Adam McD
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A few months ago, I was rummaging through my closet and found an old boardgame from my childhood that I didn't even realized I owned: 'Hometown USA - Elk River'.

The game is essentially a local version of Monopoly (well, more that just 'essentially'; perhaps legally too -- more on this later). One moves around the board by rolling two dice, buying properties and charging rent for those who land on the properties they own. Oh, there are also these little half-sized cards which can either award money or charge money. Sound familiar?

Here are the differences: There is no Jail. Obtaining the half-sized cards similar to Monopoly's 'Chance' & 'Community Chest' cards require rolling doubles, instead of landing on special spaces. Instead of Park Place & Boardwalk (etc.), the properties are local ones (e.g. The Bank of Elk River & Ron's Foods). There are a few other minor differences, but not worth noting.

Anyhow, I jumped on BGG.com and typed in "Hometown USA" to see if it was on there already. One hit with one owner: Hometown USA: Oshkosh. The only differences between the Elk River & Oshkosh editions seemed to be esthetic (only the pictures & names of the properties were different), so I proceeded to add some of my game info to the existing entry. I also left a comment for the BGG Admins suggesting to change the primary game name to only "Hometown USA", and leave the "- Elk River" and "- Oshkosh" suffixes as alternate game names. My info was added, but the primary name stayed as "Hometown USA - Oshkosh".

More recently, I have realized that there are many more versions of this game, some on BGG. The reason I didn't see them before is because the game's name and publisher are different on different versions of this game! From what I can gather, Milco // Citigames-of-America made many different local editions of a game called "Hometown Monopoly" (see Hometown Monopoly: Bloomington & Hometown Monopoly: La Crosse), but then changed the name to "Hometown USA" for future versions. I'm assuming this had to do with the fact that Parker Brother's filed a lawsuit against Citigames of America back in 1987.

Here is my question: Should all of these games have separate entries, or should they all be under one entry as different editions of the same game? In this 'unofficial FAQ' for BGG stuff, it says that, "different editions should only warrant a new entry if the game play is substantially changed or re-themed". I might consider these different editions to be 'substantially re-themed', so perhaps I should go back and make "Hometown USA - Elk River" be a separate game entry. I've also spotted several other editions of this game... should they also be separate entries?

What do y'all think?
 
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Randall Bart
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AdamMcD wrote:
Here is my question: Should all of these games have separate entries, or should they all be under one entry as different editions of the same game?

No they shouldn't, but they will. I suggest the serenity prayer.
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Chris Hansen
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Actually I believe they should. Although I can't find it now, I've read that BGG Admins want each version of Monopoly (or Monopoly clones) to have its own entry.
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Adam McD
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chansen2794 wrote:
Actually I believe they should. Although I can't find it now, I've read that BGG Admins want each version of Monopoly (or Monopoly clones) to have its own entry.

Hmm. Is this perhaps an exception to the rule? In the 'unofficial FAQ' for BGG that I quoted, (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12930/item/221910#item...), the following is posted:

arnest_r wrote:
... In general, different editions should only warrant a new entry if the game play is substantially changed or re-themed ...

And the only comment given is this one:
Werbaer wrote:
There is one exception to this rule: Monopoly.
Last time i checked, it had IIRC 173 entries.

It was nice to see Monopoly used as an example for two reasons: (1) Hometown USA (AKA Hometown Monopoly) is much like Monopoly,and (2) the different editions of Hometown USA differ in the same way that different editions of Monopoly do. However, Werbaer states that Monopoly is an exception to the general rule. (and I would assume that a game such as Hometown USA would follow the general rule, since it is small-potatoes compared to Monopoly. Although, apparently it wasn't small-potatoes enough to avoid a lawsuit from Parker Brothers!)

On the other hand, I would say that changing all of the properties and the entire background for the gameboard is "substantially re-theming" it. But maybe I am thinking of 'theme' in the wrong sense...
 
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Adam McD
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So, here are some things I could do:

(1) Nothing.
(2) Remove the "Hometown USA - Elk River" stuff off of the "Hometown USA - Oshkosh" entry and create a new, separate entry.
(3) Try to petition to get all the "Hometown ____ ('USA' or 'Monopoly')" games under one name.
(4) Add the other editions of cities I know of that exist (either as new entries or as alternate editions. However, if I added them alternate editions, which game would I even add them to? 'Hometown Monopoly - Bloomington' or 'Hometown Monopoly - La Crosse'?
 
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Chris Hansen
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There is also the new Board Games Family Feature. I don't think we can add to it yet (I think it's just an admin thing for now) but a Hometown USA Game Family would fit the bill.
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Adam McD
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I got a 'yes', a 'no' and a 'look into a third option ("Family" Feature)'.

Thanks for clearing things up... not! I'm confused as ever! wow

(Yeah -- I used a Wayne's_World-ism)
 
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