Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Accessibility of Board Games rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Top Shelf Board Games
United States
Pocatello
Idaho
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How accessible do you feel board games are? There are 1000's of games out there. With each publisher clamoring for you to play their game. Good hearted reviewers have taken it upon themselves to do everything they can to get you information about games, so you can decide if it is a game for you. This has bridged some major gaps in the hobby. People are now much more educated on what games are out there.

Because of the reviewers you now know what game you want to buy, so naturally you buy it! But now there is another dilemma, learning the game. Some games are very easy to learn, but most have several pages of rules. With many more in depth games having many more pages. These are games that often end up sitting on our shelves un-played. Games that we have learned to play, we now face a whole different challenge in now teaching that game to someone else. Teaching it poorly can easily shut down the group and have people wanting to move on to something else. Why is it that we play a game we enjoy, once or twice then leave it sitting on the shelf for months, even years without playing it again? Does some of it have to do with relearning the game? How do we bridge this gap? How to Play videos? How long are you willing to sit and learn a game with your group? What can, will call them, "how to'ers" do to make gaming more accessible? Are there enough how to'ers out there?

These are some thoughts that I have had, in changing the focus of my channel to How to Play video's. In large part it's to solve my own issue, that being, games sitting on my shelf not being played enough, due to not wanting to re-read a rule book over and over every time I want to play. So I've been making how to play videos that are focused on the essentials of the rules. Giving enough information to be able to get back into a game and hopefully for those who are new to the game they will learn what they need to know to play the game. I don't include game set up, as I assume that you have set up the game in preparing for the group to play and now your ready to teach.

What are your thoughts on How to Play videos in general? What do you want to see more of from How to'ers?

Hopefully this wasn't too much of a ramble

Hubba
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin V
United States
Victorville
California
flag msg tools
badge
Fan of Cartoonist Phil Foglio
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I hear what you're saying about the learning curve and such. I also would agree that having a large library of games to choose from would make it hard to keep the rules straight in one's mind. Add to that a touch of the cult of the new...and you can see why it may be hard to get the same game to the table on a regular basis.

Speaking for myself, my main issue rests elsewhere: Lack of players. I have a few people I game with, but honestly, I don't click where with the group, and my options are limited at the moment. Between family, work, school,...life...it's just hard for me to set aside dedicated gaming time. Even if I culled by collection down to say...20 titles, I would STILL have a hard time getting games to the table. The family will play 2-3 of them once in an long while, but they're not interested in the "deeper" games with longer rulebooks.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Poskitt
Wales
Cwmavon
West Glamorgan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For many people, there are the usual distractions and resposnsibilities of life in general that make it difficult to get games "on the table" as often as we might like.

Even accounting for the above, one major stumbling block can be the rules, and the way the rulebook is structured. To take one example, I think most people would agree that a game like Mage Knight/Star Trek Frontiers would take a newcomer to these games quite some time to digest not only the rules in the rulebook, but also the complexities of play. To leasrn a complex game takes time and no small degree of mental effort.

In this respect, the structure of the rulebook can be a help or a hinderance. While I appreciate the amount of time that thorough playtesting for a game takes, I do wonder sometimes about the thought and time expended on composing the rulebooks.

Ideally, the rules should be presented in a clear and logical manner. Sadly, all too often many rulebooks can best be described as a "mess" which will hinder getting the game to the table in the first place, and may indeed make it necessary for less-hardy (dedicated?) gamers to be taught how to play, rather than be left to the unstructured vagaries of a badly-composed rulebook. (That said, it can be quite difficult to teach others' the rules to a complex game, even in a one-on-one situation).

I think there is plenty of room for more YouTube How-to-Play videos; seeing a game's mechanics and procedures explained visually can often be a far easier way to learn a game, particularly in the case of a poor rulebook. (One can pause to digest, rewind, replay etc. etc.)

That, of course, puts an onus on the producer of such a video to make sure that it is a clear, concise and logical tutorial ... and that is no easy thing to pull off. Moreover, how does one deal with the questions viewers may have even with the instructional video? Not all YouTube channels answer question-comments from their viewers.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I started doing videos about games for the opposite reason you describe: to me there were so many "how to play" videos but not enough in_depth discussion of game mechanics and analysis of gameplay.

In my videos I try to provide detailed discussion, along with some basic information about gameplay and examples of me playing the game to give the flavor of it just so it makes sense. To me there are so many how to play channels I there that do this better than I could, or would want to.

Like the other poster above, I have difficulty finding opponents and that is one reason among others that I play so many solo games or game with solo variants. Also another reason I focus on those sorts of games in my videos.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Poskitt
Wales
Cwmavon
West Glamorgan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What is your YouTube channel, if these videos are posted there?

Discussion of game mechanics sounds very interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Silver Robert
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I find reading the rulebook and groking the rules one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby. I would never want to replace that with watching a Youtube video.

And if the game has too many rules to remember at least the majority of it then it's not a very good game IMO.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Poskitt
Wales
Cwmavon
West Glamorgan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I also find that an enjoyable part of the hobby; piecing together the game mechanics and procedures to arrive at an overall appreciationn of the way the game works.

Oftentimes, once this has been done, many games are much simpler in their mechanics and flow than their rulebook would suggest.

That may not be the case for many though, and they might welcome an instructional video as an aid to learning.

But, there is something to be said for the feeling of accomplishment after penetrating the depths of a challenging game with complex rules.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Dallas
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I too enjoy reading through rule books and that moment when the game just clicks for you. Saying that I still enjoy watching how to play videos and find they help me in teaching others how to play a game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dougposkitt wrote:
What is your YouTube channel, if these videos are posted there?

Discussion of game mechanics sounds very interesting.
I'm not sure I can put a link to it in the comments here as I don't think you are supposed to 'advertise' other sites but I will try> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLnDxuZE6qWwWxZCN9y8JQA
You can also see that link if you click on my profile or search for Geek Gamers channel.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Poskitt
Wales
Cwmavon
West Glamorgan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Got it OK.

There's a few games on there that I will definitely sit down and watch your videos on.

Subscribed
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dougposkitt wrote:
Got it OK.

There's a few games on there that I will definitely sit down and watch your videos on.

Subscribed :)
Hey cool and thanks. I welcome comments on the videos, good or bad, so I can improve what I'm doing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neil McIntyre
United Kingdom
Derbyshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
My regular group of five players found this to be a problem a couple of years ago - we had several games that we each felt weren't getting enough love.

Our solution was to devise a league/round system. We each had five votes, worth 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 points respectively - and conducted a secret ballot. The five top-rated games were then selected to play at our weekly get together. We committed to play each game at least three times in a round.

For the second round, we repeated the vote, carrying over points from the first round, but making the first selections exempt from the ballot.

In the third round, the first selections were available again, but they were all reset at 0 points.

The voting was actually really enjoyable, as (being gamers) we revealed in the tactical aspect of allocating our votes.

We did this for maybe two years, and it really helped to get unloved games to the table, and to increase our knowledge of the games selected. I think only two games were selected for two rounds of gaming.

I'd recommend it to anyone facing similar issues in their group. Sure, some games you dislike may make it to the table, but those extra plays may just help change your mind.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Williams
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
For me, the problem with How To Play videos is when the video maker misinterprets or forgets rules during the video. Unless you're reading along in the rulebook yourself (or you already know the game very well), you're unlikely to realize the mistake, and then you end up playing incorrectly until you happen across someone who knows better.

Even the big names have made mistakes in this regard; it's not a judgement of any particular videomaker, just an unfortunately reality of learning to play from a second-hand source.

I prefer to read the rulebook myself, and get the information from the horse's mouth, as it were. At least that way, WHEN I make mistakes, I know who to blame.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Ottawa
Ontario
msg tools
Avatar
How to play videos have become an industry necessity because the vast majority of manuals are written by people who can't write to save their lives. Why hire a professional when you can crowdsource a bunch of people who also can't write? So, besides the bad manuals acting as a barrier, I'd say the industry is very accessible. Not too many hobbies let you easily meet the people who make the things you love to shoot the shit about whatever.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Ottawa
Ontario
msg tools
Avatar
Stewi wrote:
For me, the problem with How To Play videos is when the video maker misinterprets or forgets rules during the video. Unless you're reading along in the rulebook yourself (or you already know the game very well), you're unlikely to realize the mistake, and then you end up playing incorrectly until you happen across someone who knows better.

Even the big names have made mistakes in this regard; it's not a judgement of any particular videomaker, just an unfortunately reality of learning to play from a second-hand source.

I prefer to read the rulebook myself, and get the information from the horse's mouth, as it were. At least that way, WHEN I make mistakes, I know who to blame.


Mostly because many of them are not professionals. They are just dudes doing a great service to the hobby because it's direly needed. If some people are making mistakes and they are being paid . . . They suck.

My dream is that game companies will hire professional writers who will produce great manuals along with videos. Bigger companies can hire in-house writers who could even make it their job to take a glance at forums once a day to answer any rules problems customers have (hopefully hardly any at all if they did their job right). What a beautiful world that would be.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
flag msg tools
I never watch how to play videos. They take longer than just reading the rulebook. I never have found a game I could not learn from the book, although Fields of Fire challenged me there.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Top Shelf Board Games
United States
Pocatello
Idaho
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks everyone for the comments! I too see it as a natural step for the publisher. While a reviewer could never be hired by a publisher, a how to'er I believe could even if it's just for contractual work. Rule mistakes are going to happen. The only way to avoid that is to read the rule book in the video that would create extremely long videos that are boring. I believe that even with how to play videos is still necessary that at least one person in the group has read the rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.