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Subject: Heavy Games Snobbishness rss

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Tim Nagels
Belgium
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Hi everybody! I wanted to start a light-hearted discussion about something I've noticed in my immediate board gaming area...

I am an all-round gamer, so I can enjoy a game of Fluxx but also a game of Dominant Species all the same. As long as it's fun and it creates a warm, pleasant experience for all players, it's a game for me.
But I've noticed other gamers being condescending towars lighter games sometimes. E.g.: I mentioned playing Loony Quest the other night and a fellow gamer (his favorite games include Star Wars: Rebellion, Terraforming Mars,...) laughed at me and said those games are for children.

Later on, I noticed others commenting similar things about lighter games. This is rather sad as board gaming is not supposed to be about the complexity of the game, but about the fun you have while playing.

So, my question is: Have you ever encountered this type of shobbishness about the "weight" of a game or towards a lighter game that you really like? Does it bother you that some gamers take gaming way too seriously?

Disclaimer: I am not picking a fight, I just want to stimulate a constructive discussion
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Alexandre P.
France
Strasbourg
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Towpowyeah wrote:
So, my question is: Have you ever encountered this type of shobbishness about the "weight" of a game or towards a lighter game that you really like? Does it bother you that some gamers take gaming way too seriously?


I more often see this the other way around: the "heavier" gamers saying "oh ... this game ? Not my style, I much prefer heavier things" and lighter gamer with a patronizing/mocking attitude saying (to us or one to each other) "Terra mystica ?! You're playing Terra Mystica ?! You are crazy: you will burn your brain cells for 2 hours !", "Look ! We have played 3 games and they are still playing the same huge game ! The fools !", ...

So I target my gaming groups, I make vague comments toward games I find too light ("oh ... Yes, I know this game, it's not my thing but it has a great reputation") and I hope that other players do the same.
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Dave Platt
United Kingdom
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I think it cuts both ways. It may seem a little biased towards heavy games on BGG, but I think that's because heavy gamers are probably more inclined to visit sites like BGG.

Myself, I'm not a fan of heavy board games. I prefer to do heavy gaming on PC as I think it offers more depth. Board games give more player interaction than PC games and I find if they are heavy, then it can be to the detriment of player interaction.
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Robert Bracey
United Kingdom
London
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I've played games for quite a long time (over thirty years) and I like to think of this as the 'teenage' phase. When you first start playing heavy weight games looking daunting and impenetrable. Gradually over time you learn more and more complicated games, and your brain gives you a little buzz of achievement for mastering the rules. To keep getting that buzz you have to seek out even more advanced games.
When I was a teenager that was ultimately the telephone directory size rule book of Star Fleet Battles. And it was a real sense of achievement as my friend and I gradually mastered the rules and then broke them down into section by section scenariors to teach friends. Its also a great game but the buzz we got was from the achievement of mastering complex rules.
And that is fine. You get your enjoyment from where you get it and its not for others to judge. Usually you pass on to a phase of faux maturity where you pride yourself on only appreciating the elegant games with real depth (maybe you start playing Go).
Its been very interesting to see the top 100 of the Geek pass through the same sort of development I went through because there was such a large influx of new gamers in the 2000s.
But the important thing to remember is that people who are doing this are just trying to have fun, don't be snobbish you can play a heavy game and do not look down on someone who cannot see the elegant tactical dynamic that underpins a light game like Carcassonne.
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Nicholas
Germany
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Towpowyeah wrote:
This is rather sad as board gaming is not supposed to be about the complexity of the game, but about the fun you have while playing.


This may be true for you, but you can not just imply that this is true for everyone. Everyone may have different reasons for their enjoyment of board games.

I personally would not play many of the lighter games. However, it is really bad form to laugh at someone and ridicule him, just because he enjoys lighter games. In the same way, it would be bad form to laugh at someone and ridicule him because he enjoys solo wargaming or rpgs.

Sadly, many people, including your fellow gamer above, don't realize that it's often best to say nothing, if you don't have anything worth saying.
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Rood Bird
United Kingdom
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Towpowyeah wrote:
... I mentioned playing Loony Quest the other night and a fellow gamer (his favorite games include Star Wars: Rebellion, Terraforming Mars,...) laughed at me and said those games are for children.



To be honest, I would just inwardly laugh at the irony: A grown man whose favourite game is based on a children's film from the 1970s laughing at you for being childish.


Hope this helps.


RB
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Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I like what I like. I will play most anything (once) but my heart lies with Avalon Hill or GMT or Sierra Madre or Blast City. The heavier the better for the most part. I don't get nearly the same rush with lighter games like Scythe or Great Western Trail. Anything under two hours is pretty much a filler. Fine people enjoy them but, yeah. Call me a snob: it doesn't bother me too much. Laugh that I have only played a third of a game of Here I Stand during the time it took you to play Splendor, Deus and Dominion three times. Could not care less: I am having as much or more fun.

I am pretty used to ridicule: an oolder dude with a gut playing baseball with the twenty-somethings, book reader at conferences, the only one playing Jack White on his music box in a world of Adele, and wargamer among the hoardes of increasingly shorter, plastic filled boardgames. Could not care less.
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Dirk Meijlof
Netherlands
Utrecht
Utrecht
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Sounds very recognizable unfortunately. I looks like once you start with the hobby you're always looking for even heavier games. ("Alright, Alhambra was fun? What's next?" "Okay I liked Puerto Rico. What's next?" "Yes, Power Grid was enjoyable. Shall we try 1830: Railways & Robber Barons now?"). It's almost like it's a fase you have to be going through. At least that's what happened to me if I look back now. But at some point I started to realize that I'm more impressed by cleaver designs than by an overload of rules with exceptions. I love a lot of depth with simple rules. And that I like it when a theme is nicely adapted in a game. (That's why I for instance prefer Viticulture, Fresco and Terraforming Mars over Terra Mystica or Russian Railroads.

And I like the company of my friends, SO and coworkers when playing games. Shaving a good time while playing games doesn't only depends on the heaviness of the games your playing but also how much others are enjoying themselves. So with coworkers I happily play Metro or Valeria: Card Kingdoms. With my SO, at night on week days, I have a lot of fun with Babel or 7 Wonders Duel, with my geeky and nerdy friends I like a game of my pimped Lords of Waterdeep or Chaosmos, with my family I enjoy Kanagawa and Celestia, with the euro lover friends, Samarkand and Council of 4 and with the little nieces and nephews Pinguin-Party and Can't Stop.

I think it not what you play but how you play.
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Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
West Berkshire
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Towpowyeah wrote:
This is rather sad as board gaming is not supposed to be about the complexity of the game, but about the fun you have while playing.


But the fun I have is directly related to the complexity and length of the game? Also the lack of randomness...

So I would very much rather not be playing a game, than play Fluxx (and would sit out and chill if others wanted to play it), but that applies to much heavier games than Fluxx...
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Alexander Ord
United Kingdom
Darlington
County Durham
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I've noticed this but I just shrug it off and don't let it bother me. Anybody who laughs at somebody playing certain games is just limiting themselves from certain experiences. Really the very concept of fearing being seen as childish is...well...childish. Play what you want to play and don't give a damn what anybody else thinks. If you're having fun playing Littlest Pet Shop Monopoly, roll those dice, move your piece and buy a damn property. Your fun is your own and anybody who wants to rob you of that isn't the kind of person you want to hang around with.

Live and let live, play and let play.
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Joe H
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I can't say I play many heavy games which is part choice and part opportunity.

I think the key part of this conversation is that gaming is about the fun you have and that fun means different things to different people. For some it is the social interaction, for some it's a highly interactive game whilst others like to do their own thing, for some it's playing lots of different games, for some it is mastering a few and for some it is burning the brain.

While I've only played 18xx once it makes me happy to see those who frequently do so eager and happynget those heavy, longer games to the table even if it's not my cup of tea.
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Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
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Towpowyeah wrote:
Hi everybody! I wanted to start a light-hearted discussion about something I've noticed in my immediate board gaming area...
A light-hearted discussion? Ha! I only engage in deep philosophical debates. I suppose some people only enjoy the lighter conversations and can't handle deeper fare.


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K S
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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Haters gonna hate.
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mortego
United States
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I am not a board game snob (look at my collection, it's mostly easy fun stuff) and I don't see the problem with people being board game snobs unless they physically try to make me NOT play light-games.

Have I ever gotten annoyed with board game snobs? Yes, but so what, that's my problem not theirs.

I once started a conversation about this very thing when I first got into the hobby. I ticked off a lot of board game snobs, LOL!
 
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Todd McMurray

Chickopee
Massachusetts
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Every starfish needs to feel special.
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Chris Dirk
United States
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darthhugo wrote:
Every starfish needs to feel special.


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American in Chile
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Temuco
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I've seen the same thing on threads asking for recommendations for games for toddlers. Some people specifically state that they do not want their children subjected to Candyland or Chutes and Ladders.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
United States
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
I've seen the same thing on threads asking for recommendations for games for toddlers. Some people specifically state that they do not want their children subjected to Candyland or Chutes and Ladders.
Uh... Yeah. It's not like there aren't better games for kids. Candyland literally has zero decisions. Your kid may enjoy it, but it isn't helping their cognitive development much, if at all. Why not play a game they'll enjoy just as much but encourages them to think about their move?
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Alexandre P.
France
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
I've seen the same thing on threads asking for recommendations for games for toddlers. Some people specifically state that they do not want their children subjected to Candyland or Chutes and Ladders.


For me it's different: as an adult it's your job to take decisions for your kids and you can use this "power" to avoid subjecting them to game with - almost - no decision and giving them games with choices.
 
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Nicholas Palmer
United States
Athens
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My hatred of Fluxx has zero to do with the weight of the game.

I like games of all weights, but anything as random and arbitrarily long (some games are 10 minutes, some games are an hour, some games drag on to the end of time) as Fluxx just aren't fun to me.

If I wanted to play a light game sort of similar I'd just play Red7 instead.

So really, it might not be weight that is the determining factor as to why someone would look down on Fluxx.

(It is still rude to make fun of someone for liking it, but if someone asks me to play, I'll decline, and if they ask me why, I will explain why I specifically do not enjoy the game).
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Tim Nagels
Belgium
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Kelanen wrote:


But the fun I have is directly related to the complexity and length of the game? Also the lack of randomness...


So what are your feelings toward a shorter, low-complexity game that is very well-conceived and offers tactical decision-making instead of real strategy?

Imo, randomness is not really that much fun so I can get that. But a random element that forces you to quickly adapt your strategy or tactics adds to the fun and is a form of complexity in itself, no?
 
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Liam
Scotland
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I can understand why someone who likes lighter games may find them more enjoyable than heavier games, after all they are easier to play and require less investment. So much so that they wouldn't want to play a heavier game.

Likewise, I can understand why someone who likes heavier games may find them more enjoyable than lighter games, after all they require greater thought and more investment with more reward. So much so they wouldn't want to play a lighter game.

These contrasting views are both reasonable. Sharing your personal tastes in a way designed to belittle another's is not.
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john f stup
United States
damascus
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i may be wrong about this, but concerning game rating, it seems to me that a heaver game often gets a better rating compared to an equally good game that is lighter. and probably just because it is a light game.
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Alexandre P.
France
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nhojput wrote:
i may be wrong about this, but concerning game rating, it seems to me that a heaver game often gets a better rating compared to an equally good game that is lighter. and probably just because it is a light game.


Maybe it's because heavier gamers are more dedicated to heavy games than lighter gamers are to light games.

Or it's because there is a correlation between the heaviness of the games you enjoy and the time/effort you spend of the hobby inside the hobby that BGG is.
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Krawhitham B
New Zealand
Napier
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0la5DBtOVNI
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