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Subject: What's with the hate of paper money in games? rss

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Diane Sauer
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I recently found out that there seems to be a dislike for paper money in games and it perplex's me. Some of my favorite all time games like Acquire and McMulti use paper money. In the 500+ Acquire games I have played it's never crossed my mind once that there was an issue with the money. So what's the scoop?

The reason I'm asking is that we are producing a game that takes place in a restaurant titled "Born to Serve" and the money was to be used as a scoring mechanic (tips received). We originally had a score track, but are finding that the paper money is more cost effective and I personally think it fits perfectly with the game. That said, if this is a big issue with gamers now-a-days (yes. I'm an old-timer!) we might look at a few other ideas we have for a scoring mechanism.
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Michael Carter
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Paper money likes to stick together. It's easy to hand someone two bills when you only meant to hand them one. It also makes it harder to count your money that with something like poker chips. If a game comes with paper money, we just use poker chips instead.
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Eddy Sterckx
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The handling of paper money slows the game down. In games where there's a lot of money changing hands all the time, this is annoying with people counting and recounting their money.

Given the choice I'd rather have metal or cardboard coins.
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Boss Beau Blasterfire
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"Toy/game" paper money is not very durable, a lot easier to damage, and doesn't age gracefully.

They take up more space if you arrange them in little stacks for quick counting.

Can't play with a fan on or a gentle breeze.

Less satisfying to handle from a tactile standpoint.
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David Debien
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As banker, it is a lot easier/faster to handle poker chips.
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Marvin Ramirez
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I'm one of the few who still thinks paper money is great. As long as it's not like monopoly cheap paper. The paper money in firefly is my favorite I've played with and is the reason I own that game. But I can see why people dislike it.
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Moose Much?
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A stack of chips or bars can be easily arranged in 5,10,etc. and so you always know how much you have, and they are more durable. That being said I like paper money in older games....but that might be nostalgia
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Rami Finkelshtein
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If money is allowed to be public then i find poker chips work better especially if you are trading the money a lot. Paper money isn't bad its just not that durable over the long term.

Another alternative not often given is if money needs to be kept hidden then I find that printing money as small cards (like in Container) works very well and holds up over long periods of time.
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Sean Conroy
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I don't have an issue with paper money. Must be from my gamer beginings playing Monopoly. For me, paper money makes it easier to track wealth, and spending. I was very disappointed when Axis & Allies abandoned the paper IPCs. Empire Builder uses paper money.

Score tracks are cold IMHO.
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Ryan James
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Personally I think paper money feels chintzy and incredibly flimsy. It's just not fun to look at/handle. Cardboard tokens or clay poker chips are the preferred method for money as far as I'm concerned.
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steve zhang
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It's so easy to break a piece of paper money. In my memories of playing monopoly there was always paper breaking every now and then. You can throw around chips or cards, but you can't throw paper. It is easily blown away as well. Imagine the cards you use in any game are actually replaced with paper. Whether you are fine with it that will be your answer.
 
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Bleicher
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I have no problem either - Imperial is perhaps my favorite game at the moment and it has paper money. Poker chips are nice, but not from a designer's perspective (I don't think it is a good idea to release a game where you need other components aside from what's in the box, and actually including chips would make it very expensive).
Perhaps the best alternative solution is simply used coin-like cardboard bits. Sort of like the food in Stone Age.
By the way, the grand prix game I'm designed uses money (I'll test it with Imperial paper money during tests, but then I'll need to worry about what kind of money I'll use).
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secoAce -
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* They crumple, wrinkle, get bent too easy. Component quality and longevity matters.

* Flimsy pieces of paper are not as easy to handle as cardboard tokens/coins for currency--you can pick up tokens easily with one hand.

* They fly around too easily--can't use paper money with a fan in the room and certainly can't play the game outdoors with the slightest breeze.

* It's too reminiscence of real world money and the corruptions and shenanigans associated with it.

* It reminds me too much of Monopoly.

I understand paper money is a more economical production and I appreciate trying to keep costs down. Consider how much more it would add to the costs and see if it makes a huge difference. If it doesn't add that much more, I think gamers would be willing to pay a little extra if the game is good.

Considering the theme of the game, some kind of currency would be more thematic than a scoreboard, however. But paper money would be more representative of monetary transactions earned by the restaurant. Since money would only be used for scoring and represent tips earned by workers, I'm picturing coins in a tip jar.
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Mary T.
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I like paper money. It's more satisfying to count a stack of bills than coins or chips. It's more thematic, too. I say keep it. Those that have a problem with paper money most likely already have a set of poker chips they will substitute anyway.
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Christopher Todesco
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I agree with most posts here that it comes down to most paper money included in games is very flimsy. (i.e. Monopoly, Power Grid) I don't have the "too real" problem. If anyone ever included sturdy money printed on paper more reminiscent of real money, or printed on cards, it wouldn't be so much of an issue-- but the sole reason why publishers use flimsy paper money is because its cheap....

Firefly: The Game came with some fairly sturdy paper money (still not the all cotton/linen "rag paper" that US currency is printed on) and looks like the Alliance currency used in the show so it really fits the theme.
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Kyle Mann
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David
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One of the few games that did paper money well is Ea$y Money. It gives you *bundles* of money that start at 100k and go up to a million.


Not only does that solve the counting and blowing away problems but it's damn satisfying to handle.
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Darrell Hanning
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I started boardgaming in the sixties, when there was nothing but paper money in games.

And having gone to poker chips about eight years ago, I'll never go back. Poker chips count faster and easier, distribute faster and easier, are washable, are more tactile than paper money, and make nice clinky sounds when stacked.

And in a game where money is constantly changing hands (and in large volumes) chips are a significant time-saver. In a typical 18XX game, for instance, you can probably save an hour or more of game time, just on the difference between paper money and chips.

Having said that, I don't expect games to come with poker chips. So, in the vast majority of games I have with paper money, that money is still in its shrinkwrap. (I did make an exception for Firefly, because that money is just too cool to not use.)
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Andreas Krüger
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On BGG, it takes 30 seconds from mentioning paper money until someone suggests poker chips instead. In real life, I have never met someone who replaced their paper money with anything else.

This site is not always representative for gamers in general.
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steve zhang
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
On BGG, it takes 30 seconds from mentioning paper money until someone suggests poker chips instead. In real life, I have never met someone who replaced their paper money with anything else.

This site is not always representative for gamers in general.


If paper money is as durable as real money, I'm sure most of the gamers will be fine with it.
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Darrell Hanning
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
On BGG, it takes 30 seconds from mentioning paper money until someone suggests poker chips instead. In real life, I have never met someone who replaced their paper money with anything else.

This site is not always representative for gamers in general.


That's sort of a given, isn't it, considering that what is representative for games in the general populace also don't get a second thought on BGG?
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Kendall McKenzie
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One thing that no one's mentioned so far: if you are going to use paper money, make sure it's colourblind friendly

Most paper money distinguishes denominations only by colour and a relatively small number. Consider making each note a different size or try to vary the designs enough that you could easily tell what they were from across the table, even in black and white.

It's one thing for people to choose to replace their money because they don't like it, it's another for someone to be forced to replace it because it's too hard to play the game as provided.
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Michael Carter
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I prefer it if a game comes with paper money because then I'm not paying extra for something that I won't use compared to card board tokens, as card board tokens are presumably more expensive to print. I think card board tokens can be even harder to handle than paper money is. Either way, I'm going to use poker chips and I would never expect a game to come with its own poker chips.
 
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Michael Carter
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
On BGG, it takes 30 seconds from mentioning paper money until someone suggests poker chips instead. In real life, I have never met someone who replaced their paper money with anything else.

This site is not always representative for gamers in general.


It happens all the time at the game groups that I go to.
 
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Frank Hastings
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If the amount is meant to be public then paper money can be a little annoying, chips or a track are better.

Is the amount is meant to be hidden then paper money is the best.

I think a lot of people who are vocal on this are ones who spend $$ on chips and are extoling the virtues of them. I'm in the process right now of convincing myself to buy some so I understand that state of mind.

One thing I would point out is that people who are adamant about this issue probably already have a set of chips that are used in multiple games.
 
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