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Subject: Possible BGG rating manipulation rss

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Michael Alexander
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I make a weekly Geeklist, BGG Climbers, which tracks games rising most quickly up the rankings. Sometimes there are anomalies which are caused by games getting reclassified.

This week though, this game appeared on the list and was the highest average rating I'd seen so far. This game also isn't a reclassification, so I started digging.

Some information at time of posting:

* 80 ratings in total, 48 ratings of ten.
* Of the 48 tens:
* 31 have rated less than 5 games.
* 15 have only rated a single game (this game.)
* Possibly unrelated, but one account has rated 191 games a ten, out of 194 total ratings (https://boardgamegeek.com/user/liher86)

Some very odd statistics indeed.
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R. L. Lloyd
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...but at least it's got the coveted rating of '1' by the notorious Smjj.

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babus ichirou
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Hi Michael,

Im disagree with you. First of all,as you said , this project is from spain. I considerate normal that we support a national game knowing that it has social stretch goals on kickstarter. The game comes in our language and others. some of us, me included is the first-second time we voted if im not wrong. Because before of that i only used the BGG to download pics from here So i believe your post is a waste of time basing your poor arguments in 31 votes (LOL) that it comes from spanish forums and groups of telegram where we discuss and chat about the game. We are people who want to improve the spanish signal on tabletop games

Thanks you for reading it.

Sinverely,

babus.
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Sam Hillier
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Shocking.

No, seriously. This happens all the time with a run-of-the-mill, miniature heavy KS trying to generate buzz. It happened with medioevo universalis (sp?) and probably countless others. Lots of 10 ratings and comments on the video review.

This enthusiasm is aa manufactured as an UV review
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R. L. Lloyd
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People often mistake a BGG ratings with something of a ranking. Just because someone rates a game '10' doesn't mean they have to like that game more than any other game they have played. A 10-rating is simply the users selection of 'Outstanding - will always enjoy playing'. I could say that for most of the 400+ games I own. It doesn't mean that they are even great games. It simply would mean I enjoy playing them regardless of their greatness. Due to this confusion (and I guess in a way perpetuating it) I have never rated a game (out of the 699 I have rated) as a 10 - even though I love many games in my collection. Too many people get up in arms about a game having too high of a average rating if a game they liked more has a lower rating.
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Ian Mahoney
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I'm glad you did this digging. It's bullshit that we should expect people to make X number of accounts to rate their brand new game.

I like to think that the other users of this site are being trustworthy and/or genuine and/or honest when they rate a game. Otherwise, how do I trust the rating the site gives the game? Without trust the ratings and rankings are meaningless and a lot of the value of this site is diminished.
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Jason Winter
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The votes don't necessarily have to be from the same person. It's a Spanish game that it sounds like has a descent following in Spain. Who's to say someone didn't post on a fan forum "Hey everyone that loves this game head over to BGG at "this link" and rate the game high to help the KS.

It doesn't have to mean some big conspiracy is afoot.
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Michael Alexander
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If what you described did actually happen then that would still be abusing the rating system.

I think what you're suggesting is quite likely what actually happened; where it happened is only tangentially related because it suggests they might have asked people they know to rate the game a 10. The actual issue is I'm sure a number of us here wouldn't agree with the practice.
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Mikko Saari
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It's also really easy to notice that something is off. The rating graph looks unnatural, the ratings come mostly from single country - you can just disregard it as either shilling or just enthusiastic support from fellow countrymen or eager playtesters.

Once the game is out, the actual ratings will come and things will settle to a more realistic outcome. If anything, this kind of rating profile is a negative for me, I'd prefer seeing something more realistic.

Also, BGG is already taking care of the problem. Despite the 9.4 average, Day Night Z has a BGG rank of 4982. Not very shine, is it? The geek rating for Day Night Z is just 5.624, since it has so few actual ratings (and some of those 10s probably fall under shill votes and won't count, if they are accounts created just to support Day Night Z).

So, not really a problem at all.

Also Ian, I very much would suggest not trusting anything with just 80 ratings. Given that people use a huge variety of different reasons for their ratings and votes, single ratings or small numbers of ratings are just about meaningless. Once you get several hundreds or thousands of ratings for a game, then there's some point in looking at the averages, then you start to see meaningful data, and even then I find it useful mostly in the sense of "this game has an average rating less than 7, tread carefully".

Individual ratings from people you know and trust can be highly valuable - everything else much less so, and individual rating from someone I don't know, without any comment to explain why it is so – that has zero meaning, so it doesn't really matter how honest, trustworthy or genuine that person is.
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Eduardo Mateo Castro
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I am from Spain and I can tell you that this game is very hot in the forums of this country, it is a great game that is a bad marketing internationally. The boys who develop it have 2 years minimum with this project in the networks and on leaving KS have made the mistake of failing with the English language and has had much less international repercussion than the game deserves.
The problem is that it seems to be a campaign to raise a game artificially, but I recommend you go to the two most important forums in Spain and see what is spoken in your thread. The game is attractive and has created many expectations, since to be of zombies would seem another but of the mound, but this game has rebelled like an extraordinary game in its vision and its mechanics.
The truth, give it a try and try to read something of this game in the little that has come in English, and you will see that this attack against the game does not make sense.
Many of the Spaniards who have entered the KS is their first time and they do not know that a 10 or 9 without contributing a comment in Gbb is more harmful than beneficial, although already has been warned from the Spanish forums that that publicity was until negative.
The only thing we complained about here is that advertising abroad has not been the right thing to do and as a Spanish project it has been a bit lonely, it should have tried to open up other countries, turning into foreign web sites so that not only the Spanish Let's see the potential of this game and it does not look like a conspiracy to take this game where it does not belong.
In fact, I am the one who has scored the game without putting comments, I think I put an 8 and then a 9, but that is because there is a thread in a Spanish forum that carries almost 3000 responses on this game, ten Times more than any other thread of the forum, so do not think it is a stupid subject and that the game does not deserve the note that has by the expectations that have of him.
Also as they say here, also by 81 notes you can say that the Bgg is rigged, I think until it reaches a respectable figure of 200 or 300 votes you can not say anything bad or good of this game.
I have been playing games for many years and I have more than 50 games in my house of all possible models, and I can tell you that of the games that I have none is in the top 10 of the list of best rated bgg, and you I assure you that the first 10 I know ... but I am not attracted to be where they are ... I think there are games that exceed them widely but it is also very likely that my tastes are not those of the majority, since everyone Does not like "difficult" games, I give you an example of the Arkham Horror, criticized for their mechanics so difficult, and that prevents the novices who approach the games for the first time, but if we have a blood rage that after Playing 10 games does not give more of if and that has used the "KS" as promotion of the game. It does not seem worse than companies that earn millions of dollars, use the platform KS whose purpose is to finance the creation of new companies and not these multinationals, and that distort the meaning of KS still much worse than what you say that makes this game .... think about it, because I think you are implying that a game of some people that can be very good is worse than that of a big company that has all the marketing in the world and that sells you any junk like it was best.
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Olli Juhala
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The thing I find most endearing is that the fans thought BGG ratings and ranking are actually a helpful tool for running a Kickstarter.
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Vasilis
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This thing... is it still talked about? This happens ALL THE TIME. Especially nowadays with Kickstarter projects actively promoting social stretch goals or telling people to give the project some love on any forum they can to give it visibility. Is it so unbelievable that a BGG user would think to go give a game a 10 just to make it visible higher up on charts?

It's really bad for the system but one would hope that most of us here know by now that BGG rating system is anything but representative of quality... It's just a 'general direction' of knowing if the game is REALLY crap or good or really good.

The amount of people giving credit to BGG rating is alarming though....
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David EG
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* Game developed in Spain.
* Game written in Spanish (English translation needs rework).
* Game tested in board game festivals in Spain.
* 36% backers from Spain.

Somehow you are expecting ratings to come from Botswana or Moldovia?
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Johan Maes
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Thank you for reminding me to rate this game!
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Michael Alexander
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People seem hyper focused on my Spain comment, where it's probably the least interesting of all the points in the original post. I'm considering just removing that point.
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Laura roxer
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What?? Are you kidding me???

Bgg social sg works then. Whats the problem???

So is not the first ks campaign that puts this kind of SG and it won't be the last. Some backers didn't have a bgg account before the game was on ks.

And they knew about bgg through the game. I don't know what's the problem here. Bgg isn't as "famous" between spanish speakers as between in english speakers.

And many people have tried the proto in some of the game cons it was presented, so, what's the problem in putting a 10?
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Sr Floppy
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I think you're right, there is a manipulation. Just after you write the post , someone rate the game with a 1.
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Eduardo Guimarães
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Apparatus wrote:
...but at least it's got the coveted rating of '1' by the notorious Smjj.

shake


I really like the quixotean quest of the valiant knight Smjj of giving 1 to almost every game ever. If i ever make a game, and i don't receive a 1 rating from him, i'll be utterly dissapointed laugh
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danny kessel
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It's good to notice possible manipulations, but we're talking about a game almost nobody can have played yet... ALL marks given before the game is finished are not to be trusted.

And although people can have an indicative mark, because they have tried a demo of the game that was still in progress... it's not the full experience. A demo can be manipulative (creating a scenario where players might win easier or cherry picking the fun parts of the game)
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R. L. Lloyd
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beefsack wrote:
If what you described did actually happen then that would still be abusing the rating system.

I think what you're suggesting is quite likely what actually happened; where it happened is only tangentially related because it suggests they might have asked people they know to rate the game a 10. The actual issue is I'm sure a number of us here wouldn't agree with the practice.

I'm still confused on how someone noting a game is 'Outstanding - will always enjoy playing' is abusing a rating system. if they are creating fake account to simply rate their own game 3-4 dozen times - sure. But if they are asking playtesters and friends to create accounts here to rate the game if they liked it, that is exactly what a game rating is.
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gary gee
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a lot of these ratings make me laugh!.how can you rate a game that's not been released yet?
how do people know if it is as good as the devs say it is?...I never take any notice of them unless the games already out.cant go by some of the "reviewers" a lot of them are paid to review them early.[and say so at the time].and then we have certain people on the dice tower.who only rate favourably any game if they actually prefer those types of game.basically a very biased opinion.and lastly if its a kickstarter..then theres a good chance nowadays that we aren't going to be able to play the game ourselves for around 2 years from the start of the KS.

SORRY GUYS,RATE THE GAME WHEN ITS ON ACTUAL RETAIL RELEASE.
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Miguel Angel Diaz
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Well, while I agree we all should rate a game that has already hit the market, I find this "issue" easy to understand if you really want to. Maybe just don't have the needed background? I don't know but I see these points as the key to those ratings:

1. Game about a successful theme
2. Game made in Spain so it is not so hard to get the first people who talks, rates, and such about it comes from Spain
3. In Spain, we don't have English as our first language, so there are loads of gamers who just don't use BGG because of a language barrier
4. The game has been being shown in many "game festivals" around the country and has been hyped in many Spanish forums
5. As people liked the game, and there has been one fan stretch goal here, many have registered and considered they was supposed not just to like the game but also give it a rate.

And voila. There you have many new BGG users, rating (maybe not properly) a game that is already in campaign, and rating it real high because they have loved their trials on a demo and/or what they've watched on a good number of Spanish videos from different reviewers here.

I find it as easy as this. Plain simple and logical. Perhaps not 100% correct, or useful for others, or whatever. But I don't believe it has been publishers asking for people to rate the game high, nor they have been creating accounts or whatever. I might be wrong as I don't know a thing about them, but I doubt it. I find more valuable my POV of this situation.

P.S: I haven't rated the game yet because I haven't tried it. I sure do love what I've seen about it, but can't rate it from my own experience. Don't lose time checking if I did
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that Matt
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WishGamer wrote:
5. As people liked the game, and there has been one fan stretch goal here, many have registered and considered they was supposed not just to like the game but also give it a rate.

Yup, that's all we need to know to explain the phenomenon.

As for what to do about it, nothing. It's the nature of social media that these things will happen.

Everyone simmer down.

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Octavian wrote:
Attempts to manipulate ratings through the use of multiple accounts is prohibited.

Otherwise, ANY person is absolutely allowed to give ANY game ANY rating for ANY reason.
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Grant
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Most of this thread is recycled dreck. But this.... now this is interesting...
Daybreak wrote:
manufactured as an UV review

Based on your use of "an" I am super curious about how you pronounce "UV" in your head. laugh
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