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Subject: Whose opinions are actually worth listening to? rss

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Louis Sylvester
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In an earlier thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/446370/page/3 - we were discussing the rating system on the Geek and I came across a very interesting reply from Straight to Hell (Tim Roberts) that got me thinking:

Quote:
A couple of years ago Q Magazine ran a poll in which its readers were invited to vote for the greatest album of all time. That poll was won by 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis. So according to the readers of Q Magazine that album is superior to anything by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, The Smiths, Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Bob Dylan, Men At Work etc, etc, etc.

A couple of years ago Channel 4 ran a poll in which its viewers were invited to vote for the greatest film of all time. That poll was won by 'Star Wars'. So according to the viewers of Channel 4 that film is superior to 'Citizen Kane', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Raging Bull', 'The Seventh Seal', 'Dr Strangelove', 'The Seven Samurai', 'GoodFellas', 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol' etc, etc, etc.

Basically, what I'm saying is that everyone else when given the opportunity invariably gets it wrong and I'm the only person who's really qualified to make a judgement on such things. If you want to know what a particular game scores, get in touch with me and I'll rate it for you.

N.B. Space Hulk scores a 7 (or 'Breakfast in America' by Supertramp/'Back to the Future' if that helps).


I found this explanation of why opinion votes tend to skew towards crap results both humorous and effective. But more, it got me thinking.

You see, I don't think Space Hulk deserves a 7, 'Breakfast in America' by Supertramp is the greatest album, or that 'Back to the Future' is the best film. Likewise, I'm pretty sure the greatest album of all time wasn't released by the Stones or Bob Dylan and although 'Citizen Kane' may be a work of art, it's hardly watchable (Yes, I've seen it seven times and each time it just gets more precious.)

In fact, the correct answers to the above questions are Space Hulk deserves a 10, 2112 by Rush, and 'Cool Hand Luke.'

You may disagree, but at least now you know if you should care about my opinions on the Geek. After all, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' why would you listen to a guy who loved it? (For the record, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' you probably enjoy punching puppies and I don't want to know you.)

In any case, I don't know you people and perhaps answering the big three questions posed by Tim might actually help me figure out if I SHOULD listen to YOUR opinion.

So, here are the three questions:
1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?
2. What is the greatest album of all time?
3. What is the greatest film of all time?

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Luca Iennaco
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If you are interested in a more "serious" way to do it (i.e. seeking BGG users with similar tastes about games): http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/bgg/correlation.php

But have fun with your method too! meeple
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Jorge Arroyo
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First, regarding games, I think geekbuddies is the answer. You can see what other users who have similar tastes as you thought of games you're interested in but haven't played...

About those questions:
1. I rated SH3 a 10. Still I wouldn't say it's my favorite game, right now that would be between Magic Realm, Merchant of Venus, Android and Marvel Heroes.

2. I'm not sure there's just one, but some I really love are: Naked City's debut album, Mr. Bungle's Disco Volante, Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (any of his early "electric" stuff I really love), The Cynics Rock'n'Roll. I'm probably forgetting many I love as much as these...

3. Just as with music, I can't make up my mind: Probably Science of Sleep, but maybe 2001 or Shadows. Other films I love but don't think they are the greatest ever are Tron, Alien and Aliens and the original Star Wars trilogy. I just love Science Fiction in general, but books is really where the genre shines.

Talking about books, I'll add those to too:

4. Favorite books: Ursula K. Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. CJ Cherryth Merchanter's Luck. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

And I'll add computer/video games too

5. Frontier Elite II
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Jamie Vantries
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1:8-ish
2owerslave- by Iron Maiden (off the top of my head)
3:Sleepy Hollow (maybe not the greatest, but it is my favorite) Actually, though I like Sleepy Hollow better, Perhaps I should say The Shining.
 
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Trent Hamm
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1. I would rate Space Hulk a 7ish, but I haven't got enough experience with it to give it a truly fair shake.

2. It's impossible to compare albums across genres. If I rank albums by number of complete plays in iTunes (basically, my tool for listening to music for the last five years or so), my top album is "Soviet Kitsch" by Regina Spektor.

3. Again, I have a hard time comparing films across genres. My overall vote would probably begrudgingly go to "The Prestige."

4. (book) Probably "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami.

5. (video game) Civilization II/III/IV. The number of hours I've spent playing them is tremendous.
 
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Space Hulk: I've only played one game of 1st Edition back in the 80s. I'm not spending $100 on the 3rd Edition because it won't get played. However, I'm sure it's a lot of fun.

Album: 90125 by Yes.

Movie: I love too many movies to say any single one of them is my Favorite. However, The Dark Knight is a recent favorite. X-Men 2 is also a good one. Watchmen was well done. What Dreams May Come is a beautiful movie and gets the tears flowing. Same with The Fountain. I could go on.

But your main question/premise - Who Do I Listen To? is important. If we're going to pay attention to any criticism we must know how the critic's views align with our own. If I know Local Nameless Movie Critic thought Hope Floats was a 10 out of 10 and X-Men 3 was a pile of crap then I know to avoid this person's reviews altogether, because I will end up wasting my time and money.
 
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David K
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I could never answer things like this. I think any 'What is the best ____ of all time' question suffers from the flaw of only being able to pick one. Concerning films, I would have to group them into comedies, dramas, etc. Same with musical genres. Sure, I really liked One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (to use an example from above). But does that mean it tops all my favorite comedies (probably something from Wes Anderson) as well? Most likely not.

Infact, having a favorite film is almost a catch 22 for me. As soon as it's my favorite, I watch it more and more and then feel the need to 'take a break' and watch something else for a while.
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Skip Maloney
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I'm afraid that I'll have to wait to answer the first question, since I haven't played Space Hulk. From what I've heard, though, it's Exhibit A in a debate centered on whether the Geek's rating system should be categorized in some 'meaningful' way to separate different types of games. I've been trying, as a Board Game Examiner for Examiner.com to get a review of the Geek's Top 10 games among my Examiner entries, so Space Hulk popped up on my reviewing radar. Can I get back to you on this, when it shows up at a gaming table?

As to best album and film. . .well, here again, we run into a problem related to meaningful categorization. What was it John Sebastion noted in the Lovin' Spoonful song "Do You Believe in Magic?" . . ."like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock 'n roll. . " I suspect that the man with the baton in front of the Boston Symphony Orchestra might have a different idea about the 'best album' than I do. Would this, by definition, negate any opinions he might express about board games? He could be a card-carrying Geek for all we know and his opinions might be more valid than someone who identified a particular rock album as "the best of all time."

That said, and with the added IMHO caveat, I'd identify the Beatles' Abbey Road as the best album of all time, with Joe Walsh's Barnstorm album a close second.

As to 'best film'. . .well, again, as defined by whom? As a student of film in my college days, I was afforded the opportunity to examine the medium in a historical context. Thus, my particular identification of a "best of all time," takes on a certain broad-based glimpse of the medium as a whole, and again, lends itself to a need for categorization. "Cool Hand Luke" was an adaptation of a novel by Donn Pearce, who collaborated with Frank Pearson on the screenplay, so it was a film that was "adapted from another source." It got nominated, though it did not win the 1967 Academy Award in that category (it went to Sterling Silliphant's adapted screenplay of John Ball's novel "In the Heat of the Night") I mention this because I would have a tendency to look for the "best of all time" from among a list of films that was created specifically for that medium, not adapted from another source. Then, too, I'd have a tendency to give credit to certain films that paved the way for others; films that set the bar, so to speak, like Sergei Eisenstein's Potemkin, for example. Hard to watch these days and clearly, an artifact, but worthy of consideration, nevertheless.

Quibbling aside, and with yet another IMHO caveat, I'd give the "best of all time" nod to Sergio Leone's film (the uncut version) "Once Upon a Time in America." It's somewhere in the vicinity of four hours in its uncut version and when it was first released, it was cut down to an almost indecipherable two and half hours. I remember seeing the shortened version and could not, for the life of me, even follow what was actually going on. When I finally saw its uncut version, I understood. Runner-up (in spite of its "adapted from another medium" credentials) would have to be Simon Wincer's television film "Lonesome Dove;" an eight-hour (if memory serves) epic that's a bona fide classic (Duval, to this day, identifies his role as Augustus McCrae in that film as his favorite).

So, two out of three answers. . . just to get the ball rolling on this Forum. .

Oh, and to add the book, since others have done so, I have no problem. Best book is "Sometimes a Great Notion," written by the man whose picture is my avatar here, Ken Kesey.
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1. Space Hulk: n/a, haven't played it yet. blush
2. Album: Paul Simon's Graceland. Just listened to it again a while back and it's amazing how well it has aged.
3. Movie: The good, the bad, and the ugly; although, 2001 A Space Odyssey comes in at close 2nd.

As for those magazine polls and such that you mentioned. Although they bill it as "best film of all time," etc what they are really asking is what is the "most popular film" since that's what you end up getting.
The "best" is a lot harder to measure; of course it all ends up getting down to opinions, but it can help to have standardized criteria that everyone evaluates and discusses, to have everyone listen/watch the items on whatever shortlist emerges, that kind of thing.
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djklaus wrote:
As soon as it's my favorite I watch it more and more and then feel the need to 'take a break' and watch something else for a while.


There's a difference between "greatest" and "favorite" - to my mind, it's the difference between what's in your Top 10 and what's in your Hot 10. You really nail the issue with making a "Greatest ......" selection; that said, it's not going to stop me:

Space Hulk ranking: 10.
Greatest album: 'Loveless' by My Bloody Valentine
Greatest film: I've seen like fifty movies in my whole life, most of them when I was a kid. I'll have to stick with The Princess Bride.
 
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Slev Sleddeddan
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1. 10
2. Eight Moons by Biomechanical
3. Brotherhood of the Wolf (AKA Le Pacte de Loups)

There are actually four types of reviewers to look out for:
Ones you always agree with: just follow what they like, ignore what they don't;
Ones you always disagree with: Just follow what they hate, ignore what they like;
Ones who always share your likes but not dislikes: go for what they recommend, but keep an eye on the rest too;
Ones who share your dislikes, but not your likes: Ignore what they hate, keep an eye on the rest.

The first two are generally more useful though.

As has been pointed out, this all started over the high ratings for SH3, which is more about popularity than quality. If we care about what was popular, we wouldn't be posting here, we'd be on a football forum. My favourite band and film would also be VERY different.
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ErisQuilty wrote:
You may disagree, but at least now you know if you should care about my opinions on the Geek. After all, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' why would you listen to a guy who loved it? (For the record, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' you probably enjoy punching puppies and I don't want to know you.)


Puppies won't sit still long enough to be punched. They probably won't watch Cool Hand Luke either, which means they probably don't like your opinions on games.

ErisQuilty wrote:
In any case, I don't know you people and perhaps answering the big three questions posed by Tim might actually help me figure out if I SHOULD listen to YOUR opinion.


I'll just cut to the chase. I don't care if your listen to my opinion. But that's just MY opinion.

ErisQuilty wrote:
So, here are the three questions:
1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?


Never heard of it.

ErisQuilty wrote:
2. What is the greatest album of all time?


Post that question on MusicGeek.com

[q="ErisQuilty"]3. What is the greatest film of all time?

Post that question on FilmGeel.com
 
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Louis Sylvester
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While there are certainly "better" ways to do this (all the geekbuddies stuff is superb), I'm still more interested (at least for today) in how we choose to answer these three simple questions.

A few comments:

1. Disco Volante by Mr. Bungle! What a cool album to mention. The greatest of all time? No, but I strong response.

2. Many of you feel a need to break down your answers into genre or otherwise qualify them. For example, Burnham changed his favorite movie from 'Sleepy Hollow' to 'The Shining.' Presumably because he felt some sort of social pressure to name a movie of higher perceived quality. I think this impulse is dangerous. If your favorite movie of all time is trashy (such as one of my favorites, the completely awesome 'Big Trouble in Little China') then trumpet your opinion to the stars! Screw the critics who will claim your movie is shlocky nonsense.

3. I've read the novel 'Cool Hand Luke' by Donn Pearce and loved it. I still think the film is amazing.

4. Any suggestions that the greatest filmmaker of all time is the sublime Sergio Leone must be taken seriously. Perhaps only Kurosawa can give him a run for his money.

5. The Lovin' Spoonful have been seriously underrated. Why don't they get more press?

6. A surprising number of you (already) seem to have not played Space Hulk (third edition). Why is that?

7. What is the greatest book of all time? I, Claudius by Robert Graves.

8. What is the greatest video game of all time? Thief.

Okay, those are my initial comments to the above threads. Now, for the rest of you, quit getting bogged down by these questions. It's not like anyone cares if you say your favorite movie of all time is 'Cool Hand Luke' when you secretly love John Carpenter's 'The Thing' just as much. Just put out an answer and stop fretting over the fact that you like other music and films too.
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I think there is a difference between asking someone about what their personal opinion of something based on taste is and asking them to qualify an opinion based on measurable or observable data.

For example, if you were to ask me what my favorite band is, I would say The Smiths. Are they the “best” band in terms of quantifiable or measurable musical skill? That is a different question. One could certainly measure the technical skill of Johnny Marr and measure it against that of George Harrison. One could even speak of arranging skill and compare the two in an academic sense. I don't think The Smiths would necessarily come out on top in such inquiries.

The same can be done with film. Which directors are better at montage as opposed to mise en scence? Which director keeps his narrative tight and opposed to being a bit sloppy with framing? In terms of which film you like more, this may be irrelevant to the subjective pleasure you derive from the experience.

Similarly, with games we can speak of “tight designs” or mechanics that flow well with each each other as opposed to games that strike a “discordant” note in terms of design.

One could present an academic argument that Android, for example, is a game that overreaches in terms of scope and number of “disparate” mechanisms. So, it does not have the “best” objective design scheme based on measurable data. Yet, one could also say that Android is their favorite game or the game that gives them the most pleasure compared to other games they have played.

So, in terms of “whom” to listen to, it depends entirely on what you are after. What ice cream is your favorite is a different question that what ice cream is the “best” in terms of quality of manufacture and ingredients. For the first, all you need is an opinion and the desire to voice it. For the second, a bit more knowledge would be required so you are getting an informed opinion.

Kevin

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ErisQuilty wrote:
Space Hulk deserves a 10, 2112 by Rush


Love those answers! Rush Fans unite! Oh...and Space Hulk fans as well.

Peace
 
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But there's a difference in "greatest of all time" and "favorite". When I rate games I think more about "favorite". Tron may not be one of the greatest films ever, but I sure do enjoy watching it a lot, so it's one of my favorites...

Mr Bungle's Disco Volante may not be the greatest record ever (although it comes close ) but it's one of the records I enjoy the most...

BTW, thanks for reminding me of Kurosawa. I really really loved 7 Samurais...
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ErisQuilty wrote:
In an earlier thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/446370/page/3 - we were discussing the rating system on the Geek and I came across a very interesting reply from Straight to Hell (Tim Roberts) that got me thinking:

Quote:
A couple of years ago Q Magazine ran a poll in which its readers were invited to vote for the greatest album of all time. That poll was won by 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis. So according to the readers of Q Magazine that album is superior to anything by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, The Smiths, Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Bob Dylan, Men At Work etc, etc, etc.

A couple of years ago Channel 4 ran a poll in which its viewers were invited to vote for the greatest film of all time. That poll was won by 'Star Wars'. So according to the viewers of Channel 4 that film is superior to 'Citizen Kane', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Raging Bull', 'The Seventh Seal', 'Dr Strangelove', 'The Seven Samurai', 'GoodFellas', 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol' etc, etc, etc.

Basically, what I'm saying is that everyone else when given the opportunity invariably gets it wrong and I'm the only person who's really qualified to make a judgement on such things. If you want to know what a particular game scores, get in touch with me and I'll rate it for you.

N.B. Space Hulk scores a 7 (or 'Breakfast in America' by Supertramp/'Back to the Future' if that helps).


I found this explanation of why opinion votes tend to skew towards crap results both humorous and effective. But more, it got me thinking.

You see, I don't think Space Hulk deserves a 7, 'Breakfast in America' by Supertramp is the greatest album, or that 'Back to the Future' is the best film. Likewise, I'm pretty sure the greatest album of all time wasn't released by the Stones or Bob Dylan and although 'Citizen Kane' may be a work of art, it's hardly watchable (Yes, I've seen it seven times and each time it just gets more precious.)

In fact, the correct answers to the above questions are Space Hulk deserves a 10, 2112 by Rush, and 'Cool Hand Luke.'

You may disagree, but at least now you know if you should care about my opinions on the Geek. After all, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' why would you listen to a guy who loved it? (For the record, if you hated 'Cool Hand Luke,' you probably enjoy punching puppies and I don't want to know you.)

In any case, I don't know you people and perhaps answering the big three questions posed by Tim might actually help me figure out if I SHOULD listen to YOUR opinion.

So, here are the three questions:
1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?
2. What is the greatest album of all time?
3. What is the greatest film of all time?



I rate that the only question worth answering is Q2. The answer, of course, is anything by the Spice Girls.
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ErisQuilty wrote:

1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?


N/A Haven't played it yet, but based upon reading the rules and other info it'll most likely fall in the 7.5 - 8.5 range.


Quote:
2. What is the greatest album of all time?


Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. If you named a different album, you're wrong, sorry. ;P


Quote:
3. What is the greatest film of all time?


12 Angry Men



As to the main topic, I really don't care what kind of music or movies you like. If I was looking for music or movie reviews then it'd be a factor, but for boardgames, I couldn't care less.

That's why I always find it helpful when a reviewer includes what they thought about similar games in their reviews. If they say I love Space Hulk and also think Neutral Milk Hotel is awesome, that wouldn't be very helpful.
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I'm going to give you my black and white answer, and am willing to play along without all the flack.

1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?

I rate Space Hulk and 8 and I'd give it a higher rating, but I don't find the game play as strong as Legions of Steel, which is a far superior gaming experience.

2. What is the greatest album of all time?


I would say the best album of all time is Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

3. What is the greatest film of all time?


Bladerunner, for always and forever.

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ErisQuilty wrote:
1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?


I haven't played it, I doubt I will, but I'd guess at a rating somewhere in the 2.0-3.0 range.

Quote:
2. What is the greatest album of all time?


Dunno. Greatest for what? (I'm also more likely to pick a composer than a commercial product)

Quote:
3. What is the greatest film of all time?


Dunno. Greatest for what purpose?
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Slev wrote:

3. Brotherhood of the Wolf (AKA Le Pacte de Loups)


You sir, have made my short list of acceptable opinions. Welcome.
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clearclaw wrote:
ErisQuilty wrote:
1. What do you rank Space Hulk (third edition)?


I haven't played it, I doubt I will, but I'd guess at a rating somewhere in the 2.0-3.0 range.

Dunno. Greatest for what? (I'm also more likely to pick a composer than a commercial product)

Dunno. Greatest for what purpose?


You sir, continue to remain on my long list of people who's opinion matter not to me. Just for your pedantic lack of commitment alone.
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1. 8.5, which makes it into my top 20 (out of 300+).
2. Aenima by Tool.
3. Oldboy.
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Quote:
Whose opinions are actually worth listening to?


The guys on my geekbuddy list. While many of them have utterly different taste than my own in music and films, and I expect no correlation there, I have immense respect for their collective opions about games.
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Reading "whose opinions are actually worth listening to" on a messageboard, blew my friggin' MIND!
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