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Subject: Golden Geek Awards 2014 agreement & controversy! rss

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Carlos Soto Power
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The results of the 9th Golden Geek Awards have caused some controversy.
There are many users (me included) who argue that Splendor shouldn't have won the Board Game of the Year award.

Let's try to figure this criticism can be sustained thru the analisis of the results of the GG Awards from previous years:

2006
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Ingenious
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Twilight Struggle
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Caylus
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Caylus

2007
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Zooloretto
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winners: BattleLore & Commands & Colors: Ancients
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Shogun
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Shogun

2008
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Thebes
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Agricola
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Agricola

2009
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Pandemic
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Space Hullk (3rd ed.)
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Le Havre
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Dominion

2010
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Tobago
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Washington's War
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Hansa Teutonica

2011
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: 7 Wonders
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: A Few Acres of Snow
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Dominant Species

2012
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: King of Tokyo
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Android: Netrunner
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Eclipse

2013
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Love Letter
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Terra Mystica

2014
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Splendor
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Star Realms
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Splendor
---

Well, as we can see, is obvious that the category Best Gamer's Board Game was eliminated on 2010, maybe because both categories, Best Gamer's Board Game and Board Game of the Year, frequently were awarded to the same game (except for 2009, in which Dominion and Le Havre won those awards separately).

Going ahead, if we consider the Board Game of the Year winners from 2010 to 2013, we might realize that it wouldn't have been a surprise if those games would also have won the Best Gamer's Board Game award, if it still would have existed by that time. So, apparently, both categories were were merged into a single one.

Now, if we check the winners of the GG Best Family Board Game category from 2006 to 2014 (Splendor included), we could easily concur in the fact that Splendor fits perfectly into that category; on the other hand, when compared with the winners of the GG Board Game of the Year category from 2006 to 2013, we could easily agree in saying that Splendor doesn't fit so well between those games.

In my little research I included the Best 2-Player Board Game category just to stand out the fact that the winner games in that category used to be more meaty games, in the same line that the winners in the Best Gamer's Board Game and Board Game of the Year categories. So, apparently, since a few years, but especially since 2014, some BGG categories have become less clear which could lead to confusion, particularly to newcomers.

Maybe we should propose new categories, replacement of some of them or the return of some old categories that were more accurate. What do you guys think? Well, since BGG is a community (a great and friendly one indeed), I guess is up to all of us to decide this.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to post your comments, opinions, etc., either if you share my thoughts or not.
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Kai Mölleken
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Sooo... you don't agree with a people's choice award which means that they voted incorrectly?

Maybe a majority on the Geek now just prefers lighter games?
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What game do you think should have received the award?
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Kaermo wrote:
Sooo... you don't agree with a people's choice award which means that they voted incorrectly?

Maybe a majority on the Geek now just prefers lighter games?

Don't misunderstand me. I own Splendor and like it (indeed, I voted for it in second place*). My intention just was to point that I understand the criticism around the current significance/meaning of the GG Awards... I wanted to show, following the history of the GG Awards, why I think that criticism is some way valid.

I feel an hypersensitiveness in the BGG this recent days... May we accept other's points of view without resentments guys, can we? meeple
---

Edited to add explanation: *unfortunately this year I couldn't try other new games than Splendor, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Imperial Settlers and King of NY. By the way, my first choice for the GG BG of the year was Imperial Settlers.
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Kaermo wrote:
Sooo... you don't agree with a people's choice award which means that they voted incorrectly?

Sorry for quoting you again Kai, but your hypersensitiveness has put me hypersensitive laugh

Let me answer your question rephrasing it: So... if many BGG users don't agree with a people's choice award probably means that the categories maybe are defined incorrectly/vaguely?
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Just my opinion, but I think Splendor is easily the best GG Game of the Year Winner in the past 5 years. I voted for it as my #1 choice even though I personally prefer the game I voted for my #2 choice (Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game). Every one I introduced Splendor to loved it...newbies, casual gamers, hardcore gamers, and non-gamers alike. It's easy to teach/learn, it's fun, it's quick, but there's some depth to it as well...and approachable for just 'bout all range of gamer types. I wouldn't have minded seeing Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game win either, as I like that game a bit more...but it's appeal is not as widespread as Splendor.

While there are many gamer's games that I like, I'm finally glad to see a more family friendly game win this award...and a deserving one to boot...
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The problem was that 2013 games were not eligible for the 2014 awards. Every past winner of the GotY has been from the previous year, but this year, that wasn't possible. Many have not yet had a chance to play games released at Essen 2014 yet, which is why pretty much all of the winners from this year were released in August or earlier.
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FinrondFelagund wrote:
Kaermo wrote:
Sooo... you don't agree with a people's choice award which means that they voted incorrectly?

Maybe a majority on the Geek now just prefers lighter games?

Don't misunderstand me. I own Splendor and like it (indeed, I voted for it in second place*). My intention just was to point that I understand the criticism around the current significance/meaning of the GG Awards... I wanted to show, following the history of the GG Awards, why I think that criticism is some way valid.

I feel an hypersensitiveness in the BGG this recent days... May we accept other's points of view without resentments guys, can we? meeple
---

Edited to add explanation: *unfortunately this year I couldn't try other new games than Splendor, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Imperial Settlers and King of NY. By the way, my first choice for the GG BG of the year was Imperial Settlers.

And please don't missunderstand me either. I wrote my post without any resentments and I didn't mean to come across disrespectful or aggressive.

I just wanted to point out that while a vocal part (not to say minority) of the community might be complaining about Splendor winning game of the year, obviously a majority voted for Splendor to become game of the year.

There are several winners and runner-ups that I don't agree with. Dead of Winter innovative? Not if you ask me, but enough voters think otherwise.

FinrondFelagund wrote:
Let me answer your question rephrasing it: So... if many BGG users don't agree with a people's choice award probably means that the categories maybe are defined incorrectly/vaguely?

I may be on a limb here but it's my understanding that a good amount of the categories is based on the categories the games are filed under on BGG which puts the categories in the hands of the community again.

For example I'd say that there were much better representatives of the wargame genre among the nominees than the two runner-ups. But both are listed as wargames and appeal to a wider audience than "classic" wargames so I don't mind them ranking as high as they did.

Edit:

Phrim wrote:
The problem was that 2013 games were not eligible for the 2014 awards. Every past winner of the GotY has been from the previous year, but this year, that wasn't possible. Many have not yet had a chance to play games released at Essen 2014 yet, which is why pretty much all of the winners from this year were released in August or earlier.

This is a much more interesting point and one that I'd credit with a much higher impact. However, I also find it hard to argue this one. Because it's much harder to draw the line here. The point in time at which I was able to play a game for the first time, is subject to availability. But where can you draw the line? And if BGG wants to be an international community how could one justify to make a certain market the reference point. While many Essen releases haven't seen a wide release in the US yet, they were certainly released in 2014. And on the flipside a good amount of games that have been released in the US are not widely available in Europe...

By taking the date of the original release BGG chose to go by an objective criterium and I think that it is a good choice, even when this means that the results may be skewed by availability in the US.
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I agree with the OP. I have Splendor and thinks it's a fun game myself. However, it isn't a boardgame so I don't know how all that plays out in the voting. They should probably have a category for card games.

But it's not a computer game either, so I guess you throw it into the boardgame mix.

All that said, I think there are so many games that are much, much better than Splendor, but I suppose the Ayes have it.
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Osprey wrote:
They should probably have a category for card games.

As matter of fact they have and Imperial Settlers won in that category
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I think one reasonable explanation is that the hobby is becoming much more accessible and therefore, you're seeing a shift in the voting majority. Whereas before, when the gamers made up the majority of the population and voting block on BGG, now more family gamers are playing, voting, and participating here on the geek (and I would say that gap will widen over the next 2 years). It wouldn't surprise me that going forward, the family game of the year won the game of the year more often than not.

FinrondFelagund wrote:
The results of the 9th Golden Geek Awards have caused some controversy.
There are many users (me included) who argue that Splendor shouldn't have won the Board Game of the Year award.

Let's try to figure this criticism can be sustained thru the analisis of the results of the GG Awards from previous years:

2006
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Ingenious
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Twilight Struggle
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Caylus
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Caylus

2007
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Zooloretto
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winners: BattleLore & Commands & Colors: Ancients
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Shogun
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Shogun

2008
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Thebes
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Agricola
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Agricola

2009
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Pandemic
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Space Hullk (3rd ed.)
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner: Le Havre
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Dominion

2010
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Tobago
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Washington's War
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Hansa Teutonica

2011
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: 7 Wonders
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: A Few Acres of Snow
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Dominant Species

2012
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: King of Tokyo
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Android: Netrunner
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Eclipse

2013
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Love Letter
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Terra Mystica

2014
GG Best Family Board Game Winner: Splendor
GG Best 2-Player Board Game Winner: Star Realms
GG Best Gamer's Board Game Winner:
GG Board Game of the Year Winner: Splendor
---

Well, as we can see, is obvious that the category Best Gamer's Board Game was eliminated on 2010, maybe because both categories, Best Gamer's Board Game and Board Game of the Year, frequently were awarded to the same game (except for 2009, in which Dominion and Le Havre won those awards separately).

Going ahead, if we consider the Board Game of the Year winners from 2010 to 2013, we might realize that it wouldn't have been a surprise if those games would also have won the Best Gamer's Board Game award, if it still would have existed by that time. So, apparently, both categories were were merged into a single one.

Now, if we check the winners of the GG Best Family Board Game category from 2006 to 2014 (Splendor included), we could easily concur in the fact that Splendor fits perfectly into that category; on the other hand, when compared with the winners of the GG Board Game of the Year category from 2006 to 2013, we could easily agree in saying that Splendor doesn't fit so well between those games.

In my little research I included the Best 2-Player Board Game category just to stand out the fact that the winner games in that category used to be more meaty games, in the same line that the winners in the Best Gamer's Board Game and Board Game of the Year categories. So, apparently, since a few years, but especially since 2014, some BGG categories have become less clear which could lead to confusion, particularly to newcomers.

Maybe we should propose new categories, replacement of some of them or the return of some old categories that were more accurate. What do you guys think? Well, since BGG is a community (a great and friendly one indeed), I guess is up to all of us to decide this.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to post your comments, opinions, etc., either if you share my thoughts or not.
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Obviously it just comes down to numbers. There are three games from 2014 ranked higher than Splendor, but it has at least twice as many ratings as any of them.

Maybe the Best Game of the Year should start going to the highest rated game of the year?

(of course then you get a new controversy over the ranking system....)
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Strategy Game replaced "Gamer's Game".
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I love Splendor. It's fantastic. It's pleasant to play. It's approachable. It's great.

But it's not Game of the Year to me, in the same way I love Wayne's World, but wouldn't have picked it over Schindler's List for Best Picture in the same year.

Ah, well... Viva La Difference
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Auzette wrote:
I love Splendor. It's fantastic. It's pleasant to play. It's approachable. It's great.

But it's not Game of the Year to me, in the same way I love Wayne's World, but wouldn't have picked it over Schindler's List for Best Picture in the same year.

"Movie of the Year" would be a much different award from "Best Picture".
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Digital Board Games should be a separate category for VGG awards. At present the board game ports dominate the VGG awards to the point where other types of video game are crowded out.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Auzette wrote:
I love Splendor. It's fantastic. It's pleasant to play. It's approachable. It's great.

But it's not Game of the Year to me, in the same way I love Wayne's World, but wouldn't have picked it over Schindler's List for Best Picture in the same year.

"Movie of the Year" would be a much different award from "Best Picture".

Hmm, how so? The two terms don't seem starkly different to me (even AMPAS itself refers at times to the award as "Best Picture of the Year Award", which seems an amalgamation of the two terms).
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Auzette wrote:
Hmm, how so? The two terms don't seem starkly different to me (even AMPAS itself refers at times to the award as "Best Picture of the Year Award", which seems an amalgamation of the two terms).

The "Movie of the Year", like the "Game of the Year", isn't being adjudged to be the best, but just the most significant or important. Like, Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" is not the human being with the best personal qualities. An award that declares itself to identify the "Best" is a lot different than one that is just judging significance or impact.;
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Interesting conversation.

When the question is posed, what should or shouldn't win, it should be based on the criteria of what the result (award) is supposed to quantify.

It appears that you note a trend that over the years, more strategic, tactical and/or deep games have won over lighter games; and that you consider Splendor to be a lighter (thus family) game undeserving of the game of the year award.

I looked briefly through the threads and I didn't see a criteria for each category (perhaps someone can enlighten me here). If there is no definitive criteria for what we judge 'game of the year' on, then it probably falls to what is a person's favorite. That is purely a popularity contest at that point.

If there is no criteria, then there is really no room to say what 'should' have won. That is left up to each person's vote in a system where majority wins. You can certainly debate your opinion about why other games are better suited for the victory, but that doesn't make your opinion right, and someone else's wrong.

For my opinion, though Splendor is one of the most played games in my house this year, it was not my vote for game of the year. Still, for most people it was theirs, and so it rightly won.
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sbszine wrote:
Digital Board Games should be a separate category for VGG awards. At present the board game ports dominate the VGG awards to the point where other types of video game are crowded out.

I don't know if that would alleviate the perceived problem.
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One thing that hasn't been brought up yet is that we solicited nominations for GOTY ahead of time. In the past we've taken the top 3 games from each category and lumped them together to have 30 or so choices. The GOTY voting took place for a week or so following the announcement of the finalists, and it's possible that changed the demographic of the voting participants.

Maybe the hardcore gamers cared enough to return to vote for a second round and that skewed the results toward voting for heavier games?

Just a thought.

For the record, I have no problems with the way that the voting took place and I think all the winners are quite deserving of their respective wins.

We had more participants than ever this year and I hope that continues to grow.

I suggest that if you are looking for a jury type award that aligns more with your tastes - then check out the IGA (internationalgamersawards.net). I'm a member of that jury and you'll unlikely see a light or thematic game win. (God knows I've tried to get them through

Here was my 2013 nomination list (stars indicate a higher preference):
Pathfinder ACG
*Concordia
*Istanbul
Euphoria
*Amerigo
*Russian Railroads
*Nations
Caverna
Nauticus
Abluxxen
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1nf1n1ty wrote:
Interesting conversation.
...If there is no definitive criteria for what we judge 'game of the year' on, then it probably falls to what is a person's favorite. That is purely a popularity contest at that point...

This is exactly my point.


Aldie wrote:
Strategy Game replaced "Gamer's Game".

I'm perfectly aware of it. I wrote:

FinrondFelagund wrote:
So, apparently, both categories were were merged into a single one.

And I still think that's what apparently happened
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I am not sure that the merger of two categories is the issue given your analysis. Your first comment about a lack of criteria is more important.

This could be a very difficult conversation though. Ideally, one would have a list of criteria and then weight them on importance. That agreement could be much harder to achieve than what 'game of the year' means.

What is important to be game of the year? Strategic depth, tactical choices, balancing mechanisms? Or is it accessibility, how enjoyable or replayable it is? Or is it how innovative, addictive or how beautiful it is?

All of these characteristics could be measured with scales of value, but how should they be weighted against each other? Are they all equal, or are some more important than others? I read into your comments thinking that strategic depth is really important, but is that the most important feature?

One could create a multiple page questionnaire to gather and analyze everyone's vote. Yet, perhaps it is just easier and more efficient to list "What do you think the game of the year is" and see where society votes. I like both paths, but the latter is certainly the path of least resistance.
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Kaermo wrote:
Osprey wrote:
They should probably have a category for card games.

As matter of fact they have and Imperial Settlers won in that category

Didn't know that, but it makes me wonder why Splendor wasn't restricted to that category.
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Aldie wrote:
sbszine wrote:
Digital Board Games should be a separate category for VGG awards. At present the board game ports dominate the VGG awards to the point where other types of video game are crowded out.

I don't know if that would alleviate the perceived problem.
Maybe if the categories would be separated even for nominations. So that it wouldn't be possible to nominate digital board games to any other category than digital board games?
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