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Subject: What is important in gaming? Enjoyment? Depth? rss

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Jeff Eberlin
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So lately I've been collecting a number of what I think the BGG community would consider "lighter" games:

Schotten Totten
Pickomino
Odin's Ravens
Pacal
Slide 5/6 Nimmt
etc

because my wife doesn't like really deep strategic games, or games (as she puts it) with a lot of text on the cards.

I feel somehow that I'm losing my gaming edge because my copies of Power Grid, 1960, etc only come out when I'm with my heavier gamer friends... in fact, I'm not even playing heavier games on BSW anymore....

2 questions:

1) How do you get someone who feels the way my wife do to play a more strategic in depth game without making them realize they are.

2) Should I be worried I'm losing my edge?

Thanks!
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Robert C Kalajian Jr
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I wouldn't be worried about losing your edge.

I'd be more worried about worrying about losing your edge when you should be having fun playing games with your wife!
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Swood
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For most people, enjoyment is the obvious reason for gaming. Play what you enjoy. But that's the trick, isn't it? What people "enjoy" can be quite different.

I find that most muggles play games primarily for the enjoyment gained from the secondary social interaction. The most common (and irritating) muggle phrase that gives this away is the every popular, "I don't want to have to think" [when I play this game you are suggesting]. I scream internally whenever I hear that.

I would wager that the enjoyment from social interaction is not what most BGG gamers are looking for when they play games. They are looking for the rush that comes from well executed strategy. They want to think, and they want their opponents to think. They want to be challenged!

The only real solution to your problem is to slowly ramp up your wife to more intellectually challenging games. The Kosmos 2-player games are a good start. San Juan, Jambo, etc. can lead to better things.
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Jeff Eberlin
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I've tried Jambo, but it falls into the same thing as San Juan. Too many words on the cards.... I need a game that forces her to think without making her realize she's thinking. Pacal did a good job of this. :-)
 
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Adam Skinner
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Give Vegas Showdown a shot. Blue Moon would be good for 2 - even though it has text on the cards (and that text can be important!) it's not overwhelming or difficult to learn.
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Ben Foy
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The most important thing is finding the right group(s) of people to play with. With the right group the stupidest game can be fun. If you are having fun, then don't worry about anything else. You can't force your wife to mature as a gamer but it will happen naturally.

Also go to Cons and encourage her to go off and play her own games separate from you. That will help her mature as a gamer. Don't worry about losing your edge, you can quickly get that back anytime you want to.
 
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Tomello Visello
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Skadar wrote:
They want to think, and they want their opponents to think. They want to be challenged!
I play for enjoyment. I do indeed want stimulation, but I have my own understanding of where "depth" turns from stimulation to "work". My own preference is for slightly lower than the top rated games.

I have also been introducing a handful of new people, demonstrating that there is something beyond their childhood memories. Their tolerance is another step lower in involvement. I'm adjusting my offerings to cater to them. I have hopes of bumping them up a step, but I'm still getting enjoyment - partly now from watching their discovery.

 
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Randy Cox
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My thoughts are that you don't try to force someone into a particular gaming mold. Hell, I don't like games with lots of text on the cards.

As to "losing the edge," I don't get it. I play the "deep" games maybe once a year plus a full week at a convention (during which time I play maybe 1 or 2 "deep" games). In between, most of the opportunities to play are with extended family and that means what you'd think of as "lighter" games.

And for the record, the answer to your question can be represented in a score:

Enjoyment 1,000,000 - Depth 3.
 
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John Di Ponio
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I think the common denominator would be enjoyment. Many factors go into enjoyment of a game and are different from player to player.
I find enjoyment in a game where everyone has a chance untl the very end!
I love in-depth games of strategy but don't like when players get eliminated quickly or at all. I really don't get much enjoyment out of a game where my opponenet or opponents don't have fun!
 
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J C Lawrence
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Websteria wrote:
So lately I've been collecting a number of what I think the BGG community would consider "lighter" games:


I mostly avoid such games/

Quote:
I feel somehow that I'm losing my gaming edge...


Why is that important?


Quote:
...I'm not even playing heavier games on BSW anymore....


I never have played on BSW (or the other online sites) and have no interest in starting.

My suggestion is simply to determine what you want to accomplish by playing games and optimise for that. If it is social interaction then head for that, if it is stiff competition and mental challenge then head for that etc. Whatever exact answers you come up with don't really matter, just the fact that you have an answer and are optimising for it matters.
 
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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There is no edge.

Really. Enjoy gaming regardless of what you get. Lack of gaming just increases my enjoyment when I do get the 'ultimate' game that I've been hankering for.
 
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Simon Lundström
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Reply to your 2 questions:

1) Try something that works as a multiplayer solitaire. I am just about to try Agricola on some "interested muggles" and am actually considering the very alternative way of allowing several players going on the same action. That way the game isn't half as stressful nor half as strategic either, but it'll probably make them coming back for more.
2) No.

Reply to the thread title:
For me, enjoyment. I don't need depth in my games if the theme's rich and enjoyable.

Then again, the reply will always be "enjoyment", as the people enjoying depth in their games will consider depth to be enjoyment. Duh.
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Susan F.
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Websteria wrote:
...because my wife doesn't like really deep strategic games, or games (as she puts it) with a lot of text on the cards.

I feel somehow that I'm losing my gaming edge because my copies of Power Grid, 1960, etc only come out when I'm with my heavier gamer friends... in fact, I'm not even playing heavier games on BSW anymore....

2 questions:

1) How do you get someone who feels the way my wife do to play a more strategic in depth game without making them realize they are.


Have you tried any of the deeper games that still have very simple rules? That might alleviate some of the "lots of text on the cards" problem which tends to really mean "too many rules". She might enjoy something like Blokus, Ingenious, Clans, Taluva, Tikal or Through the Desert - very few rules but definitely games with strategy.
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Gabe Alvaro
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Is playing with someone other than your wife out of the question?

Which is to say that I think the answer to your question

Quote:
1) How do you get someone who feels the way my wife do to play a more strategic in depth game without making them realize they are.


is, you don't. Adults tend to either enjoy the depth of thought required to strategize or they don't. I don't think you can trick someone into enjoying it.
 
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Denise Lavely
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Jeff, most of the games I play, I play with my husband, (a light gamer like your wife), my 7 year old, or various non-gaming or light-gaming friends. I get to play maybe 3-4 games a month that are of the caliber I would prefer to play.

So by the time I get to the table with a game of In the Year of the Dragon or Power Grid, I'm so damn KEEN to play it, I find that I do just as well as those who get to play more often.

Don't think of it as losing your edge. Think of it as honing your appetite devil
 
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Flying Arrow
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Randy Cox and clearclaw are on the same site. BGG is a big tent.
 
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Tim West
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Rusty567 said: "Have you tried any of the deeper games that still have very simple rules? That might alleviate some of the "lots of text on the cards" problem which tends to really mean "too many rules". She might enjoy something like Blokus, Ingenious, Clans, Taluva, Tikal or Through the Desert - very few rules but definitely games with strategy.:

I whole-heartedly agree with this. And I'd add a few more to that list like Gheos, Viktory II, Memoir '44, Wings of War: Famous Aces, and most recently Pandemic.

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Jeff Eberlin
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blindspot wrote:
Is playing with someone other than your wife out of the question?

Which is to say that I think the answer to your question

Quote:
1) How do you get someone who feels the way my wife do to play a more strategic in depth game without making them realize they are.


is, you don't. Adults tend to either enjoy the depth of thought required to strategize or they don't. I don't think you can trick someone into enjoying it.


I guess I keep hoping that by slowly introducing new games I'll turn her mind around on it.... and maybe I will, but I'm pretty sure that I won't in the long run, thus my enjoyment of the "lighter" fare with her and the heavier fare with the gaming groups...

Thanks everyone for your opinions! :-)
 
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Garcian Smith
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There's people who play to win and others to play for fun.

I'm the latter.

I used to play computer games a lot. Then I realized, I was more pissed off than having fun. I would get angry and become rude. Now I see that these types of games are about the pursuit of perfection. I want to have fun.

Board games have led me there. No longer am I angry because the guy blew my head off .534 seconds before I did. I am able to take my time.

One thing many board games suffer from is long play times. This can be both good and bad, but nobody likes a long loss. Would you like to end your day with 1 long game that ended in a loss, or 5 shorter games that you lost only three times?

The ultimate game for me is one that is easy to play, offers strategies and plays fairly fast. That's why I like Magic the Gathering. Behind tons of little rules, you have a strategic game that will never play exactly the same way twice. At the same time, games should end within a few minutes.

That's why I choose to avoid longer games like Risk. It can take many hours and at a certain point a winner is already decided, yet the losers must force themselves to play.

My opinion on your situation is that you should try cooperative games, specifically Pandemic. I like coop games because I can try my best, yet the game won't be won unless I work together with my teammate. Don't you hate handicapping yourself to play worse when you play against lesser players?

When you do play hardcore games, try to do risky strategies that work once in a while, so that the new player can naturally win more and develop a confidence that motivates them to play more.

I find new players tricky. You want them to have an advantage to keep your games close, without letting them know you are doing so. Everyone hates people who "let" them win. It's a magic trick.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Revelade wrote:
There's people who play to win and others to play for fun.


I play to win. Winning is not the reason I play. I do not play games in order to have fun.

Quote:
One thing many board games suffer from is long play times. This can be both good and bad, but nobody likes a long loss.


They don't?

I enjoy the 18XX games. They usually take 4-6 hours to complete, sometimes more. I'd played more than 50 games before I ever came close to winning (and we think it was probably a banking error rather than an actual win). I've played several score more games since then. I've won a small handful more games in that time against scores of losses.

This is great. I am (slowly) improving. That is wonderful. The 18XX remain among my most favourite games. At some point I may become competitive. Till then I will happily spend hour after hour happily losing (and learning) while playing 18XX.

Quote:
Would you like to end your day with 1 long game that ended in a loss, or 5 shorter games that you lost only three times?


One long (good) game that ended in a loss is far preferable to 5 shorter (mediocre) games with 2 wins.

Quote:
The ultimate game for me is one that is easy to play, offers strategies and plays fairly fast.


Time is not a primary factor in choosing the games I like.

Quote:
It can take many hours and at a certain point a winner is already decided, yet the losers must force themselves to play.


Then call the game and declare the winner. If not, play on through like you agreed to when starting the game.

Quote:
I find new players tricky. You want them to have an advantage to keep your games close, without letting them know you are doing so. Everyone hates people who "let" them win. It's a magic trick.


No, I expect to be slaughtered as a new player, and to continue to be slaughtered game after game until I build the necessary skills. I don't want the games to be close, not unless I'm truly competing effectively. If the other player is more skilled than I am then they should win every time.
 
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I didn't drive all the way down here to play a peace game
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Websteria wrote:

2 questions:

1) How do you get someone who feels the way my wife do to play a more strategic in depth game without making them realize they are.

2) Should I be worried I'm losing my edge?

Thanks!


1) My wife is like yours and has the same complaint about Jambo. As Adam suggested, my wife tried Vegas Showdown and kind of liked it. Frankly, I'm glad when she'll play anything at all with me. I don't know about trying to "get someone" to like a particular game type. I have some gaming friends who will only play miniatures, some who will play light-to-medium board games but wouldn't play Caylus if you paid them, and others who avoid all but the brainiest ones. Find more gamers and you'll find more varied games.

2) I wouldn't know. I feel like more of a blunt instrument.
 
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