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Subject: What's the deal rss

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John Bailey
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Do people even read rule books anymore? I am subscribed to most of the games that I own. I have noticed in the last 2 years or so that people seem to be asking for rule clarifications for very basic rules in games. Do people not have time to read the rules? Or maybe since this game community is so awesome it is quicker to just ask here to get an answer right away. I'm just wondering your thoughts on this topic. I use the forums and videos to help as well but not for very basic stuff.

To be clear I am not talking about obscure rules that you would have trouble finding in the rule book. I am talking about things like reveal a card, starting resources, how to discard, ect.

Also for everyone who celebrates the american Thanksgiving holiday I would like to say have a good holiday. If your not from america or dont celebrate for whatever reason have a good Thursday.
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Marina SC
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While I agree there are often very basic questions being asked, one thing to keep in mind is that this is an international site, and a good number may be people playing an edition that's not in their first language
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Paul DeStefano
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Easier to be lazy and ask here than do the reading.
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Pauly Paul
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I think that (at least for some of the cases) it's a situation where a person just can't find the answer in the rulebook. I know I've had times where I know the answer is in the rulebook but damn if my eyes can find it. I've even given the rulebook to a friend to have them look with a fresh set of eyes.

If it's a situation where you don't know if it's in the rulebook and you can't find the answer you might think to ask.

That is not really in the scoop of posts you say you're talking about, I think. Another possibility could be some people don't learn well from rulebooks (everyone is wired differently) and perhaps they don't have confidence in what they are reading. So they ask the question to make sure they are understanding the text properly.
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Larry L
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Do people read rules anymore?

I don't know-- do you subscribe to most of the games you own? How recently have you noticed this trend?
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Richard Dickson
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It's not just rule books. I've seen people go to Facebook groups for answers to questions they could have gotten with just as much effort typing the question into Google. They'll go to the Disney group I'm in and ask someone to tell them Disney's hours on a certain day, when that info is right there on Disney's site. It's like nobody wants to look for anything anymore.
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Ed T
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Actually, I am fascinated sometimes by the rules questions that come up for Pandemic as it is clear that many newcomers to the game these days are not reading the rules carefully at all.
 
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Chris Robbins
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RingelTree wrote:
... do you subscribe to most of the games you own?


Did you read the original post?

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Jim Cote
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Most rulebook writers are terrible at technical writing. They are unaware at how incredible ambiguous they are. Take the following overly simple example. Can you spot the numerous situational ambiguities? Even if you do, do you really want the rules to cover all of them?

"Each player rolls a 6-sided die. High roller takes the first turn. Re-roll ties."
 
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Daily Grind
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Many people don't bother doing anything to answer their own questions, regardless of context. There's a reason 'let me google that for you' has been around for almost a decade.
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Jason Sadler
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I think many people utilize the internet as a sub-chamber of their thinking process now. People ask for advice on things to buy and ways to do things that would never occur to me.
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Larry L
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bltzlfsk wrote:
RingelTree wrote:
... do you subscribe to most of the games you own?


Did you read the original post?



...

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Liam (Away/AFK)
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I'm totally fine with it. It gives users a chance to help out fellow gamers or could be gamers and communities and friendships a chance to grow.

Don't get my wrong if my first post on BGG was to ask a stupid question I'd be embarrassed.

Which dice symbol corresponds to a hit on Artillery?
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Chris Johnson
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I've noticed an uptick in dumb/obvious questions locally since some people have moved to watching videos to learn a game, rather than reading the rules, or being taught by a live person.

It wouldn't shock me if this were a broader phenomenon.

That said, I subscribe to a *lot* of games, and there has definitely been an uptick over time in obvious/dumb questions, often driven by particular people who just don't seem to be playing in quite the same universe as most of us.

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Cardboard Hustle
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When I was a child my teachers always stressed the importance of reading and following directions, and I never knew why. When I grew up, I realized it was because none of the adults knew how and they needed me to be their savior.

Okay, that might be a little hyperbolic, but seriously, not everyone has the same level of reading comprehension. So lets keep that in mind. Also, while you or I might lay the game on the table, dim the lights, and evacuated the house of all distractions, not everyone else has that luxury. Some people are trying to read rule books with the TV going, children trying to paint the walls, and their neighbor revving his fleet of Harley Davidson's all afternoon.
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Bigb0420 wrote:
Do people even read rule books anymore? I am subscribed to most of the games that I own. I have noticed in the last 2 years or so that people seem to be asking for rule clarifications for very basic rules in games. Do people not have time to read the rules? Or maybe since this game community is so awesome it is quicker to just ask here to get an answer right away. I'm just wondering your thoughts on this topic. I use the forums and videos to help as well but not for very basic stuff.

To be clear I am not talking about obscure rules that you would have trouble finding in the rule book. I am talking about things like reveal a card, starting resources, how to discard, ect.

Also for everyone who celebrates the american Thanksgiving holiday I would like to say have a good holiday. If your not from america or dont celebrate for whatever reason have a good Thursday.


You'd be surprised how easy it can in some cases to "miss things that are 'right there'". Situations I can think up of include but not limited to:
--mandatory things weren't listed in the turn order, but in the section about "processing fun stuff"
--some things are listed in the FAQ/"finer points" section instead
--you can only derive how some cases work out from reading the example... discard all resources means ALL PLAYERS do this!

.

As for asking instead of reading... it's a matter of efficiency... barring some people who really did try, if they can't find it, they can't find it. It may be easier to ask. It may be quicker to ask. Asking online also means replies will include explanations, other examples, and some edge/corner cases that reading the rulebook wouldn't have covered.

On a similar note, I've worked in places where my lead tells me that if I need to know something, he'd rather I ask somebody, have them explain it to me in 5 minutes, rather than me taking an hour to hunt down the solution on my own.
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Ray
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There are many new gamers getting into the hobby and understanding rulebooks is not easy for most.

Many people are wanting to learn games they buy quickly.

So cut them a little slack.

This *IS* a source of information as well.
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John Bailey
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I was just simply asking why the up tick in easy rules clarifications. You have all brought up very good points
 
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Thom0909
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ekted wrote:
Most rulebook writers are terrible at technical writing. They are unaware at how incredible ambiguous they are. Take the following overly simple example. Can you spot the numerous situational ambiguities? Even if you do, do you really want the rules to cover all of them?

"Each player rolls a 6-sided die. High roller takes the first turn. Re-roll ties."


Is this a 2-player game? If so, I'd be curious as to what they are.
 
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Bigb0420 wrote:
Do people even read rule books anymore? I am subscribed to most of the games that I own. I have noticed in the last 2 years or so that people seem to be asking for rule clarifications for very basic rules in games. Do people not have time to read the rules? Or maybe since this game community is so awesome it is quicker to just ask here to get an answer right away. I'm just wondering your thoughts on this topic. I use the forums and videos to help as well but not for very basic stuff.

To be clear I am not talking about obscure rules that you would have trouble finding in the rule book. I am talking about things like reveal a card, starting resources, how to discard, ect.

Also for everyone who celebrates the american Thanksgiving holiday I would like to say have a good holiday. If your not from america or dont celebrate for whatever reason have a good Thursday.


Waaaaay longer than that... you are just a newb at tweee years old.

Anyway, the good thing about forums, is that you don't have to read the threads that don't interest you.
 
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Dianne N.
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I don't necessarily ask the "dumb" questions, but certainly use the internet to help me find answers to mine.

Sometimes it's things like you look through the rulebook and can't find it, and you look online and it tells you which page of the rulebook to look at (and you get that feeling of "duuuh, that's where it is!"), but sometimes it's because 2 people reading the same thing can read it in different ways, resulting in arguments (especially if one or more are not native speakers of the language the rulebook is written in). As an example, my husband and I still fight over whether you can place more than one tile with a symbol on it in a city in Sid Meier's Civilization the board game. The rules simply say you can't have more than one building with a symbol. To me this means you can't have more than one of the same building, but you can have a building and a different building next to it as well. To my husband it means you can only have one single building with a . Same text, different interpretations (and yes, BGG quickly cleared this up). Maybe this kind of this is obvious to you while reading the rule book, but it's not for others.

Then there are just plain ambiguities, something as simple as what the heck do artifact symbols on the tiles in Eclipse do? The rulebook literally mentions it once as a symbol on a tile, and there's a tech associated with it with one sentence of explanation, but that's it. So then questions arise such as, "can I only use it once?"; "is it immediate or can I save it for later?"; "it says I get 5 resources of one type for each artifact symbol, so do I get only one resource 20 times or can I do 10 of 1 resource and 5 each of the others?"; etc. How many forum posts are there for this one question asked different ways?

Granted, if everyone looked first before creating a new post, their answer might be there already (as it has been in every instance I've ever needed to look up a clarification for online), but people are lazy.

Finally, another reason I need to look this kind of stuff up online is because I'm staring to play games well beyond Monopoly and Catan, and it does get confusing if that's your baseline. We've had Mage Knight for months now, sitting there unplayed because I tried reading the rules and just setup confused me and gave me a headache and my husband didn't get much farther. One day we'll work our way up to it, but not everyone has played a ton of games and those new to the hobby will have "dumb" questions about Pandemic or whatever else until they have a sufficient baseline to understand the generalities across games and mechanisms.
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Jim Cote
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Prop Joe wrote:
ekted wrote:
Most rulebook writers are terrible at technical writing. They are unaware at how incredible ambiguous they are. Take the following overly simple example. Can you spot the numerous situational ambiguities? Even if you do, do you really want the rules to cover all of them?

"Each player rolls a 6-sided die. High roller takes the first turn. Re-roll ties."


Is this a 2-player game? If so, I'd be curious as to what they are.

I made it up as a trivial example of a seemingly innocuous rule that could have 3-4 legitimate questions raised against it.
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Chris Robbins
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ekted wrote:
Prop Joe wrote:
ekted wrote:
Most rulebook writers are terrible at technical writing. They are unaware at how incredible ambiguous they are. Take the following overly simple example. Can you spot the numerous situational ambiguities? Even if you do, do you really want the rules to cover all of them?

"Each player rolls a 6-sided die. High roller takes the first turn. Re-roll ties."


Is this a 2-player game? If so, I'd be curious as to what they are.

I made it up as a trivial example of a seemingly innocuous rule that could have 3-4 legitimate questions raised against it.


That's always seemed simple to me. If two or more have the highest number, only they roll again. Lower numbers eliminate players until only one on a subsequent roll is highest of that roll however many rolls it takes.
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Chris Wilczewski
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RingelTree wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
RingelTree wrote:
... do you subscribe to most of the games you own?


Did you read the original post?



...

shake


I liked your joke
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Dan Wojciechowski
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As with most things in real life, the answer, Bigb0420, is probably not so simple.

1. You have more experience with modern games now, so you probably figure out the intent of even unclear rules pretty quickly. Newbies are much less likely to be able to do so. You might just be noticing that you are more experienced now and what you might have considered an obscure rule once, is now "obvious".

2. The hobby is expanding, which means more newbies all the time. More newbies means more newbie questions.

3. More people are learning from videos rather than print. That probably means more people with less experience finding rules in print.

4. More games are being published now than ever before. That probably also means there are more poorly written rule books than ever before.

5. Our culture is becoming more and more social media connected. People coming of age in the social media era are probably far more prone to turning to public queries as a means to finding information rather than delving into print media.

All this combined with a bunch of factors I haven't even considered.

So, in one sense, maybe the answer is really: Yes, people don't read rule books anymore. At least not in the traditional sense.
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