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Subject: Game weight, could we get it to 2-3 decimal places? rss

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David C
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Games weighted between 2.25 and 2.3, are quite numerous. Having 0.05 amount to quite a few games (made sure it at least had 5 ratings) calls for a slightly finer-grained scale.

I realize it doesn't totally matter, but as a software engineer I'm thinking the difference is between this:

printf("%.01f", number);
and
printf("%.02f", number);

in which case...if you could adjust that one or two higher, it would be awesome.

The reason I ask this is that I'm looking for the "non-gamer peak". I know it's elusive. I know it might not even be real. So far I'm thinking it's between 2.1 and 2.2.

Except the gipf series is throwing things off.
 
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DC
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At that level of precision, you're looking at a very chaotic measurement. In a game with, say, 1000 votes for weight, a single vote can change the value of the 3rd place to the right of the decimal. (Example: a game has 1000 votes and averages 2.254. Then someone changes a single vote of "1" to "2" and suddenly you have 2.255).

In other words, the significance in the 3rd decimal place is too chaotic to make valid comparisons between games.
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Martin G
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Do you really think that the 2nd and 3rd decimal place would be at all meaningful in an average of a typically small number of subjective ratings on a 5-point scale? I don't.
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Jim Cote
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Weights aren't even meaningful as whole numbers.
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Paul DeStefano
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Since weight is a total subjective guess by a small group of people, there is no viable difference between tenths and ten thousandths.
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Martin G
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I disagree that weights are totally meaningless. I know, for example, that I tend to quite enjoy games in the 2 to 2.5 range, and that these will be suitable for friends who are not gamers. I know that I tend not to enjoy games that are in the 4+ range. I can predict fairly accurately what the average weight rating of a given game will be.

They are certainly not meaningful beyond the first decimal place though.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Geosphere wrote:
Since weight is a total subjective guess by a small group of people, there is no viable difference between tenths and ten thousandths.


If only science could produce tools to help with this!

(mostly I'm just giggling over the idea of people entering weights into the system without having an accurate scale on hand)
 
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Carl Patten
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Weight is an overloaded category. It'd be more useful if it were somehow separated so we could distinguish between learning weight (a game with a lot of rules), commitment weight (a game that takes a very long time to prepare and play), and strategic weight (a game that is deep enough to last a lifetime, classical examples being chess and Go).

As-is, it's a hodgepodge of the three but I do use it as a rough estimate of how hard a game is to get to the table.
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David C
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Myok wrote:
Weight is an overloaded category. It'd be more useful if it were somehow separated so we could distinguish between learning weight (a game with a lot of rules), commitment weight (a game that takes a very long time to prepare and play), and strategic weight (a game that is deep enough to last a lifetime, classical examples being chess and Go).

As-is, it's a hodgepodge of the three but I do use it as a rough estimate of how hard a game is to get to the table.


THANK YOU!

the biggest ambiguity in weights is Race for the Galaxy and most of the GIPF series. Because I think I could teach and get a 'non-gamer' to play a GIPF game. Race for the Galaxy...no freakin' way would I try. Yet, they're darn near the same rank.

I did a poll a while back to see if teachability and the overall 'weight' of a game differed. While it did a little bit (and probably two decimal places worth, for that matter. ), for the most part a 2.4 weighted game was still more difficult to teach than a 2.0 weighted game. So even in its overloaded state, it still works.

I also find the 'age' catagory to be a worthwhile judge of my teaching skills. Anything rated over age 10... whoofda.

So that's one where teaching weight is different than 'game' weight. Whereas, most of the time I use 'weight' to determine how hard a game is to pick-up, teach, and have people get the first time around.
 
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David C
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dcclark wrote:
At that level of precision, you're looking at a very chaotic measurement. In a game with, say, 1000 votes for weight, a single vote can change the value of the 3rd place to the right of the decimal. (Example: a game has 1000 votes and averages 2.254. Then someone changes a single vote of "1" to "2" and suddenly you have 2.255).

In other words, the significance in the 3rd decimal place is too chaotic to make valid comparisons between games.


I was originally going to go off on a, "listen, if you think it's useless, don't look at it. Plain and simple."

Then I realized that your point was the 3rd decimal place. Yeah, that might be a bit much. I figured when you're going to go, go all-out.
 
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Martin G
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You might also be interested in this post I just added to a blog entry. Whatever 'weight' is, and I agree that it is overloaded, it seems to be increasing in the top-rated Euros!
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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ekted wrote:
Weights aren't even meaningful as whole numbers.


That's debatable.

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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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Instead of a quantitative amount, the game weight metric should be a qualitative survey with options like: Very Heavy, Heavy, Medium, Light, LCR. The option with the most votes would be what appears on the game page.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Quarashi wrote:
Instead of a quantitative amount, the game weight metric should be a qualitative survey with options like: Very Heavy, Heavy, Medium, Light, LCR. The option with the most votes would be what appears on the game page.

And how would that change anything? The basic problems still remain: it is not clear what exactly is meant with weight; and the difference between an ordinal number and a word is nearly nada. The only thing missing is the automatic calculation of the average.

If you were to ask people to just rate according to a pairwise comparison scale ('I don't know why game A is heavier than game B, but I am of the opinion that it it is just the same') then you open the same can of worms which plagues pairwise comparisons with the regular rates: people have preferences, and do not play everything in the DB. And with weights it will be much worse, since the number of weight rates is much smaller than the number of normal rates, so fudging tricks will be far less effective.

Weight rates are amongst the most useless data you can find on this website. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to stop people from basing purchase decisions on them. And so, back to the OP's request: I would strongly advise the admins against making the change. It suggests accuracy where there is very little; all it in fact does is demonstrate the psychological power numbers have over people.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Quote:
the biggest ambiguity in weights is Race for the Galaxy and most of the GIPF series. Because I think I could teach and get a 'non-gamer' to play a GIPF game. Race for the Galaxy...no freakin' way would I try. Yet, they're darn near the same rank.


My wife likes Race for the Galaxy (and Twilight Struggle, and 1960, and other fairly "gamery" games. I tried to teach her Yinsh once and she pretty much ran away - didn't get it, didn't want to.
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Michael Hovan
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Mathematically proper usage of significant digits dictates that anything after the decimal point (in this particular case) is worse than meaningless, it is insignificant to the point of being inaccurate. Just because a value can be obtained by dividing "b" into "a" does not render it valid for use.
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Darren M
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I've always looked at the game weights stats as useful to newbie gamers and random people coming to the site for the first few times.

If you are pretty new to this hobby and you suddenly stumble upon 55000 games that you've never heard of before... I think it's really helpful to have some simple stat that "roughly" and generally helps sort out the games so that you aren't in the dark trying to choose between ASL vs M'44 or TTR vs 1830.

I know it all sounds obvious to us that are already into the hobby because we have a general feel for which are the gamer's games and which are the lower complexity games but having that "weight" stat there prominently displayed for each game is a useful piece of data for those that don't spend 5 hours a day on this site and know of every new release 6 months before it hits the shelves.

Personally I think it should have been called "complexity" instead of weight as that's easier for most to understand and again newbies relate to what that means at a glance. Sure the geeks and gamers would still complain that some games are out of whack but casual game buyers would at least have a clearer view of what that stat is measuring.

Rules complexity
Gameplay Complexity
Game length

Those are just 3 of the factors that go into game "weight" estimates when people pick a number from 1-5... and while nothing will be perfect (and always subjective just like game ratings)... "something" is much better than nothing in having a general stat for each game.

As to 3+ decimal places... not a huge priority imo because it's just a general guideline anyway and not something that needs exact precision.

It would be nice if the weight ratings actually showed up in the advanced search results though so people could see at a glance what they are. Currently you can limit a search to games between 1-3 weight for example but it doesn't actually show the weights in the result list whereas it used to do that in the past.

The advanced search is one big area where BGG has actually gone backwards over the last several years... odd to me because as a boardgame database you'd think that would be the main focus of BGG improvements but I guess other tangential areas are more important to the powers in charge.
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