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Subject: it's not monopoly! rss

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Penny
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i just get a little upset when i play St. petersburg in like a common area and some people come up or looks at us like we are weird. ok that is fine as long asthey don't say anything but some says, "oh what are u playing? monopoly?" ok so s.p has monopoly like money but it's not monopoly at all. I guess maybe it's just me, but i just don't like it when people assume i am playing monopoly that's all. maybe just my pet peeve. i suppose when it comes to boardgames, people always think of monopoly first. so if i say i like to play boardgames, they say, oh so like monopoly? i liked monopoly maybe about 2 years ago before i got into gaming, but those days are over, and to play a game just totally dependent on luck is not that fun anymore. (The game of life too, which I already give it away). So hopefully boardgames in the future will remind people of something else other than monopoly or clue. So when I talk about it people don't act like I am weird if I say no it's not monopoly types.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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It's common
It's a common reaction. Many persons know only Monopoly, Risk!, maybe Scrabble and Clue, and some party-games (Trivial & Co.). Besides, they've no idea about the difference between boardgames, RPGs, CCGs, etc. (when I answer "no, it's different from Monopoy", they usually say "oh, it's one of those Role-play-games?")
Try to be kind, explain the difference with FEW and SIMPLE words and let them look at the game if they're interested.
It's a loooong way, but we'll spread the knowledge, step after step.
 
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Xander Fulton
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Huh, I've played tons of games and never had them mistaken for Monopoly.

Guess it depends on the type of games you play?



If I was playing that and someone came over and said "Oh, what are you playing? Monopoly?" I'd be like "WTF is wrong w/ U! STFU n00b!"
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Hello Kitty!

No need to be upset. Take the opportunity to slam Monopoly and sing the praises of german-style games.

Try this on them, "Oh no, we stopped playing Monopoly years ago. We only play german-style games now. German games are quick, easy to learn, fun and positive & constructive. You win by building up your score, not by attacking the other players. Monopoly is a un-ending, boring, painful elimination game, death by a thousand cuts. We never play that now. Please, sit down and we'll show you."

Then take a few minutes to convert another stranger. Be a game evangelist.

Spitting on the floor each time you say the M-word helps too.

(Note to other users, please don't start going on about Rette or Intrige. Old debate, move along).
 
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Magnar Sveen
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They're asking because they are interested. Now it is in your hands to shape this person. Do you want another gamer for gamenight, or do you want another person thinking all gamers are rude nerds?

Explain. Make it seem exciting. Wake the latent gamer!
 
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Goo
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Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.
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I had a similar experience... but far worse. I brought Settlers of Catan to an extended family BBQ. So, there were alot of people milling about. I got some distant cousins to play and the rest would check in and see what we were doing. People would come in and ask what we were playing. Both of my cousins kept saying, "It's like Monopoly. And kind of like Risk!, too. And also like D&D."

So, this wasn't just uninformed onlookers who see the Settlers settlements (that do look like Monopoly houses), this was someone actually playing the game... and loving it. Why they insisted on sticking knives in my back and twisting them with these descriptions, I'll never know.
 
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Kane Klenko
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Samuraibble
I was playing Knizia's Samurai the other day with someone and a lady walked by and said, "What are you doing?". We answered, "We're playing a boardgame" or something like that. Her reply was "Oh, so it's like Scrabble."

Yup, just like Scrabble.
 
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Xander Fulton
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Actually, that's almost exactly what it's like. What point in their description would you debate?
 
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Chaddyboy
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It's just like...
I've found that when playing with newbies, for some reason they always figure out a way to say "Oh, this game is just like Risk!" or "This is kind of like Monopoly!". I have no idea where they draw these comparisons, but at least they're enjoying the game, so I don't really say anything.
 
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John Lopez
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Where they get the comparisons.
If all you know is "traditional American games" available in closets everywhere, everything is going to be "like Monopoly and Risk". After all, there are pieces and a board, and you move things around. It isn't Scrabble (no letters) or a trivia game (no Q&A rounds). To the teeming masses there is no other reference points, so they go with what they can comprehend.

It is said that to have a concept, that concept must have a name. To the BGG crowd, we have all kinds of terminology that allows us to say "Well, this game is a auction game where you bid for role cards which have a circular relationship as far as power goes". (OK, maybe that is pushing it... ) The point is, we can talk about game mechanics because we have seen many game mechanics in action. These people have only seen pieces move around a board in two or three games, and have no conception of alternative mechanics. Thus, everything is Monopoly or Risk. In some sense they may even be partially correct (if collecting sets of resources give advantages or controlling territories grants more power) as far as that limited vocabulary can take them.

Getting upset because the common man isn't aware of subgenre game styles is like me at my desk writing code in C++ and being insulted when they ask "is that Basic"? Good grief, not it isn't. But then, should they have known that?
 
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Xander Fulton
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'Volatile'? REALLY?

Most reactive I would get would be "Meh, kinda similar. More like a distant cousin."
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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180 degrees
John Lopez, that was a very smart post, much smarter than mine. Instead of slamming Monopoly, I should be taking it as their reference point and stepping them through to the actual game.

"What are you doing?"
"We're playing a board game, Settlers of Catan."
"Oh, like Monopoly?"
"Yeah, sort of. We roll dice and we're building villages and towns. But there's no rent or paper money. We all collect these resources see, sheep, corn, and we trade them till we have what we need, then we can build more roads and villages."
"Oh, seems complicated".
"It's not that bad, it's okay when you've played a little. Sit down and I'll show you. See, the board isn't fixed, it's made of tiles, so every game is different. And the winner is the first to get 10 Victory points. It's very quick to play. You never get bored, it's always a different game each time."
"Where did you learn this?"
"My friend showed me. It's a german game really. German games are really modern, not like the games we had as kids. They have lots of neat ideas for games."

...and so on....

You're right John. That's a better, positive approach.
 
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Gary Webster
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Get used to it!
I used to get the same reaction about rock climbing. There was a practice climbing wall that was about ten feet high in a park in La Jolla, California, and you could always find someone training by doing long traverses on the wall, and these little old ladies would come up and say, "Why, I could climb that!" and we'd mostly take the abuse because they didn't know what we were trying to do, and the couple of times I've tried to explain it, they weren't really interested in finding out. It was more fun for them to make fun of us than to learn something.

That may be true of the non-gamers who saw you playing, but there may be some hope that you could do what these esteemed others in this thread are suggesting, and win them over to our side.

It is very frustrating, though...
 
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Dane Peacock
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It is strange to see this journal entry now, because this experience just happened this weekend:

I went into a comics shop that has a big AD&D following, looking for board games. There were a bunch of those, you know, freaky AD&D players involved in a game.

I walked up and peeked over one guy's shoulder. He turned and gave me that, 'Shoo' type of stare. I felt like twisting on his nose ring, but it was obviously infected, so I stayed away.

I thought, "I was playing AD&D before you were born!" I could tell that I was not welcome near their game, so I leaned over it and just, peered. The guy with the nose ring's girl/boy friend, who had a matching nose ring, grunted and turned away.

I cleared my throat and asked, "What you playing?" After several moments of that 'just go away' type of silence, one of them mumbled, "Dungeons and Dragons". Then I said loudly, "Oh, kind of like Monopoly?"

They had the most disgusted looks I have ever seen. I couldn't control my giggles any longer. They saw that I was just playing with them, and everyone started laughing. One of them told me, "That was a good one. I am going to use it some day."

 
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Nomadic Gamer
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..because the common man isn't aware of subgenre game styles is like me at my desk writing code in C++ and being insulted when they ask "is that Basic"..
just put up a sign:
"NO IT IS NOT MONOPOLY". Discussion should follow. Then...
hey wait a minute--- I STILL WRITE IN BASIC!surprise
 
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Brian
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yup
When I'm somewhere and they don't know about my games, I offer "I brought a bunch of games we could play." I don't say board games to leave the door open. And before any bad looks come out I say, "And I'm not talking about
Monopoly. These games are actually fun and don't take as long." And it works. Really.

Also, I thought it odd no one had said regarding Settlers that it was like Monopoly or so on... and I realized every time I take the box out, someone asks what it's like and I say, "It's not really like any other game." So we lose the bad impressions. And no one makes any connections.

On another note, while I've had no one come up and ask if we were playing Monopoly, I did have one guy come up while we were playing High Society and ask what we were doing and how the game worked. He thought we were gambling. laugh After all, all he heard was "ten million....twelve million...pass...gambling debt (one of the bad cards)...two million..." laugh
 
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Jon
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It's like monopoly...
in that hot college co-eds are like their grandmothers.

whoa...that analogy works on so many levels.
 
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Steve Werth
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Me: "I play lots of boardgames"
Them: "What, like Sorry?"
Me: "No, like Risk and stuff."

***

Them: "What are you playing?" [looking down and me and a buddy playing a game of Magic]
Me: "Uh ... it's like Poker, really."



 
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John Lopez
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Oooops
Dave Daring,

Um, sorry about that Basic disparagement. I was forced to program in Visual Basic for many years. Now with Managed C++ I can once again program in a language I love, and I think I have some, um, issues with Basic to work through. blush

Anyway, everyone seems to have run into trying to explain the more esoteric games we play. My favorite "misidentification" of a game came during highschool. A buddy and I were Star Fleet Battles players. We used to play out in the yard during lunch (if you record the counter positions and keep your energy forms it is quite easy to restart where you left off as long as you don't play drone races). We were playing Fed/Klingon duels and had the pieces in very small plastic bags. The back sides of the counters were white, and I guess from a distance some people saw two guys with white stuff in plastic bags intent over piece of paper. They came up and asked what was in the bags, and were quite disappointed at the contents.
 
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Jason Henke
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Is it Monopoly? No, this is a game
laugh

It's my standard answer.
 
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Penny
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i am used to it
well this happened pretty often as I play games at school dining hall place with my friend a lot and I am used to people givingsome stares like we are kids playing Sorry or people assume it's monopoly. When we play St. Petersburg it is easily mistaken as Monopoly because of paper money, with other games it's not that bad. I did try to explain sometimes that it's german games not monopoly sorry type, they usually just nod and say ok, sounds fun. the woman who was commenting today she was one of those older women promoting voting registration, i highly doubt i could recruit her into our games. =p but my other friend who was sitting in the table did say it looks interesting maybe i will join next time, so maybe i can convert someone yet. to make it clear i am not really upset, it's just an observation I guess. most of my friends go like "huh?" when i say i play boardgames, german boardgames, so i am used to it by now. my mom was just making a comment about my game collection saying, "you are not a child anymore, why are you still playing games?" i said, it's not kid's games..i doubt she knows or understand this type of games nor would she want to. meeple thanks for all the replies. some of them are really funny.
 
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Jason Henke
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Then I sell the concept of a game
After my quip (my lips are faster than the brain) I engage them in conversation and start selling the game. How it's easier than monopoly, more varied, and a lot more fun. It does have trading, and a thief.

I'll try to keep playing as we're talking and let the mechanics show under their eyes.

It's easy to get someone interested after they've taken the time to come over out of the blue and ask the Monopoly question.
 
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Les Harrison
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Adding to John's comment, Risk and Monopoly are also the only games the people think of as being played by adults. Payday, Sorry, etc. are clearly children's games. So if you're playing a game, and you're an adult, and you're not playing a party game like TP, then you're probably playing Monopoly or Risk.

And as others have noted, the monopoly comparison is a good way to start explaining Settlers. In explaining the variable game board I usually use Monopoly as a point of reference: "Since the board is variable, there's a lot of different ways to win -- as opposed to monopoly, where if you don't get the good properties early you're up the creek."

My big selling pt. for Settlers (and Puerto Rico) though is the fact that you get to play even when it's not your turn.
 
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Nate Sandall
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We have a running joke...
My friend Debby wasn't really a gamer when she started coming to my game nights with some other friends. The first game we got her into was Chinatown. Debby said "I don't want to play any wargames" to which I said "Don't worry, it's kinda like Monopoly but with more trading and nobody gets wiped out and it finishes in an hour." She loved it!

The next game Debby learned was Fast Food Franchise. Debby was like "I don't know if I wanna play that. I wanna play Chinatown again." Then Dean said "Fast Food is Monopoly on steroids you oughta try it." She loved it!

Next game we talked Debby into playing was Princes of Florence. Debby said "I wanna play Fast Food Franchise. Or maybe Chinatown. That looks kinda interesting. Who wants to play Fast Food?" To which we said "Oh you should try Princes of Florence it's kinda like Monopoly". She loved it!

Then there was a game night with seven people and me, Mikey, and Debby were trying to find a three player game. Debby said "Let's play Princes of Florence! Or I wouldn't mind Fast Food Franchise!" I said "Oh Debby, you gotta try Ra! It's kinda like Monopoly." She said okay. And yet again, she loved it!

Then one night everyone wanted to play Air Baron. I think she's getting wise because she really didn't love it as much as everyone else.

So last Friday we're talking about our upcoming weekend at the beach next weekend and everyone wants to play Advanced Civilization. Debby says "I don't wanna play a 12 hour game especially if it's a wargame." To which I said "Well it's not really a wargame and we'll take lots of breaks. Besides, it's kinda like Princes of Florence so I think you'll like it...."
 
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Stephen Tavener
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Playing Go in a restaurant, ...
"Is that like othello, then?"

I've had the monopoly comments too, mind!
 
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