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Subject: MicroBadges: are they getting a bit out of hand? rss

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Ben Penner
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Before I get into this, I do waqnt to say that I read the New Microbadge Designs forum http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/130746 and I think that there have been a lot of excelent badge being submitted. And that Lajos has done a great job in getting what has been submitted available.

That being said, I think that BGG is being inundated with too many microbadges. The sheer number of them maks trying to decide what to get a bit unbearable. Plus when you decide on what you want to represent with the badge, you have several to choose from, which could be a good thing. But as someone pointed out on the NMD forum, there are 18 for Civ, which is a lot. I would say that they have been around for a long time, before the recent influx, so that is understandable.

Now that there is a rewards program offered for designing microbadges (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/147392) it is getting increasingly harder to earn this reward as there are too many to decide from and the likelihood of someone choosing your design is decreasing rapidly.

The other issue that I wanted to bring up was what I take microbadges to stand for. The purpose of the badges is to be able to find like minded people with similar interests. That's ok. But I feel that as a gaming site, our interests should focus on what drew us here in the fist place; GAMES. While I am a beer drinker, a DVD collector, and a huge Lego fan, I would rather be able to see who likes the games that I like. I could probably take with others about the lasted special edition DVD or the newest Lego creations someone built, but But here I would rather talk about the latest fantasy games. I have no interest in talking about beer.

Yes, I know, it is possible to see who has bought each microbadge beyond those that actually display it, but for those that only have one or two badges to choose their favorite sports team or cartoon character, that defeats the purpose of the microbadges in my opinion. Put those interests into your profiles and click on them there.


Well, I guess that's my little rant , take it or leave it. But please let me know how you feel about this.


-Ben-
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JessA
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I think microbadges are fun. I like seeing the different hobbies represented because I don't find microbadges intrusive.

but I agree that there is just sooooo many of them that it is very daunting to try to find one to buy. I suspect that many will never be purchased.

On the other hand, I just figured out how to make them so I'm not helping that matter any.

 
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Lajos
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RecklessJester wrote:
That being said, I think that BGG is being inundated with too many microbadges. The sheer number of them maks trying to decide what to get a bit unbearable.

Microbadges were a.o. intended to suck GG out of the virtual economy and to be an extra incentive to earn more GG. The fact that there are so many you (and many others) want indicates that they're doing what they're supposed to do

RecklessJester wrote:
Plus when you decide on what you want to represent with the badge, you have several to choose from, which could be a good thing.

Yes, but they all have the same mouse-over text and they all link to the same microbadge owners page. Hence, for finding geeks with similar interests this doesn't matter.

RecklessJester wrote:
Now that there is a rewards program offered for designing microbadges (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/147392) it is getting increasingly harder to earn this reward as there are too many to decide from and the likelihood of someone choosing your design is decreasing rapidly.

That's not entirely true. I generally accept a maximum of two or three microbadges for a game (depending mainly on the quality of the badges and the popularity of the game) when it is first added to the microbadge system. Only if badges for a game sell particularly well, I accept more.
(There are some exceptions to these basic rules for games in which players represent different 'forces' and potential badge buyers may want a specific 'force' (e.g. Axis & Allies).)
So if you add a badge for a new subject (game) that is popular, you will get your reward at some point. What may be a bigger problem for the new badge designers is that most good subjects already have been covered.

RecklessJester wrote:
The other issue that I wanted to bring up was what I take microbadges to stand for. The purpose of the badges is to be able to find like minded people with similar interests. That's ok. But I feel that as a gaming site, our interests should focus on what drew us here in the fist place; GAMES. While I am a beer drinker, a DVD collector, and a huge Lego fan, I would rather be able to see who likes the games that I like.

I largely agree with you on this point, but it was decided very early that the microbadge system would be open for all kinds of interests (and some other identity-defining subjects) and this cannot be turned back easily.

RecklessJester wrote:
I could probably take with others about the lasted special edition DVD or the newest Lego creations someone built, but But here I would rather talk about the latest fantasy games. I have no interest in talking about beer.

The fact that someone has a Beer Drinker badge doesn't mean you have to discuss beer with him..

RecklessJester wrote:
Put those interests into your profiles and click on them there.

That doesn't really work because the interests in your profile are completely open, while there is a limited (albeit very large) number of microbadge subjects.
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Brian Morris
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I really like the microbadges and they actually serve a functional purpose. Looking at my avatar for example with a simple mouse over you can learn that I am a fan of GMT and MMP games. You also learn I am a history buff who enjoys Civil War games as well as card driven games. That's a pretty good amount of info to get in a couple of mouse overs and useful when putting any comments I make in context.

Clicking to my profile page and mousing over a few more microbadges you find that I am a Minnesota Vikings fan (sympathy accepted), Like playing Battlelore and Illuminati and studying the history of space exploration. That's a lot of information from just a few mouse overs.

So for me I really enjoy the microbadges because they help me get a glimse of the person behind the avatar.

One complaint I have heard that might have some validity (and complaint is probably to strong a word) is a few games or subjects seem to have a ton of different microbadges. For example there are 8 different microbadges for the game Aquire, 11 for Axis & Allies, 18 for Civilization, 13 for Dune, 17 for Magic Realm and 11 for Fury of Dracula. Fine games but does any game really need 18 different microbadges? On the otherhand it is fun to see someone who has bough 5 different microbadges of one subject or game. That in and of itself tells you a lot about that person so it's also useful to have multiple badges for one subject.
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Severus Snape
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Microbadges clutter an already crowded area. Microbadges reveal things about a Geek that some of us do not want to know. Microbadges detract from a user's avatar. Microbadges are cheap and trashy, meaning they are here to stay. yuk arrrh shake gulp soblue goo
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Lajos
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bentlarsen wrote:
Microbadges reveal things about a Geek that some of us do not want to know.

True, very true.
 
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The Grouch
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Lajos wrote:
Microbadges were a.o. intended to suck GG out of the virtual economy and to be an extra incentive to earn more GG. The fact that there are so many you (and many others) want indicates that they're doing what they're supposed to do.


Frankly, I think they are doing it a little too well. I have to GeekMod or digitally photograph my arse off to shill enough for a badge. This is why simonh is always getting takers when he auctions off his cut-rate microbadge coupons.

IMHO, if microbadges were reduced to 10 GG each, more folks would buy them.
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Mrs. Meeple
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I'm with Jess, I think they are fun and I am also part of the problem as I too have recently been contributing some. I also agree that they should not cost so much. It would be really fun if you could trade them in from time to time. I like the ones I've bought, but now I see others that I would rather have bought if they were there at the time.

Anyone feel like posting a thread on how to earn geek gold (with instructions) in other ways? I'm new to gaming so I can't contribute articles yet.

Well, I'm off to design my "addicted to microbadges" microbadge...
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Lajos wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Microbadges reveal things about a Geek that some of us do not want to know.

True, very true.


Like what?
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Sean Franco
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RecklessJester wrote:
The other issue that I wanted to bring up was what I take microbadges to stand for. The purpose of the badges is to be able to find like minded people with similar interests. That's ok. But I feel that as a gaming site, our interests should focus on what drew us here in the fist place; GAMES. While I am a beer drinker, a DVD collector, and a huge Lego fan, I would rather be able to see who likes the games that I like. I could probably take with others about the lasted special edition DVD or the newest Lego creations someone built, but But here I would rather talk about the latest fantasy games. I have no interest in talking about beer.


I know from experience that off-topic interests are usually as interesting, if not more interesting, than on topic. Whn I used to frequent my old collection of Doctor Who forums (you can tell I'm a Doctor Who fan from my microbadge), the off topic forum was usually one of the most fun since these were people I'd already started to know from talking so much Who, but when we went off topic, the converation never got old, dry, or overdone. It's nice to just bring up more facets of yourself, while still allowing a common connection (board games here) to be made.
 
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Lajos
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Lajos wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Microbadges reveal things about a Geek that some of us do not want to know.

True, very true.

Like what?

Religion. I have very strong and very negative feelings about religion and, therefore, I prefer not to know, which is now often impossible.
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Charlie Paull
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Having been contributing to the excess number of microbadges rather heavily of late, I guess I should make a comment here too.

For years I have used BGG purely as a web resource contributing nothing and talking nowhere. I simply found out about which games I would potentially like or dislike and downloaded rules in English when I got home from Essen each year. OK, I did add one or two translations myself but after the first one it took me 12 months before I realised someone had sent me a geek mail about it.

I was given a microbagde coupon for New Year. That changed everything. I started wondering what this geek gold stuff was anyway and how I could get more. I started adding photos of games that I had taken. I wanted a microbadge that was not there, so I found out how to make them. I found out how to contribute to a forum. I started wanting an avatar. In short, I started being interested and involved in the community.

Now I roll over everyones microbadges to see who they are and what they feel most important to tell me about themselves. Some people choose fun ones. Some choose game ones. Some choose causes and religions. I think this just shows what a diverse group of individuals play games. It is interesting. It does not matter if a badge has been sold once or one hundred times, it is good that it is there for someone to choose if they want to express themselves that way.

Or not of course

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Lajos
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How to deal with the ecessive number of microbadges?
A proposal


Every three months (starting April 1st), all microbadges that have zero owners are moved into the Graveyard group. All microbadges already in the Graveyard group (that were moved there three months earlier) that still has zero owners are deleted. (Microbadges can be moved out of the Graveyard group at any time if they have at least one owner and if the microbadge moderator notices.)

Comments please.
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Patrick Barringer
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Seems fine to me. No reason to take up space on the site for something no one's using.
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Herb Petro
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I think that the graveyard idea is an excellent one! It clears out the dead wood which would otherwise make it hard to find the microbadges that people actually want.

Yet, if a new microbadge appears, and someone doesn't have enough GG to buy it right away, then they have a very long six months to acquire the GG and buy the badge. More than fair.
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Charlie Paull
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That makes sense to me.
 
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Andrew W.
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A more than fair solution, L, but what happens when Microbadge on subject A, badge 1 gets deleted by this fair process, and a month afterwards someone, either a different designer or the same one, submits Microbadge on Subject A, Badge 2? does Badge 2 get a tougher time making it through screening? Is that fair to badge 2, because what if Badge 1 just stunk outloud, and those interested in subject A just were put off that particular badge?
 
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Lajos
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Redbeardin84 wrote:
what happens when Microbadge on subject A, badge 1 gets deleted by this fair process, and a month afterwards someone, either a different designer or the same one, submits Microbadge on Subject A, Badge 2? Does Badge 2 get a tougher time making it through screening?

No. Badge 2 will go through the same process as badge 1 did. However, if it is exactly the same as badge 1, it will not be accepted (unless it is submitted with a number of pledges to buy it).
Tougher screening would be unfair to badge 2 and would also necessitate more bookkeeping on microbadges than I'm willing to do.
 
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Duffy Carter
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I'd rather see an enormous number of badges remain available with finer grain categorization. Tracking which badges have rolled into the graveyard or been removed sounds maintenance intensive.
 
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Charlie Paull
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After thinking about this for a while... What happens to a microbadge that is accepted a week before your next 'everything goes to the graveyard' day Lajos?

The idea is fine if badges really do get 3 months of active life. On closer inspection however, the book-keeping is begining to look a bit difficult.

 
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Sean Franco
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TabbySunLion wrote:
After thinking about this for a while... What happens to a microbadge that is accepted a week before your next 'everything goes to the graveyard' day Lajos?

The idea is fine if badges really do get 3 months of active life. On closer inspection however, the book-keeping is begining to look a bit difficult.


Active and constant, maybe. But I don't think it's tiresome.

I think it's a fine idea, and that's coming from a guy who's designed a microbadge with 0 owners. (But not for long!! As soon as I get those last 3 GeekGold it will be mine....)
 
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I think the "graveyard" idea makes a lot of sense.
 
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Rich Shipley
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The microbadge graveyard is a pretty good idea. Is there a way to make them inactive (users can't see them) instead of deleting? For example, if someone asks for a partcular sports team logo that has been taken off, it can be turned back on.
 
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Mrs. Meeple
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Would we users be able to access the graveyard to see if there is already something there we would be interested in? And so designers don't waste time making something that no one seemed interested in when it was first posted?
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Charlie Paull
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Lajos' graveyard idea is a good one if your premise is that we need fewer, more desirable microbadges, but I'm not entirely sure I understand why we would want that.

If you are looking for something specific, the badges are in alphabetical order in meaningful groups, so you should be able to go straight to it.

If you are not sure what you want, why not have plenty of options to browse through and pick something that suits you? Given my point earlier about everyone liking to say different things about themselves is there a problem about having a wide range?
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