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Subject: Why do Americans love German Board Games rss

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Maciek U
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Here's an interesting article that just came out today (Apr 18) in DER SPIEGEL Online. Link takes you to a translated article.

http://tinyurl.com/7nez6ca
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David Boeren
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Edit: Nevermind, working now...
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Kevin Salch
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Interesting, looks like basically a review of the documentary "Going Cardboard" which is very good by the way.

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Darryl with one "R"
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Thanks to this article, I'm going to start calling them "€ games."
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Maciek U
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costguy wrote:
Interesting, looks like basically a review of the documentary "Going Cardboard" which is very good by the way.




Yes, it's true. It does point to the "Going Cardboard" documentary. Looks to be pretty cool movie.
 
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Matt Riddle
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cause they are fun good article though
 
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Michael Kramer
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Seems like a bad machine translation of a German article. I despise machine translations as I have yet to see a decent one, unfortunately. The original is a bit better.

O.K. my quick and dirty try of a translation.

Why Americans love German board games

Board games as German export hit: Nowadays, in the U.S.A. "German style games" are considered a trademark. Build-your-empire games like "The Settlers of Catan"
have created a board game boom. The documentary "Going Cardboard" shows how analogue gaming got popular on the internet.


An American visits the Ruhr area and is happy, "You've got to witness this once in your lifetime." The man from the U.S.A. traveled to Essen to play new board
games over the next four days. Every year in October the probably biggest trade fair for board games "Spiel" gets under way in Essen. An American fan states at
the fair ground: "Essen is our Mekka."

The U.S. documentary "Going cardboard" opens with the fair's inception. American movie maker Lorien Green follows the way of board games, especially German ones,
having got a growing following of dedicated fans in the U.S. for the last 15 years. Green's documentary shows how hundreds of gamers storm the exhibition halls
to catch a seat at one of the play tables to check out the new releases of the year right after doors open on the first day of the fair. Amongst them are fans
from overseas.

The web creates an audience for analogue games

The movie narrates how German board games got popular by word of mouth in Northern America. Green lets protagonists of the gaming scene and well known game
designers like Reiner Knizia ("Keltis") or Klaus Teuber ("The Settlers of Catan") tell their stories.

In "Going Cardboard" Green attributes the growing success board games enjoy in the U.S. to modern classics like "The Settlers of Catan" and "El Grande" which
got designed by German authors and published in the '90s. Strategy games with nice components have since been called "German-style board games" or "Euro Games"
in the United States.

"Euro games usually come across friendlier and provide a better collective play experience than American board games", board game enthusiast Scott Nicholson comments
to Spiegel Online. What characterizes the German style? "Something gets created, not destroyed", answers the Professor of library science at Syracuse
University. From 2005 to 2010 he produced the video podcast "Board Games with Scott" and has been kind of the face of the U.S. board games movement since that
time.

In Nicholson's opinion those games owe their grown popularity to the internet. Many American players got to know about them only online. Young entrepreneurs
first imported the games and later started publishing English language versions of the German originals.

Popular settlers in North America

Jay Tummelson, founder of Rio Grande games, is one of those businessmen. Since 1998 he has published more than 550 titles. In his opinion more and more
interesting games by authors from outside Germany started to appear recently. The jury of the German-to-the-core award "Spiel des Jahres" apparently think
along the same lines. In the last three years the award went to two Americans and a Frenchman.

The game that started the boom in the U.S.A., "The Settlers of Catan", still remains one of the best selling Euro games. These day it's available even at
big department stores. Guido Teuber, the son of the author, confirms to Spiegel Online that board games sales are on the rise in North America. He lives in
San Francisco and is responsible for the world wide licensing of this hit game.

Since 1997 he's working towards making "Settlers" as popular in North America as it is in Europe. From a first edition in the U.S. of 5.000 games it snowballed
into 1.5 million copies of the base game. But those only make less than 10% of the "Catan" games sold world wide. In comparison: According to the publisher
11 million copies sold in Germany.

German board game classics

Teuber sees plenty of growth potential still: "Geek chic has been in for the last couple of years, and that trend keeps benefitting us."

"Going Cardboard" is a low budget documentary that succeeds in showing how Americans learned about Euro games. Nevertheless the film seems to have gone slightly
out of touch with recent development in the gaming world due to the post production having taken several years. Green created the documentary with a minute
budget of under $5.000 out of her home in a three year process. She was able to fund the production of the DVD using the crowdfunding portal Kickstarter.

Most of the footage and interviews are from 2009. Since then young game authors from other countries have joined up to the Germans and have created games like
"Dominion" and "7 Wonders". Lorien Green shows, how much these games owe to the German classics like "Carcassonne" - without "German-style Games" they might
have never been designed.



I hope I did not screw up big time, as my English is not that good. I tried to be very close to the original. Those bad complex sentences - which we Germans love and the Grammar enables us to.
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Nunya Business
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That's funny because I know a huge amount of Americans that don't like "cube pushing" games.

I happen to be one of them.
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CJ
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Do they?

I've read lots of these sorts of articles in my time, albeit not about Germany or boardgames. Essentially, it's a cultural validation article - 'Look at how awesome we are, the foreigners love us'.

Not for one second do I believe that German designer games are anything but a niche within a niche in the US.
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Nunya Business
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elgin_j wrote:
Do they?

I've read lots of these sorts of articles in my time, albeit not about Germany or boardgames. Essentially, it's a cultural validation article - 'Look at how awesome we are, the foreigners love us'.

Not for one second do I believe that German designer games are anything but a niche within a niche in the US.


^^^This.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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PrimordialOne wrote:
That's funny because I know a huge amount of Americans that don't like "cube pushing" games.

You're telling me everybody doesn't have identical tastes?
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Nunya Business
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Sphere wrote:
PrimordialOne wrote:
That's funny because I know a huge amount of Americans that don't like "cube pushing" games.

You're telling me everybody doesn't have identical tastes?


The cube pushers certainly wish we all did!
 
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Alex H.
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Medic Dutch wrote:
Its because Germans love American board games.


Funny that the first picture you get to see when following the link is a bunch of dudes playing Middle-Earth Quest which is - you guessed it - clearly not a German board game.
 
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