Ron
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Yesterday was game night with two friends of us. After we had dinner and warmed up with a fine game of Nations: The Dice Game, Gaby, one of them, asked for a game of The Castles of Burgundy. Hey, I love that one! As Andrea – my better half – hasn’t played that before, we explained the rules to her and started playing.

I had thrown in the latest expansion (The Castles of Burgundy: 5th Expansion – Pleasure Garden) and the game went as smooth as always. We grabbed our tiles, we filled our board and collected victory point after victory point. Andrea did very well – she and I, we alternatively took the lead with our friends way back behind us. I concentrated on ships while Andrea mainly built cities.

Our scores at game end were
Ron 215
Andrea 212
Lonny 194
Gaby 193


So we spent 2 hours and everyone had a great time. Everyone? Not quite. After the game, I asked Andrea how she liked it. And she said “I don’t know. It’s like a puzzle. Although I like to build things in a game, this one did not click.” And then she said: “AND NOBODY LAUGHED FOR TWO HOURS.”

The last sentence made me thinking. We just played Defenders of the Realm two days ago, and it was a loud dice fest; we cried, we laughed, we rolled and we lost. But we had so much fun. And this game – I have to admit, she was right – was drier than an old sock in a desert. Don't get me wrong: I still think it was and is a great game. But nevertheless, mighty dry.

So it looks like this session heralded my wife’s withdrawal from Eurogaming. In the last months, we nearly exclusively played Ameritrash ... luckily, my collection comprises of a few Ameritrash titles, so we won’t have to give up gaming. We just will pass on Euros for a while. For a long while I guess. She even made a negative comment on Agricola, which we played quite often in the past. Wifey wants to roll, laugh, battle and kill. I’ll be with her, on her side, my weapon in my hand. That’s the least what a faithful husband can do.

Thanks for reading. meeple
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Bryan Thunkd
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Marriage is just another kind of game. If your wife likes Ameritrash games, that's great. They typically have player elimination... so maybe your next wife will like Euros.
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Curt Collins
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Ouch.
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Nick Shaw
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It's an interesting question: Does not laughing during a "game" mean it wasn't "fun"? Personally, I think if I enjoy the challenge/puzzle, then it was fun for me. I like solo games (and puzzles too), so maybe that's an indication of my leaning, but then I enjoy the laugh-out-loud fests too - just in a different way.

Glad *you* enjoyed it, at least!
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Andy Leber
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Yeah, nothing wrong with your wife not liking it. But on the topic of laughing and gaming in general... laughing can be a great time during games, but it's not necessary for me. That just depends on the game.

I don't see a lot of laughing in a chess match, but people find that to be a great deal of fun. Just depends on what you're looking for that night.
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Chris Berger
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Holmes108 wrote:
I don't see a lot of laughing in a chess match, but people find that to be a great deal of fun.


I guess it comes down to a question of semantics, but I wouldn't consider chess "fun". I would consider it interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, and perhaps enjoyable. To me, heavy strategy games aren't fun, but they are very much enjoyable for other reasons.

Yeah, that's just words, and as I write this I realize this is a discussion that's probably been had on BGG a million times before. But what I mean is, I get different things out of playing strategy games versus playing party games. I enjoy party games (though only occasionally) because they are fun. When I go to game night, I'm not expecting to have fun (though I am expecting to enjoy myself), and would be disappointed if we played a bunch of party games or Munchkin or other things that evoke plenty of laughter and joking but don't satisfy the gamer urge.

That isn't to say there aren't games that are both "fun" and interesting/good. But I don't consider them the same thing. And either one can be necessary and/or sufficient for having a good time playing games, depending on the circumstance.
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arkayn wrote:
Holmes108 wrote:
I don't see a lot of laughing in a chess match, but people find that to be a great deal of fun.


I guess it comes down to a question of semantics, but I wouldn't consider chess "fun". I would consider it interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, and perhaps enjoyable. To me, heavy strategy games aren't fun, but they are very much enjoyable for other reasons....


Yeah. I personally would use the word "fun" for serious, thought provoking strategy games, but in the same breath I recognize there are certainly different types of fun. So as you say, it is a bit more of a semantic argument, or a matter of if people distinguish "fun" and "enjoyable" (or some other similar term).
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Marlene Thornstrom
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My games of Castles of Burgundy are always full of laughter, but that is entirely because of the people I've played with. Any game can be full of laughter though, the way we play it because we're always jokingly complaining about how other people have "stolen" the action or tile we need, or gleefully block someone from completing a set or fulfilling some important goal.

I would still enjoy a dry game just for the aspect of it being a challenging mental exercise, but there is no game I won't try to inject humour into, just out of habit.
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This is exactly what happened to me last weekend! I have this friend who complains when we play "my kind of games" and only plays party games. So we are playing Taboo, which i don't mind the occasional party game if the mood is right (i am no game snob), and people are laughing and he stops and says to me, "see, Taboo is a funner game than that lords of waterdeep game because people are laughing."

Which got me to thinking, does laughing more automatically equal more fun? Is laughter the only measure of entertainment? Is Taboo really better than Lords of Waterdeep?
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Enon Sci
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Short and sweet: it was her learning game.

I laugh during Castles of Burgundy, and I've been known to shake my fist when tiles I wanted get snagged away (by nefarious malcontents attempting to thwart my principality's expanding happiness, most generally). However, on my first game I was so absorbed with understanding my own board, and playing within the rules, that I never paid much attention to what else was happening at the table.

Many games later, I can gather in a glance what it took minutes of brain power to untangle originally. This leaves much more time for levity and smiles.

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Bryan Thunkd
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Holmes108 wrote:
arkayn wrote:
Holmes108 wrote:
I don't see a lot of laughing in a chess match, but people find that to be a great deal of fun.


I guess it comes down to a question of semantics, but I wouldn't consider chess "fun". I would consider it interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, and perhaps enjoyable. To me, heavy strategy games aren't fun, but they are very much enjoyable for other reasons....


Yeah. I personally would use the word "fun" for serious, thought provoking strategy games, but in the same breath I recognize there are certainly different types of fun. So as you say, it is a bit more of a semantic argument, or a matter of if people distinguish "fun" and "enjoyable" (or some other similar term).
Different people have different definitions of fun. For every activity you think is fun, there's someone else who hates it. Personally, I think someone who can only have fun with light silly games is fairly limited. I enjoy competition and mental challenges, so I find playing difficult heavy games to be quite fun, but I can understand why others might find them to be painful and joyless.
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Andy Leber
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Thunkd wrote:
Holmes108 wrote:

Yeah. I personally would use the word "fun" for serious, thought provoking strategy games, but in the same breath I recognize there are certainly different types of fun. So as you say, it is a bit more of a semantic argument, or a matter of if people distinguish "fun" and "enjoyable" (or some other similar term).
Different people have different definitions of fun. For every activity you think is fun, there's someone else who hates it....(snip)


Oh of course, that goes without saying. But even putting aside people who don't enjoy something, and looking solely among those that do, it's interesting to me that someone who enjoys an activity might not feel it's accurate to say it's "fun" if you're not laughing, or otherwise enjoying yourself in a more overt way.

But again, at the end of the day, we are probably all on the same page emotion wise, it's just more about the word or label we're using to describe it. Just more of an interesting language/definition conversation to me.
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Quote:
Different people have different definitions of fun. For every activity you think is fun, there's someone else who hates it.


Case in point. Some warped people enjoy doing yard work. I do not.
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Beth Grube
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bigGameGeek wrote:
This is exactly what happened to me last weekend! I have this friend who complains when we play "my kind of games" and only plays party games. So we are playing Taboo, which i don't mind the occasional party game if the mood is right (i am no game snob), and people are laughing and he stops and says to me, "see, Taboo is a funner game than that lords of waterdeep game because people are laughing."

Which got me to thinking, does laughing more automatically equal more fun? Is laughter the only measure of entertainment? Is Taboo really better than Lords of Waterdeep?

No, and again I say no!
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Tikatoy wrote:
My games of Castles of Burgundy are always full of laughter, but that is entirely because of the people I've played with. Any game can be full of laughter though, the way we play it because we're always jokingly complaining about how other people have "stolen" the action or tile we need, or gleefully block someone from completing a set or fulfilling some important goal.

I would still enjoy a dry game just for the aspect of it being a challenging mental exercise, but there is no game I won't try to inject humour into, just out of habit.

I have always said the dynamics of any game depends on people at the table. We played the most explosive game of Yahtzee one night at one of my gaming groups that it drew everyone's attention. And yet, my 'foursome' gets fascinated at how quiet everyone gets when involved in a game of Splendor. After some time someone will laugh and say 'Man, we must all be really focused'. I am a seriously boisterous and enthusiastic person. Yet, as long as I know everyone is totally involved and absorbed in the game, I could play all day and never get tired. Castles happens to be my favorite game (with Waterdeep running a close tie). I often say I could spend all afternoon drinking coffee and playing Castles. My greatest fear is not that I don't hear laughter, but that people are bored out of their skull. I don't assume that just because its quiet that they are.
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Believe it or not, these guys were having a *huge* amount of fun playing this game of Maria (I was there that night and can vouch for it) cool

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Kai Mölleken
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Let's switch away from board games for a second:

If you considered only movies that make you laugh to be good movies... you'd miss out on a whole lot more that are actually great. They just don't make you laugh and sometimes... that's the idea.

Back to games:

Freedom: The Underground Railroad is an amazing game. But I'd have a hard time enjoying it with someone at the table who cosiders it to be funny, who laughs and cracks jokes while playing this game...
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Thunkd wrote:
Marriage is just another kind of game.


Does that make a "mistress" an expansion?
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StephenM wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Marriage is just another kind of game.


Does that make a "mistress" an expansion?
Nope. Just an alternate path to victory.
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Ron
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Thunkd wrote:
StephenM wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Marriage is just another kind of game.


Does that make a "mistress" an expansion?
Nope. Just an alternate path to victory.

Oh, as I have witnessed several times, that strategy could also be a quick path into bankruptcy meeple
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Groobies wrote:
bigGameGeek wrote:
This is exactly what happened to me last weekend! I have this friend who complains when we play "my kind of games" and only plays party games. So we are playing Taboo, which i don't mind the occasional party game if the mood is right (i am no game snob), and people are laughing and he stops and says to me, "see, Taboo is a funner game than that lords of waterdeep game because people are laughing."

Which got me to thinking, does laughing more automatically equal more fun? Is laughter the only measure of entertainment? Is Taboo really better than Lords of Waterdeep?

No, and again I say no!


Agreed. I remember laughing like crazy while playing Cards Against Humanity, and hating every minute of the game. Waiting for it to end so we could get back to a "real" game.
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Mike Cook
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I myself don't see laughing as necessarily a positive. Kids can laugh running through a sprinkler, but most would enjoy a hard fought football game.

TV as an analogy - you might laugh more watching SpongeBob, but I would rather watch a mini series like 'Roots' or the documentary 'The Civil War' than watch 22 episodes of SpongeBob.

So my vote is in general, too much laughing during game play is more of a negative.
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This thread has shown me that I need to think about my gaming views. Why? Games like Taboo or those that have "humor" as a primary element to sell it are games I tend to not enjoy. I am not a "party game" type person - I get zero enjoyment of these "socialization framework games" at all. I laugh at games, but most of the time I find a game fun when it is a close competition.

For example, last night my wife and I played 3 rounds of San Juan. The first game I misjudged her and she ended the game, resulting in her winning by 1 point. The next game I didn't misjudge and I won by a point. The last game she utterly trounced me - a good 15 point difference I believe. She was overall winner for the night. I enjoyed the first two games, the second was okay - but she was so far ahead early in the game the only play was "how little can I lose by." Knowing the outcome of the game doesn't make it 'unfun' but it was less fun.

I also enjoyed a solo game of Bios: Megafauna all night. There were surprises but no laughing. It was very fun (it is currently my #1 game).

So I guess I am the opposite to the examples provided in this thread - if the game is all about randomness and socialization with laughter mixed in, I don't enjoy myself. Since I see the reverse as narrow minded, it means I am being narrow minded - I guess I need to think about if I want to stay narrow minded or expand my view.
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Ron
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I think there's a difference between laughs at party games and laughs at ... non-party games (lacking a better term).

Many Euros are like puzzles - if you want to play it successfully, you have to solve your puzzle better than your opponents. That involves much thinking and planning: where can I squeeze out one more victory piont? That usually isn't very funny and distractions, like table talk, don't help but prolong the game. However, I'm absolutely able to have fun with such a game - but the fun is more inside me; it won't show.

When it comes to Ameritrash, you need an overall plan, and while taking your turn, you act accordingly - that requires much less thinking I daresay. Combine that with a strong theme and the result (at least at my table) is much trash talk, jokes, schadenfreude ... usually everyone can see that these guys have fun playing.

The two examples above are of course generalizations, but in may cases, they fit. Euros and AT, both are (or can be) rewarding. And I enjoy both. But wifey tends to like AT much more.
And I'm fine with that meeple
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Chris Berger
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Stonewall wrote:
I myself don't see laughing as necessarily a positive. Kids can laugh running through a sprinkler, but most would enjoy a hard fought football game.

TV as an analogy - you might laugh more watching SpongeBob, but I would rather watch a mini series like 'Roots' or the documentary 'The Civil War' than watch 22 episodes of SpongeBob.

So my vote is in general, too much laughing during game play is more of a negative.


See, my point is... you wouldn't consider those Civil War documentaries (etc.) to be "fun" to watch, but you would definitely consider them interesting and probably enjoyable. To me, "fun" is trivial, light, silly, immature, etc... To me, games are not trivial. Not good games, anyway. They promote thinking about things in different ways, learning and exploring new systems, generally exercising the brain - which is a good and important thing in my opinion. That's the distinction I make between "fun" games and "good" games. Games can be in both categories, but the latter category makes you think.
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