Darren M
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There are literally hundreds(if not thousands) of interesting games that are far, far under the radar. In the BGG database there are over 27000 games and expansions and only a little over 18200 of them have even a single rating. Over 9000 games and expansions have 0 ratings.

Of those 27000+ total games and expansions... less than 3600 have a "rank" on BGG as a minimum of 30 ratings are necessary(and expansions are not ranked). So basically about 87% of the database has too few votes to count in the rankings.

There are some very good games in that 87% "minority" that are seldom ever seen on geeklists or in discussion forums. I think it's just a fact of life that the games in the "know" are those games that manage to get a critical mass going with word of mouth, a review or two and a session report here and there... which gives them enough momentum to make a small impact and actually work their way into the community forums and create enough buzz to "get the word" out about them.

There are so many games out there and hundreds more being added every year that there are bound to be good (even brilliant) designs being lost in the shuffle constantly. I wouldn't doubt that if the top 100 on BGG were wiped out and replaced with the "best" games with under 30 ratings... many would find that their enjoyment level would be as high or maybe even higher as they may indeed be playing designs with some truly original ideas and interesting mechanisms.

My point isn't to knock the rating or rankings of any of the more popular and well known games... it's just that I was thinking about just how many hundreds of thousands of hours of work likely went into producing games which many of us will never even hear of... much less play.
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William Boykin
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It's even worse when you realize that even the most popular games on BGG have TINY sales compared to Hasbro's My Little Pony series......

Who's up for a game Monkey Auto Racing?? *s*

Darilian
If you won't pay your $1.05 for freedom, who will??
 
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Alan Kaiser
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You're completely right of course but to dig through all those games to find the gems takes time and that's something many of us don't have much of. I have tried to dig through both the old and new games in an effort to find some good games that deserve mention. I have several old GeekLists that cover some of the games that I've managed to get hold of or are on my want lists. These are however pretty old lists so maybe I'll update them sometime soon.

There are certain analogies to music. Back in the late 80's after college my friends and I managed to break free from the standard 'rock radio same old crap over and over again' music. We'd spend hours digging through bins at a couple of the good record stores in Detroit looking for new and interesting music. This was at the start of the British invasion. I'd tape late night public radio shows in an effort to maybe come across a new song or group that was worth listening to. We scoured downtown clubs searching for mixes of cool songs and talking to DJs for the latest good stuff. We even did a stint at the local colleges radio station. We had lots of fun and found lots of good music that the average person on the street never knew existed. My tastes gradually expanded to music of different cultures ranging from religious chants to the music of native peoples all over the world. However, this was a huge amount of work. Basically my friends and I lived and breathed music and eventually other things took over our lives.

So to bring this rambling back to games, there are a lot of under rated games that should find their way to a larger audience but the ones that most of use play are the ones that are easy to find. It does take a lot of BGG browsing and keeping up with the game news to find some of the real gems that fly under the radar but at the end of the day most will be happy using the time they didn't spend searching for games to actually play the more common games.
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Matthew McCloud
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I refuse to play games that don't at least have some exposure. It's usually a bad sign of a roll-and-move, or a game that needs more playtesting.

Board Games take massive ammounts of space, something that most players do not have space the for. 87% of these games are under the radar true, but 13% are not. If you would only play and buy those games in the top 3% of rated games, you still would not have time to really learn the game.

Truthfully, I'm sure some of these games are good, but there is a reason that some games rise to the top; they are usually deeper and appeal to a larger audience. This usually shows that the game is versitile enough to allow multiple tactics, which is the sign of good game design.

In the end, if it's your goal to find good games among the hordes, do it! Of course, you will have to tell us so we can jump on board.
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Darren M
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Alan... I actually had thoughts of music being comparable as well... how the hundreds of thousands of little bands and solo artists across the globe never get the exposure to "make it big" or even get heard beyond their local areas even though many have as much talent or even more than mainstream acts.

Matthew... I do realize that it would take a lot of work to sift through the piles and piles of games to find the gems among them... and I realize that's unrealistic. As a group... the BGG community actually does very well at exposing many games that we truly would never have heard about if this site never existed and I'm grateful for that as I'm sure many others are as well. I agree that it's generally a huge use of resources (money and time) to try and find needles in a haystack so to speak... to find the games that deliver the great gaming experiences among those that may be underdeveloped and unbalanced and worst of all... just not fun.

I was really just reflecting in a general sense on all the potentially outstanding games on which some passionate developers and game designers have labored on for months and sometimes even years and their efforts still slip under the radar... and they and their games will never get any acknowledgment of their worth.

I generally only buy games which are fairly highly rated (6+) and have a minimum of maybe 100-200 ratings so I'm certainly "guilty" of neglecting the possible gems in the mountain of possibilities as well.

I think in the future I will make a point of buying 1 game a year that has never had a single rating on BGG... just to see what I can come up with and add some unique content to BGG instead of making the 1500th comment on a game with 1000+ ratings in the database. I'd like to put out a "Geek Challenge" to others to do the same.
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Anthony Simons
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Grubsnatcher wrote:
I refuse to play games that don't at least have some exposure.


It's a good thing we don't all think like this, or nobody would be playing anything.
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David Whitcher
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I think the first thing to do is be a good steward by logging & rating all the games you play and if something comes to mind either good or bad add it to the comments. Also be open to trying games that are off the beaten path, sure you are going to run into some stinkers now and then,that is inevitable. Personally I enjoy exploring new games as much as I do playing old favorites and usually end up trying several new titles each month. More often than not it’s a game I would be happy to play again.
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Darren M
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I've just created a GeekList which is sort of a minigame to help expose some of the many "unloved" or unknown games. Only games with 0 ratings are on the list and I'm requesting anyone on BGG to take a look and see if they have played any of them. If they have played them... rate them and comment on them on their game page. As soon as a game gets even a single rating and BGG does it's daily ratings update... I'll remove it from the GeekList "Prison".

Hopefully this fun little list will result in a bit more knowledge and exposure for some of the 9000+ games with no ratings at all at the moment. I know just from reading some of the descriptions of many of the unrated games I've been looking at... I've found several that sound really interesting. Hopefully others will as well.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/20763
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Alan Kaiser
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dralius wrote:
I think the first thing to do is be a good steward by logging & rating all the games you play and if something comes to mind either good or bad add it to the comments.


This actually goes a long way toward helping out small unknown games. If you somehow manage to find your way to a game that you've never heard anything about you are much more likely to check out the game if others have left ratings and comments about the game.


Here are links to two GeekLists that I put together a while ago on little known, underrated and under the radar type games that I have owned or wanted:

You Want What!?! Little Known But Nonetheless Desirable Games That Are On My Want List.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/13799

Games in my collection that few other Geeks own

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/7743


This is actually a great way of getting some exposure for little known games. These types of lists always go over fairly well because many people here on BGG have heard over and over again how great the best games are. It gets horribly boring after a while. A new game that few have heard of that might actually be good however generates some excitment.

I'll have to put together a couple new lists on games in my collection that few others have and games on my want list that few others have heard of.
 
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Joe Wyka
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The amount of effort spent designing games that go unplayed I am sure is smaller than...

...the amount of books that are written and never read

...the amount of music composed and never heard

...the amount of films produced and never seen

...the amount of products invented and never sold.

All around you are dreams, accomplishments, and ideas that you never see and will never share. It has always been this way and always will. Getting something produced is the dream of many. Achieving the right mix of ideas, planning, execution, connections, marketing, and luck will never be easy.

One thing these other industries have that I don't think the game industry has is agents. Not enough money to support a middle-man advocate-type, I guess.
 
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