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Subject: Game Weight rss

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Mark C
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I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I didn't see much on it in my search of the forum.

In every game entry where the user's own rating can be entered, there is a suggested 1-10 guidance, and the scale allows decimals, so you can even differentiate one 7 from another.

But game weight has no guidance other than the rather bland light to heavy description, which is then translated by BGG into a 1-5 scale.

1. Why hasn't this simply been turned into a 1-5 scale, allowing decimals. Seems terribly easy, and would allow the granularity it deserves.

2. Why isn't there a suggested scale or help text? While it may not be easy to get consensus, if you're going to measure it, shouldn't you have some idea of what you're measuring?

I found this thread discussion http://boardgamegeek.com/article/598682#598682 on weight where there seemed to be some agreement with the rather vague notion of how mentally taxing a game is to play.

I don't agree wargames are necessarily heavier, although for most people length will translate at some rate into weight, so longer games may be more taxing for many, especially if you consider longer setup time and learning, which certainly the epic wargames have. Your mileage may vary of course. You could also make the case that any game can be played in a lighter or heavier way depending on the person, the setting, and their mood.

The example of Go is a good one. Simple rules, a challenging game for thousands of years, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a heavier game. Yet some people rate it as light. I imagine the only reason this gets "light" ratings is based more on the user and how they play it, rather than the game itself.

I'd say 95% of the games I play are in the 2-4 range, which essentailly means I've taken 100 or so games and only have 3 categories...hardly any differentiation for something I think deserves more attention.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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You are no doubt going to get a lot of support, and wailing and gnashing of teeth, in your criticism of the BGG weight feature. It really does try to abstract a lot of different qualities of a game regarding mental and physical exertion into just one number. To me, the qualities most people seem to be thinking about when considering weight are:

complexity of rules
complexity of gameplay
depth of strategy
amount and variety of game components (keeping track of such things can be a real burden)
time duration of an average game

So, one could argue that maybe we should have separate ratings for each of these qualities. I wouldn't disagree. But for all of that, I'm very often struck at how appropriately assessed the weight rankings for most of the games seem to be. Because in the end, all I really want to know is a simple number that tells me the answer to the question:

"How much of a burden is it gonna be to play this game?"
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Ahem.

Die Macher - 4.40
SPI's Air War - 4.67

This puts the two games in the same ballpark. Now, as much as I like Die Macher, I think Samuel L. Jackson said it best:

"...ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport".
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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And SLJ was talking about the difference between massaging feet and sticking your tongue in the holyiest of holyies, not two board games.

Die Macher - 1643 rating/2432 owning - 384 assigning weight ranking
Air War - 143 rating/224 owning - 27 assigning weight rankings

The point, Die Macher has a wider appeal than Air War and in that larger pool gets ranked heavy. You could almost call Air War a marginal case. Hey it's still higher. Isn't that good enough?

I think most people can accept and understand that the .27 of difference between a 3 and a 3.27 means less than the .27 of difference between a 4.40 and a 4.67. And in a way I think it serves to just reinforce the notion of heaviness even more.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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Thinking on it again, not being a wargamer myself I look at 3 or a 4 on wargame and I just know it's gonna be heavier than a Euro that is a 3 or 4. And how do I know this? Because I'm a gamer. I mean, who else but a gamer is going to be checking out the numbers on game weights anyway? So even though the numbers are close, you would hear me say something respectful like "Yeah, but it's a wargame 4.67!"
 
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