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Subject: Evaluating games: Relativism versus objectivism rss

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David Buckley
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mocko wrote:
Buckersuk wrote:
In any case I take a position your bound to disagree with. Which is better between Punct and Go is a matter of taste. Substitute any two games and it's still simply a matter of taste.


...you're entirely wrong on this matter, David. Intellectual/artistic constructs do have objective criteria to be judged and compared by - however much a sizeable faction of the species cares to opine to the contrary. Which of Pünct and Go a given individual prefers is indeed a matter of taste, but then to make that statement is to add nothing to human understanding, since it amounts to a tautology.

This is not to say that it's necessarily possible to resolve in a meaningful way every debate as to the merits of this and that particular entity, but the machinery for approaching the task does exist and is to a significant degree independent of opinion.



milomilo122 wrote:


I want to slip in: this question interests me greatly. To what extent should we be relativists about games?

I feel differently on different days: I'm a relativist one day, an objectivist the next.



I felt this topic was worth a thread of its own. I am firmly in the relativist camp. My argument starts from a basis of "what is the purpose of a game" and the only answer that makes sense to me is "entertainment". Note that when I say "entertainment" I mean entertainment in the broad sense that is not limited to how much fun you have playing the game but also things like sense of accomplishment, thrill of discovery, originality/USP, or anything else that contributes to your love for the game. The important point is that entertainment does not make sense as a concept without a subject to be entertained.

Richard is right that some of the criteria which can be used to compare games are at least partially objective but the relative importance of these criteria is subjective and in any case I think it's a mistake to try and reduce the evaluation of a game to a formula. For example Connect6 is objectively deeper than Connect 4 but whether that makes Go a better game for you depends what you want from a game. I don't necessarily want to think that hard.

Christian makes an interesting distinction between "tactical games" and "strategic games". Tactical games are easier to appreciate the qualities of initially but (arguably) less rewarding in the long run. I don't understand the reverence accorded to Go. It seems to me there are a lot of substantially better games out there but I'm not sure whether this is because Go is an indifferent (to my tastes) game or because it's beauty is more subtle and I haven't learned to appreciate it yet. Even coming from a relativist position it is possible to hold out judgement. As an aside does anyone know of any good online resources that might help me to gain an appreciation for Go?
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Other people might say that the purpose of a game is to provide a way to "weigh one's brain" against that of another's. Therefore, it makes sense, in that light, that some games would be more fit than others due to their strategic depth and an allowance for deep study. That's my understanding of the other view that is.
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Did someone say...

OBJECTIVISM?
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Some late-night rambling coming your way!

In considering games as a whole, I'm a relativist. There is no sense in which I can declare a given party game better or worse than a given strategy game, for example, because they are such different things - the effects they're designed to create are totally unrelated. In that light, it even feels weird to me that they're considered the same thing (games)

It's when we narrow the scope of comparison, so that all games under consideration are designed to achieve the same effects, that my thinking starts to go foggy.

Most of all for luckless, two player, combinatorial abstract strategy games, because so much of what feels "good" about playing them feels the same to most folks who do, and because much of that can be fairly precisely operationalized (to such an extent that Cameron Browne can write software that designs good games in the genre).

But even for abstract games, I can be something of a relativist. Some games feel good for me to play, and some games don't. Other people feel the opposite about the same games. I can think of no way to assess conflicting opinions about games so as to declare one opinion better than another.

Well, maybe one way: knowledge. As you say:

Buckersuk wrote:
It seems to me there are a lot of substantially better games out there but I'm not sure whether this is because Go is an indifferent (to my tastes) game or because it's beauty is more subtle and I haven't learned to appreciate it yet.


It could be that if you took, say Punct and Go, and played them both to death, your opinions would change and fall into line with the feelings of anyone else who does the same. It seems to me that kind of convergence to the universal is possible. Go could be an example: most people who play Go a whole bunch end up liking it more and more until they see it as the most beautiful board game ever invented. (however, this isn't proof of some kind of universality because selection bias could also be at play: only folks prone to like Go with increasing intensity as they play are likely to continue playing).

But if this kind of convergence of opinion is a possibility, then it seems to me there might be room for something objective to say about the quality of Go vs. some other game. It might be something like: "Go is better at stimulating an electrical storm in the human prefrontal cortex than game X is, and therefore Go is a better vehicle for competitive strategy."

I suspect, in fact, that if there are objective truths to be uncovered about game-quality, they will not be so much about the games themselves but about the relationship between the games and our brains. In fact, I think we sort of ARE talking about this without realizing it when we talk about things like strategy and tactics, but we don't know it, because we're making a sort of category error. For example, I think Christian's distinction between tactical and strategy games is best understood in this way.

Specifically, when you can play a game with a highly developed strategic perspective, it probably means your brain can do a bunch of subconscious holistic-pattern-manipulation computations in response to the stimuli the game presents, and can do so in such a way that it can inform your decision about how to play. In contrast, all that subconscious machinery has a harder time kicking into gear when confronted with the games Christian describes as "tactical" and so you don't get those intuitive, where-did-that-come-from? flashes of insight that are so thrilling to have.

Even though thinking this way pushes me toward a kind of objectivism, it also pushes me, in another way, towards more relativism: because our brains aren't static, I can't necessarily talk about how a game affects our brains as if it were a constant.

For example: many people have a really hard time getting into Go on first exposure. They don't see strategy at all, it feels forbidding. Their brains get stuck in first gear.

There are other games that don't have this problem so much, Kris Burm's games are a great example. My experience with Yinsh, for example, is that people just sort of light up with strategy ideas when they first start playing, in a way they don't so much on first exposure to Go. And I'm really talking about holistic strategy ideas here; not just tactical stuff.

So maybe you could say that a Kris Burm game like Yinsh is better for a beginner mind and Go is better for a veteran mind, but then we lose any claim to universality.

And finally, one more thing sometimes pushing me toward objectivism: the weird sense that some games are discovered. I know it could be an illusion, but it's still hard to shake the feeling that behind that sense there is *something* universal, even if I have no idea what it is.

I'm probably going to read this in the morning and be terribly embarrassed. My preemptive apologies.




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Russ Williams
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I suppose an obvious question is:

If in fact there are objective criteria for evaluating games, then what are they?

E.g. how does one objectively prove that Go is better than PUNCT?

---

In many contexts, objective criteria are claimed to exist, and one can demonstrate them.

E.g. we say that some object weights 10 kilograms, and different people can independently weight it on a scale and get pretty consistent results.

E.g. we say that some mathematical theorem is true, and different mathematicians can independently construct logical proofs of it.

E.g. we say that some Chess or Shogi position has a checkmate in 3 moves, and different players (and programs) can all analyze it and confirm that this is so.

What is the equivalent for objectively evaluating games?

---

At best I can see that (as Richard said) "Intellectual/artistic constructs do have objective criteria to be judged and compared by" - but those "objective criteria" are not the same as the goodness of a game. We can objectively note e.g. that Go's game tree is objectively much larger, deeper, bushier, than Tic-tac-toe's game tree. But a larger game tree per se is no guarantee that a game is good. (It's easy to create dull games with arbitrarily large game trees. E.g. "I pick a natural number; then you reply with another natural number; whoever named the larger number wins" - this game's tree is infinite, unlike Go's.)

---

Like Nick, I personally feel ambiguously about the question. E.g. I just wrote a paragraph about "good" games and "dull" games; I have an intuitive feel of what that means, and Go seems "obviously" a better game than the "we each pick a number" game. But when I try to objectively say why, it becomes problematic. One might say "Well, the size of the game tree is obviously not the right criterion. The right criterion is the difficulty of playing well: Go is deep and hard to play well, but "we each pick a number" is trivially shallow to play well. But immediately that raises a problem that difficulty already seems an inherently subjective thing. Unless we mean difficulty in some formal mathematical sense like computational complexity theory, e.g. if we prove that one game is NP-complete and another game is O(n), then the first game is "better". But - just as with game trees - it's easy to create arbitrarily difficult complex games which are simply not good or interesting to play.
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One possible objective source of data, for those games with a large and active enough following, is the ELO ratings spread. It's hardly a proof, but games with a greater difference between median rating and the highest rating have evidence that they are deeper games. Popular opinion can be capricious, of course, even among abstract players.
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twixter wrote:
One possible objective source of data, for those games with a large and active enough following, is the ELO ratings spread. It's hardly a proof, but games with a greater difference between median rating and the highest rating have evidence that they are deeper games. Popular opinion can be capricious, of course, even among abstract players.

I too like the ratings spread as a measure of "depth" (despite the obvious problem of the result depending on the size and quality of the player population - clearly a game's inherent depth does not really magically increase as more and more people play it or study it, nor does a game necessarily have zero depth if no one plays it).

But is "depth" equivalent to quality? Game X might be objectively deeper than game Y, yet game Y seems "better" as a game.

E.g. Go is sometimes played on a 23x23 board as a variant; this is presumably deeper than Go played on a standard 19x19 board, but most people seem to consider 19x19 to be the ideal best size. Similarly, we could probably create various completely new games which are strategically deep (in the sense of a large ratings spread if a large community of players started playing them) but which are simply uninteresting to play and thus probably not considered "good". I.e. mere depth alone - even if it's objectively measurable - seems to be not enough to determine quality.

At best, "some" (nebulously appropriate amount of) depth seems necessary, but not sufficient, for a (strategy) game to be objectively good... right?
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fogus wrote:
Other people might say that the purpose of a game is to provide a way to "weigh one's brain" against that of another's. Therefore, it makes sense, in that light, that some games would be more fit than others due to their strategic depth and an allowance for deep study. That's my understanding of the other view that is.


Would this be your position too? "Weighing one's brain", the way you seem to be using the term, would fit under my catch all clause "anything else that contributes to your love for the game" and if strategic depth and allowance for deep study is what you value most in games then of course you will value games that fulfill that purpose. What I strongly disagree with is the presumption that this purpose is somehow objectively more worthy or important than other purposes, such as casual entertainment or whatever.

 
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The reason why I love BGG is that such interesting topic spring up even from flame wars.

Buckersuk wrote:
mocko wrote:
Buckersuk wrote:
In any case I take a position your bound to disagree with. Which is better between Punct and Go is a matter of taste. Substitute any two games and it's still simply a matter of taste.

...you're entirely wrong on this matter, David. Intellectual/artistic constructs do have objective criteria to be judged and compared by - however much a sizeable faction of the species cares to opine to the contrary. Which of Pünct and Go a given individual prefers is indeed a matter of taste, but then to make that statement is to add nothing to human understanding, since it amounts to a tautology.

This is not to say that it's necessarily possible to resolve in a meaningful way every debate as to the merits of this and that particular entity, but the machinery for approaching the task does exist and is to a significant degree independent of opinion.

milomilo122 wrote:

I want to slip in: this question interests me greatly. To what extent should we be relativists about games?

I feel differently on different days: I'm a relativist one day, an objectivist the next.

I felt this topic was worth a thread of its own. I am firmly in the relativist camp. My argument starts from a basis of "what is the purpose of a game" and the only answer that makes sense to me is "entertainment". Note that when I say "entertainment" I mean entertainment in the broad sense that is not limited to how much fun you have playing the game but also things like sense of accomplishment, thrill of discovery, originality/USP, or anything else that contributes to your love for the game. The important point is that entertainment does not make sense as a concept without a subject to be entertained.

Richard is right that some of the criteria which can be used to compare games are at least partially objective but the relative importance of these criteria is subjective and in any case I think it's a mistake to try and reduce the evaluation of a game to a formula. For example Connect6 is objectively deeper than Connect 4 but whether that makes Go a better game for you depends what you want from a game. I don't necessarily want to think that hard.

Christian makes an interesting distinction between "tactical games" and "strategic games". Tactical games are easier to appreciate the qualities of initially but (arguably) less rewarding in the long run.


I'm with Buckersuk, and strictly in the relativism camp on this one.

Simply because not everybody is looking for the same thing in a game. We focus on which is the better "mindsport" and "weapon of the mind", but most people in the real world (i.e. outside this forum) look for other things in games: mindless fun / socialization / storytelling / etc.

As milomilo said, the criteria are more well defined if we restrict ourselves only to competitive combinatorial games. But even then, we have conflicting criteria, whose priority is subjective: think of Thompson depth vs clarity and drama vs decisiveness.

Even the often used juxtaposition of "tactical" vs "strategic" combinatorial games is not that clear-cut.

Firstly, it is clearly linked to the way the human mind works and not to any "objective" criteria. Computer play beautiful "strategic" moves in Chess by simply exploring the tree and counting pieces at the end.
Second, why is "instant gratification" a less worthy goal than "reward of dedication" ?

To me Coca-Cola is better than Chianti, so I won't fault anyone who prefers Punct over Go.
Of course, I see a value in the opinion of the majority, and would go with GO in absence of other data point (like personal experience).

Quote:
..accomplishment, thrill of discovery, originality/USP...

Off topic, but....what's with Anglophones and acronyms ? Every three letter combination is now hopelessly overloaded with meaning.
USP to me was United States Pharmacopeia, but I googled hard and I guess you meant "unique selling point".
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megamau wrote:
Quote:
..accomplishment, thrill of discovery, originality/USP...

Off topic, but....what's with Anglophones and acronyms ? Every three letter combination is now hopelessly overloaded with meaning.
USP to me was United States Pharmacopeia, but I googled hard and I guess you meant "unique selling point".

FWIW I'm a native English speaker and I too wasn't sure what USP meant there. But I was too lazy to do a web search for it.
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Buckersuk wrote:
Would this be your position too? "Weighing one's brain", the way you seem to be using the term, would fit under my catch all clause "anything else that contributes to your love for the game" and if strategic depth and allowance for deep study is what you value most in games then of course you will value games that fulfill that purpose. What I strongly disagree with is the presumption that this purpose is somehow objectively more worthy or important than other purposes, such as casual entertainment or whatever.


It's actually not my position, but I do think that I can understand it. That said, I've known many people who do hold this position that would have nothing to say about it being better than casual gaming. Typically they're too busy studying opening books to care why anyone else plays a game.
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Well I have been meaning to enter the fray here but without setting aside an hour or two to formulate yet more arguments for why games may be judged on an objective basis that will doubtless go unappreciated. Well I have come up with an analogy that summarizes my point of view well.

Local madman Richard Moxham had this to say

Richard 'Bluesman' Moxham wrote:
And as with tables


This is the most valid of his comparisons because unlike a poem or symphony, a table can easily be said to serve some objective function regardless of its adornments and overall appearance. Now, if we might make a leap of faith into the broader category of furniture, I would like to discuss a peculiar chair.

The Harrowing Story of The Chair

Well, there I was, a precocious 10, visiting the local museum with my dad. At this time the museum had a particular area dedicated to the theme of art brut. Amongst variously cobbled together outsider art stood this horrifying monstrosity of a chair. The likeness of a man was painted on its back and seat and in the very center of the seat stood... a phallus, and I mean in the truest sense. Being a sheltered upper middle class child I had no idea what to make of this towering pink obelisk and the revelation that immediately unfurled probably accounts for much of my mental development as a whole such as my sociopathic disposition, various neuroses and overall inability to function as a decent human being. But I suppose in retrospect I cannot objectively call this "bad art". In fact some professional leftist would probably talk about how bold it is and how it challenges our notions of everything righteous and decent and who am I to argue with someone steeped in the world of art. However, I think with the matter that any sufficiently drunk fellow seeking some respite, would have his manhood impaled upon the blooming thing, we can all safely conclude that this creature has failed on the ergonomic level.

And this is just a chair. It is quite easy to not screw up the design of a chair; just don't have a high concentration of topography whereupon one would seat him or herself. Even when it warrants that we perhaps look at the possibility of an excess of functionality (I'm looking at you lay-z-boy with built in minifridge), the dick-chair (There I said it) still fails on all counts except at this nebulous artistic level.

Abstract games, apart from being a source of entertainment, also have a
level of implicit objective function, and that is to facilitate a mental competition. Abstract games are not meant to entertain us in just any old way, for instance comedically, as Rive or Tinkertown Cemetery might be seen to do. Undeniably they are there to provide the opportunity to two worthy opponents to match wits and will. I would argue that if a game fails to fulfill this basic purpose even while being entertaining in some other way, it is an objectively bad game in the same way the chair of my fevered memory was an demonstrably bad chair.

Unlike a chair however, it is very very easy to screw up the design of a board game, and in particular an abstract board game. In fact you probably will, if you a) have no idea what you are doing and b) think it is reasonable to sacrifice functional elements to the exuberance of your imagination. Marshall Mcluhan's phrase "The medium is the message" is not evidenced any better, perhaps, than in the realm of abstract games. Indeed every little modification you make, no matter how creatively inspired will have an immutable impact on the functionality of your game and the experience it provides, for better or worse. When your design schedule is not grounded within the discipline of enhancing that competitive experience -which I can attest is a process that is difficult enough to tease a good game out of- your product may be lacking. And if you take it to the level of extreme neglect and disregard, you just might end up with a dick-chair. Thank you cool
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how is it even a question???

games possess plenty of very visible objective characteristics, some are perfectly formally defined and MEASURABLE.

first of all:
"is the game solved? (yes/no)" -- how is it subjective? is this the most important impact factor that determines human interest? yes! and it is perfectly objective.

second:
"how big is the game?" -- is it objective? perfectly! and measurable, despite inaccuracy. does it clearly impact the "overall quality" of a game? yes.

third:
so many times cited, still very inspirational, and still not well understood by some subjectivists: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/DefiningtheAbstract....
Drama, Decisiveness, Clarity, Depth!!!

and finally:
are you subjectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess is purely subjective and is entirely a matter of taste"?
 
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silly_sad wrote:
how is it even a question???

Because reasonable people who are experienced gamers disagree on whether game X is better than game Y.

If it is possible to objectively evaluate games, why do some people think Chess is better than Go, and other people think Go is better than Chess (for example)?

If something can be evaluated objectively, people don't tend to disagree so much about it. E.g. few people will disagree that 4 < 5. But many people will disagree whether chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry is the best ice cream flavor.

Quote:
games possess plenty of very visible objective characteristics, some are perfectly formally defined and MEASURABLE.

first of all:
"is the game solved? (yes/no)" -- how is it subjective? is this the most important impact factor that determines human interest? yes! and it is perfectly objective.

Hmm? I seriously doubt that's the most important factor that determines human interest. I would not lose interest in playing Go or Shogi if someone unexpectedly solved them. (Perhaps you mean a more narrow sense of "solved", i.e. that the solution is simple enough for humans to easily execute?)

But even if solvedness is the most important factor: whether a game has been solved is not a timeless truth. If the quality of a game is supposed to be objective, how can it depend upon whether or not someone has happened to solve it? Was Checkers objectively a good game until it was solved, and then became objectively a bad game?

Quote:
second:
"how big is the game?" -- is it objective? perfectly! and measurable, despite inaccuracy. does it clearly impact the "overall quality" of a game? yes.

Impacts quality, yes. Determines quality, no.

You seem to be confusing 2 things: objective measures about games, and an objective way to evaluate a game overall.

No one disagrees that there exist objective measures which one can make about games. E.g. the size of the board is another objective measure: Chess has 64 locations, and Go has 361. But does that mean Go is 6 times better than Chess? Of course not. These objective attributes do not really determine whether a game is "good" or not.

Similarly, one can objectively measure a person's height and weight and say how much money is in their bank account, but not objectively say whether the person is a good person. In particular, those easy obvious objective measures don't say much about a person's "overall quality".

Quote:
third:
so many times cited, still very inspirational, and still not well understood by some subjectivists: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/DefiningtheAbstract....
Drama, Decisiveness, Clarity, Depth!!!

How would you objectively define drama and clarity?

(Decisiveness could be empirically measured by draw rate, and depth of game tree is well defined mathematically - but again, depth of game tree does not necessarily correlate to a game's quality. It's easy to make a (boring lame) game with a game tree far deeper than Go's.)

Quote:
and finally:
are you subjectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess is purely subjective and is entirely a matter of taste"?

Are you objectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between Chess and Go is purely objective, with no personal taste at all"?

FWIW, like several others, I think the truth is somewhere in between the extremes.
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False dichotomy: both objectivity and relativism are ideals/imaginaries.

Rather, meaning is always situated -- making strong arguments is a question of accounting for and being accountable to the context from which and in which you are making the argument.
 
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russ wrote:
silly_sad wrote:
how is it even a question???

Because reasonable people who are experienced gamers disagree on whether game X is better than game Y.


now i understand why Christian called you a discussion saboteur.
you bring to the discussion your own notion of "better" and want me to define it for you, or otherwise use it undefined?

NO THANKS.
 
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silly_sad wrote:
how is it even a question???

games possess plenty of very visible objective characteristics, some are perfectly formally defined and MEASURABLE.



Sure. Some characteristics of a game can be defined and measurable but the relative importance of these characteristics is subjective.

Quote:

first of all:
"is the game solved? (yes/no)" -- how is it subjective? is this the most important impact factor that determines human interest? yes! and it is perfectly objective.


So because Checkers has been solved after a great deal of effort it is objectively better than [insert random game] that no one has bothered solving yet? The factors that determine human interest depends on the human. You care whether a game has been solved. I couldn't give a flying fart!

Quote:

second:
"how big is the game?" -- is it objective? perfectly! and measurable, despite inaccuracy. does it clearly impact the "overall quality" of a game? yes.



And what is the ideal "size" for the game? Depends what one wants to do with it. There is a place for "large" games, "small" games and everything in between. Horses for courses.

Quote:

third:
so many times cited, still very inspirational, and still not well understood by some subjectivists: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/DefiningtheAbstract....
Drama, Decisiveness, Clarity, Depth!!!



Good article. To his credit, Mark Thompson never claims to provide any objective means to determine a game's quality.

Quote:

and finally:
are you subjectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess is purely subjective and is entirely a matter of taste"?


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TIC-TAC-TOE AND CHESS IS PURELY SUBJECTIVE AND IS ENTIRELY A MATTER OF TASTE.
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silly_sad wrote:
russ wrote:
silly_sad wrote:
how is it even a question???

Because reasonable people who are experienced gamers disagree on whether game X is better than game Y.


now i understand why Christian called you a discussion saboteur.
you bring to the discussion your own notion of "better" and want me to define it for you, or otherwise use it undefined?

NO THANKS.


I'm bemused that Russ's thoughtful post would trigger such a reaction.
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silly_sad wrote:
now i understand why Christian called you a discussion saboteur.
you bring to the discussion your own notion of "better" and want me to define it for you, or otherwise use it undefined?

NO THANKS.

No serious response to Russ? I think he had some good points that were stated politely.

I think your strongest line of argument has been that there's something that would make most people agree that chess is superior to tic-tac-toe (for adults, at least). My guess is that the draw rate is high, without this being offset by sufficient tactical interest (as you might see in a soccer or chess draw). So for me there's probably a grain of truth to the objective camp, in that we can probably group many games into tiers on the basis of them being broken or highly drawish. On the relativist side, I think this would still end up putting chess and go and even Punct in the same bucket, because the objective measures are not sufficiently granular to rank games that are 'good enough'.
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Buckersuk wrote:
So because Checkers has been solved after a great deal of effort it is objectively better than [insert random game] that no one has bothered solving yet? ... You care whether a game has been solved. I couldn't give a flying fart!


You coined your own notion of "better", failed to define it, stick to me in order to strawman me, and you couldn't give a flying fart about your double logical fallacy.

fine!

Buckersuk wrote:
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TIC-TAC-TOE AND CHESS IS PURELY SUBJECTIVE AND IS ENTIRELY A MATTER OF TASTE.


sapienti sat.
 
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silly_sad wrote:
russ wrote:
silly_sad wrote:
how is it even a question???

Because reasonable people who are experienced gamers disagree on whether game X is better than game Y.


now i understand why Christian called you a discussion saboteur.
you bring to the discussion your own notion of "better" and want me to define it for you, or otherwise use it undefined?

NO THANKS.



I'm wondering now if there is some kind of miscommunication. What do you think "evaluating games" means in this thread? It's about saying whether a game is "good", and whether one game is "better" than another game.

You point out a few specific objectively determinable measures & attributes about games, e.g. whether a game has been solved. Is that what you thought "evaluating games" meant? We all agree that there exist various specific measures & attributes which can be evaluated objectively. That's not the question. The question is about "goodness" of a game, not just about number of nodes in its game tree or whether it's been solved, etc.

If you feel that Chess is "objectively" better as a game than Tic-Tac-Toe (or objectively better as a game than Go), then what is your objective proof of this? Merely saying that one game has been solved and another hasn't, or that one game has a larger game tree than the other, etc does not prove whether one game is better than the other.

If someone says something like "Chess's game tree has more nodes than Tic-Tac-Toe's game tree, then that of course can be objectively proven. But goodness is not so easy to prove objectively.

That is the point of David's OP in this thread.

Quote:
You coined your own notion of "better", failed to define it, stick to me in order to strawman me, and you couldn't give a flying fart about your double logical fallacy.

fine!

You seem to be bizarrely hostile and deeply misunderstanding the whole point of the OP.
 
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russ wrote:
If you feel that Chess is "objectively" better as a game than Tic-Tac-Toe


Stop putting your words into my mouth.


russ wrote:
But goodness is not so easy to prove objectively.


Sure! BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO DEFINITION OF IT!

russ wrote:
You seem to be bizarrely hostile and deeply misunderstanding the whole point of the OP.


You seem to be deliberately sabotaging discussion by diverting it to properties of an undefined entity.

those properties aren't only subjective, they do not exist before your opponent fall into your words-trap and start making them up on-the-fly to your amusement.

and no, I do not think it is "hostile" it is "predation", trolling.
 
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silly_sad wrote:
russ wrote:
If you feel that Chess is "objectively" better as a game than Tic-Tac-Toe


Stop putting your words into my mouth.

If I misunderstood you, sorry. You seemed to be saying that Chess is objectively better than Tic-Tac-Toe. If not, then what did you mean when you wrote "are you subjectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess is purely subjective and is entirely a matter of taste"?"


Quote:
russ wrote:
But goodness is not so easy to prove objectively.


Sure! BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO DEFINITION OF IT!

The fact that I (and you, and everyone else) has no definition of it is the point. If we can't even define it clearly, how can we objectively evaluate it?

Quote:
russ wrote:
You seem to be bizarrely hostile and deeply misunderstanding the whole point of the OP.


You seem to be deliberately sabotaging discussion by diverting it to properties of an undefined entity.

You seem to be incapable of understanding the original poster's intention with this thread. And incapable of calmly and civilly discussing.


Consider this: if I am "sabotaging" the discussion, then why did David (who started the discussion) write "I'm bemused that Russ's thoughtful post would trigger such a reaction"? (the "reaction" being your accusation that I am a "saboteur")?

---

PS: If I'm such a "saboteur", why was I helpfully answering your questions about BGG and how to find the Abstract forum in this other recent thread? Sheesh.

You're welcome, by the way. :/
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russ wrote:
then what did you mean when you wrote "are you subjectivists ready to claim loudly and publicly: "the difference between tic-tac-toe and chess is purely subjective and is entirely a matter of taste"?"


i meant: there must be some difference between them, and finding this difference out, measuring it and applying the measure to other subjects would be very useful.

russ wrote:
Quote:
russ wrote:
But goodness is not so easy to prove objectively.

Sure! BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO DEFINITION OF IT!

The fact that I (and you) has no definition of it is the point.


true story, i do not have this definition, but i DO NOT USE THIS TERM.
the burden of definition is on you.

russ wrote:
If we can't even define it clearly


YOU can not define it, i do not have to.

russ wrote:
Consider this: if I am "sabotaging" the discussion, then why did David (who started the discussion) write "I'm bemused that Russ's thoughtful post would trigger such a reaction"? (the "reaction" being your accusation that I am a "saboteur")?


The most plausible hypothesis is:
He started the thread for trolling purposes, and I fell into this trap as a fool, and you both, understanding each other very well, enjoy the idiot who has bought the thread for its face value.
[/q]

russ wrote:
If I'm such a "saboteur", why was I helpfully answering your questions about BGG and how to find the Abstract forum


It is also easy to explain:
"saboteur" is NOT your personality, it is a role. In this thread you have chosen this role.
I see nothing wrong with a man who helps others in one place and makes fun of them in another -- in different circumstances different motivations

I only disagree with your ways of having fun, obviously the top question has its scientific value, and should not be reduced to trolling, unless answered in full.

russ wrote:
You're welcome, by the way. :/


you have my thanks.

P.S. I am thinking on other questions you have asked in the first message, but i can not move to them unless we sort "goodness" out of the discussion.
 
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- "Only fools do not have doubts."
- "Are you sure? I have no doubt!"
(Luciano de Crescenzo. "The Doubt", 1992)

Btw, I'm italian, it's absolutely impossible saying that Coca Cola is better than a Chianti (vintage 2004!!!), because...
... oh. I see.
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