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Subject: Putting numbers on "Cult of the New" by scrutinizing the current ranking list rss

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Mike Cooper
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Posts like this remind me why I dropped Statistics and changed my major.
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Peter Folke
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All this talk of cult of the new... Lets try a new thought:

Games are 100% accurately rated. There is no cult of the new, only completely rational BGG'ers.

If this was the case, we would still see games from earlier years drop, since new games can actually be better than old games.

Also, the really good old games would stay close to the top for a longer time since not many new games are better than the really good old ones.

I think this thesis matches the data pretty well.

Anyway, thanks for your work. I will check out some 2012 games
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Interesting work. thumbsup
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Falke wrote:
All this talk of cult of the new... Lets try a new thought:

Games are 100% accurately rated. There is no cult of the new, only completely rational BGG'ers.

If this was the case, we would still see games from earlier years drop, since new games can actually be better than old games.

Also, the really good old games would stay close to the top for a longer time since not many new games are better than the really good old ones.

I think this thesis matches the data pretty well.

Anyway, thanks for your work. I will check out some 2012 games


This would be valid if the user base had remained consistent and consistently well informed over the years. That is, if the same people were rating new games today as were rating old games many years ago.

The Cult Of The New is a real thing, because the cultists are people new to the hobby who simply have not played the classics. Therefore, they are not comparing like with like and their raving is skewed by a lack of knowledge and experience. Hence the Knizia Gap.

This can be checked! If the statistic analysis above was qualified in some manner by comparing the relative experience of the Users, then some form of weight can be added to the ratings of long or experienced Users (I accept that one person playing a lot of games of a few years rates as well as one person playing few games over many years).

More work needed, but the underlying hypothesis looks very strong. The Cult is indeed a cult.
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Chris Thompson
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So you should be able to use your table to correct of the 'age' of a game, right? Basically take a games rating at 2 yrs, use the table, and then compare the difference between the games current rating and expected, that would allow for a 1:1 comparison of games of different ages, and let us find the TRUE #1 game
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I must be immune to the Cult of The New, because my top rated(9-10) games look like a snapshot of the last 20 years, as I have games on it from almost every year.
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I admit that stats is not my favourite subject but I found your post interesting none the less. Thanks for sharing your findings.
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Jovan Bogdanovic
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I don't like the Cult of the New. A Cult of the Gnu would be much more interesting.
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Salvatore Corrao
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I think one of the reasons is that in the case of new games, especially if we think of users who have just recently joined BGG, a user rates a new game after 1-5 plays. They are enjoying the game and they rate it accordingly.
Instead, when rating old games, most of the time they haven't played those games for years. They have maybe played it 20-50 times if not more, and high ratings, which in the language of BGG mean "I always want to play, expect never change...", are not so easily given.
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dennis bennett
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I posted a poll a couple of days ago regarding an unrleated topic, but an interesting bit of data for me was that it showed that older games are being played less than the new stuff.
This shouldn't really be a huge surprise... on the other hand, i always think of people who find their way to BGG to be pretty "hardcore" gamers, who are more likely to be familar with classic games...

A newer game like "five tribes" beats a classic like tikal by more than 2:1 in that poll (regaridng the number of people who have actualyl played it).

Whenever i check the recommendations forum or threads about new games elsewhere (or geeklists) there seems to be a pretty strong bias towards new games. (which of course doesn't disprove the possibility that new games really are superior...)

Poll
1. Which of these games have you played?
  yes (have played) no (haven't played)
Istanbul
Tikal
Five Tribes
Rococo
Village
El Grande
Concordia
Voyages of Marco Polo
Caylus
2. So we've been playing Lords of Waterdeep including the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion. My group is otherwise quite casual/non-gamer-ish. I'm bored with LoW (even inclduing the expansion). Which of the follwoing games do you think would be a good next step? I'm looking for something slightly heavier/deeper/more replayable but still fairly easy to learn and teach.
(you can answer more than 1 game)
Istanbul
Tikal
Five Tribes
Rococo
Village
El Grande
Concordia
Voyages of Marco Polo
Caylus
other (please post in the thread)
      288 answers
Poll created by dennisthebadger
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Chris Schenck
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Of course newer games have higher ratings. Why does this continually surprise people?

Remember that many people rate games based on their interest in playing, rather than on some kind of ideal design purity scale. That is after all the official rating scale of BGG -- interest in playing the game.

So why are people more interested in playing new games? Well, for the same reason they're generally more interested in watching new movies rather than re-watching old ones they may have seen dozens of times.

If you could compare the number of movie patrons interested in seeing The Force Awakens this year or in coming years, it would dwarf the number of people who would say they're interested in watching Gone With The Wind this year. Does it mean Gone With the Wind is a bad movie? Or that somehow the presence of The Force Awakens in the marketplace is a threat to its standing as a classic? No! It just means people are more interested in seeing new movies and playing new games. Again, this is shocking how?

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cbs42 wrote:
So why are people more interested in playing new games? Well, for the same reason they're generally more interested in watching new movies rather than re-watching old ones they may have seen dozens of times.

I would say that explanation sort of overlooks a factor for which I have no proof yet retain as a strong belief: a vast majority do almost nothing to go back and revise ratings for games (and plenty of them might not even be site followers any longer).

So your "Gone With the Wind" example still has the high rating I gave it when I first watched it decades ago despite my dwindling interest in watching it anymore.

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at the risk of begging for more information overload, it would be kind of nice to have a 'lifetime' rating as well as, -say- , most recent 15% rating, or similar.
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TVis wrote:
I would say that explanation sort of overlooks a factor for which I have no proof yet retain as a strong belief: a vast majority do almost nothing to go back and revise ratings for games (and plenty of them might not even be site followers any longer).

So your "Gone With the Wind" example still has the high rating I gave it when I first watched it decades ago despite my dwindling interest in watching it anymore.


I agree!
Far from overlooking it, your point illustrates it perfectly.

The fact that many people probably don't go back and re-rate games actually results in older games being rated higher than they should be. If someone quits the site and stops playing games, or never goes back to re-rate their initial gleeful "10" on an old game they never play anymore, the result is that the older games don't degrade in score they way they "should" based on willingness to play.

The reality is that if more people did go back to re-rate their old stuff, it could possibly just result in a further degradation in the scores of the older games they're not playing anymore.

The "cult of the new" is just a normal human preference to experience new movies/games/music/etc rather than re-doing the same old thing over and over and over. It really shouldn't be a surprising revelation.
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cbs42 wrote:
TVis wrote:
I would say that explanation sort of overlooks a factor for which I have no proof yet retain as a strong belief: a vast majority do almost nothing to go back and revise ratings for games (and plenty of them might not even be site followers any longer).

So your "Gone With the Wind" example still has the high rating I gave it when I first watched it decades ago despite my dwindling interest in watching it anymore.


I agree!
Far from overlooking it, your point illustrates it perfectly.

The fact that many people probably don't go back and re-rate games actually results in older games being rated higher than they should be. If someone quits the site and stops playing games, or never goes back to re-rate their initial gleeful "10" on an old game they never play anymore, the result is that the older games don't degrade in score they way they "should" based on willingness to play.

The reality is that if more people did go back to re-rate their old stuff, it could possibly just result in a further degradation in the scores of the older games they're not playing anymore
.

The "cult of the new" is just a normal human preference to experience new movies/games/music/etc rather than re-doing the same old thing over and over and over. It really shouldn't be a surprising revelation.

Huh ?? If the old games are not being downgraded, then how is it that new ones would be proclaimed to be overtaking them ?


 
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cbs42 wrote:
The fact that many people probably don't go back and re-rate games actually results in older games being rated higher than they should be.

There is no "should be". BGG declares any user choice for using the system to be valid. And there would be nothing wrong with letting initial reactions stand. They might indicate how others react initially, too.

 
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TVis wrote:
Huh ?? If the old games are not being downgraded, then how is it that new ones would be proclaimed to be overtaking them ?

Yes, new games are being rated higher than old games (in general). The quote you highlighted was pointing out that IF people did go back and re-rate old games to highlight the fact that they're not playing them as frequently, then the disparity in ratings would likely be even more extreme. To put this another way, the "cult of the new" effect is likely even more extreme than the OP in this thread illustrated.

TVis wrote:
BGG declares any user choice for using the system to be valid. And there would be nothing wrong with letting initial reactions stand. They might indicate how others react initially, too.

Yes, I agree!

You seem to be taking the exact opposite meaning from my posts, which was to say that there's nothing "wrong" with the system, and that it's perfectly natural and normal (and not at all surprising) for people to want to experience new content over rehashing old content. This is just as true with games as it is with movies, etc...

 
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cbs42 wrote:
Yes, new games are being rated higher than old games (in general).

The only way I can rationalize the position in your messages so far is to consider interpreting it as "New games today are being given higher ratings than were given to older games at the time they were new."


But I have no understanding how that would connect to the concept that "New games today are rated high because they are new today" that I read in this quote.


cbs42 wrote:
Of course newer games have higher ratings. Why does this continually surprise people?

Remember that many people rate games based on their interest in playing, rather than on some kind of ideal design purity scale. That is after all the official rating scale of BGG -- interest in playing the game.

So why are people more interested in playing new games? Well, for the same reason they're generally more interested in watching new movies rather than re-watching old ones they may have seen dozens of times.

If you could compare the number of movie patrons interested in seeing The Force Awakens this year or in coming years, it would dwarf the number of people who would say they're interested in watching Gone With The Wind this year. Does it mean Gone With the Wind is a bad movie? Or that somehow the presence of The Force Awakens in the marketplace is a threat to its standing as a classic? No! It just means people are more interested in seeing new movies and playing new games. Again, this is shocking how?


I am unable to follow your logic trail.


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cbs42 wrote:
TVis wrote:
I would say that explanation sort of overlooks a factor for which I have no proof yet retain as a strong belief: a vast majority do almost nothing to go back and revise ratings for games (and plenty of them might not even be site followers any longer).

So your "Gone With the Wind" example still has the high rating I gave it when I first watched it decades ago despite my dwindling interest in watching it anymore.


I agree!
Far from overlooking it, your point illustrates it perfectly.

The fact that many people probably don't go back and re-rate games actually results in older games being rated higher than they should be. If someone quits the site and stops playing games, or never goes back to re-rate their initial gleeful "10" on an old game they never play anymore, the result is that the older games don't degrade in score they way they "should" based on willingness to play.

The reality is that if more people did go back to re-rate their old stuff, it could possibly just result in a further degradation in the scores of the older games they're not playing anymore.

The "cult of the new" is just a normal human preference to experience new movies/games/music/etc rather than re-doing the same old thing over and over and over. It really shouldn't be a surprising revelation.


Yeah. I mean, why have a spouse when you could have an endless succession of one-night stands instead
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Interesting ideas. Inspired by some of them I put together this geeklist with a new ranking:

Another look at BGG Rankings - Present Rate

Cheers.
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Quote:
The fact that many people probably don't go back and re-rate games actually results in older games being rated higher than they should be. If someone quits the site and stops playing games, or never goes back to re-rate their initial gleeful "10" on an old game they never play anymore, the result is that the older games don't degrade in score they way they "should" based on willingness to play.


The "should" is really the crux of the whole argument there.
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
The Cult is indeed a cult.
I am a huge movie fan. As someone in their 30s, I've already become rather jaded specifically regarding the notion that nothing is new under the sun. I find myself saying "I liked movie B when it was movie A released 20 years ago." I tend to see board games as a microcosm of that. In terms of board games, I find myself in the middle. I love caylus and Tigris & Euphrates. I also like plenty of games made in the last few years. Like movies, some games may be focused at the people who have a disposable income. That often tends to be the younger crowd. I could potentially alienate people by constantly reminding them that Game B is just another implementation of game A, or I could just let folks enjoy their games. Just about everything made now is inspired by something made before. Something made before came from something before that. I'm not saying we have no right to complain when people like a new thing. Just be mindful that this is an ever-expanding hobby and a more favorable attitude might serve to bridge the divide.

Edit: I forgot to add that I still like the information of the OP as I love in-depth analysis like this. Thanks for sharing it.
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sthrjo wrote:
cpthomp wrote:
So you should be able to use your table to correct of the 'age' of a game, right? Basically take a games rating at 2 yrs, use the table, and then compare the difference between the games current rating and expected, that would allow for a 1:1 comparison of games of different ages, and let us find the TRUE #1 game


I have looked at some games:
(1): What year did its first edition appear?
(2): What rank does its currently highest ranked reimplementation have?
(3): How old would a hypothetical former #1 be to hold that rank today? (The scrutinized game has of course not actually ever been #1).
(4): What is the difference between the year in (1) and (3)? Compare this difference for the top ranked games, and locate the game with the greatest difference between its actual age, and its ideal "Cult of the New" decline from a hypothetical #1.

1: The winner turns out to be La Conquête du Monde (1957), 58 years old, caused by its reimplementation Risk Legacy (rank 128, 25.5 years declining from #1). Congratulations!
(Look in the column "At rank" between 118 and 133, and see that 25.5 years is somewhere there in column "Year", and subtract 58-25.5 = 32.5. This is the highest comparison number you will find. The game has defeated the expected decline from "Cult of the New" by 32.5 years, through its reimplementation.)
2: The second best is Acquire (1963).
3: The third is Cosmic Encounter (1977).
4: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases (1981).
5: Civilization (1980). This game also has an reimplementation classified as an expansion, Advanced Civilization (1991). The expansion is not ranked (no expansion is), but it has tremendous high ratings, and would be somewhere in the top 100 if it was classified as a proper game.
6: Netrunner (1996), its reimplementation Android: Netrunner.
7: Twilight Imperium (1997), its reimplementation Twilight Imperium (Third Edition).
8: Tigris & Euphrates (1997).
9: Dune (1979)
10: Twilight Struggle (2005).
11: El Grande (1995).
12...: Pandemic (2008), its reimplementation Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Puerto Rico, Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, Advanced Squad Leader, Die Macher, Tichu, Blood Bowl, 1830: Railways & Robber Barons, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
There is also Go and Crokinole but they are just too old to speculate on, and they are not forgotten.

Edit: Added Tigris&Euphrates, it was forgotten since it is only #2 from 1997.
Added note on very old games.


Henrik,

nice analysis, it seems to hold up as that is a list of very solid games - also a nice cross-section of the hobby!
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Interesting thread.

Just to chuck something else into the ring.. how many new games were released in each year since 1990? How do you factor in an increasing supply? My guess would be that to come out as a highly rated game in 2015 is much more difficult than 25 years ago. [Me no statistician!]
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I think the degree of people buying games, playing them once and then relegating it to the shelf for the next shiny new box has never been higher in the industry. I've actually stopped gaming with most people because all they want to do is play the shiniest new game currently released. I've reached a point in my life that I'm tired of sitting through endless rules explanations on game days. I instead started my own game night:

CULT OF THE OLD. If we haven't played it, it doesn't get played
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