Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
52 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Is the Spiel des Jahres still relevant? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
GeekInsight
United States
Whittier
California
flag msg tools
Giant Fire Breathing Robot
badge
gfbrobot.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This year, the winner of the Spiel was Qwirkle, with 7 Wonders taking the new Kennerspiel. To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.

Many of the board game lovers have pronounced the SdJ irrelevant. Qwirkle is too simple, too easy, and barely a board game, goes the refrain. Meanwhile, 7 Wonders is mere filler and provides few choices (though you can see from my review that I have an entirely different opinion).

No, this isn’t like the good ol’ days where the SdJ was given to meaty games like El Grande or even Settlers of Catan. In threads like the one attached to the BGN report, conspiracy theories abound about selling games, the corrupting profit motives, or the SdJ jury simply being out of touch. The truth, though, is likely far simpler.

The SdJ has always been about the best "family-style" boardgame. While Qwirkle is definitely at the lighter end of depth, the SdJ has been given to even lighter games in the past. In fact, one of the forum posters, (curtc) on the thread linked above, created this handy chart:


As you can see, while Qwirkle might be on the lighter end, it would be wrong to call it aberrational. So why so much hate for the SdJ winner?

All the heavy gamers started somewhere. And, likely, it was with a SdJ winner. My own gateway was Settlers. When that proved to be incredibly fun, I went on to purchase other SdJ winners including Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. Only after these games taught me that board games could be fun did I expand my horizons into heavier fare.

Is Settlers a good game? Yes it is. Is it still my favorite? No. I prefer heavier games with less dice. But that is only because my own tastes changed. When I was the SdJ’s target audience, a new or family gamer, then they made selections that spoke to me. Now that I’m no longer in that demographic, the SdJ has lost its "must buy" status for me.

Stated simply, the SdJ continues on the same path it has always been. Board game aficionados have just migrated elsewhere. Or, stated another way, the SdJ didn’t leave me, I left it.

Your thoughts? Has the SdJ gone awry from its early days, or have gamers advanced beyond the target audience?

(Originally posted on the Giant Fire Breathing Robot)
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.
15 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Geosphere wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.


You should probably give the BGG forum the OP linked to a read.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Geosphere wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.


I hadn't really heard any 'complaints' amongst my gaming circles other then hasn't this out 5 years ago? (Which is true, but not in Germany)

I think it's getting back to it's roots and it's target audience wasn't 'gamers', but was families that play games.

I just had one of my Wife's Friends ask me about the rules for Qwirkle because her family has it but lost the rules. I would NEVER sit down and play El Grande or Settlers with them, but I would play Qwirkle with them,
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
manchuwok wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.


You should probably give the BGG forum the OP linked to a read.


I wouldn't count a single thread as 'consternation' or else pretty much every topic under discussion somewhere on the internet would be covered. BGG is certainly a large part, but not 'the board gaming community' and certainly not every member of BGG found the choice all that outrageous.
6 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gamers have *never ever ever ever ever* (ever) been the target audience for the SdJ.

The target audience for the SdJ is German families. Is it still relevant to them? I honestly don't know, but I remember hearing that there was some amount of backlash against Dominion in that context. While Dominion seems simple in the BGG context, imagine a family of nongamers with preteen kids trying to learn it out of the box.
42 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Geosphere wrote:
manchuwok wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.


You should probably give the BGG forum the OP linked to a read.


I wouldn't count a single thread as 'consternation' or else pretty much every topic under discussion somewhere on the internet would be covered. BGG is certainly a large part, but not 'the board gaming community' and certainly not every member of BGG found the choice all that outrageous.


Exactly right. But now you know that many BGG members did find the choice outrageous, whereas before you didn't. My personal thought is that this indignation is misplaced as the SdJ is not really geared towards the kind of person who heavily frequents BGG.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Metzger
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, it's very relevant...for sales.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Plainwell
Michigan
flag msg tools
Mi cabasa esta muy verde
badge
Et in Vantasia ego
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Geosphere wrote:
manchuwok wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
To say that this has caused some consternation within the board gaming community would be an understatement.


What gaming community are you part of?

Everyone seems fine with it that I've heard.


You should probably give the BGG forum the OP linked to a read.


I wouldn't count a single thread as 'consternation' or else pretty much every topic under discussion somewhere on the internet would be covered. BGG is certainly a large part, but not 'the board gaming community' and certainly not every member of BGG found the choice all that outrageous.


from that thread

richtoosoon wrote:
Yay!! for Qwirkle and 7 Wonders!!

Hooray! for Susan and Antoine!!

Yay!! for games, and for playing games with gamers and non-gamers!

Congrats to all of us for having a great hobby to enjoy!

(Jeez, sure is weird being the cheerleader. But I'm sure that deep down, you all are quite excited for the winners).

Enjoy!


I think at most you could say the reaction was "muted" or "mixed."
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
welcome your reptilian overlords!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Gamers have *never ever ever ever ever* (ever) been the target audience for the SdJ.

The target audience for the SdJ is German families. Is it still relevant to them? I honestly don't know, but I remember hearing that there was some amount of backlash against Dominion in that context. While Dominion seems simple in the BGG context, imagine a family of nongamers with preteen kids trying to learn it out of the box.


No, not quite. On their webpage they comment on their target audience.
http://www.spiel-des-jahres.com/cms/front_content.php?idart=...
They are not explicitly talking about families but mention a very diverse target audience. They also write that they are not trying to put the price on the "best" game of the year but to encourage the development of new, valuable games.
IMO, this means virtually nothing. Whatever you want to read into it you can. I honestly don't think the jury has a very clear idea exactly what it is they are looking for in a game.
I really don't want to get into the whole (yearly) SdJ discussion. The award just doesn't mean anything at all to me and I merely wish that other awards who take a more audacious approach would get just as much attention.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott B
United States
Redmond
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
metzgerism wrote:
Yes, it's very relevant...for sales.

Yep, it's relevant to sales. Any other "relevance" is up to the "relevancer?" Meaning, relevant to whom? This year, they picked a game I absolutely hate (no surprise at all), but a good choice, imho, for the SdJ.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the theory is that if you slap on an award onto a product, it's more likely to be picked up by a n00b, so it makes sense for the hobby that the game's a gateway. I can't imagine a muggle picking up a second hobby game if the first one consists of AP brain burning or 40 pages of errata.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathon Ebonsword
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Considering that the Spiel des Jahres has never been awarded to an Ameritrash game or a wargame (as far as I know), I would say that it has never been relevant to a good sized chunk of the gaming community.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ebonsword wrote:
Considering that the Spiel des Jahres has never been awarded to an Ameritrash game or a wargame (as far as I know), I would say that it has never been relevant to a good sized chunk of the American gaming community.

Fixed.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
flag msg tools
My video channel has a Facebook page - Find it by searching "Josh Yaks page" on Facebook
badge
Find my video channel on YouTube as "Josh Yaks"!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Are questions regarding the relevance of the Spiel des Jahres still relevant?


4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ebonsword wrote:
Considering that the Spiel des Jahres has never been awarded to an Ameritrash game or a wargame (as far as I know), I would say that it has never been relevant to a good sized chunk of the gaming community.


Well it is a German award, and considering wargames sell next to zero in Germany and Amerithrash games are too long for family play after dinner then it seems very relevant.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Stellmach
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
metzgerism wrote:
Yes, it's very relevant...for sales.

Which actually gets to the point. "Relevant" does not mean relevant only to a small niche audience, however vocal they are in grinding whatever axe it is they have to grind. The SdJ remains the key to a huge spike in the number of people who will own and play the winning game. It's the difference between thousands and tens to hundreds of thousands of sales, last I checked. I call that relevant.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David C
United States
Aurora
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
You can say anything you want in my book, I just love graphs.
8 
 Thumb up
0.26
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Franco
United States
Maplewood
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MyParadox wrote:
No, this isn’t like the good ol’ days where the SdJ was given to meaty games like El Grande or even Settlers of Catan.

If I want a German award for meaty games, I'm less likely to look toward the SdJ and more likely to look toward the Deutscher Spiele Preis.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GeekInsight
United States
Whittier
California
flag msg tools
Giant Fire Breathing Robot
badge
gfbrobot.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
logopolys wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
No, this isn’t like the good ol’ days where the SdJ was given to meaty games like El Grande or even Settlers of Catan.

If I want a German award for meaty games, I'm less likely to look toward the SdJ and more likely to look toward the Deutscher Spiele Preis.


Yep. Since I first started gaming, I've moved away from the SdJ and pay much more attention to the DSP.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MyParadox wrote:
logopolys wrote:
MyParadox wrote:
No, this isn’t like the good ol’ days where the SdJ was given to meaty games like El Grande or even Settlers of Catan.

If I want a German award for meaty games, I'm less likely to look toward the SdJ and more likely to look toward the Deutscher Spiele Preis.


Yep. Since I first started gaming, I've moved away from the SdJ and pay much more attention to the DSP.


I look at both because I have diverse tastes and like to see various things. I'd hate all awards to be the same 'BGG Favorites'
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the SdJ is as relevant as ever. Probably moreso. It's a great way to find a game that you know will be of some reasonable level of quality, though certainly not some head-twisting complex thing.

And that's a good thing.

I don't need a bunch more Die Machers. Realistically, I might play that game or something of the type once every couple of years. I'm much more likely to get to play a "family" game, so SdJ it is.

My only problem with the SdJ is the "Cult of the New"ness of it all, but that's what it's all about. What I'd really like is for the SdJ to also name a game from, say, 10 years ago that is deserving. :)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Toltz
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Your cat likes me more
badge
In brightest day / In blackest night / No evil shall escape my sight / Let those who worship evil's might / Beware my power--Green Lantern's light!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The SdJ is as relevant as it always was, which is to say, not very.

Awards are meaningless. Sure, given two games that I know nothing about and which are otherwise on equal footing, if one happens to be an SdJ winner I'll give that one a look first, but this isn't a situation that comes up very often...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Johnson
United States
Cottage Grove
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

It's complete rubbish... hmm?... I've been nominated? When I say rubbish, I mean all these naysayers are full of it. SdJ is cutting edge. Bravo, and stuff!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
“It's all in the mind.” ― George Harrison
badge
Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Gamers have *never ever ever ever ever* (ever) been the target audience for the SdJ.


Well, once, in a moment of rare clarity, they appointed El Grande.

But then they discovered that the average Joe wasn't able to understand the rules, so they decided to elect more simple games.
Doesn't matter anyway, as long as the money is rolling in meeple
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.