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Subject: Do Heavy games need to be Mean to be Good? rss

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Tony Canzi
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Was listening to a certain game review recently when this question came to me: Aside from complexity, do 'heavy' games need to be mean to be considered good? What say you BGG?

Tony
 
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Jacob
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Mage Knight Board Game would say no.
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Ryan James
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What are you getting at when you say "mean"?

Do you mean that players have to screw other players over to get ahead? Do you just mean direct interaction?

What does a game being mean have anything to do with weight when determining enjoyment? I don't really understand.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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All games need to be mean to be good.
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Paul Evans
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I wouldn't think it is an absolute, but there is a high correlation.
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K S
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Let me answer your question with a question: what makes a game "mean"?

Is all direct player conflict "mean"? Is chess "mean"? Is a game which allows but does not require direct player conflict "mean"?

Are all zero-sum games mean?

"Betrayal" (breaking deals) is often considered "mean". Is a game which allows betrayal necessarily mean? Or does it need to explicitly reward betrayal to be "mean"? If it explicitly punishes betrayal (e.g. Eclipse) does that make it less mean?

Does your notion of "meanness" allow for "mean" co-ops? Is "meanness" distinguished from "difficulty" in the case of co-ops?
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Duncan Russell
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wamsp wrote:
Let me answer your question with a question: what makes a game "mean"?

Is all direct player conflict "mean"? Is chess "mean"? Is a game which allows but does not require direct player conflict "mean"?

Are all zero-sum games mean?

"Betrayal" (breaking deals) is often considered "mean". Is a game which allows betrayal necessarily mean? Or does it need to explicitly reward betrayal to be "mean"? If it explicitly punishes betrayal (e.g. Eclipse) does that make it less mean?

Does your notion of "meanness" allow for "mean" co-ops? Is "meanness" distinguished from "difficulty" in the case of co-ops?

You mean let me answer your question with 10 questions.
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Duncan Russell
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Has anyone correlated take that mechanisms with complexity? I can't see a logical reason why a mean game has to be complex. Equally, a simple game (like King of Tokyo) can be very mean.

Why would you link meanness with complexity?
 
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Destrio Dai
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emodiu5 wrote:

End of thread
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Bugscheese wrote:
Was listening to a certain game review recently when this question came to me: Aside from complexity, do 'heavy' games need to be mean to be considered good? What say you BGG?

Tony

No, no, no. Not at all. A game can be challenging and competitive without being mean.
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Jeff Thompson
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Games aren't mean, people are.
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Tommy wrote:
Games aren't mean, people are.


Games can certainly set up a player to act in a mean way. In Coup you are eventually forced to kill another player or die. That doesn't make the player mean, but you can describe the action as mean, and therefore the game as mean.

To answer the OP. A game doesn't need to be mean to be good. I don't see Terra Mystica as a mean game. I can think of two places in the game it is possible: Blocking a territory and taking an action on the board. I think in both cases making a "mean" move would always be worse than taking the "best" choice for yourself. If the mean move and the best move are the same than you still aren't being mean, because being mean implies intent. "I am trying to hurt you" is being mean. In TM you are trying to improve your engine more efficiently than others. I feel that is different than being mean.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Bugscheese wrote:
Was listening to a certain game review recently when this question came to me: Aside from complexity, do 'heavy' games need to be mean to be considered good? What say you BGG?

Tony

Some of my good heavy games:

The Gallerist: Not mean.
Vinhos: Not mean.
Food Chain Magnate: Mean!
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Tony Canzi
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skutsch wrote:
Bugscheese wrote:
Was listening to a certain game review recently when this question came to me: Aside from complexity, do 'heavy' games need to be mean to be considered good? What say you BGG?

Tony

Some of my good heavy games:

The Gallerist: Not mean.
Vinhos: Not mean.
Food Chain Magnate: Mean!


Thanks Carl! Nicely put.
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Bryan Thunkd
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I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.
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Rahul Chandra
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Thunkd wrote:
I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.


Games with a high mean rating are good.
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Tony Canzi
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Thunkd wrote:
I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.


I don't Bryan. I asked if others think that. It's my impression that many do.
 
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Tony Canzi
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rchandra wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.


Games with a high mean rating are good.


Nicely done.
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Mark Johnson
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rchandra wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.


Games with a high mean rating are good.


Disagree
 
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Russ Williams
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What does "mean" mean?

It seems like a kind of meaningless vague question, like "Does a game have to be pleasing to be enjoyable?"

E.g. some people say any game where you can "hurt" other people in any way is "mean" (e.g. Catan, Carcassonne, which other people think are very friendly "not mean" games).

Some people say any 2-player game is by definition not "mean" because part of being mean is choosing to hurt one opponent instead of another opponent, whereas in e.g. Chess or a 2-player wargame, it is obvious and natural that you'll be attacking your unique opponent.

Etc.
 
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russ wrote:
It seems like a kind of meaningless vague question, like "Does a game have to be pleasing to be enjoyable?"


I think you're being a bit mean about the meaninglessness of mean. Indeed there is equal meaningless in defining what mean even means. Not that mean. the other mean. The mean mean response to this thread about means is less mean than you seem to mean to mean. OP might not have the means to express what he means mean means but I hope he means to try.
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Steve R Bullock
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Survive would say "yes".

[ImageID=https://boardgamegeek.com/image/878342]
 
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Tompy wrote:
Games aren't mean, people are.


Have I heard Antiquity? whistle
 
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I took "mean" to be a game where mistakes are punished either by other players or the game itself, so assuming this I would say yes as your decisions have a larger impact. By defining it this way you can have a mean co-op game too.
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Richard Irving
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Eeeville wrote:
rchandra wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I'm confused why you think any game needs to be mean to be good.


Games with a high mean rating are good.


Disagree


That joke went right over your head.

In statistics: mean = average.
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