Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BoardGameSpeak

Subject: Ethics of rating games rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andrew Parkin
United Kingdom
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
I'm interested in people's views about when one should or should not rate a game.

When I joined BoardGameGeek I listed a game which I'd been connected with (I got it published), I didn't rate the game because of this.

Since then I've heard people discussing designers who've rated their own games so I wonder if I was too uptight about it. After all the reason I got it published in the first place was because I liked the hand produced version I had.

What do people think; rate, rate but mention my link with it, or leave it alone ?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Valdir Jorge
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Andrew!

Rate it, comment and make it clear that you are the designer/publisher/graphic artist/whatever.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
msg tools
a_parkin_w_o_w wrote:
I'm interested in people's views about when one should or should not rate a game.

When I joined BoardGameGeek I listed a game which I'd been connected with (I got it published), I didn't rate the game because of this.

Since then I've heard people discussing designers who've rated their own games so I wonder if I was too uptight about it. After all the reason I got it published in the first place was because I liked the hand produced version I had.

What do people think; rate, rate but mention my link with it, or leave it alone ?


Either rate but mention your connection, or leave it alone, as you prefer.

I don't rate my own games for many reasons, but not because of a feeling that it is improper to do so. I'm rather glad that Friedemann Friese rates his games, as it's yet another glimpse into the design process.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
huber wrote:
Either rate but mention your connection, or leave it alone, as you prefer.


I agree; rate it but mention your connection (or simply comment on it without rating it, but still mention your connection), or don't rate it at all. Rating it without mentioning that you're the designer is the no-no, at least as I see it.

True, until it has many ratings, your single rating will have great influence on its rating, but that can't be helped, and it seems to me that people who get uptight about that sort of thing (a game with perhaps a half-dozen ratings, with what they perceive to be an artificially high game rating because of the designer's presumably high rating) need to accept it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The other important ethical point is that you should not rate a game you have not played! You'd have thought this was easy, but people break this one all the time...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a rule, I don't rate games that I've designed. However, I will rate games that I helped play test, and anything else that I've at least played. Unlike some, I'm not against rating a game after only one playing. But unlike even more, I'll reconsider my ratings after every play, and update them if they change.

Clark
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think as a publisher, designer or someone otherwise intimately connected with the game, I'd be very careful about giving an actual rating to the game. A designer or publisher should always declare that fact when writing a comment or article on the game concerned.

I'm aware of at least one game that I've rated recently which had a high average rating, but at least one of the two scores previously posted appeared to have come from soneone connected with the publisher. Needless to say, they had rated the game highly; I thought that it make fine bedding in the hamster cage.

Playtesters are in a better position, as they have no stake in the game's reception and may have some valuable insights into the game's foibles, but again it is best if they made readers aware of the fact.

I suppose that I ought to play Dragon and Pearl at some point (the game that Andy's connected with; it still sounds a bit like a cinema advertisement group to me); I also heard something to the effect that someone, somewhere (FFG?) was reworking Britannia for the 21st century - ah, yes - I see that it's on their release schedule for December. Which probably means "1st/2nd quarter of 2006", as their schedule is looking a bit optimistic.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Philip Thomas wrote:
The other important ethical point is that you should not rate a game you have not played! You'd have thought this was easy, but people break this one all the time...


This is one of my pet peeves too, but at least many who do this state it ("after reading the rules" or whatnot) in their comments, and as I only read ratings that have comments, it's easy enough to discount them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Karp
United States
Rockville
Maryland
flag msg tools
admin
Developin' Developin" Developin!!
badge
100 geekgold for OverText, and all I got was this stupid sentence.
Avatar
mbmb
If you want to be extra careful, you could put your comments about a game you designed (or publish, or whatever) in the comment box, and also mention there what your rating would be, but don't actually enter your rating in the rating box. This will allow you to share your thoughts on the game while leaving no possible way for anyone to accuse you of manipulating ratings. This is probably what I would do if I were ever in that position. But, as long as you make your connections to the game clear in the comment box, I think you are pretty safe.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenneth Wofford
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As long as you state your connection to the game and truly give it a fair rating, it is okay. Ratings are so relative; if you truly desire to play your game over and over and would never turn down an opportunity to play, give it that 10. But only do it if you think it's legit, don't do it to sell the game. That's low. Pay Aldie for advertising like a good capitalist should. That being said, There are plenty of "7" games I love to play occasionally; they very well might be someone's "10", just not mine. I respect that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anye Freer
United States
Frisco
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't rate anything I've designed or published because I personally think it is tacky. But I'm not going to make a fuss if someone else does it, I'll just think they're acting tacky. Putting comments in is less tacky than adding a numeric rating, because the numeric rating skews the statistics whereas people can read or ignore comments at will.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes. Likewise if you haven't played it, a comment is more useful than a numeric rating. Obviously there are exceptions (the game is broken and you deduced that from the rules, so didn't play it, etc).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
AB
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
To be completely consistent with all rating methods and rationalizations used by the BGG user community...rate a game however you see fit and comment/not comment however you see fit as well. There is no right or wrong way to rate games just like there is no right/wrong way to vote when you go to the polling booth. The rating process doesn't require using common sense , logical thought or ethical standards unless you want to include those "optional" attributes.

Rating is akin to buying more fuel efficient cars vs gas guzzlers, choosing genetically engineered foods vs organically grown, where you stand on the prolife/prochoice issue and whether you are for/against the death penalty.

Those issues are probably "slightly" more ethically challenging than picking a number from 1 to 10 so I wouldn't worry too much about the dilemnas involved in rating a game.

The factor that makes the rating process fractious is the reaction of others who dislike the rating that another person gives because it doesn't mesh with their own ethics or logical standards. It's up to the individual whether they want to take the possible reactions of others into account or not.

I personally like to rate games that I have actually played and rerate whenever my opinions change but I don't for a minute think that that is how everyone else has to use the rating system as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I really don't mind it if people rate games based on first impression or upon reading the rules. They could just make that clear, and rerate the game once they've played it. Some games have rules that make people give up trying it and just put it away. I think it's fair that they should rate the game accordingly.


There are several problems with this approach. First, there are a LOT of games whose worth cannot be measured by reading the rules alone. Then there is the problem of people not bothering or forgetting to change ratings. Finally, if people rate a game they did't play because they couldn't figure it out, they are really only rating the rulebook writing.

More fair would be to add a comment "couldn't understand game due to lousy rulebook" and leave the comment without a rating.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Parkin
United Kingdom
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
Thank you all for your comments on this.

Since most of you seem to think rating with a disclaimer is OK that's what I've done. I've no financial interest in it and it is one of my favourite games even after many playings so I'm not going to feel bad about it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
a_parkin_w_o_w wrote:
Thank you all for your comments on this.

Since most of you seem to think rating with a disclaimer is OK that's what I've done. I've no financial interest in it and it is one of my favourite games even after many playings so I'm not going to feel bad about it.


Is it the Dragon and the Pearl? Looks like a very neat game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Parkin
United Kingdom
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
That's the one. As you can see I like it a lot.

I was thinking about the future as well cos I'm always hoping I'll get something else into print ( probably never happen tho shake )
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.