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Subject: How you rate games rss

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Robin Wilkes
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Indulge my curiousity, folks.

When you rate a game, how much do you go by the suggested rating metric? ie, '10 - Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change.' etc.
Do you go by these little prompts, or do you just give it marks out of 10 on a scale of your own?

Personally, I go pretty strictly by them, but I'd like to know how others feel.

 
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Christopher Onstad
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Initially I rated games based on how likely I could get somebody to play with me. (with a couple exceptions) My theory being no matter how much I like a game, games I can play with people are more fun than games that I just look at the components. I am slowly, however going over to using the guideline figureing if I could have my way what would I like to play. It feels more honest. Right now my ratings are kind of a hybrid of those.
 
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Aaron Tubb
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I use the rating guidelines provided. The more I want to play it, the higher the rating.
 
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Vaughn Sandor
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I go by the prompts
 
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Giles Pritchard
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Generally I try to go by the prompts.

Cheers!

Giles.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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I go mostly by the prompts, but I have to allow myself a little interpretation. I mean... always want to play? Never expect that to change? I could never rate a game as a 10 if I took that literally. I give 10's to those few games that I am currently most eager to play and with the expectation that I will continue to be eager for quite some time -- but not necessarily forever. I'm 53, gang, and I'm here to tell you that your tastes will change as time goes by!

Also... let's face it, no game is appropriate for all occasions. Time constraints, number of players, how hard I feel like thinking tonight; these factors can convince me that I don't want to play my favorite game right now. But it still gets a 10 if it's one I'm eager to play whenever the time's right.
 
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(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
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Yes, I kind of like the "guidelines", even though I also read them under the assumption that I have loads of time and am relaxed, which is of course not as often the case as one might dream of...

At the end of the day, it really does not matter HOW you read the scale as long as it reflects an honest opinion regarding the games you rate. Anything else than systematic/widespread dishonesty is swallowed by the Central Limit Theorem as soon as there are enough ratings ...

...(and the BGG ranking is doing quite a good job of dealing with shills etc.)
 
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...sure...
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Use RCRG*:

1 - A game I do not wish to play at all
2 - better than a 1, but not as good as a 3
3 - better than a 2, but not as good as a 4
4 - better than a 3, but not as good as a 5
5 - better than a 4, but not as good as a 6
6 - better than a 5, but not as good as a 7
7 - better than a 6, but not as good as a 8
8 - better than a 7, but not as good as a 9
9 - better than a 8, but not as good as a 10
10 - one of the best games, according to me

* Randy Cox Rating Guidelines
 
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Mark C
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I think the only important thing is the spread of your games. If your best game was a 6 and your worst a 5, you're really not providing any info. If your worst is a 1 and your best a 5, you're probably contributing as much as someone who has 6-10, except your relatively harsh ratings will penalize the games you rate vs the ones you don't.

My rule of thumb is based on a 7. To me, a 7 is worth playing given my limited time, but I agree with the previous poster that if I recognize the game is good, but my personal taste means I don't want to play it, I won't trash the game, but rather wind up somewhere in-between.
 
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Tim Benjamin
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1 Crap: Global Survival
2 Random: LCR
3 Once was enough: Mystery of the Abbey
4 Roll & move: Monopoly
5 - 10 RCRG
 
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Michael Jordal
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I rate by the prompts.
 
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J C Lawrence
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dipdragon wrote:
What really annoys me is that someone will rate a game like Caylus at 1-3, which it just doesn't deserve. Caylus is a high quality physical production, the game system works smoothly and that alone deserves a 4 of anyone's rating.


Why? I'm not rating the production quality (unless it interferes with play), I'm rating the extent to which game design appeals to me. As long as the production quality meets the minimum bar of not impeding play it is enough. The rest is just gravy. I don't like Caylus and would be quite happy if I never play it again. Certainly there are games that I want to play even less than Caylus, but it solidly falls on my I'd rather go home alone than play list. Nice bits, good rules etc don't matter -- the game is not something I want truck with. As such a 3 rating seemed quite reasonable.

Quote:
I'd rather see a system where you rate the quality of the game and then give a separate rating of how much you want to play it, or enjoyed/hated playing it. Separate the quality of the game from the quality of the experience, then we might see more interesting ratings.


The very small publishers, the Winsome Games, the Spiele-aus-Verlags, the Pfifficus Spieles, the JKLMs etc would do really well for me if we did that split. Their game quality ratio is often amazingly high (eg Kaivai, Lancashire Railways. Kanaloa, City and Guilds, Kunst Stücke etc)
 
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J C Lawrence
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Gamer_Dog wrote:
I think the only important thing is the spread of your games.


Similarly I think it is worth realising that the scale is exponential rather than linear (or logarithmic if you prefer, same thing). The value increase of an 8 rating versus a 7 rating is exponentially larger than the value increase of a 4 rating over a 3 rating. Or, if you wish:

It is really easy to suck. It is hard to do well, and it is incredibly hard to do very well.

Likewise, Sturgeon's law, which is really just a restatement of Zipf/power curve distributions, strongly suggests that the average rating across all games should be around 2.5 to 3. Mediocrity and crap are too easy for it to be otherwise.
 
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Kevin H
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dipdragon wrote:
I rate games in two dimensions: quality of game and willingness to play.


I'd just like to point out that...contrary to popular belief...the prompts include those 2 dimensions. They are not only your willingness to play, they include game quality as well:

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change.

9 - Excellent game. Always want to play it.

8 - Very good game. I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and will never turn down a game.

7 - Good game, usually willing to play.

6 - Ok game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.

5 - Average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it.

4 - Not so good, it doesn't get me but could be talked into it on occasion.

3 - Likely won't play this again although could be convinced. Bad.

2 - Extremely annoying game, won't play this ever again.

1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.

And yeah...I use the prompts
 
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Eli Smith
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One thing I've started to take into account in my ratings is my feelign of what the designer was attempting to achieve (I got this after reading a lengthy discource on Film review by Roger Ebert).

Thus not all games are held to an identical standard, but some level of the author's intent is factord in.

Thus a Wargame is always rated against its peers as wargames and historical simulations.

A elengant family-strategy euro is weighed in as such.

I try to seperate my personal tastes somewhat, I don't like "tend you own garded" multiplayer solitaire affairs, but I know there are people that do and if I encounter such game I try to just determine how well it was pulled off.

Now my personal feelings will come into play on occassion (sorry I just can't bring myself to rate Killer Bunnies highly, I hate this game with such a deep and abiding passion that it blocks out my sense of logic).
 
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Kevin H
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Gamer_Dog wrote:
I agree with the previous poster that if I recognize the game is good, but my personal taste means I don't want to play it, I won't trash the game, but rather wind up somewhere in-between.


Allow me to again rail against the myth of objectivity. devil

If you don't like a game and never want it to play it again, then that is your opinion and view. But then by what means can you mystically come to "recognize the game is good"?

Here is what I think is going on:

Let's say I hear about Puerto Rico. It wins every award under the sun. Everyone says it is a product of genius, meticulously crafted for nearly a decade to the point of sublime perfection. It is known universally as the greatest board game ever made. Why, it is even rumoured that Christ's blood was stirred in with the pulp that made the boards.

Fantastic. And that's all very nice...unless I don't like the game. If it turns out that I don't like the game, then all of those glowing and gushing reviews mean diddly squat to me. That is when I say "You are all crazy, the game sucks and I wouldn't play it again if a gun were to my head."

This is also the point where a lot of people instead say things like "Although I did not enjoy the game at all, and plan to never play it again...I understand that it is a well-put-together game of high quality, and so I rate it an 8."

That my friends...is called being a sheep. You are no longer rating the game, you are allowing its reputation to rate itself.

If you think a game is the best ever, give it a 10 (or so). If you'd never play a game again and it makes you angry thinking about the time you did...give it a 1 (or so).

Although, I will grant...there are situations where rating becomes difficult. This is primarily due to really old games that you wouldn't play now, but gave you great joy "back in the day". I had this problem with Civilization. I remember it very fondly, indeed it was once held the lofty perch of the greatest game I had ever encountered. But today, it takes far far FAR too long for me to ever want to play it again. So I sold it. But what do I rate it? Going by the "how much I want to play it" script...it would be about a 3 or a 4. But going by the "how good of a game it is" language, I certainly wouldn't call it average (5). So I gave it a 6. And I think it seems high there. But anywhere else it seems low. It's stuck in rating purgatory. But I keep it at 6 because it seems like 6.5 is around the average rating where games start to be considered good...so my 6 isn't doing Civ's rating any favours...which helps me sleep at night.

I still can't believe all the people that rate Civ a 10. I think if you haven't played a game in a decade you shouldn't be able to rate it perfectly. Makes sense to me
 
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Eli Smith
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Well 100% objectivity is indeed a myth, it takes very little to take into account some objective factors when considering a game's rating (or more often wether you should even bother to rate the game at all).

There are folks out there that do not like cetain themes or cetain aspects of games alltogehter (such as Fantasy Themes, Games with high Luck factors, or games with a lot of direct conflict between players). Is it really fair to rate these games poorly because they don't fit your personal tastes?

This is compounded by those who do not put in a comment as to why they're rating the game so poorly.

I could at least accept someone rating Battlelore with

"1" - I hate fatnasy themes

than just

"1"

At least with the former I know the person is predisposed not to like the game regarless of how well it was put together.

Some people just don't like complex games but is complexity inherertly a bad thing? A lot of people like complex games a well, is simplicity a bad thing?

The truth is probably the neither are bad or good these are just games that are aimed at different audiences.

Of course this is where such a broad community just giving a number to a game breaks down...

I am just as guilty of the ratings sins as everyone else.
 
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Robin Wilkes
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thesama wrote:
Is it really fair to rate these games poorly because they don't fit your personal tastes?


Well, yes, I think it is. It's my rating of the game. It's an assessment of how I feel about it. Then, when that is combined with everyone else's assessment of how they feel about it, we arrive at an average of how people in general feel about the game.

I think that if people alter their ratings on the basis of, "Well, it's not for me, but I can see how other people would enjoy it," then the system is going to be horribly skewed to the positive, and fairly meaningless.
 
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MontyCircus wrote:
Gamer_Dog wrote:
I agree with the previous poster that if I recognize the game is good, but my personal taste means I don't want to play it, I won't trash the game, but rather wind up somewhere in-between.


Allow me to again rail against the myth of objectivity. devil

If you don't like a game and never want it to play it again, then that is your opinion and view. But then by what means can you mystically come to "recognize the game is good"?

Here is what I think is going on:

Let's say I hear about Puerto Rico. It wins every award under the sun. Everyone says it is a product of genius, meticulously crafted for nearly a decade to the point of sublime perfection. It is known universally as the greatest board game ever made. Why, it is even rumoured that Christ's blood was stirred in with the pulp that made the boards.

Fantastic. And that's all very nice...unless I don't like the game. If it turns out that I don't like the game, then all of those glowing and gushing reviews mean diddly squat to me. That is when I say "You are all crazy, the game sucks and I wouldn't play it again if a gun were to my head."

This is also the point where a lot of people instead say things like "Although I did not enjoy the game at all, and plan to never play it again...I understand that it is a well-put-together game of high quality, and so I rate it an 8."

That my friends...is called being a sheep. You are no longer rating the game, you are allowing its reputation to rate itself.




I disagree with the sheep comment. Puerto Rico is an excellent example of a well designed game I'd rather not play. Not because the rules are crap but because I don't want to be a puerto rican famer. I can respect the rules mechanics (in fact I've played a couple games just to see those mechanics again) but not like the theme, just as much as I can like the theme and hate the mechanics.


 
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Darren M
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I rate strictly by the guidelines on BGG. I think they do a decent job in defining the differences between each number on the scale. It's true though that going by the guidelines I can't see ever rating something a "10" ... but maybe I just haven't played enough games yet.

The entire rating system and process is excellent on BGG... perfectly objective/subjective/illogical/insane... matching perfectly everyone who participates on BGG.
 
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jbrier
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BaSL wrote:
Use RCRG*:

1 - A game I do not wish to play at all
2 - better than a 1, but not as good as a 3
3 - better than a 2, but not as good as a 4
4 - better than a 3, but not as good as a 5
5 - better than a 4, but not as good as a 6
6 - better than a 5, but not as good as a 7
7 - better than a 6, but not as good as a 8
8 - better than a 7, but not as good as a 9
9 - better than a 8, but not as good as a 10
10 - one of the best games, according to me

* Randy Cox Rating Guidelines


ditto
 
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Walt
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I rate using the BGG guidelines, with a few exceptions where I feel the quality of the game transcends my desire to play it. For example, I rate go a 10 because it has the simplest rules and the most complex play of any board game I'm aware of. It's rules are nearly as simple as rock-paper-scissors, while its play is far more complex than chess. I'm just personally past abstracts (I played go a lot in high school) and unwilling to either play as a lousy player or study the huge amount needed to become a decent player. However, in my rating I recognize the fundamental elegance of go.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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clearclaw wrote:
Likewise, Sturgeon's law, which is really just a restatement of Zipf/power curve distributions, strongly suggests that the average rating across all games should be around 2.5 to 3. Mediocrity and crap are too easy for it to be otherwise.


Yes, but my collection of rated games was cherry-picked, not acquired at random, and I suspect this is true for many of the collections on BGG. I have rated over 80 games, and very few are rated below a 6 because I've tried to buy only the cream. One or two clunkers have crept into my collection and I've had a couple of bad experiences playing other people's games, but that's about it for the crufty stuff. My average rating is a shade above 7.0, and that's correct because I really do greatly enjoy most of the games in my collection.
 
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Walt
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clearclaw wrote:
Likewise, Sturgeon's law, which is really just a restatement of Zipf/power curve distributions, strongly suggests that the average rating across all games should be around 2.5 to 3. Mediocrity and crap are too easy for it to be otherwise.


However, the same curve applies to the raters as well.

More importantly, we select our own sample of games: a four hour game about German politics seems like a hideous waste of gaming time to me, so I've never played Die Macher nor given it a (probably poor) rating.

Also, we're gamers. We like playing games. We're "usually willing to play" almost any game, the 7 rating. Nothing says the rating system has to center around 5.5.
 
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Jay T Leone
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MontyCircus wrote:
dipdragon wrote:
I rate games in two dimensions: quality of game and willingness to play.


I'd just like to point out that...contrary to popular belief...the prompts include those 2 dimensions. They are not only your willingness to play, they include game quality as well:

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change.

9 - Excellent game. Always want to play it.

8 - Very good game. I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and will never turn down a game.

7 - Good game, usually willing to play.

6 - Ok game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.

5 - Average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it.

4 - Not so good, it doesn't get me but could be talked into it on occasion.

3 - Likely won't play this again although could be convinced. Bad.

2 - Extremely annoying game, won't play this ever again.

1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.

And yeah...I use the prompts


Sounds like my system. What are prompts? I rate based on my own feelings of theme, gameplay, replayability, uniqueness, interaction. Doesn't matter who made the game (Designer or Company) or what haters or praisers say. Take my ratings of Puerto Rico or Arkham Horror as a good example.

I'm very critical of my ratings. Only quality will be at the top.
 
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