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Subject: Fight the tyranny of the light, the disappointment of the quick rss

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Eric Jome
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Friends, tonight I want to speak to you against a long running trend - dare I say it threatens to become the norm? - toward the light, quick game. You know the ones of which I speak! That tawdry little time waster with the 60 minute play time, that one trick pony dragged out session after session because it ... I choke to say the words ... fills time. Is that what we are reduced to?! The mere filling of time?

Why has this unjust and unwarranted epoch descended upon us? Have we fallen so far from the purer faith that we are contented with tidbits and mechanical sleight of hand? Can you really say that an evening spent at table completing - I won't say playing - three light games offers even a fraction of the satisfaction of a real game?

In our jaded, video-setted era, in the press of information and haste, I am sure that it seems on the surface like a one dimensional, limited engagement offers the opportunity to enjoy more, but friends! I implore you! That way lies the dissolution of all that is good in games. The challenge, the cut and thrust, the competition, the back and forth, plotting and planning and bringing to fruition. Don't settle for the banality of a quickly flipped card or a tile whipped from a bag... engage the strategic wheels of your gaming self and let the works calculate and scheme and execute as they once did and shall again! Such refined and strong machinery is wasted processing weak offerings.

Love the meaty game, this should be our manifesto. Fight against the triviality and hollow allure of an hour thrown away here or there when real satisfaction can be yours! Go forth from this reading, make your plans to spend a weekend afternoon raising a great tribe to its destiny or commanding your forces through an entire bloody campaign. See again the vistas you've left unexplored, where armadas sail the stars in galactic conquest or rail empires are founded and driven to supremacy.

This is the real calling of the gamer. Follow your calling.
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Andrew Tullsen
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I would love to read your post, but I just don't have the time.
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A. B. West
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I was able to play Dominion 26 times on BSW in the time it took to read this post.
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I'm the other way. Much prefer games that can be played in under 45. Too many games feel as if they drag on too long, and rarer is the game that feels too short.
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Eric Jome
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Howitzer_120mm wrote:
I would love to read your post, but I just don't have the time.


That. That right there. That snide sneer that attempts to pass as wit. That quickly tossed off jibe that demeans and fails. A symptom of the disease this rally is directly intended to fight against. No wonder that it rears it's ugly head here, where someone seeks to stand against it.

Off with you, sir. And take your copy of Fluxx with you. I don't feel the need to insist you avoid letting the club door hit you on the ass as you depart; the unthinking haste you so obviously cherish will guarantee that of its own accord.
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Eric Jome
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adamw wrote:
I was able to play Dominion 26 times on BSW in the time it took to read this post.


I can see I've fallen amongst the rabble, the coin flippers and computer moderated. The soul of such has gone fallow for wont of real gaming for too long. The heathen excesses of counting completions and the golden idols of triviality cast their siren song and lure away the good and pure to a false sense of happiness...

But no. I choose instead to believe this only an ill conceived attempt at personal amusement. Rather I will hold in my heart the illusion that hope still lingers for you, Brother, and pray that salvation finds you soon.
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James Webb
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I am in whole-hearted agreement with your philosophy,but unfortunately I have a wife, children and a variety of other responsibilities and commitments.

I have no choice. Or at least, a choice that I'm not willing to make.
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Mark Hubbard
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Quote:
Is that what we are reduced to?! The mere filling of time?


Umm, in MY gaming group...the answer is "No."
A lot of light, "fluffy", 'filler' games are actually language independent. Lighter, language independent games help connect a lot of players to the boardgaming community: I don't think that many people grasp the fact that about one-third of the U.S. is either illiterate in English or finds reading, itself, to be a excruciating trial.
Thus, without me introducing/insisting on the playing of light, fluffy, language-independent games in my group, a great deal of people in my group would melt away into smaller groups that play visually-riveting games...usually found on electronic consoles.
FWIW (in my opinion) ANY boardgame with a group of people is a form of innoculation against the isolationism that electronic gaming induces.

Cosine, if you would have limited your question to strictly grognardic wargamers, then I could have agreed with you completely. I feel that epic-scale wargaming is being squeezed out on many different fronts; to ME, that's just sad. If one doesn't understand the mistakes of the past, then one is bound to repeat them. I'd rather have an active, intellectual group of guys who can replay scenarios of past events, and give me a recommendation on what to do better, than lose the perspective of hindsight.

Edit: to correct spelling errors

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Eric Jome
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revgiblet wrote:
I have a wife, children and a variety of other responsibilities and commitments.

I have no choice.


What tragedy! The propaganda of the age has seduced you away from right thinking with the delusion that you must choose between the meaty game and a fulfilling life.

Sir, there are 168 hours in a week. Spending even 8 hours at rest per night, 4 hours per day in personal attendance, 9 hours per workday at the grindstone, you are still left with over 60 hours per week of free time! Surely in that period you can arrange the tiniest of intervals for a meaty game. Played well, played hard, a well researched practiced endeavor cannot exceed 3 hours, more often coming in at a paltry 2! One evening a week away from your spouse in return for one evening of her own liberty - that is an eminently sane bargain that can bring back good games and give the adults of your household the opportunity to explore their own lives as once they enjoyed them, unconfined to a tightly defined role as only parent or only spouse.

I leave you with this parable; There was once a family. The mother and the father each had three circles of friends, professional, religious, and communal. And each spent one night of the week with each group separately... and still held successful jobs, had two happy and effective children, and kept a lovely home. These people were miracle workers? Not so! They were indeed my very own parents! It is entirely manageable to have one third the social calendar they kept and still maintain family and livelihood. Strive for it! It is within your grasp, I assure you.
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Guy Riessen
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You, sir, are interrupting my 1870 game with your prattle. Although I will say, I'd rather play 6 short games in the span of wasted effort it takes to play a long garbage game like Agricoladevil
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T. Nomad
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cosine wrote:
And take your copy of Fluxx with you.

As if a game of Fluxx ever goes less than 2 hours! Unless it is mercifully killed long before the actual end.

My favourite game nights are the ones where I arrive just before 7, and can just squeak in a warm-up and a big game before they close up at 11.
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J
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1 hour = too short
6 hours = too long

2-3 hours = SWEET SPOT
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Eric Jome
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paracletus3 wrote:
I don't think that many people grasp the fact that about one-third of the U.S. is either illiterate in English or finds reading, itself, to be a excruciating trial.


I reject this fabrication as untrue and irrelevant. We are not here to discuss the outreach of gaming to the masses nor the state of general affairs in public education. This is a call to the gamer, among whose fine, upstanding population are already included a greater portion of the intelligentsia of our world.

Quote:
FWIW (in my opinion) ANY boardgame with a group of people is a form of innoculation against the isolationism that electronic gaming induces.


Another falsehood propagated under the pretense that what happens at a keyboard is comparable to what happens at the table. There has never been a meaty computer game - I know, for I've played many and the most complex. The computer game's finest art is at best flashy, at its most meaty merely non-trivial. Civilization? Trite. World of Warcraft? A grind, not a game. Artificial intelligences offer no great engagement, no ability to commiserate, to bond. There's no honor in putting down a robot; such constructs are pale shadows compared to people.

If your group suffers attrition due to the flimsy offerings of the digital world, I can firmly assert this - it is precisely because of light games, because of the trivialization of the joys of meaty games, that people eschew real reward for tawdry flippancy. A real game, an engaging game, played with real people still holds more in a single offering than months of raiding or flipping Popcap bits.
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Eric Jome
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Sprydle wrote:
You, sir, are interrupting my 1870 game with your prattle. Although I will say, I'd rather play 6 short games in the span of wasted effort it takes to play a long garbage game like Agricola.


Bah. Agricola is a pretender to meaty games. The processed hot dog of meaty games - a clever facsimile, tasting good on occasion, but lacking the palatable juice and heft of real steak.

1870 you say? You, sir, are headed in the right direction. I say to you full steam ahead in that genre. Proceed to 1835 when ready.
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Brad Miller
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I've got four kids, a job, all my kids have tons of activities to go to, and yet, and yet, last week, the three eldest, (16, 12, and 9), and I got started on a game of TI3 + SE! Now of course, it may take three weeks or so before it actually gets finished, but that is not the point!!!
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Andrew Tullsen
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Windopaene wrote:
I got started on a game of TI3 + SE!


So did I!
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Rock, Paper, Scissors is the ubergame. It is light and quick and the best game ever. All games should strive to be this good.
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Timothy Young
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I believe that game manufacturers are providing what people want. Most people simply don't have six hours to play a game - my wife and I only get Sunday completely free and that is usually taken up with church, events and family activities, if we want to game any time during the rest of the week, it has to be between 8 and 10pm so we need a short game that will fill this time. Similarly, after getting back from 8 hours of tough work, neither of us is ready to play a complex game, preferring instead something light and enjoyable.

If this does not make me a proper gamer then I don't really care. I would rather play my light, quick games during the week, with the occasional wargame when we get time, than only getting to play once every two months because the only games available are long and heavy (in which case I would have to fill the time by dusting off my Playstation).
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Edwin Nealley

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How then, kind sir, do you propose to tackle the elimination problems that can arise is meaty games, such as Titan or Diplomacy? It seems to me that perhaps the source of your problem lies in the extended times spent waiting for others to finish 'meaty' games (like a whole side of beef) and spent spinning off into lighter products which, though shorter, are much more time-manageable than the storied marathons of old, eh?
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Alex
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Quote:
Go forth from this reading, make your plans to spend a weekend afternoon raising a great tribe to its destiny or commanding your forces through an entire bloody campaign.


I applaud your gusto! We need more men like you.

And yet ... why is that copy of Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition still languishing unplayed in your User Collection?



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Colin Kameoka
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Can I sign you up for a game of Federation & Empire where we resolve all combat in Star Fleet Battles?

cosine wrote:
Friends, tonight I want to speak to you against a long running trend - dare I say it threatens to become the norm? - toward the light, quick game. You know the ones of which I speak! That tawdry little time waster with the 60 minute play time, that one trick pony dragged out session after session because it ... I choke to say the words ... fills time. Is that what we are reduced to?! The mere filling of time?

Why has this unjust and unwarranted epoch descended upon us? Have we fallen so far from the purer faith that we are contented with tidbits and mechanical sleight of hand? Can you really say that an evening spent at table completing - I won't say playing - three light games offers even a fraction of the satisfaction of a real game?

In our jaded, video-setted era, in the press of information and haste, I am sure that it seems on the surface like a one dimensional, limited engagement offers the opportunity to enjoy more, but friends! I implore you! That way lies the dissolution of all that is good in games. The challenge, the cut and thrust, the competition, the back and forth, plotting and planning and bringing to fruition. Don't settle for the banality of a quickly flipped card or a tile whipped from a bag... engage the strategic wheels of your gaming self and let the works calculate and scheme and execute as they once did and shall again! Such refined and strong machinery is wasted processing weak offerings.

Love the meaty game, this should be our manifesto. Fight against the triviality and hollow allure of an hour thrown away here or there when real satisfaction can be yours! Go forth from this reading, make your plans to spend a weekend afternoon raising a great tribe to its destiny or commanding your forces through an entire bloody campaign. See again the vistas you've left unexplored, where armadas sail the stars in galactic conquest or rail empires are founded and driven to supremacy.

This is the real calling of the gamer. Follow your calling.
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Leonardo Martino
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ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, DEAR FRIENDS, ONCE MORE!!arrrh



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Peter Vrabel
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Yeah, I agree with the OP completely. I really don't like short games. For example, why would anyone ever want to play a filler game like 18XX? 6 hours just isn't enough for a proper game. Now you'll have to excuse me, I've got anoither 250 turns of Dak II to play.
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Keith Anderson
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This depends on my mood. There are times when I want to play 3 very different games in my 3 hours. However, there are times when I want to play only one since a longer game does give that potential for a strong narrative, an unfolding over time that a short game simply cannot give.

Also, those that don't feel like they have time for a 3 hour game, sometimes end up playing 3 1-hour games - the deception!!!
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James Casey
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Its not about the length, its what you do with it

I played Go last night, and the game took less than an hour.

I played Talisman a while ago and the game dragged on for about 5 hours and I almost lost the will to live.

BGG will always be dominated by the relatively short, as that is what the majority can fit into their lives. There will always be room for the epic though.
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