Herb
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On the menu bar the game subdomain is listed as Abstract


but in the voting, the game is being characterized as Abstract Strategy. The two characterizations are not equivalent.



Funny how chess is explicitly mentioned as an abstract strategy game yet only 92% of folks agreed that chess was an abstract strategy game. The herd got it right, but not by he margin that I would have expected.

Edit 9/13 4:12

I'd add that when you use the Adv. Search option on the menu bar, you can filter games by subdomain. The subdomain there is listed as Abstract Games
 
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col_w
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I'm not sure there's a consensus on what either abstract or abstract strategy means, so it's hard to say whether the poll text or the button text is 'right', or if they are interchangeable terms.

E.g. from the wiki (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Abstract_Games):

Quote:
Abstract Games

An ambiguous overloaded phrase with several common meanings, its definition is the subject of many endless forum threads. There is the similarly ambiguous variant term "abstract strategy game".

In some sense, it boils down to whether one considers the phrase "abstract game" to be literally a sum of its parts (i.e. a game which is abstract), or if one considers the phrase "abstract game" to have picked up a specific meaning through use (e.g. how a "wargame" is typically considered to be more than simply a game about war, so that many people would not consider the card game Nuclear War or Battleship to be wargames).

It also depends on what one thinks "abstract" refers to - the mechanics, the theme, something else?

"Abstract game" often refers to games of perfect information with alternating turns and no randomness; usually for 2 players. E.g. Chess or Go.

It is also often used to refer to a game without a theme (regardless of the game mechanics). E.g. Backgammon or Tantrix.

It is also often used to refer to games that are "mostly" perfect information and "mostly" lacking in theme (leading to even more confusion and disagreement about whether a given game is an "abstract game" or not).

E.g. many people disagree whether the following are "abstract games": Stephensons Rocket and König von Siam and many 18xx games, since they have perfect information and no chance, but a clear historical theme.

And many people disagree whether the following are "abstract games": Set and Poker, since they have no theme, but randomness, hidden information, simultaneous turns, realtime turns, etc.

There is also disagreement about whether some games even have a theme, e.g. whether Chess is themeless or has a theme of a medieval battle, or whether Cathedral is themeless or has a theme of building a medieval city.

2-player games with perfect information, no chance, and alternating turns are sometimes more clearly called "perfect information", "pure strategy", "non-random", or "Combinatorial games" (the mathematical term for such games). Note that such games can have a theme or not.

Game with no or little theme are sometimes more clearly called "themeless" or "weakly themed" instead of "abstract". Note that such games can have luck, hidden information, simultaneous turns, or not.




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There is no strategy in roulette or craps, and both are bone dry, themeless abstract games.
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Herb
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I can appreciate that Abstract Strategy is too long to go on the button. But if that is the intent of the button then abbreviate the name to Abs. Strat. which I am sure everyone most would understand.

...Corrected per David's remark below

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David Bush
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herace wrote:
I can appreciate that Abstract Strategy is too long to go on the button. But if that is the intent of the button then abbreviate the name to Abs. Strat. which I am sure everyone would understand.


Everyone? It's the first button that users are likely to look at when they visit BGG for the first time. These are people whose understanding of abbreviations might not be as comprehensive as those of us who visit every day. So no one will have any problem with that? Could be an ad for the AbsOfSteel Stratomatic.
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Richard Hutnik
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I remember trying to argue this should be abstract strategy, as a category and not "abstract games". However, I accepted that BGG went with Abstract Games, because of how it is organized. BGG organizes games around theming on a whole. There is a decent number of games that aren't themed, and by definition, would fit here. I would say then, you can take the strategy category, which is now where Euros park, and have an abstract strategy game fit in this category and the strategy category. You can also go for thematic strategy games being on the other side of strategy games.

Of course, there is the issue with combinatorial purists who insist on abstract = combinatorial, which does run counter to how most people think, so not sure what can be done with them, outside of ignore them.

I would say though, if there is a family that can be added for games called combinatorial, that would be a useful addition. Then let people sort out combinatorial with the abstract family, to get the purist subset. Of course, not all combinatorial games are abstract.
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docreason wrote:
I remember trying to argue this should be abstract strategy, as a category and not "abstract games". However, I accepted that BGG went with Abstract Games, because of how it is organized. BGG organizes games around theming on a whole. There is a decent number of games that aren't themed, and by definition, would fit here. I would say then, you can take the strategy category, which is now where Euros park, and have an abstract strategy game fit in this category and the strategy category. You can also go for thematic strategy games being on the other side of strategy games.

Of course, there is the issue with combinatorial purists who insist on abstract = combinatorial, which does run counter to how most people think, so not sure what can be done with them, outside of ignore them.

I would say though, if there is a family that can be added for games called combinatorial, that would be a useful addition. Then let people sort out combinatorial with the abstract family, to get the purist subset. Of course, not all combinatorial games are abstract.


Well, the subdomains aren't mutually exclusive which to me is a huge mistake. So Chess is:

* An Abstract Game because the theme is so thin.
* Bell classifies it as a War Game because there are two opposing armies which are fighting each other.
* It is a Strategy Game since, well, there is a lot of strategy involved. A computer program making random legal moves is highly unlikely to win.

So what is the point of the domains? With 50,000 games now in the system, if I can't unequivocally split the games into 8 exclusive sets of domains what has been gained?

There are always going to be a few exceptions. But the argument for chess would hold for any such game.

For instance in the system there already is an:

* Abstract Strategy category
* Children's Game category
* Party Game category
* Bunch of categories of games that are themed Pirates, WWI, WWII, Religious and so on.

What is missing is a overall characterization Themed or Abstract where the choice is mutually exclusive.

The categories, mechanics, and families were setup so that each were big multiple choice lists which doesn't seem to make sense now. The whole point of having a computer database is to let the computer keep up with all the details.

So:

If I don't have dice as a component, then I can't have Roll and Move as a mechanic.

If I don't have a card deck as a component, then I can't have Card Game as a category.

If I don't have Card Game as a category then I can't have Trick-Taking or Hand Management as mechanics.

The reverse ought to be true too for the examples. So I select Trick-Taking as a mechanic, and the system throws up an error dialog. "Hey you can't have trick-taking unless you have a card deck. Should I add a card deck as a component?"
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