *I cry a little*
Downfall of Pompeii (-11, 88->77)
Pickomino (-10, 92->83)
 
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11. Board Game: Ruse & Bruise [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1957]
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And finally, there were games which registered at the end of March and simply didn't make the cut in April. What happened to these?

Ruse & Bruise (-74)
Bang! The Bullet (-72)
Patrician (-65)
Byzantium (-64)
Talimsan 4th Ed (-63)
Sleuth (-63)
Fist of Dragonstones (-62)
Atlantic Star (-61)
Stephenson's Rocket (-61)
Memory (-61)
 
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12. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:804]
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And here are a few notables that I just figured I'd mention...

This one isn't out yet, so it's expected
Say Anything (+47, 0->47)

It appears people are playing outside of the big yearly tournament
Loopin Louie (-2, 87->85)

And all cons have nightly Werewolf meetings, though it seems to have jumped the shark
Werewolf (-11, 80->68)
Ultimate Werewolf (+22, 0->22)
Combined (roughly -5)

Game least affected at all
Race for the Galaxy (0, 100->100)
Only notable stat here is that each person played the game fewer times on average.

Geographic Rack-O...10 Days in:
Africa (+5, 66->71)
Asia (0, 66->66)
Europe (-38, 69->31)
USA (+4, 68->73)

Another unchanged one:
Through the Ages (0, 98->99)
Due to rounding, this shows no change, but it did rise from 12th place to 8th overall.

And finally...
Unpublished Prototype (+3, 94->97)
Wow, people play unpublished prototypes at home a lot, don't they?
 
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