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Subject: How do you rate your games? rss

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Edwin Priest
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Several months ago after my wife and I played Balloon Cup for the first time, I went back as I often do to BGG to clarify a few play questions. In doing so, I was struck by some of the negativity and poor ratings of this game that we both quite enjoyed. It got me to thinking in general about ratings here on BGG.

Now I am relatively new to this gaming thing. I love playing games, and will do so whenever I can. I obviously have games that I prefer to play, but I usually find playing games to be an enjoyable experience. I will play most games fairly willingly and my ranking of games reflects this. When I do rate the games I have played, I try to use BGG ranking system. A 6 means “will play sporadically if in the right mood”, so most games I play are at least a 7.

I am therefore a little dumbfounded by some of the game rankings here on BGG. Many games never make it past a 7, and some are even less. Do people really feel that these games are an “average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it,” (5), or “ok game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood” (6). I know that everyone has their favorites, but in their own right do games really warrant a rating of 5 or 6 using these criteria. How bad is a game REALLY?

I am therefore curious as to how people see this. Am I living in some kind blind daze of ignorant euphoria here, enable to see the truth in how “bad” these games really are? Are there others out there like me, those happy-go-lucky ignoramuses who seemingly love everything?
 
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Paul DeStefano
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ERPriest wrote:
I know that everyone has their favorites, but in their own right do games really warrant a rating of 5 or 6 using these criteria. How bad is a game REALLY?


I have several hundred games. If one of them hits the table even sporadically, that's a good thing. 6 is a strong rating in a collection of hundreds. 6 does NOT mean bad. It means it will actually be played.
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Mike Jones
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I too wouldn't call a 6 a bad rating. It's just not a GREAT rating. It means you will play it sporadically. If anything more of my games should be rated a 6 then 7. But, I rate based on how I feel about the game. So even though I know in reality that some of my 7 are going to have very limited play time, I'll keep them a 7 and not penalizes them for being 'lost in the crowd'.

Even 5 is an 'ok' game.


 
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Chris Talbot
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I rate games based on the BGG rating system, and yes, some games really do deserve low ratings based on my enjoyment of them and willingness to play.

Chris
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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I own Balloon Cup and rate it an honest 6.

Quote:
6 - Ok game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.


It is an OK game. I will play once in a while. To me it is a kids game, I play it occasionally with my son. I'd rather play chess, Nexus Ops or even Carcassone with him but if he wants to play Balloon Cup we will. I expect that as my kids get older and start playing deeper games that the rating for Balloon Cup could drop.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Since there are so many games out there, I have a
much different view.
Life is too short to play even 8's.
Get those 9 and 10's on the table!
An '8' or less is a compromise game.

More related to your OP, others may not have the "we have exactly 6 players" problem which makes Power Grid "better" (cuz it handles 6) than any 5 player game. So PG gets a higher rating than an equivalent game that handles less
players.
I think you'll change your mind after you play more games that obviously resemble each other.
 
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brian
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I use the BGG guidelines based on my willingness to play it again. Otherwise, my subjectivity on any given day might skew my overall thoughts. I have tried to limit the 10's I dish out just because it is impossible to play all of them at once. But all of my 10's are sufficiently different that I think they are all great.

I try to do a fair amount of research into the games I want so I typically rate my games higher than others. My lower ranked games are either the mass market games that I play to keep friends and family happy or the ones I thought I would really like and they fell short of expectations.

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Tyler
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I first started rating by ignoring the BGG ratings and including decmal numbers and stuff, then I found that it was too tedious.
Now I rate based on the rating scale and I believe all of my ratings are higher than the games actual rating. I am rather new to this hobby so before I buy a game I like to research it, read over a lot of it's forum threads, maybe play it once or twice online, just to get a feel for it. Usually by doing this I know If I will like the game or not. Out of all of the games I have bought so far, I think only one has been a dud with everyone who has played it, but I still like it. This is probably why most of my ratings are above a 6 as well. I only get games I think I will enjoy playing, and so far, so good!
 
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Matt Thrower
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Nope, six isn't bad. It's an "OK game".

I tend to group my ratings into four bands bands:

8-10: Love this, will play it at the drop of a hat. When I take a stack of games to see friends or to a club gathering it usually consists of 8-10.

6-7: Unlikely to suggest this, but will play happily.

4-5: Would never suggest this, but would be willing to play (once, anyway) if it's the majority choice of the group.

1-3: Never, ever, ever.

Trying to actually sort individual ratings within these brackets is a constant headache to me, especially now that I've played and rated a goodly number of games. In many ways I wish BGG had a simple 1-5 system - I'd just used my 1-4 and cream off my very favourite games to give a five. As it stands it's entirely possible that some of the games I've got rated 8 are probably worth 10, and vice-versa



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Paul Bruce
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I kind of agree with you although I don't think a 5 or 6 means a bad game. I enjoy playing games even those that are not my favourites so I do not really understand that so many games receive ratings of 1 and 2.

What also intrigues me is the relatively common comment 'broken'. This is especially interesting when a game has many high ratings. Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I do find it amusing that one or two people can find a game broken when hundreds consider it good or better. I am sure some people do it purely for effect but I find it very difficult to take such comments seriously.

 
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Matt Thrower
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Pavlusha wrote:
What also intrigues me is the relatively common comment 'broken'.


Indeed. Very, very few games are actually 'broken'. I'm not even entirely sure what the term means. A long play time or complex rules set does not actually mean a game is 'broken'. Personally I regard it as meaning that a game has an easily discerned strategy which guarantees either a win or a draw in virtually every game. The only game I know for which this is true is noughts and crosses - hence it's my only "1".
 
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Steven Wall
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I try to use the rating system, but as another poster remarked, it's quite bound up in context: the number of players in your regular group, what their tastes are etc. For example, when I play with my partner her taste in games dictates what I play as much as my taste in games.

Also I found myself not rating anything below a 6. Hell, some games is better than no games so, for example, Monopoly or Boggle I will play with my family if the alternative is no games at all.
 
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Mik Svellov
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The biggest problem with the BGG ratings is that many people don't realise that a '6'-rating is actually ABOVE average and therefore not bad. Okay, it may be the lowest of the Top 5 ratings, but it still *is* in the top 5.

The other hting is that very gamers like to play the same game *all* the time, so it is very difficult to apply more than '7' to most games. I might like a game enough to rate it '8', but not enough to *never* turn down a game.
 
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Twinge
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Do note that the average rating on BGG is somewhere around a 6.9 - so people do, in general, agree with you. (Last I saw any stats on the subject, anyway.) Also keep in mind that a rating as low as a 3 still means you could be convinced to play the game; based on that, maybe some of my 3.1-4s should be dropped down?

I generally enjoy playing almost anything, yet my personal average is around a 6.1. Somewhere around a 6.5 you start to hit games I would describe as something I "like". The low 7s are games I enjoy a fair bit. 8s and above are games I've played often enough to know that I still like it and it stands up to repeated play. My one and only 10 goes with the only game I've played often enough and long enough to accurately say that I like it, I've always liked it, and I always will like it.

Let me describe how I feel about Risk. Sure, I might be willing to play Risk - it's not a completely terrible game - but I'd almost always prefer something else. With the BGG rating system, this general feeling could be accurately rated either a 6 or a 3! And that is why you'll never get consistent ratings; it's very subjective - even the interpretation of what the descriptions of each rating actually mean.
 
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The Tak
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Brent Case wrote:
Quote:
How do you rate your games?


Generally, I assign the game some number and write some blurb about why I like or dislike the game. :p


Ditto. I don't have a large collection by some standards, so that might skew my personal scores compared to the mean, but I give it the number that feels right and then blab about it for a few lines. That may or may no get more sophisticated as my analog-game-geekiness gets deeper, but probably not (I'd rather spend the time playing!)
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Mike Jones
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MattDP wrote:
Nope, six isn't bad. It's an "OK game".

I tend to group my ratings into four bands bands:

8-10: Love this, will play it at the drop of a hat. When I take a stack of games to see friends or to a club gathering it usually consists of 8-10.

6-7: Unlikely to suggest this, but will play happily.

4-5: Would never suggest this, but would be willing to play (once, anyway) if it's the majority choice of the group.

1-3: Never, ever, ever.

Trying to actually sort individual ratings within these brackets is a constant headache to me, especially now that I've played and rated a goodly number of games. In many ways I wish BGG had a simple 1-5 system - I'd just used my 1-4 and cream off my very favourite games to give a five. As it stands it's entirely possible that some of the games I've got rated 8 are probably worth 10, and vice-versa





Exactly what he said. Except maybe the comment for a 5 rating system. I have a friend that feels the same way (that 10 is to much to decide on and he does this 5 star rating) and I understand to a point what he's talking about. Enough that when I started my Smell rating, I used a 5 point scale. BUT, I'm finding some games hard to differentiate now. I think well it's higher then a 3, but it's not quite the same caliber as the other 4's I've already rated. I find myself having to do almost a mental coin flip. Of course, that's not often.
 
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Michael Edwards
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I go with the suggested BGG system as well, in an effort to co-ordinate my ratings with others here. I currently only go as far as 1/2 points.

Looking at that rating system, even a 4 is one you'd be willing to play.

Since I'm not a professional reviewer, I have very little motivation to play or buy any game that hasn't already gotten good reviews. This means that, if I've done my research right (which isn't always the case), a "typical" game in my collection shouldn't have a rating lower than 7. I will by some 6's - for example, I kind of like dexterity games if I'm in the mood, but not always.

Of course there will be subjective shifts depending on circumstance, and some of this might be attributed to the rating descriptions. There are games that might be a 7 for me, but I can't find opponents for them, so they don't get any table time. This tends to make their description jump from "usually willing to play" to "always want to play", whereas in truth, if I had consistent opponents, my desire to play the game might be abated. I try and keep this in mind when doing ratings.

Still, some of that does - and probably should - affect my ratings. For example, short "filler" games can be forgiven many issues that might affect a long game, cuz hey, it's only 15-20 min to play. A long or monster game that might suffer from repeated play fatigue, might not get marked down because hey, it's not ever going to get played that much. I think some elements of this are part of the game design. Ideally, every game would be a joy to play every time, and you'd never get tired of 'em. If that were the case, everyone would be in analysis paralysis staring at their game shelf, trying to decide what to play.

Looking at my ratings, I've yet to rate anything below a 4, and I just took two of my 6's to a recent game night, and palyed one of 'em. My single 10 is Settlers. In truth, I'm a "cult of the new" guy to a degree, and when it's time to play games, I want to get a new game on the table, mostly likely. There are games lower rated that I probably would be willing to play ahead of Settlers as I love them, and haven't played them nearly as recently. I gave Settlers a 10 partially as it kicked this whole thing off for me, but mostly as it fits the description. It's not that I'll always want to play it ahead of all other games, but I can't see myself saying no to a game.

And yes, if someone in my gaming group went futzy, and demanded we only play Settlers, I might get sick of it - it would take a few sessions, however.
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B C Z
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I see gaming time as a resource - recently, a rare one.

If I have 'X' hours, I want to maximize my enjoyment of those hours.

So I rate based on:
Desire to play
Frequency a game actually hits the table
Fun-to-Time Density (one 4 hour game or 4 different one hour games?)

Eventually, a game will simply not be played based on desirability, other things (newer, shinier) will hit the table instead. At that point, the game falls below your 'redline' value, they are not worth your time given another option for the same time period.
 
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Bobby Doran
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I rate my games based on how much I enjoy the game not on how often it hits the table.
 
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I usually update my ratings after my last play. The starting grade is 7 ( Good game, usually willing to play ). Then I will change my rate according to BGG suggestions (basically how often I will be willing to play it).

Also, games are rated for what they are, ie, boardgame, filler, children game, ... For example, a filler with a 7 means that if we are going to play a filler, then I will be usually willing to play it.
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Kevin Everingham
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MattDP wrote:
Pavlusha wrote:
What also intrigues me is the relatively common comment 'broken'.

Indeed. Very, very few games are actually 'broken'. I'm not even entirely sure what the term means. A long play time or complex rules set does not actually mean a game is 'broken'.

I Agree. For many people, when they say 'broken', they mean "I can't figure it out, or something didn't go the way I wanted, so it's the game's fault".... That attitude is just a problem with modern society needing to blame anything they can on someone else. I don't think it's 'you' who doesn't understand what the word broken means, I think it's often the people using the word!

As far as ratings go. I agree with the original idea that ratings seem very low for many games that are a great time. Loosen up people and enjoy your time playing the games! I also belive that some people have one bad experience playing a game so they give it a terrible rating and never try it again. That being said... I also rate exactly by the outline given by this web site, (since that is the outline of how to rate things) which tends to make me give a little bit lower number to some games that I think are great, but only want to play once in a while.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Geosphere wrote:
6 is a strong rating in a collection of hundreds. 6 does NOT mean bad. It means it will actually be played.


+1
 
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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Great Dane wrote:
The biggest problem with the BGG ratings is that many people don't realise that a '6'-rating is actually ABOVE average and therefore not bad. Okay, it may be the lowest of the Top 5 ratings, but it still *is* in the top 5.


I think this is very poignant, particularly if visitors to this site are also visitors to video game review sites, such as IGN, etc. On those forums, if a game doesn't get a 9 or higher, "it's complete crap" and the reviewers are hunted like dogs. One site had the audacity NOT to give GTAIV a 10 and I'm not sure if they found the body.

The problem with any type of rating system is that it is subjective and must exist in a vacuum in order to work. An 8 on BGG is a very good score, but on other sites an 8 would be a sign of "Meh." At least in the eyes of the beholders.

But at the end of the day, a game's rating is your own. I always use BGG for a mob-rules suggestion. But like the original poster, I rate games more highly than normal, and on only 1 factor: how much fun I have playing them, regardless of how often I want to or am able to play them. So, I give Magic Realm a "10" because I love the game and have a lot of fun playing it, even though I know it has flaws. I rate Catan an 8, because to me it gets repetitive, even though I know it is a far more elegant game.
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Rick Holzgrafe
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I don't understand why so many people have so much trouble with the rating system.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like this game?"

Seems simple to me.
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T. Nomad
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clearclaw wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
6 is a strong rating in a collection of hundreds. 6 does NOT mean bad. It means it will actually be played.


+1


So....7?

I rate strictly according to the BGG guidelines. No decimals (though I'm tempted). After I play a game, I usually go back and check my rating and comments to see if anything needs tweaking.

When choosing a new game, I put a lot more stock in comments than reatings, though, as everyone has a different way of doing it, and a 1-0-point scale is a lot less informative than a description.
 
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