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Subject: "Games for gamers" awards? rss

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It seems some of the awards out there like Mensa, Spiel De Jahres, and whatever Tom Vassal awards (and if it's not an actual award, that's fine. A recommendation still works) seem to cover games that are more so "accessible", as opposed to have good or any coverage for the "heavy-set" games. I'm only going to roughly define that just so there's an idea, but not be strict about it as to not exclude games that could've been included... high in complexity, 2 to 6 hours of play lengths, rules intensive (so probably 3.0+ on BGG's weight scale), etc.

Only thing I can think up of would be BGG rankings and the March Madness brackets, but of course you'd have to filter out the games that don't meet this criteria (e.g. Ticket To Ride, Splendor, etc.)
 
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Joel L
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Heavy Cardboard has their Golden Elephant Awards:

https://www.heavycardboard.com/golden-elephant/

P.S.: It's spelled Tom Vasel.
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Jethro
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I am just guessing here; but if you start giving awards out for games that are completely inaccessible to the majority people (due to play length or complexity) the relevance of your award will decrease due to people losing interest in what your 'recommendations' are.

I imagine it is similiar to the way Oscar's, Emmy's and Grammy's tend to stay mainstream.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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You get some of this with the Deutscher Spiele Preis. Agricola and Caylus are past winners.

The Charles S. Roberts Awards are going to fit your stated criteria on a more consistent basis than the DSP will, but whether you appreciate them will probably depend on whether you see yourself as a wargamer.

Edit: The DSP has had some more complex games that won, but it's more misses than hits for the criteria described in the original post.
 
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Mindy G
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Aren't those just called the Golden Geek Awards?
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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oriecat wrote:
Aren't those just called the Golden Geek Awards? :p


I would have agreed with you until a few years ago -- pretty good track record for complex games (if on the shorter side) through 2013 (with Dominion being the exception). But 2 of the last 3 Golden Geek Game of the Year Awards went to even shorter, simpler games: Splendor and Pandemic Legacy.
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Matt Brown
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Portugal does one that has heavier games in it. http://www.spielportugal.org/jogo-do-ano
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Bill Cook
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Are you wanting an award just for 3.0+ games? Or do you want a "best game" award where heavy games are equally eligible?

One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.
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Nicholas Johnson
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bwingrave wrote:
oriecat wrote:
Aren't those just called the Golden Geek Awards?


I would have agreed with you until a few years ago -- pretty good track record for complex games (if on the shorter side) through 2013 (with Dominion being the exception). But 2 of the last 3 Golden Geek Game of the Year Awards went to even shorter, simpler games: Splendor and Pandemic Legacy.

What were they against? I think nominations are just as important as the final award if we're discussing a scenario of them being treated equally instead of exclusively.
 
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Jake Blomquist
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Yeah, my recommendations were going to be Heavy Cardboard podcast's Golden Elephant and Spiel Portugal's Jogo do Ano. The Jogo do Ano is interesting because while I don't think they always choose the correct winner, their list of nominees always feels pretty complete (barring the fact that there are some excellent games which are ineligible since the designers are on the panel to decide the award).
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Samo Oleami
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ackmondual wrote:
It seems some of the awards out there like Mensa, Spiel De Jahres, and whatever Tom Vassal awards (and if it's not an actual award, that's fine. A recommendation still works) seem to cover games that are more so "accessible", as opposed to have good or any coverage for the "heavy-set" games.


Uhm, there's a reason for this.

1. SdJ award is not awarding "the best game", but in finding a "boardgame ambassador" to promote boardgaming amongst non-hobbyist non-geek masses (so called "normal people"). Probably other awards of this type are the same with a similar agenda - to promote.

2. What would be the point in an award given to games targeting the population who already knows all the best games that came out in last 12 months, has read all the rules of currently active KS campaigns and has dates for upcoming games circled on their calendar? What would this accomplish? There's the bgg top 100, if you want geek recognition. (and some people, publishers and FLGSs are treating bgg top 100 as if it's an award) The most I can see this kind of award would accomplish is a self congratulatory pat on the back for "being in the know". Wheee.
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bwingrave wrote:
oriecat wrote:
Aren't those just called the Golden Geek Awards?


I would have agreed with you until a few years ago -- pretty good track record for complex games (if on the shorter side) through 2013 (with Dominion being the exception). But 2 of the last 3 Golden Geek Game of the Year Awards went to even shorter, simpler games: Splendor and Pandemic Legacy.


I have to agree, while they haven't really matched my taste at all, they have seemed to be much lighter games lately.
 
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EMBison wrote:
One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.


A thousand times this... I always bristle at the implication that "real" gamers' games are heavy, complicated affairs.

I actually find that many of the most seasoned gamers I've encountered are equally happy playing light fillers and midweight games as heavy games.
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Mike Jones
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A little heavier than the SdJ is the Deutscher Spiele Preis


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Spiele_Preis
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Trent Boardgamer
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EMBison wrote:
Are you wanting an award just for 3.0+ games? Or do you want a "best game" award where heavy games are equally eligible?

One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.


Good point.

I'm interested in the best games of the year. If they happen to be heavy complex games, great, but I'm not sure I'm interested in saying the best heavy game released this year was XXX if it merely qualifies because its the best complex game released but not one of the best games of the year.

Also I agree, complexity doesn't necessarily make a game a gamers game.
 
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sgosaric wrote:
The most I can see this kind of award would accomplish is a self congratulatory pat on the back for "being in the know". Wheee.


A more likely and reasonable goal would be to establish a brand identity which would then attract additional publications of that type. Whether you think that would be effective or even valuable in the first place is another matter.
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Guantanamo wrote:
A little heavier than the SdJ is the Deutscher Spiele Preis


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Spiele_Preis


This is a magnificent set of winners... I haven't played Der Fliegende Holländer but there's not a bad game among the rest.
 
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clearclaw wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
The most I can see this kind of award would accomplish is a self congratulatory pat on the back for "being in the know". Wheee.


A more likely and reasonable goal would be to establish a brand identity which would then attract additional publications of that type.

"the chinstroker's golden standard" ?
 
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J C Lawrence
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Just a thing that a population associates or even identifies with, and having done so, a thing that publishers can then target as a well-defined market. I don't see any inherent reason it can't work for party games or operational wargames or the 18xx or euros etc.
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Bearhug78 wrote:
EMBison wrote:
Are you wanting an award just for 3.0+ games? Or do you want a "best game" award where heavy games are equally eligible?

One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.


Good point.

I'm interested in the best games of the year. If they happen to be heavy complex games, great, but I'm not sure I'm interested in saying the best heavy game released this year was XXX if it merely qualifies because its the best complex game released but not one of the best games of the year.

Also I agree, complexity doesn't necessarily make a game a gamers game.


I would also add the opposite: how "gamers" are not necesarily those who like "complex" or other specific type of games.
 
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clearclaw wrote:
Just a thing that a population associates or even identifies with, and having done so, a thing that publishers can then target as a well-defined market. I don't see any inherent reason it can't work for party games or operational wargames or the 18xx or euros etc.

BGG has top 100 which performs this function. (and hotness for some additional hype).

This is nothing out of the ordinary - Rotten Tomatoes has more influence on the film industry than any film awards.

It would be intriguing if games would get awards similar to Film Festival awards (Venice, Berlin, Sundance), but I'm not sure we have boardgames that would operate on such a level as of yet. Closest I can think of are Indie RPGs (and awards for them).

montanus wrote:
Bearhug78 wrote:
EMBison wrote:
One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.
Also I agree, complexity doesn't necessarily make a game a gamers game.
I would also add the opposite: how "gamers" are not necesarily those who like "complex" or other specific type of games.

You have this backwards.
It's not that hobbyists only like heavy games.
It's that nobody but hobbyists plays heavy games.
(Which doesn't say all hobbyists play heavy games, but somebody playing a heavy games is most likely a hobbyist).

Not all cinephiles travel 300 miles to watch a 6 hour long silent film. But those that do are most probably cinephiles.
 
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sgosaric wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Just a thing that a population associates or even identifies with, and having done so, a thing that publishers can then target as a well-defined market. I don't see any inherent reason it can't work for party games or operational wargames or the 18xx or euros etc.


BGG has top 100 which performs this function. (and hotness for some additional hype).


Sure, but across a very broad audience definition. What if I want to target self-identified/branded fans of OCS wargames? The 18xx? Perfect information negotiation games? Some other sub-sub-genre?

Quote:
This is nothing out of the ordinary - Rotten Tomatoes has more influence on the film industry than any film awards.


There's a strong tendency in these things to only look at the Big Numbers and that's both deceptive and blankly false. There are perfectly viable and interesting business models which entirely ignore the Big Numbers and Large Markets and instead focus on deep penetration of well-identified nano-scale markets. The general form I often refer to is 1,000 True Fans, but there are other viable models.

Quote:
It would be intriguing if games would get awards similar to Film Festival awards (Venice, Berlin, Sundance), but I'm not sure we have boardgames that would operate on such a level as of yet. Closest I can think of are Indie RPGs (and awards for them).


Shrug. I've no interest in or value for the direction of the larger market, just the few small and narrow things that fit my specific interests. In film terms, I simply don't care what the Big Studios do: I'll never see or likely even hear of their movies. I am however interested in what certain and very specific auteur's do...and that's about it.

Quote:
It's that nobody but hobbyists plays heavy games.


Nahh, not true. In a week or so I'm off to play 18xx games with a mate and for the sake of argument let's accept that they are "heavier" than any scale proposed here. The kicker is that he's not a hobbyist. He's not on BGG, he has no interest in any gaming "community", he doesn't follow games or game news or events or releases in any form. He just plays a handful of times a year (quite literally: about the fingers of one hand) with various friends, much as he's done for 30-odd years. No more, no less.
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In France, there's the "Diamant d'Or" price, which is for expert games.

No official website, but here are two links for this year:

https://www.trictrac.net/actus/diamant-d-or-2017-le-palmares
https://www.facebook.com/groups/439115556285793/


2016 Winner : Mombasa
2017 Winner : Great Western Trail
 
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EMBison wrote:
Are you wanting an award just for 3.0+ games? Or do you want a "best game" award where heavy games are equally eligible?

One thing I'd be careful about is not assuming that "gamers" favor super complex games. Many of us love less complex games, so long as they involve strategy, skill and fun.
Why does having an award for "heavy games" mean that those same gamers now can't enjoy their less complex games? In fact, the replies seem to think those 2 can't coexist.

If there are no awards for "heavy games" (again, definition is still sort of loosely defined) because it just isn't viable or it's already covered, then it is what it is and I'd like to know what some of those are respectively


sgosaric wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
It seems some of the awards out there like Mensa, Spiel De Jahres, and whatever Tom Vassal awards (and if it's not an actual award, that's fine. A recommendation still works) seem to cover games that are more so "accessible", as opposed to have good or any coverage for the "heavy-set" games.


Uhm, there's a reason for this.

1. SdJ award is not awarding "the best game", but in finding a "boardgame ambassador" to promote boardgaming amongst non-hobbyist non-geek masses (so called "normal people"). Probably other awards of this type are the same with a similar agenda - to promote.
I'm not asking why SdJ doesn't cover heavy games. I was asking about other awards.

sgosaric wrote:
2. What would be the point in an award given to games targeting the population who already knows all the best games that came out in last 12 months, has read all the rules of currently active KS campaigns and has dates for upcoming games circled on their calendar? What would this accomplish? There's the bgg top 100, if you want geek recognition. (and some people, publishers and FLGSs are treating bgg top 100 as if it's an award) The most I can see this kind of award would accomplish is a self congratulatory pat on the back for "being in the know". Wheee.
Because, geek culture? We incessantly talk about board games. Even some of the stuff we discuss can make our own members roll their eyes. But even those who roll their eyes still jump in on the thread anyways.

This sort of thing came up somewhere else on BGG.com, and I was wondering if that segment was covered is all.
 
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clearclaw wrote:
Nahh, not true. In a week or so I'm off to play 18xx games with a mate and for the sake of argument let's accept that they are "heavier" than any scale proposed here.

Therefore he counts as a hobbyist.

Don't you just love an opportunity for a circular argument? cool

(His affinity for stuff geek is way beyond the "normal people", thus he for sure doesn't count as them. Hemce: counts as geek. Yes, not by geek standards, but by nongeek standards, because: perspective.)

ackmondual wrote:
Because, geek culture? We incessantly talk about board games.

Exactly. Why would you then need an award as well? For circle... ehm... "circular back patting"?

Any geek award would need something extra to be a level beyond BGG forum discussions such as this one. Some special jury panel - made out of renowned game designers and publishers. And then, hardest part for geeks, focus only a few awards, 3 max. Because what you want is visibility.

ackmondual wrote:
I was wondering if that segment was covered is all.

To me it seems Deutscher Spiele Preis ticks all the boxes.
If you really need something like this.

But might as well check bgg ratings. That's the issue with these awards - it's one amongst many. Shrug. SdJ stands apart because it built its reputation and made it count (by being a quality recommendation customers can trust).

For me SdJ matters because of:
- who: jury panel made out of professional journalists (i.e. getting paid for this) with zero ties to gaming industry
- how: playtesting. From announcement of nominees to the award announcement every jury member will play these games. Tom Felber will do so daily with different type of audiences (people he doesn't know who subscribe to his mailing list, or particular situations like retirement homes).
This type of approach then makes a difference from just some people voting on things they like.
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