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Subject: Ya know, I actually like the BGG rating system. rss

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Aaron Chasteen
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Board games are an art form. It's weird rating something that's subjective. You can look at games intellectually, demanding elegant designs. You can look at innovation, uniqueness and flavor. There's financial success and cult underground classics. With so many ways people pull things apart, I think BGG's rating system avoids all the bullshit and goes straight to the heart, What is your personal desire?

"Search your heart and gut, tell me how bad you want to play this flippin' game?" Who can argue with that? It takes a subjective art form (like movies, music and painting) and applies an appropriate subjective 1 to 10 scale. Here is the BGG scale.

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play, expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent. Always want to play.
8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
7 - Good. Usually willing to play.
6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.
5 - Average. No significant appeal, take it or leave it.
4 - Below average. Slightly boring, could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Poor. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
2 - Very poor. Annoying, I plan to never play this again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.

I think breaking it down to "desire to play" is simplified and universal. It allows you to disregard circumstances and forces you to self-reflect on a core desire. I don't think people critique or discuss this scale much, so I wanted to bring it to the forefront. Please share your thoughts on the rating scale and offer a better solution if you truly think there is a better way. For me, I think it has provided a great ranking system and a reliable recommendation tool for discovering the games I love.

Thanks BGG.
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roger miller
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I think it is a poor rating system. all others are even worse.
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Pete
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The BGG rating system is skewed heavily toward a certain kind of game. If you share that bias, the ranking system is excellent for you.

Pete (trusts it almost completely, because he is one of those people)
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Hoss Cartwright
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It works great as long as you accept that all the results are meaningless and 95% OF THE RATINGS ARE FROM FANBOYS AND SHILLS. The other 5% are from company employees who were told to rate it a 10.

It's why we have Ranking Nullification ( like Juror Nullification)at BGG.

BGG needs to be less about rooting for the crappy games you like much like Red and Blue states, and secondly less about treating types of games like sports teams, and thirdly less of a place game company's use to flog the forums with rubbish.

If the games good people will buy. Enough
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Ralph T
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If movies and video game databases used BGG's ratings, Super mario bros would not be a top 100 video game on anyone's list (see Settlers of catan and Carcassonne), and Citizen Kane would not be in anyone's top 50 list (see Go at 58), while the newest Left 4 Dead and the Avengers 2 would be in the top 20 of all movies.
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Hoss Cartwright
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If BGG rating system were accurate, games like Monopoly,Chess,and Risk would rank highest- not these CCG, RPG, and KS German meeple fluff.
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Pete
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ralpher wrote:
If movies and video game databases used BGG's ratings, Super mario bros would not be a top 100 video game on anyone's list (see Settlers of catan and Carcassonne), and Citizen Kane would not be in anyone's top 50 list (see Go at 58), while the newest Left 4 Dead and the Avengers 2 would be in the top 20 of all movies.
I'm not sure I'd find any value in a list that had Chess, Go, and Mahjong at the top. If these were movies, yeah, so Citizen Kane is great, but everyone's already seen it multiple times and probably don't care to watch it again. SMB was my favorite game in its day, but why would I play it now?

I like to see what people are playing now, and that's the right rating system for me.

Pete (likes the rating system quite a bit)
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Dan B.
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My desires must be much different than the majority I guess. I appreciate the rating system and like it as a whole, but the games at the top are indeed skewed towards a certain type of game. I just have to look at the big picture (top 1000, not top 10) to judge the type of games I like.
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The only problem is between a 7 and an 8. I'd like to play a game that averages at 7 but I would love to own only if it is an 8 or above. I can't trust the average rating completely because the gap between a 7 and 8 is huge that it is hard to tell at first. That is why I've found around 50 geek buddies whose taste is similar to mine and I use their average score to help me decide with my purchases.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Hoss Cartwright wrote:
If BGG rating system were accurate, games like Monopoly,Chess,and Risk would rank highest- not these CCG, RPG, and KS German meeple fluff.


How does accuracy put those games at the highest?

I don't agree with BGG's rating system but Monopoly, Chess, and Risk are all overrated.
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Hoss Cartwright wrote:
If BGG rating system were accurate, games like Monopoly,Chess,and Risk would rank highest- not these CCG, RPG, and KS German meeple fluff.

The OP did not say anything about Rankings!

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Hey it works for me! and if others find my ratings useful then that's a bonus
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Richard Hellsten
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Over a number of years I've come to feel that the BGG rating system is pretty worthless. Too much of the granularity is in the 6-8 range and everything outside of that is a waste of space.

I'd much rather a system where an average game was a 5, and not a 7. As a good example I'd forward Edge magazine (Video Games) as a worthwhile exemplar.
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Brandon
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I've made the a priori assumption that game ratings should be normally distributed; that is, if I rated every single game in existence, the final distribution would be Gaussian with a mean at 5.5. So, as I play more games, I'm constantly updating all of my ratings to reflect this. What was once an 8 might eventually drop to a 7 or a 6 as I try more games that I clearly enjoy more than it. So, I don't really use BGG's suggested meanings anymore. With them, I found that I just rated everything a 7. In truth, I'd be happy to play most games rated 5+ if offered, while anything less than 5 I probably won't be keen to play again. The further from the mean the rating is, the more strongly I feel that.

It's still totally subjective but it makes more sense to me.
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Vivienne Raper
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Most of the games I like are in the 200-500 range. Reason being that any game with player interaction can flame and die with the wrong group. Since most people rate games after playing them once, most interactive games drop down into the 200-500 range.

Complex multiplayer solitaire games tend to rank in the 50-100 range. Newer games rank higher. These games deliver the same gaming experience to every group.

Then there is the top 50 - a cluster of brilliant, mega-complex games that everyone agrees are good if you're a hardcore gamer. For example, War of the Ring. Now, these games may be good, but they're rarely played. The'50 most played' list reveals most BGG users actually play King of Tokyo and Love Letter... They just *want to play* Die Macher.
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Brandon
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veemonroe wrote:

Then there is the top 50 - a cluster of brilliant, mega-complex games that everyone agrees are good if you're a hardcore gamer. For example, War of the Ring. Now, these games may be good, but they're rarely played. The'50 most played' list reveals most BGG users actually play King of Tokyo and Love Letter... They just *want to play* Die Macher.


A quick glance through it reveals that the top played games largely come from the top 100 ranked games...

Anyway, it's not about ranking, which is also affected by BGG's weighting. The thread is just about the suggested rating system.
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dannydeuce wrote:
My desires must be much different than the majority I guess. I appreciate the rating system and like it as a whole, but the games at the top are indeed skewed towards a certain type of game. I just have to look at the big picture (top 1000, not top 10) to judge the type of games I like.

Oh my freakin' god, someone knows how to use the ranking system!

I applaud you good sir, it appears the ability to draw conclusions from a simple set of numbers, with a specifically spelled out set of rules is too much of a challenge for most BGG'ers. Somehow the vocal majority thinks that the games rated at the top are also the best ones and those same people will rant away about how Agricola/Netrunner/Twilight Struggle is actually not such hot shit as the ranking says it is!

Well guess what complainers, the rankings say exactly what they're meant to say. Sampling from a vast majority of voters, very many of those, PERSONALLY think that those games are worth playing again and again. That's ALL the rankings say. Stop complaining that your favorite game is not up there. If you feel that way about any of your favorite games, you're reading the wrong things from the rankings.

The ranking is the average from a large pool of biased opinions based on how often they want to play that particular game. And that's it. It does not, in any way shape or form mean that one game is stricly better than another, it's simply an indication that if you were to blindly sample a game from the top 100 and present it to a randomly selected crowd of gamers, on average, you'd score better by choosing the high rated games.

Quote:
"Derp derp that game is bad, it doesn't deserve to be in the top 10."
mouth breathers...


And a funny cat. If you read all that, you deserve it!
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
I've made the a priori assumption that game ratings should be normally distributed; that is, if I rated every single game in existence, the final distribution would be Gaussian with a mean at 5.5. ...
It's still totally subjective but it makes more sense to me.

You bad, but educated, person you!
There is, however, a fundamental flaw in your assumption.
A non-skewed distribution would only be the case if there was really designed an equal amount of shitty as well as good games. I'd wager the distribution would be very negatively skewed.
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Ratings

Usage: "BGG ratings are utterly worthless!"

Actual Meaning: "Anyone who disagrees with me is utterly worthless."

Alternate Actual Meaning:

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achasteen wrote:
Board games are an art form. It's weird rating something that's subjective. You can look at games intellectually, demanding elegant designs. You can look at innovation, uniqueness and flavor. There's financial success and cult underground classics. With so many ways people pull things apart, I think BGG's rating system avoids all the bullshit and goes straight to the heart, What is your personal desire?

"Search your heart and gut, tell me how bad you want to play this flippin' game?" Who can argue with that? It takes a subjective art form (like movies, music and painting) and applies an appropriate subjective 1 to 10 scale. Here is the BGG scale.

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play, expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent. Always want to play.
8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
7 - Good. Usually willing to play.
6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.
5 - Average. No significant appeal, take it or leave it.
4 - Below average. Slightly boring, could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Poor. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
2 - Very poor. Annoying, I plan to never play this again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.

I think breaking it down to "desire to play" is simplified and universal. It allows you to disregard circumstances and forces you to self-reflect on a core desire. I don't think people critique or discuss this scale much, so I wanted to bring it to the forefront. Please share your thoughts on the rating scale and offer a better solution if you truly think there is a better way. For me, I think it has provided a great ranking system and a reliable recommendation tool for discovering the games I love.

Thanks BGG.


i usually marked every EURO as 1 , except a very few EURO that's cleverly designed ..
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Brandon
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Stunke wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
I've made the a priori assumption that game ratings should be normally distributed; that is, if I rated every single game in existence, the final distribution would be Gaussian with a mean at 5.5. ...
It's still totally subjective but it makes more sense to me.

You bad, but educated, person you!
There is, however, a fundamental flaw in your assumption.
A non-skewed distribution would only be the case if there was really designed an equal amount of shitty as well as good games. I'd wager the distribution would be very negatively skewed.


It depends on how you subjectively view ratings. I think it's pretty safe to say that most games are very average in their own unique ways. Some are slightly towards the "worse" end of average while others are slightly towards the "better" side. I'd say that rather few games are very truly shitty, just like very few are very truly excellent. The ones that I've marked as a 2 right now could rise if I find other examples that are way worse, making me realize that those former 2s aren't really that bad. LCR will always be a 1 though.
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The current rating system does contain a contradiction in its phrasing, though, containing the terms, "excellent" and "very good," while matching them with "always want to play" and "like to play." As has been pointed out many times in the past, some games that are truly worthy designs (ex. Mage Knight) are games that I don't always want to play because of their heaviness and the commitment required. One element of the rating system makes me what to rate it higher, one element makes me want to rate it lower.

At the end of the day I feel that most users make reasonable compromises between these two elements in their own use of the rating system. I've seen a good number of comments indicating a rating of 9, then updating it with an 8 indicating how seldom they can get it to the table. I ultimately feel that the current rating system even with its contradictions isn't bad and is used fairly by most here. Most would not call a game "very poor" or "broken" if they recognized that it just wasn't the type of game they wanted to play. I don't think many users reflexively rate almost all Euros a 1 or all expansions a 1 (something else I've seen); these are the exceptions, I find.

I agree with Josh above. Assembling a reliable micro-community of solid Geekbuddies who make considered ratings and comments of the games they've played is the best thing one can do for a good appraisal of what games one would like.
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RAVENBURG wrote:
I'd much rather a system where an average game was a 5, and not a 7.


My average is a 4, using that system (give or take an assumption about how it should be used).

jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
With them, I found that I just rated everything a 7. In truth, I'd be happy to play most games rated 5+ if offered, while anything less than 5 I probably won't be keen to play again.


I include the meta-assumption that there should be other options on the table. Like you, I will play a game I consider mediocre if it's the only thing I'm going to get to play that month and it's with people who won't try to stab me in the eye with forks. I'm still going to have to be able to rate the game according to how I feel about it in relation to other games.
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I think this threat mostly proves that, given the very different ways gamers use the rating system, the aggregate score ultimately does not mean anything anymore.
 
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Hoss Cartwright
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Quote:
How does accuracy put those games at the highest?

I don't agree with BGG's rating system but Monopoly, Chess, and Risk are all overrated.


Because people don't buy and play games they don't like, and the sales of these games proves that more people out of the total population of people playing games have these as common denominators for the most played. The sheer volume of Monopoly players for example on a global scale-dwarfs all these other games by ridiculous proportions. They are also not glamorous titles either.
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