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Subject: Are you biased in favor of your own games? rss

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Jason Burbage
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I was introduced to board gaming as a hobby last April. Since then I've acquired about 20 games and played probably 60 more. I've tried to rate every game I played long enough to understand fully.

While looking over my ratings I noticed a trend -- games I own are more likely to be rated highly than those I don't. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that I am biased.

The argument in my head goes something like this:

Angel: "You rate your own games higher than your friends'. You are probably biased."
Devil: "You aren't biased. You just buy games after you've read about them, and you think they sound like fun. Therefore they are more likely to be fun."
Angel: "But what about Dominion and Small World? You initially rated them an 8 and now you don't want to play them hardly at all."
Devil: "Just because you don't want to play it doesn't mean you didn't genuinely like it. People grow tired of things, you know. Look at Castle Panic. You hated that from your first play."
Angel: "Yes, but maybe you would have hated it even more if it was someone else's game. Look, of your top 5 rated games you own 4, and of your top 10 you own 7. I'll bet if you owned Power Grid you'd rate it a perfect 10. And when people bring over games, you always secretly hope they suggest we play yours instead."
Devil: "Well then, you should go buy Power Grid, and all its expansions, so that we can settle this once and for all. And we might as well get Factory Manager too as long as we're getting free shipping..."

What do you guys think? Are you biased in favor of your own games? Am I?
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I tend to buy games I like, and I tend to buy only games I rate highly, so it's kind of a self fulfilling prophecy.
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Jason Burbage
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So you only buy them after you've played them?
 
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Beau Bailey
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Zealotrush wrote:
I was introduced to board gaming as a hobby last April. Since then I've acquired about 20 games and played probably 60 more. I've tried to rate every game I played long enough to understand fully.

While looking over my ratings I noticed a trend -- games I own are more likely to be rated highly than those I don't. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that I am biased.

The argument in my head goes something like this:

Angel: "You rate your own games higher than your friends'. You are probably biased."
Devil: "You aren't biased. You just buy games after you've read about them, and you think they sound like fun. Therefore they are more likely to be fun."
Angel: "But what about Dominion and Small World? You initially rated them an 8 and now you don't want to play them hardly at all."
Devil: "Just because you don't want to play it doesn't mean you didn't genuinely like it. People grow tired of things, you know. Look at Castle Panic. You hated that from your first play."
Angel: "Yes, but maybe you would have hated it even more if it was someone else's game. Look, of your top 5 rated games you own 4, and of your top 10 you own 7. I'll bet if you owned Power Grid you'd rate it a perfect 10. And when people bring over games, you always secretly hope they suggest we play yours instead."
Devil: "Well then, you should go buy Power Grid, and all its expansions, so that we can settle this once and for all. And we might as well get Factory Manager too as long as we're getting free shipping..."

What do you guys think? Are you biased in favor of your own games? Am I?


Well, if I really like a game, I am going to try and make sure it is in my collection. I don't think that means I am biased towards my own games, it just means I tend to own things I like most.

Edit: If I buy a game I don't like, I quickly trade it away. I don't need to have it clogging up my collection. Might as well try and get something I will enjoy.
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Tyler McLaughlin
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Absolutely, but that's because my games are better than yours.

Everything I like is great and the things you like (unless they are the same as the things that I like) are total crap.
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Zealotrush wrote:
So you only buy them after you've played them?


Not at all. I usually try to avoid buying games unless I can research them here on the geek, but I do have a whack of games on pre-order from GMT and others so those will be sight unseen.

However, with a collection of over 250 games, I'm a lot choosier about what comes into the house.
 
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Dan
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I have several friends who also buy games, and I usually try to buy different games than they do.

So if they get good games, I rate those appropriately.

When we play games, we seem to play the ones they own more than the ones I own.
 
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Joachim Pehl
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Absolutely true for me. Of course i buy games that I played only if I really like them, respectively I'm pretty good at judging a game on his rulebook. but still, at least I try harder to like the game.
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I only own games that I like playing. If I really like a game, I'll buy it. If I don't like a game, I won't buy it, or I'll sell my copy.

Is this supposed to be a difficult question?

Either way, you can test this out: have two identical (components, etc) copies of a game brought to a game reunion, yours and a game buddy's. If you care which copy gets played, then you have this bias.
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IrishFire Herself
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I think it's hard to be biased, given the rating criteria. When I mouse over the game rating button, it gives me options from (paraphrased) "You cannot MAKE me play this game" to "I love this game, now and until the day I die, and will cherish and be willing to play it forever."

In short, it isn't saying, "Hey, rate this game based on some objective criteria." It feels strange to hunt for bias in subjectivity. My head Subjectivity IS bias!

I feel like they asked for my bias and you're asking it if it's a bias. Yes! I also very much like the colors purple, red, blue, and green. Is that biased? Maybe I'm not giving neutral colors a fair shake.

That said, I don't rate games I own more highly than games I don't. I only recently crafted Carcassonne, and I still don't have Ticket to Ride. These are currently very favorite games of mine, and have earned the highest praise I can afford a board game. I'll admit to liking some games better when other people own them, as they're more special when I have an opportunity to play, and those rarely suffer from being overplayed as different friend sets request nothing else.

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Count Ringworm
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I am biased towards my games, because the people i am able to play with only have scene-it, the Trump game, and things like that. so, if i don't bring something, we just play rock band.
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Jason Burbage
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tech7 wrote:


Absolutely true for me. Of course i buy games that I played only if I really like them, respectively I'm pretty good at judging a game on his rulebook. but still, at least I try harder to like the game.

I guess this is what I'm talking about. I apologize to those who feel the question seems trivial or redundant.

I do rate games based on my desire to play them, so I guess what I'm saying is that I've noticed that I seem to want to play my own games more than others'. I can't decide if I like my games more because they're my games or if my ratings would have been the same if I had just played other peoples' copies of the games I own rather than owning them myself.

If the concept seems foreign to pretty much everyone then I guess most likely I have just made good purchases.

Or maybe you are all biased against me. Hmm...
 
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IrishFire Herself
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Nope, I see it the other way around: I can play MY games any old day. Let's play yours!
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Jason Burbage
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IrishFire wrote:
Nope, I see it the other way around: I can play MY games any old day. Let's play yours!

Alright, but you have to come to my house. I like it better.
 
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Manchuwok
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Yes, many people will have the natural tendency to rate their own games higher. Also, this natural tendency is directly proportional to the amount of money spent on that game (e.g. A game that somebody owns, but got in a trade is far more likely to rated honestly than a game they paid $100 for).
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Mike Beiter
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I will admit that my ego plays a big role in my game choices. I am the game collector of my friends, so I have the most options. And game night is always at my house. And I go out of my way to buy games I think my friends will enjoy.
So yes I am biased towards my own games for several reasons.

When someone else’s games are suggested, my ego takes a hit. It goes “how could anyone possibly have a game that rivals one in my own collection!?! IMPOSSIBLE!”

But I get over it; it is healthy to let other people’s games have the spotlight.
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I think it's human nature to be biased towards your own games. First you buy games you like yourself and second you like to think you spent your money wisely.

It's sort of like trading for a game. A game your are trading away has a much higher value than if you are trying to trade for it.
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Gordon Walsh
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Of course I am. I only buy games I have either played face to face or after researching them on this site, Don't underestimate the value of geek-buddy analysis and avoid being too enamoured of the cult of the new. I tend to wait for 12 months after a games release in order to avoid the hype. I buy very few games I would regard as turkeys with this approach.
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Ernesto Cabrera
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I sometimes think my friends have a more objective view on the rating of games, they don't own a single game, well, one of my friends has 2 Heroscape starter sets but that's because it's his favorite game. I constantly ask them what their favorite game is and what they think of it just after we play it and most of the times have more reasonable points that when I write my own game comments on my collection. For example I rate Pillars of the Earth a 4 because I think it's boring, repetitive and dry... And I don't own the game. I rate Age of Empires III a fair 7 but I think that if the copy I played was mine maybe it would raise up to 8.

Maybe availability also comes into play when rating games. If I didn't had Cosmic Ecounter and couldn't play it again and again (as I do) I think the 7 rating would've sticked to it. But after playing it with all the variants and elements and figuring out the "strategy" it became one of my favorite games...

Also another game comes to mind. Fury of Dracula. My friends despise it, I hated the first time I played it but I still think I should play it more to rate it fairly (just for the first play I rate it a 5) and that's because of three reasons:

1. I have it in my collection, so... why not? Maybe I'm wrong and I like it after the second play.
2. It was my Secret Santa gift. I can't hurt my secret santa feelings just because my first play was an absolute disaster.
3. I am an avid Ameritrasher. I should like Fury of Dracula... it's dripping with theme, it's atmosferic, it has dice, nice graphics and cool minis... so why do I hated it so much!

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Brandon Holmes
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I have bought 95% of games in my group. The few games I have tried that others bought I would have never bought myself so naturally I rate them lower.
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and I were having this discussion just last night. He claims we play my games more than his. I claim, tongue-in-cheek, that my games are better than his. And they are, for me. (but his are pretty good too)
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I posted a thread about this exact topic a while ago.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/324301/are-you-biased-to...

Interesting discussion.
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Joshua Trevino
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Certainly I think some sort of bias comes into wanting to play your own games. I very rarely blind buy a game and usually do a lot of research including reading multiple positive reviews, negative reviews, reading the rulebook, etc. The more I play games, the more I can decide if a game sounds interesting by reading the rule book and reading a few well written reviews, so when I buy a game I definitely have a bias in wanting to play it because I've taken the time to research this game and I know that I would probably find it very entertaining.

It's worth noting that I also buy games with a specific group in mind. I keep adding to my Dominion collection because I know my group at home loves it as much as I do. I bought Shadow Hunters because my weekly gaming group at home loved to play Bang and I thought that they would like it. While enjoying a game that you like to play is ultimately the goal, I find that I enjoy it much more if everyone else is enjoying it to.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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lestat2099 wrote:

3. I am an avid Ameritrasher. I should like Fury of Dracula... it's dripping with theme, it's atmosferic, it has dice, nice graphics and cool minis... so why do I hated it so much!



Funny, FoD failed with me as well. All those things you say, I'm all for as well. I think FoD failed for me because of the lack of conflict and how poorly the few combats during the game are done. Name being misleading (it's more Skulking of Dracula, Running of Dracula, etc.) didn't help either. Sure, Drac can be aggressive if he chooses, but this only reveals his location to the Hunters and three poor rolls can mean the end of the game. Dracula never wants to even roll a die during the game (unless it's for Rats or another encounter). He doesn't want to risk combat at all.
 
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Lowell Kempf
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Personally, I only buy games that I hate so that my friends feel better about their games

I think it is perfectly natural to prefer the games that you personally have gone to the trouble to obtain more than other games. If we were discussing books, surely you would be buying the books YOU personally wanted to read.

I am the game librarian for my groups so it's almost inevitable I would rate my games more highly since I own hundreds more than them combined. (Then again, I also rate some of my games lower. You make some bad calls sometimes.)
 
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