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Subject: Board Game Survey - Can you help me? rss

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KevBarrow
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Hi,

I'm trying to learn a little more about board gamers, what makes them tick and how we might improve the community

To see if a full "census" might work, I've put together a very short (only 5 question) survey.

If you could help me by taking part I'd be extremely grateful. I'm not an expert, so the questions are likely to biased and possibly lacking any worthwhile insight! But I'd be more than happy to accept suggestions for further/better questions.

If you have 60 seconds to spare, you can complete the survey here. My virtual thanks await!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NTM9HTK

ColonelUKC
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Chad Steward
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You might consider revising the first part of your survey to have clarifications, especially since many games now are fusing "ameritrash" and "euro" and some people might not know what those terms mean. I would perhaps use something like Thematic in place of Ameritrash or Mechanic Driven in place of Euro. Perhaps even include a short sentence explaining each term.
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Bryan Thunkd
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sirchadofkent wrote:
I would perhaps use something like Thematic in place of Ameritrash or Mechanic Driven in place of Euro.
Except that could be confusing for Euros that have a lot of theme or Ameritrash games that have a cool mechanic. Or for Ameritrash games without a lot of theme or Euros that don't have a strong mechanic. I think you're emphasizing characteristics that are often, but not always, associated with the genres instead of their defining features. For example, if you took Twilight Imperium and removed the theme but made it some sort of generic war game, it would still be Ameritrash. It's not just theme that defines Ameritrash.
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KevBarrow
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Both good points. Does categorisation even matter? Is the point that the boundaries are too blurred?
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Scott B
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Colonelukc wrote:
Does categorisation even matter?

You do need to learn more about boardgamers...
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Mike White
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Hi colonel,

Good to see you on the geek.


Interesting to simplify what is so often over complicated. I'm always interested by the geek rating on games but haven't been able to read between the numbers to determine what is THE favorite game or category.



Not surprised by the reply about categorisation and the suggestion has merit. I think the Geek's categorisation of strategy vs thematic is more appropriate. In any case it's this sort of debate that these surveys kick off that give you the most feedback so hopefully people that see this page will take the survey and also take 2 mins to join the debate.

It's why we're here after all.

Catch you later.

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Mike White
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Actually while I think of it I'd be really interested to see people's thoughts on the game they think is artificially overrated in the geek and why.

I look at dominion and can't believe people actually think it's one of the top fraction of a percent of games ever made.

Don't want to sidetrack the thread, stay on message people , but I raise it as a potential for future surveys.

"Colonelukc's 10 second surveys"

 
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Nick Smith
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Slim Chalkey wrote:
Hi colonel,

Good to see you on the geek.


Interesting to simplify what is so often over complicated. I'm always interested by the geek rating on games but haven't been able to read between the numbers to determine what is THE favorite game or category.



Not surprised by the reply about categorisation and the suggestion has merit. I think the Geek's categorisation of strategy vs thematic is more appropriate. In any case it's this sort of debate that these surveys kick off that give you the most feedback so hopefully people that see this page will take the survey and also take 2 mins to join the debate.

It's why we're here after all.

Catch you later.



I'd have to second that thematic/strategy games are not good terms at all. At least Eurogames/Ameritrash as terms force people who are unfamiliar with them to go and look up some kind of definition. Strategy/thematic as terms just lead to unrealistic expectations, since they create a divide where none exists. (Yes, eurogames consider theme secondary, but they do still have it, in many cases loads of it, and Ameritrash games can be every bit as strategic as eurogames).

Ultimately, I can't really see how this popular dichotomy is even remotely useful as a form of categorization. Wouldn't it be better to just categorize games much more specifically to begin with?

Tell me something's a heavy dungeon crawl with a modular board, dice chucking and variable player powers and I have a hell of a lot better idea of what we're talking about than if you just say 'ameritrash'.

The American/Euro split isn't even really very definitive to me. There are plenty of other imaginable dichotomies in gaming that aren't used as the absolute basis for categorizing all games (storytelling vs victory oriented, cooperative vs competitive, overproduced vs underproduced, simple vs complex, etc), so why is this one so important? Especially now that the dividing lines here are increasingly hard to find.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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grendelsbayne wrote:
The American/Euro split isn't even really very definitive to me. There are plenty of other imaginable dichotomies in gaming that aren't used as the absolute basis for categorizing all games (storytelling vs victory oriented, cooperative vs competitive, overproduced vs underproduced, simple vs complex, etc), so why is this one so important? Especially now that the dividing lines here are increasingly hard to find.
Well, I can easily say I don't like Ameritrash games and have that statement cover any numer of dice-chucker, direct conflict games that include player elimination. None of the other terms you suggest as good categorizers would cover that many games. I'd have to do more specifying to cover all the games that the single word Ameritrash covers. In fact none of the terms you suggested speak to the reason that I don't care for Ameritrash games at all. So the reason the "Ameritrash" term exists and is used is because it's useful, effective and efficient.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Thunkd wrote:
Well, I can easily say I don't like Ameritrash games and have that statement cover any numer of dice-chucker, direct conflict games that include player elimination.

Battlestar Galactica is surely Ameritrash although it is not a dice-chucker (although you sometimes throw a dice), does not have direct conflict (is a team game), and does not have player elimination (except very rarely with the optional Ionian Nebula end-game). So, discounting Ameritrash discounts also games that don't have any of your hates. (You might still not like BSG.)

Ameri/Euro split is quickly losing its usefulness with a lot of good and great hybrid games continually coming to market.
 
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Neil Jones
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Hello Colonel Luke

I'd definitely be really interested in any improvements to the boardgaming community that might come about as a result of your census. Particularly within the UK...

Thanks

Mr Beergibbon
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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a1bert wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Well, I can easily say I don't like Ameritrash games and have that statement cover any numer of dice-chucker, direct conflict games that include player elimination.

Battlestar Galactica is surely Ameritrash although it is not a dice-chucker (although you sometimes throw a dice), does not have direct conflict (is a team game), and does not have player elimination (except very rarely with the optional Ionian Nebula end-game). So, discounting Ameritrash discounts also games that don't have any of your hates. (You might still not like BSG.)

Ameri/Euro split is quickly losing its usefulness with a lot of good and great hybrid games continually coming to market.
Every categorization system has it outliers and exceptions. If a categorization system is useful most of the time and only not useful occasionally then it's a success. Any other categorization system you suggest as an alternative is likely to be more unwieldy, as it will require more specification, or else it will have its own set of exceptions and outliers on par with the Euro/Ameritrash set.
 
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Mike White
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Sorry colonel I seem to have helped move this thread in a different direction.

I think games should be split into 2 categories only. Those I always win at. And those I nearly always win at.

There is another category with a twice-baked snack but setup time versus game time isn't worth it.
 
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KevBarrow
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Slim chalkey. Thanks for your input, I think.

I'm not sure that games Slim chalkey always wins and games he sometimes wins is all that useful to the average gamer.

That said...

I'm sure when Baron Kelvin told his friends that temperature would be measured based on how hot or cold he personally felt, he was laughed out of the royal institute.

So, never say never.

A huge thanks to everyone that's done the survey. I'm still getting lots of people doing it and I really appreciate your help.
 
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Nick Smith
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Thunkd wrote:
grendelsbayne wrote:
The American/Euro split isn't even really very definitive to me. There are plenty of other imaginable dichotomies in gaming that aren't used as the absolute basis for categorizing all games (storytelling vs victory oriented, cooperative vs competitive, overproduced vs underproduced, simple vs complex, etc), so why is this one so important? Especially now that the dividing lines here are increasingly hard to find.
Well, I can easily say I don't like Ameritrash games and have that statement cover any numer of dice-chucker, direct conflict games that include player elimination. None of the other terms you suggest as good categorizers would cover that many games. I'd have to do more specifying to cover all the games that the single word Ameritrash covers. In fact none of the terms you suggested speak to the reason that I don't care for Ameritrash games at all. So the reason the "Ameritrash" term exists and is used is because it's useful, effective and efficient.


If that level of generalization is useful to you, then fair enough. Personally, I don't see much need for it.

When you say, though, that nothing there speaks to the reason you don't like ameritrash, then that, imo, begs the question 'Why is that?'

If it's simply because I failed to mention the aspect of ameritrash that you dislike, then that's simply because I wasn't even attempting to create a comprehensive definition of the term, and this would make me wonder why you would need the term ameritrash if you could just as easily point to a more specific term that also more accurately portrays your preferences.

If it's because what you dislike is more a combination of factors than any one factor in particular, then it would seem to me that that would make the classification even less useful, since it causes you to entirely ignore many games which may have the elements of ameritrash, but not in the combination that actually bothers you.

If it's simply a matter of the general feel of the game, i'm not sure how any classification system could ever be useful, since your dislike would then be entirely subjective.

Maybe there are other possibilities i'm not thinking of, but this is more or less where my thinking comes from.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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grendelsbayne wrote:
When you say, though, that nothing there speaks to the reason you don't like ameritrash, then that, imo, begs the question 'Why is that?'
I tend to not like games with player elimination, direct conflict, or where theme is valued more than mechanics. I find that "Ameritrash" is a good term that is useful for me.

grendelsbayne wrote:
If it's because what you dislike is more a combination of factors than any one factor in particular, then it would seem to me that that would make the classification even less useful, since it causes you to entirely ignore many games which may have the elements of ameritrash, but not in the combination that actually bothers you.
It includes the vast majority of games that I would want to show that I don't like and excludes hardly any. I can't think of a more succinct category that works as well at covering the games I mean than the term Ameritrash.
 
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KevBarrow
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So, would Elimination games and Non-elimination games be a better way of signposting?

My feeling was that the vast majority of 3+ player games were non-elimination anyway.

Or is that just that the people I play with naturally gravitate towards non-elimination games?
 
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Josh Sauer
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Am I the only one that thinks it is rather unfortunate to have a widely used classification that seems intrinsically negative on the face of it?

The term "Ameritrash" bothers me as an accepted classification simply because it doesn't JUST serve as a classification, but also seems to serve as a value judgement. By classifying games in a dichotomy between Eurogames and Ameritrash, it seems clear that the implication is that one is good, and the other is garbage. While I expect some of those who actually hold that to be true to perhaps come up with such a dismissive labeling, for it to be the widely accepted discriptor seems odd to me.
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Josh Sauer wrote:
The term "Ameritrash" bothers me as an accepted classification simply because it doesn't JUST serve as a classification, but also seems to serve as a value judgement.

You mean like Board Game Geeks serve as a value judgement?

(Clarification: Ameritrash used to be a derogatory term before the 'ameritrashers' took on the term to themselves, 'empowering' themselves. Yeah, I like games with theme, although I won't clump everything with theme or non-euro to that basket.)
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Colonelukc wrote:
So, would Elimination games and Non-elimination games be a better way of signposting?
No.

Colonelukc wrote:
My feeling was that the vast majority of 3+ player games were non-elimination anyway.
Depends on what type of games you play.
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Josh Sauer
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a1bert wrote:
Josh Sauer wrote:
The term "Ameritrash" bothers me as an accepted classification simply because it doesn't JUST serve as a classification, but also seems to serve as a value judgement.

You mean like Board Game Geeks serve as a value judgement?

(Clarification: Ameritrash used to be a derogatory term before the 'ameritrashers' took on the term to themselves, 'empowering' themselves. Yeah, I like games with theme, although I won't clump everything with theme or non-euro to that basket.)


I suppose it is my unfamiliarity with the term that leads me to view it that way. It sounds like it IS comaparable to "geek" in that respect, which these days no longer seems like a derogatory term at all.

I never heard the term Ameritrash before coming to this site, even though I had heard the term Eurogame long before.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around a term including the word "trash" as a neutral descriptor, since outside its use in THIS term it is still generally viewed as a negative. Geek is easier, because it is a term alone, so to speak, not something that has use outside this context. Also, it makes it harder to view Ameritrash as a neutral descriptor because, unlike geek, I occasionally encounter people who do SEEM to be using it as a derogatory, dismissive term (I'm sure the same would be true of geek if I spent a lot of time in middle school or something, but I don't).
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Josh Sauer wrote:
It is hard for me to wrap my mind around a term including the word "trash" as a neutral descriptor, since outside its use in THIS term it is still generally viewed as a negative.
It's not necessarily derogatory. A trashy romance novel for example is usually seen as something casual or light. Something you do for fun as opposed to watching a disturbingly depressing art film. Sure there's maybe a connotation of it being less intellectual, but I think that the Ameritrashers embrace the "rollicking fun over bean-counting spreadsheet games" idea.
 
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This is all rather amusing. Good job you didn't put 'Britcrap' or 'Deutschemath' as categories.
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Thunkd wrote:
It's not necessarily derogatory. A trashy romance novel for example is usually seen as something casual or light. Something you do for fun as opposed to watching a disturbingly depressing art film.


If you say so. To me "trashy romance novel" says...trashy. As in, poor quality, something you are reluctant to admit enjoying. But I've never been a fan of romance novels, so I guess I can't speak to what fans think of that term. In my experience, though, people who confess to liking trashy romance novels do just that...confess. As if they realize that it is bad, but admit liking it anyway.

As somebody who enjoys some games that are apparently "Ameritrash", I can't say that I've ever felt, when I've expressed my enjoyment of them, like I was admitting to some kind of fault. I wasn't thinking, "I know these are trashy, but I enjoy them anyway", like they are some sort of guilty pleasure. I was thinking, "These are good games!" But then, until lately, I've not known that some of the games I like are apparently classified as "Ameritrash".

If I used that terminology when describing games I enjoy to others, I'd feel like I was admitting to some kind of fault, like I had to add some followup mitigating explanation, "This is an Ameritrash game, but really it's very fun, because..." I guess that would just be me misunderstanding or misusing the terminology, but what can I say?

So I'm glad to understand that "Ameritrash" is really just the functional equivalent of "geek", a name derogatory in origin but co-opted with pride, and I'll try to remember that when I see it used by others. But I won't be using it, at least until and unless I find myself not HAVING to remind myself of that.
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