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Subject: Should I propose adding Kalah to the BGG database as a seperate entry rss

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Justus
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This mancala entry is a funky one anyways, because its really about a set of components...or even more generically a style of component. Its like having "square grid with dudes on it" as a BGG entry.

In any case, I went through a phase of playing Kalah a lot and its all logged under this entry, but really I think it should have its own entry on the BGG database, especially since the Mancala description here points towards Wari which is really Oware.

I'm awful at judging whether something should be added to the DB or not, so I thought I'd throw it up for discussion here before deciding whether to do so.
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Craig Duncan
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I vote yes for just the reasons you give!
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Tsar Count
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I actually think the opposite. This entry was made before families were on BGG, so the entry has become a mix of the Mancala family of games, and Kalah, since those are the rules that come with so many games labeled "Mancala."

Now that there are families, including Mancala, this entry should be more brought into Kalah.

If people pick up a game called "Mancala" from Target, a thrift store, Toys R Us, etc., the game is going to be "Kalah." Those are the rules that come with the game. If those people start searching for it online, it should have the name "Mancala" here on BGG, since that is the current name in production for the game of "Kalah" as it is sold in stores.

Hopefully, if people find it here on BGG, and can read about it, they can see some links to other "Mancala Family" games like Oware.

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Russ Williams
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droberts441 wrote:
I actually think the opposite. This entry was made before families were on BGG, so the entry has become a mix of the Mancala family of games, and Kalah, since those are the rules that come with so many games labeled "Mancala."

Now that there are families, including Mancala, this entry should be more brought into Kalah.

This makes sense to me. I note that Kalah is already an alternate name of the game. And perhaps it is commonly sold as "Mancala". In which case, there's nothing to do. Or else swap the names so "Kalah" is the main name and "Mancala" is an alternate name?
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Herb
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all I can add is that it is a mess at BGG.

I've been nibbling at this. Geeklist of geeeklists:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/173785/master-geeklist-ma...

for 2x6 board:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/173916/2x6-mancala-games

I have both the books that Russ wrote about Mancala games. The same game is called by different names by different tribes in Africa. Also in some cases the same name is used by different tribes for different games. So who is the "authority"?

Now throw in western marketing...

The combinations of rules, board sizes, number of seeds and starting setup leads to an astronomical number of different games.

Just read this game to get an idea how fluid names are.
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/39475/giuthi


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Justus
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russ wrote:
droberts441 wrote:
I actually think the opposite. This entry was made before families were on BGG, so the entry has become a mix of the Mancala family of games, and Kalah, since those are the rules that come with so many games labeled "Mancala."

Now that there are families, including Mancala, this entry should be more brought into Kalah.

This makes sense to me. I note that Kalah is already an alternate name of the game. And perhaps it is commonly sold as "Mancala". In which case, there's nothing to do. Or else swap the names so "Kalah" is the main name and "Mancala" is an alternate name?


Since this is what I am actually doing, I suspect this might be the way to go. However, the downside is that honestly a lot of the alternate names would need to be stripped out of this entry and the description revised to accomodate the modern game Kalah.
 
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Damian Walker
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I'd say that every mancala variant people are interested in should have its own entry, including kalah. This already happens with chess, and draughts, and happened a few years ago with hnefatafl. The sheer variety of rules in the mancala family mean that it's not really well served by a single BGG entry.
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Russ Williams
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snigfarp wrote:
I'd say that every mancala variant people are interested in should have its own entry, including kalah. This already happens with chess, and draughts, and happened a few years ago with hnefatafl. The sheer variety of rules in the mancala family mean that it's not really well served by a single BGG entry.

To be clear, there are already plenty of other BGG entries for specific games in the Mancala family. I.e. this specific entry doesn't represent all of them.
 
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Justus
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russ wrote:
snigfarp wrote:
I'd say that every mancala variant people are interested in should have its own entry, including kalah. This already happens with chess, and draughts, and happened a few years ago with hnefatafl. The sheer variety of rules in the mancala family mean that it's not really well served by a single BGG entry.

To be clear, there are already plenty of other BGG entries for specific games in the Mancala family. I.e. this specific entry doesn't represent all of them.


Yup, the question is whether this entry should be transitioned to Kalah, or should we add a new entry for Kalah.

BTW I've sent a GM to the BGG admins Purple and Thommy8 to request that they check out this thread and advise how to proceed. Once I get a response, I'll move forward.
 
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Herb
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I'll point out another nasty "feature" of BGG's organization. If you look at the list of alternate names for Kalah it is an awful mess. Where did each alternate name come from?

I really think that each alternate name should have a version. The version description might say something like "According to L. Russ "Mancala Games" the XYZ tribe calls this game HJK." Now there is at least a stake in the ground as to where name HJK comes from. Otherwise how do you ever know what HJK is, or where it came from?

Now think of translations. What is "Kalah" in Chinese? Japanese? Korean? Russian? So you have a version with description "マンカラ is Japanese for Kalah." Now someone who is Japanese can point out if this is true or not.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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russ wrote:
snigfarp wrote:
I'd say that every mancala variant people are interested in should have its own entry, including kalah. This already happens with chess, and draughts, and happened a few years ago with hnefatafl. The sheer variety of rules in the mancala family mean that it's not really well served by a single BGG entry.

To be clear, there are already plenty of other BGG entries for specific games in the Mancala family. I.e. this specific entry doesn't represent all of them.

Only because a few years ago I added all the traditional mancala games I was aware of.
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Maurizio De Leo
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Unfortunately, a very old battle.

Here is the 9 year old thread where I first proposed some action on it.

Goes without saying that I agree with splitting in different games. If necessary, keep "Mancala" as an alternative name of more than one game.
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Justus
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I just got a response from
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Quote:
You are running into a problem that is rather common with public domain games. BoardGameGeek's structure and policy is based on 'modern' game products, that do not have as much variation as older public domain games.

The Mancala entry is based on an outdated solution, it seems. Since there now is a Mancala family entry, and since many of the games that are part of that family have their own entry, the Mancala entry could use some cleaning up.

If, indeed, the game most commonly sold in the West as Mancala is actually Kalah, my preference is that this entry will continue to represent that game. The primary name should remain Mancala, with Kalah as the alternate name. The other alternate names can be removed, and the description should be updated to a description of Mancala/Kalah only.


Thoughts?
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Justus
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My comment is that I agree with his solution except for the title.

I personally think the main title should be changed to Kalah. Keeping Mancala as the main title is like saying "French Suited Deck" should be the main title to "Poker".
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Moshe Callen
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Except that the box typically doesn't say Kalah. Much as I agree with your idea, this solution is consistent with the usual policies here.
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Justus
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whac3 wrote:
Except that the box typically doesn't say Kalah. Much as I agree with your idea, this solution is consistent with the usual policies here.


Tis true, I never knew what Kalah was until I got back into playing mancala a month ago. I believe that my initial Mancala set had the rules to Kalah, but the mancala game I played on the computer at the time was Oware. I do remember finding it odd that they had slightly different rules.
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Justus
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For what its worth, I will let this discussion sit here through tomorrow. If there isn't any major disagreement or discussion about Emile's proposed solution I'll post it up in the general gaming forum for a few days to guage overall reaction before editing the entry.
 
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aaarg_ink wrote:
I just got a response from
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Quote:
You are running into a problem that is rather common with public domain games. BoardGameGeek's structure and policy is based on 'modern' game products, that do not have as much variation as older public domain games.

The Mancala entry is based on an outdated solution, it seems. Since there now is a Mancala family entry, and since many of the games that are part of that family have their own entry, the Mancala entry could use some cleaning up.

If, indeed, the game most commonly sold in the West as Mancala is actually Kalah, my preference is that this entry will continue to represent that game. The primary name should remain Mancala, with Kalah as the alternate name. The other alternate names can be removed, and the description should be updated to a description of Mancala/Kalah only.


Thoughts?
Completely agree with his response, as I mentioned before. You go to Target, Toys R Us, etc., it is going to say "Mancala" on the box, so the entry should be "Mancala." The rules will be for Kalah, so that should be the game description, and an alternate name.
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Herb
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aaarg_ink wrote:
I just got a response from
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Quote:
You are running into a problem that is rather common with public domain games. BoardGameGeek's structure and policy is based on 'modern' game products, that do not have as much variation as older public domain games.

The Mancala entry is based on an outdated solution, it seems. Since there now is a Mancala family entry, and since many of the games that are part of that family have their own entry, the Mancala entry could use some cleaning up.

If, indeed, the game most commonly sold in the West as Mancala is actually Kalah, my preference is that this entry will continue to represent that game. The primary name should remain Mancala, with Kalah as the alternate name. The other alternate names can be removed, and the description should be updated to a description of Mancala/Kalah only.


Thoughts?



The problem that I had in trying to nibble at the Mancala entry was that I couldn't get a lot of the alternate names deleted. So how can you clarify the game description with all of the "wrong games" listed as alternate names?

So the sticking point in my mind is how does BGG want to handle all the alternate names? As it is alternate names get added, but the justification for the alternate name disappears. So if I add XYZ as an alternate name for Mancala, then how do you ever get rid of it?

The only logical solution seems to be to have a version named XYZ where the description is used to hold the evidence that the name is a "true" alternate name. Even if the "name" is just a translation. I'd guess that there is some Japanese name for "Kalah". So have a version マンカラ which says in its description that "マンカラ is Japanese for Kalah." That way there is a stake in the ground as to why the alternate game name was added.

Look at Tic-Tac-Toe. It suffers the same problem where various translations of the name exist without any "data" on where all the names originated.

--------

whac3 wrote:
Only because a few years ago I added all the traditional mancala games I was aware of.


whac3 did a great job by adding a complete description of the games, including a full set of rules. Most games get added without a complete set of rules. Since these games are so fluid in the various combinations of rules, a complete set of rules should be added for each such game. That way a reasonable judgement call could be made if "Wari" is a "version" of Kalah, or if a new entry is needed.

----

droberts441 wrote:
Completely agree with his response, as I mentioned before. You go to Target, Toys R Us, etc., it is going to say "Mancala" on the box, so the entry should be "Mancala." The rules will be for Kalah, so that should be the game description, and an alternate name.


If you buy the game in the good old USA. In Europe the game would mostly be sold as Kalah I believe.
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Russ Williams
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herace wrote:
droberts441 wrote:
Completely agree with his response, as I mentioned before. You go to Target, Toys R Us, etc., it is going to say "Mancala" on the box, so the entry should be "Mancala." The rules will be for Kalah, so that should be the game description, and an alternate name.


If you buy the game in the good old USA. In Europe the game would mostly be sold as Kalah I believe.

Or "Kalaha", as ours (bought in Poland) is called... :/
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russ wrote:
herace wrote:
droberts441 wrote:
Completely agree with his response, as I mentioned before. You go to Target, Toys R Us, etc., it is going to say "Mancala" on the box, so the entry should be "Mancala." The rules will be for Kalah, so that should be the game description, and an alternate name.


If you buy the game in the good old USA. In Europe the game would mostly be sold as Kalah I believe.

Or "Kalaha", as ours (bought in Poland) is called... :/


Is the game actually spelled that way in Polish, or is that a translation to ASCII characters (a-z)?
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herace wrote:
russ wrote:
herace wrote:
droberts441 wrote:
Completely agree with his response, as I mentioned before. You go to Target, Toys R Us, etc., it is going to say "Mancala" on the box, so the entry should be "Mancala." The rules will be for Kalah, so that should be the game description, and an alternate name.


If you buy the game in the good old USA. In Europe the game would mostly be sold as Kalah I believe.

Or "Kalaha", as ours (bought in Poland) is called... :/


Is the game actually spelled that way in Polish, or is that a translation to ASCII characters (a-z)?

That's literally its name in Polish, it seems. E.g. see:
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalaha
(Looking at the other language links there, it seems it's Kalaha in German and Norwegian too.)

(PS: FWIW ASCII-fied Polish doesn't ever add new letters; it just removes diacritical marks from letters, e.g. ż - z, ó - o, ł - l.)
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Justus
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I'm hoping to point to this thread when proposing the deletion of the alternate names. If we follow through with this exercise, this will be a serious clean up of the Mancala entry.

In previous experience, I don't always agree with BGG admins, but there are willing to listen and typically can be convinced to change their minds.
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aaarg_ink wrote:
I'm hoping to point to this thread when proposing the deletion of the alternate names. If we follow through with this exercise, this will be a serious clean up of the Mancala entry.

In previous experience, I don't always agree with BGG admins, but there are willing to listen and typically can be convinced to change their minds.


Well, I think that the change by BGG admins has to deal with more than just the Mancala entry.

(1) For "folk" games a complete set of rules needs to be given so that it will be possible to separate "different versions" from "different games".

(2) Alternate names for folk games need to be listed as versions so that there are footprints as to how/why the alternate name was assigned.

 
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herace wrote:
aaarg_ink wrote:
I'm hoping to point to this thread when proposing the deletion of the alternate names. If we follow through with this exercise, this will be a serious clean up of the Mancala entry.

In previous experience, I don't always agree with BGG admins, but there are willing to listen and typically can be convinced to change their minds.


Well, I think that the change by BGG admins has to deal with more than just the Mancala entry.

(1) For "folk" games a complete set of rules needs to be given so that it will be possible to separate "different versions" from "different games".

(2) Alternate names for folk games need to be listed as versions so that there are footprints as to how/why the alternate name was assigned.



Oh I agree, but I've seen gripes about the overall database structure the entire time I've been active here...so I suspect that is just a futile task

As such I just try to handle what I think is doable and let the more patient folks handle the structural problems!
 
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