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Subject: Wingspan mentioned in the Guardian (dispatches) rss

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https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/20/board-games-...

"When Elizabeth Hargrave created a board game inspired by her love of birdwatching, she had no expectation it would become a tabletop phenomenon. Yet Wingspan sold out within a week of its release in January, earned glowing reviews and was the subject of a New York Times article.

“It’s just so far beyond what you could ever hope for, right?” says Hargrave, a health policy researcher in Washington DC. Given that most modern board games have geek-friendly fantasy, science fiction or historical themes, she admits she was uncertain as to “how it would go with a theme so far outside the mainstream”. But that theme “got people really excited”, as it turned out.

It’s one that is rooted in solid science, too. Self-confessed “spreadsheet geek” Hargrave dived deep into her research to make sure each of the game’s bird cards bore close relation to its real-world counterpart, from the acorn woodpecker to the yellow-rumped warbler. You don’t need to be into birds to enjoy it, but you’ll come away from a game of Wingspan knowing far more about them. “I want it to be accidentally educational,” says Hargrave. “I wasn’t trying to make a game that’s teaching actively, but more drawing on the fact that people connect to these things because they’re real things in the world around them.”

Wingspan is part of a new wave of Stem-inspired (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)board and card games that has been building over the past five or six years, with themes including cell biology, evolution, epidemics and the colonisation of Mars. While the connection between science and gaming isn’t new, it has become far more innovative and elegant."
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Pre-comment qualifier: I like this game.


It's interesting the general media news coverage this game is getting. I kind of scratch my head in confusion to be honest. Why this game vs another? Why not Photosynthesis for STEM or Chronicles of Crime for how app-assistance is slowly becoming more common in board games?
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dirk stouten
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vitus979 wrote:
It's interesting the general media news coverage this game is getting. I kind of scratch my head in confusion to be honest.


Exactly what our FLGS owner told us. Then he started raving about

Imhotep and Rajas of the Ganges.

But we went for Wingspan because I want a solo option.
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Judgement Dave
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manducator wrote:
vitus979 wrote:
It's interesting the general media news coverage this game is getting. I kind of scratch my head in confusion to be honest.


Exactly what our FLGS owner told us. Then he started raving about

Imhotep and Rajas of the Ganges.

But we went for Wingspan because I want a solo option.

It's a good game, but the game didn't really matter.
It's a mix of other factors:

- Being from Stonemaier Games it gained a lot of interest, because of the reputation of Scythe and all.
- selling out at/before launch and being scalped for silly money on the secondary market.
- It's a family friendly topic, whereas a lot of non-playing public may see non-traditional games as war-games or CAH.
- It's designed by, wait for it, a woman who knows science!

(Possibly a lesser point, but as it also plays very well solo, as Stonemaier games do, it appeals to pure soloists and the casual/new gamer who doesn't want to throw money away on a game that needs the whole family to love it.)

Put them all together and it's easy to write a piece about Wingspan and Jamey and co seem to have done a fantastic job at using that publicity well.

Every piece that goes out just generates more interest and so makes other papers consider running a piece on it.
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Andrew Watson
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Great to see Wingspan getting yet more press coverage.

The article is about "board games turning science into playtime". Wingspan is of course one such. Another is Evolution.

Given that, and Stonemaier's association with Kickstarter, I hope it's not out of line to point to the current Kickstarter for Oceans, a new member of the Evolution family.
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Y P
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The New York Times article broke things wide open, exposing people outside the hobby to the game. Now other publications are spreading the word.

Why has this game garnered the attention it has? I think JudgementDave nailed it. NYT considered it worth coverage because there's a good story to tell there, i.e. female designer creating a scientifically-rooted and mathematically-refined game. The quality of the game itself is of secondary importance to the story-worthiness of the design and designer. That's not to say that the game itself isn't excellent, but NYT isn't interested in writing stories about every excellent board game.

Why this game and not others? Why does anything get coverage? Why one musician/writer/actor/artist and not another? Often times it's just a perfect storm of coinciding circumstances.
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MentatYP wrote:
Why this game and not others? Why does anything get coverage? Why one musician/writer/actor/artist and not another? Often times it's just a perfect storm of coinciding circumstances.


I worked for a newspaper (I'm not a journalist) for a number of years and I still don't know why certain special interest pieces get coverage and others that seem more important don't. I think "coinciding circumstances" is as good an answer as anything.
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Clyde W
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Journalists aren't gamers. So when one journalist tells another journalist about a game, that's what they run with.
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Andrew Riley
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AndAgainMA wrote:
Great to see Wingspan getting yet more press coverage.

The article is about "board games turning science into playtime". Wingspan is of course one such. Another is Evolution.
Evolution gets a mention in the article, along side Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game, Pandemic: Iberia and Terraforming Mars. So it's not all Wingspan out there in print.

Mind you it looks like everyone's missed the most important part of the article.

Quote:
Hargrave, who is also working on a game based on a 1950s Soviet genetics experiment involving the domestication of foxes.
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