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Subject: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop boredom rss

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Paul Gregory
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Today's Times (UK) has a prominent (p3 of print edition) article on Monopoly Express:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertai...

This starts with the claim that the "YouTube generation just can't still still long enough to enjoy a competitive board game".

At another point, it states that "In an era of instant gratification, with games now more about entertainment than brainpower, an epic four-hour game of Monopoly, involving nothing but cardboard, dice and pewter tokens has lost its appeal."

I'm not quite sure what Monopoly has to do with brainpower. In fact, I've submitted a response online picking holes in the article and suggesting Euro games as a better alternative. I'm probably also going to cobble together a version as a letter to the paper.

They also further the "short attention span" thing in the third leading article (where they attempt to be funny):
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/art...
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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
The article sounds about right to me. My generation would much rather sit in front of a computer and play a game by themselves than play a boardgame with the family.

So I dont get what your getting at. Are you just another person on this site thatll take jabs at monopoly because its popular?

I dont see how you can pick holes in this article, its talking about the non gaming public and its got it spot on in my opinion.






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Anthony Simons
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
You make an excellent point, Paul. Since when was playing Monopoly about brain power? Why do journalists have to sensationalise everything into a modern crisis when in reality the only folk not using their brain are clearly the journalists themselves?

Enough of that here, I am off to rant on their site.
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Peter Hall
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
Express Monopoly Card Game

AND

Scrabble Crossword Cubes Game?

Truly a brave new world of gaming.
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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
fellonmyhead wrote:
You make an excellent point, Paul. Since when was playing Monopoly about brain power? Why do journalists have to sensationalise everything into a modern crisis when in reality the only folk not using their brain are clearly the journalists themselves?

Enough of that here, I am off to rant on their site.


What are you going on about?

These are the sort of attitudes that will make people not want to become boardgamers. 'You play monopoly, you must be an idiot!', no wonder most of the views for this site are from one time viewers.

 
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Michael Sarsoza
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
The premise that this generation's attention span is too short to endure the length of a board game, i.e. monopoly, is absurd. Kids have been known to spend hours playing the same video game either on a console or on the computer online. Video game developers are not aiming for a shorter, quicker game. Rather, similar to board game designers, they are trying to give their consumers more, not less, interesting and challenging decisions to make.

It is the conclusion Hasbro has come up with to simply shorten the game to fit in with the new generation that is resentful to those of us here at the geek. While duration of a game may be one of the symptoms of a problem inherent in boardgames; time does not hold boardgames from becoming mainstream.

The article does touch upon real culprit, albeit briefly, time-ing. Because of the social nature of boardgames, getting like-minded players together wishing to play the same game at the same time can be difficult at best. Aside from game groups, spontaneous board gaming rarely happens. Video games on the other hand are almost always and readily available. But that is another topic.
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Hayden Scott
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jamesdavis wrote:
Are you just another person on this site thatll take jabs at monopoly because its popular?


Alternatively, he might be another one of those persons (on this site) that take jabs at monopoly because he thinks it's crap AND popular. If he is, he's not alone.
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Hayden Scott
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jamesdavis wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
You make an excellent point, Paul. Since when was playing Monopoly about brain power? Why do journalists have to sensationalise everything into a modern crisis when in reality the only folk not using their brain are clearly the journalists themselves?

Enough of that here, I am off to rant on their site.


What are you going on about?

These are the sort of attitudes that will make people not want to become boardgamers. 'You play monopoly, you must be an idiot!', no wonder most of the views for this site are from one time viewers.



What are YOU going on about?

Fellonmyhead's principal comment is with respect to the journalist (and journalists in general).

So far as his comment that Monopoly does not require brain power; well, it's hardly controversial.

I think your comment that "These are the sort of attitudes that will make people not want to become boardgamers" is more condescending than any other comment on this thread (so far), as it implicitly suggests that people can't make up their own minds on the merits of board games.
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Herb Petro
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
There is no way that they can compete with my favorite game of all time. It is really fast and fun for kids ages 4 to 10: Monkey Auto Races
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Greg Jones
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Monopoly is boring. Making it shorter is an improvement. It's still boring, but less total boredom when integrated over time. If the writer of the article wants people to be willing to invest more in an activity, they should pick an activity worth investing in.

Euro games are short too, and Ameritrashers pick on that, but in that case, you have a short game that's good without needing to be long. If you can have as much fun in 1 hour as in 4, why not?

I do have the attention span for a longer game. Antike is great fun. It just has to be good enough to be worth being long.
 
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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
Im obviously in the minority here. But most of you dont get it.

I will use the numbers hasbro claims to have played monopoly. Itll be rough numbers but it will make my point.

750 million.

I will take away 250 million to make it 500 million because I will assume they marked up the number considerably.

I will say half own the game, so thats 250 Million people.

Half of those enjoy the game so that makes 125 million.

Out of those 125 million, I will say half love the game, so that makes 60 million people.

I think these numbers speak more than a bunch of boardgame elitists do. Monopoly isnt the greatest of all time, thats a given. But considering more people love and own this game then pretty much all of these boardgames on this site put together, speaks for itself.
The way this game gets talked about and the people who play it, is depressing.

After the few months ive been on this site I have gotten about 20 geekmails about me defending monopoly from new users. All them had found this site because of monopoly and were suprised at the rating of this game. They commented about the attitude towards new users and non boardgamers. They all agreed this was a very nice community, but yet they didnt feel welcome, most didnt feel like it was worth the effort to be apart of the community that didnt accept their favourite games.

They had come to find out about new boardgames and meet new people who enjoyed playing them too. Only to find out that the boardgames they enjoy so much are hated and the negative comments were too much for alot of the people.

I think alot of people forget about how much this game is enjoyed by non boardgamers. And to constantly say the game takes no brainpower or no skill or the people who play it are stupid, will just hurt the hobby more than anything else.

You dont have to like it, but you have to accept more people like it than any other game. We have to use that to our advantage and get people to play other games.

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Claudine McClean
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I used to love Monopoly, as a kid we made up all sorts of rules often using two boards or adding components from other games, with the specific intent of making it longer and preventing people from being out of the game too early. We played games that lasted weeks. An express version wouldn't have appealed.

Rubbishing Monopoly is silly and doesn't encourage people to play different games, but encouraging people to play more, longer, more engaging games makes the world a better place!
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Hayden Scott
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So, exactly what is it that YOU get that the majority of BGGers don't?

jamesdavis wrote:
Im obviously in the minority here. But most of you dont get it.

I will use the numbers hasbro claims to have played monopoly. Itll be rough numbers but it will make my point.

750 million.

I will take away 250 million to make it 500 million because I will assume they marked up the number considerably.

I will say half own the game, so thats 250 Million people.

Half of those enjoy the game so that makes 125 million.

Out of those 125 million, I will say half love the game, so that makes 60 million people.


Actually, I think most BGGers get this point. Most appreciate that Monopoly is one of the most played board games ever (not including board games in the public domain).

jamesdavis wrote:
I think these numbers speak more than a bunch of boardgame elitists do.


That's nice. So what exactly do those numbers tell you? If the reference to "elitists" is intended to refer to many of those who have contributed to the thread, then why is a person labelled an elitist just because they don't think that Monopoly requires a lot of "brain power"?

jamesdavis wrote:
... considering more people love and own this game then pretty much all of these boardgames on this site put together, speaks for itself.


Your post keeps making these claims that the number of people who play Monopoly "speaks" volumes, but you never stop to articulate exactly what that is.

jamesdavis wrote:
The way this game gets talked about and the people who play it, is depressing.


Why is it seemingly acceptable for you to individually say something cryptically positive about Monopoly, but it is unacceptable for a community (the BGG community) unacceptable to provide articulate negative views?

jamesdavis wrote:
After the few months ive been on this site I have gotten about 20 geekmails about me defending monopoly from new users. All them had found this site because of monopoly and were suprised at the rating of this game.


Of course, we will never entirely know how many new users found relief in finding a community (the BGG community) which shared their view of Monopoly. Such new users would presumably not trouble you with their geekmails.

jamesdavis wrote:
They [being the authors of the 20 geekmails you received above] commented about the attitude towards new users and non boardgamers. They all agreed this was a very nice community, but yet they didnt feel welcome, most didnt feel like it was worth the effort to be apart of the community that didnt accept their favourite games.


I suppose BGG is not for everyone. What would you have BGG do? Take steps to increase Monopoly's average from 4.3 so that that the authors of the 20 geekmails you received above decided to stay?

jamesdavis wrote:
They had come to find out about new boardgames and meet new people who enjoyed playing them too. Only to find out that the boardgames they enjoy so much are hated and the negative comments were too much for alot of the people.


You paint the authors of the 20 geekmails you received above as being very delicate creatures. I only hope they recover from the pain of encountering a community that did not embrace a game that they love.

jamesdavis wrote:
I think alot of people forget about how much this game is enjoyed by non boardgamers.


I don't think we do. Many of us appreciate that "non boardgamers" really enjoy Monopoly.

jamesdavis wrote:
And to constantly say the game takes no brainpower or no skill or the people who play it are stupid ...


Is it as stupid as saying that Monopoly takes a lot of brainpower?

jamesdavis wrote:
You dont have to like it, but you have to accept more people like it than any other game.


In the end this seems to be the only point you return to.

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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
hayden wrote:

jamesdavis wrote:
The way this game gets talked about and the people who play it, is depressing.


Why is it seemingly acceptable for you to individually say something cryptically positive about Monopoly, but it is unacceptable for a community (the BGG community) unacceptable to provide articulate negative views?


Where are the articulated views, most people on this site will just say its stupid, long, boring and only idiots play this game. How are those articulated arguements?

I have no problems with the fact people dont like this game, but its the way people find it just so easy to say its shit and make wise cracks about it without stating any good reasons. There have been many great points made about this game, but most people will take the easy road and say its shit. Its just the whipping boy, when people are too lazy to come up with anything original or insightful to say.

And it was not the fact that monopoly has a low rating or is not liked by many here, its the attitude people have about the game and people who play it that made people not want to be here.
 
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Jacob Martin
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
All right people, sounds like you're having fun. But seriously folks...

I have a fundamental problem with this news story, namely the premise that children have a shorter attention span than they used to. This is both not true, and not the issue at stake.

Kids, like all of us, have an enormous variety of options in how to spend their leisure time. They also have been taught, predominantly through visual media, to expect a very high saturation level of data. Many board games, particularly of the traditional Hasbro variety, do not provide the level of engagement that kids expect in their activities.

How can something like Monopoly compete with the interaction and depth of 100+ hours of online, interactive video games? And yet, we all remember a time when we would artificially draw out a Monopoly game to continue the fun. Kids are blessed with a natural curiosity that borders on the manic, a fact that is essential to their early and continued development. However this is also combined with an inbuilt dogged singlemindedness that allows them to play Monopoly for 12 hours in a row, or transit from illiteracy to a fully functioning verbal human being in a few short years. (For a more detailed, better thought out and legible argument, read Steven Johnsen's "Everything Bad is Good For You")
http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Bad-Good-You-Actually/dp/15...

Now to the actual forum posts. James is fully correct in that hating on a player's favourite game is a great way to alienate them. Supporting a new board gamer through the transition from roll-and-move to strategy board games is a crucial role. In the same way, and as a 'for example', some finesse is required to move people away from Bud and Millers to craft beers with actual flavor or from Brittney to music with lyrics, composition or quality. (Apologies to all those Brittney and Bud fans I just offended).

As a whole, members of BGG agree that Monopoly lacks most of what we look for in a game. This has therefore become poster child and whipping boy for all of those popular games that inexplicably succeed where far superior games fail - often for no better reason than their enormous advertising budget. Lets not take out on eager new board gamers any frustration felt regarding relative worth. As my dad always says "This is not a pissing contest". We know that there are better options so show them off, don't just deride the game these poor people know and love.
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Paul Gregory
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
Jacob, you get it completely.

James et al, I'm not taking jabs at Monopoly, I'm taking jabs at it being something that kids should be playing just because it's one of the only board games the journalists are aware of. I'm taking jabs at the notion that kids are the target market for games. I'm taking jabs at the notion that the problem with kids being bored with long Monopoly games is the kids, and that "dumbing down" is the only solution.

I like a game of Monopoly once in a while, but I prefer other games. I fully appreciate that these other games are not in as many homes as Monopoly and I respect people's rights to enjoy Monopoly. However, ownership is not the same as playing it regularly. Even the Times article suggests that it is a game to be played only once a year (at Christmas).

Apologies for being unclear in my post as to what the holes in the story are, but many of you have figured it out.

My Times comment has not been published (although I am pleased to see that Anthony's has), so here it is:

--

Kids today, eh? Well, except for the fact that the Toy Wishes guy is talking about people (not just kids). And so are Hasbro. The other comments about kids are just pandering to the angle.
Of course kids are more likely to be texting each other than playing Monopoly - all people spend more days communicating with other people than playing any one specific game.

Even if true, I don't see how the claim that games are now more about entertainment than brainpower can be applied to Monopoly - it is hardly strategy-based. And saying "it involves nothing but cardboard, dice and pewter tokens" rather ignores the continued popularity of games that just involve cardboard, like Yu-Gi-Oh.

A four-hour game of Monopoly isn't epic - it's just dull and drawn out. Many board game fans, young and old, prefer titles that are entertaining, brain-engaging, and in many cases resolve in under an hour. "European" style games like Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan are better alternatives.
 
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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
paulgregory wrote:
Jacob, you get it completely.

James et al, I'm not taking jabs at Monopoly, I'm taking jabs at it being something that kids should be playing just because it's one of the only board games the journalists are aware of. I'm taking jabs at the notion that kids are the target market for games. I'm taking jabs at the notion that the problem with kids being bored with long Monopoly games is the kids, and that "dumbing down" is the only solution.

I like a game of Monopoly once in a while, but I prefer other games. I fully appreciate that these other games are not in as many homes as Monopoly and I respect people's rights to enjoy Monopoly. However, ownership is not the same as playing it regularly. Even the Times article suggests that it is a game to be played only once a year (at Christmas).

Apologies for being unclear in my post as to what the holes in the story are, but many of you have figured it out.

My Times comment has not been published (although I am pleased to see that Anthony's has), so here it is:

--

Kids today, eh? Well, except for the fact that the Toy Wishes guy is talking about people (not just kids). And so are Hasbro. The other comments about kids are just pandering to the angle.
Of course kids are more likely to be texting each other than playing Monopoly - all people spend more days communicating with other people than playing any one specific game.

Even if true, I don't see how the claim that games are now more about entertainment than brainpower can be applied to Monopoly - it is hardly strategy-based. And saying "it involves nothing but cardboard, dice and pewter tokens" rather ignores the continued popularity of games that just involve cardboard, like Yu-Gi-Oh.

A four-hour game of Monopoly isn't epic - it's just dull and drawn out. Many board game fans, young and old, prefer titles that are entertaining, brain-engaging, and in many cases resolve in under an hour. "European" style games like Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan are better alternatives.


Thank you for clearing up your motives. I did rush to a conclusion, but this because alot of people use monopoly as an easy whipping boy more than anything else.

I have 1 things wrong with that comment.

the part about Yu-Gi-Oh, the popularity of the game is based off the TV show, if there wasnt a cartoon of this game, the game itself would have had little success, alot like the pokemon cards.

 
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Vic Gaibor
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The ORIGINAL AP article had NOTHING to do with the express games being a result of boredom. Its because wage earning people no longer have time to play the full length game, where as the express versions of the game allow busy families to play games on a shroter schedule.
 
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
When I asked around work about what board games people know I got this list.

Monopoly, Clue(do), Chess, Drafts(Checkers), Scabble. And thats where they dried up. The only reason people buy Monopoly, the only reasons its so popular are that...

1 ) Its one of the few games that people have heard of.
2 ) Its the only game that appears EVERYWHERE.
3 ) The Toy shops carry 14+ variants of this games, entire walls get covered in it.

...and those are the only reasons Monopoly is so popular. Note that I didn't include that it's good or fun.

Frankly I suspect that playing Monopoly is the main reason that people give-up or dont-bother with board games. It IS an unsatisfying experience.

People I've introduced to other games are always amazed how unlike Monopoly they are. How much fun they are. They are usually also wondering why they haven't heard of any other game.

 
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Vic Gaibor
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Unsatisfying for you maybe. As a game that can be picked up and played by the entire family, it is indispensable. It's fun, easy to play and understand, and can be found practically anywhere.
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
jamesdavis wrote:
I have 1 things wrong with Anthony's comments.


James, that isn't my comment - mine is up on the Times webpage; and judging from what you said earlier you will probably not be happy with my comment there about "brain power".

As for your "you play Monopoly you must be an idiot" comment, I never implied any such thing - it just doesn't take much more mental effort than the Express version (which, according to the article, caters for the "entertainment" rather than "brainpower").
 
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James Davis
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
fellonmyhead wrote:
jamesdavis wrote:
I have 1 things wrong with Anthony's comments.


James, that isn't my comment - mine is up on the Times webpage; and judging from what you said earlier you will probably not be happy with my comment there about "brain power".

As for your "you play Monopoly you must be an idiot" comment, I never implied any such thing - it just doesn't take much more mental effort than the Express version (which, according to the article, caters for the "entertainment" rather than "brainpower").


Sorry i thought that was your comment.

And the comment wasnt made about any of you on this thread, its an attitude that shows up on this place alot.
 
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
jamesdavis wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
You make an excellent point, Paul. Since when was playing Monopoly about brain power? Why do journalists have to sensationalise everything into a modern crisis when in reality the only folk not using their brain are clearly the journalists themselves?

Enough of that here, I am off to rant on their site.


What are you going on about?

These are the sort of attitudes that will make people not want to become boardgamers. 'You play monopoly, you must be an idiot!', no wonder most of the views for this site are from one time viewers.



I don't think he's necessarily taking that stance. What I got from his argument is that, it's not that kids don't have solid attention spans anymore, it's that the game of monopoly tends to go on longer than it is entertaining. After a while, the game falls into a rut. Imagine how dissatisfied you'd be with Settlers if Risk ended when the first country was overthrown. You'd be frustrated because it ended before you could really get into the game. Likewise, if Settlers went on to twenty victory points, you'd be frustrated because after a while the game would fall into a rut as everyone ran out of cities and was forced to do nothing except build development cards in hopes of getting that impossible 20th point. An hour checker game would be as unsatisfying as a game of poker lasting five minutes. However, poker for an hour and checkers for five minutes is much more enjoyable. The point is, monopoly is too long for the challenge the game offers. The timing is off. It's not a matter of waning attention spans. It's a matter of a game overstaying its welcome.
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Tristan Brightman
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jamesdavis wrote:


I think these numbers speak more than a bunch of boardgame elitists do.


Mmmm... There are a lot of people who haven't heard of quarks. I think those numbers speak a lot more than a bunch of quantum physicists do.
 
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Re: Times: Makers of Monopoly speeding up games to stop bore
This is a story about the re-hashing of best selling games to remain best selling games. Couple it with the old "kids have the attention span of a gnat" story and its all aboard the free publicity train, bonus..
 
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