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Subject: Why worry about it? rss

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Moshe Callen
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In this thread, the perennial topic of "What is a wargame?" is being debated once again. If I may make a religious analogy, in religious Jewish circles one hears often the saying "Two Jews, three opinions". So a question to those who think the definition of a wargame matters beyond what each person uses for himself; my definition of a wargame and any random person's definition, even if that person is also a wargamer, may differ. Why is this a problem?
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whac3 wrote:
In this thread, the perennial topic of "What is a wargame?" is being debated once again. If I may make a religious analogy, in religious Jewish circles one hears often the saying "Two Jews, three opinions". So a question to those who think the definition of a wargame matters beyond what each person uses for himself; my definition of a wargame and any random person's definition, even if that person is also a wargamer, may differ. Why is this a problem?


That question is answered inside that thread, also that thread discusses who should define a word and not what the word means (well it probably does now but that was not the original point)
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One has to wonder why you would start an entirely new thread about the subject rather than simply post in that particular thread where they're already going over the issue.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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UnluckyNumber wrote:
One has to wonder why you would start an entirely new thread about the subject rather than simply post in that particular thread where they're already going over the issue.

Because to me is seems like a derail and I wished to be courteous. You might try it.
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virre wrote:
whac3 wrote:
In this thread, the perennial topic of "What is a wargame?" is being debated once again. If I may make a religious analogy, in religious Jewish circles one hears often the saying "Two Jews, three opinions". So a question to those who think the definition of a wargame matters beyond what each person uses for himself; my definition of a wargame and any random person's definition, even if that person is also a wargamer, may differ. Why is this a problem?


That question is answered inside that thread, also that thread discusses who should define a word and not what the word means (well it probably does now but that was not the original point)

No, that thread asks why one should let eurogamers define what a wargame is. I'm in contrast saying that as some have remarked there even wargamers have no unique definition. Why worry about it? Again a related but different question than is asked in that thread.
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Because wargamer's like to talk and debate, sometimes more than actually playing.

Attended a game convention recently where this was exactly the case. People seemed genuinely more interested in standing around talking and debating than actually playing the games.

I agree with OP, why do people care who defines it and what that definition is? What is important is how I define it. It really doesn't bother me or have any effect on me if someone wants to call Twilight Struggle a wargame. When I go to play it or talk to someone about it, I am not thinking whether it is or is not. I'm playing it to enjoy it, or telling someone whether I think it is a good game or not. Whether it is defined as a wargame or not is irrelevant to me.

There is a sort of elitist attitude among some wargamers, like it is a country club or something similar. What I find is that the attitude some take actually hurts the hobby, driving would be new members away.

To each his own. Define a game however you want to, but instead of debating it let's play.
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The common reasons I see to worry about it:

1. It is annoying and silly when non-wargames get nominated for and receive "wargame" awards like in the Golden Geeks. It deprives real wargames of getting the attention self-identified wargamers feel they deserve.

2. It creates pointless (but perhaps unavoidable) communication confusion. Someone who thinks of wargames in the classic sense posts an ad looking for local players to play wargames and gets responses from people wanting to play Risk and Small World. A waste of time and energy for them both.

It is similar to how self-identified "abstract strategy" gamers (interested in games of no chance and no hidden info like chess & go & shogi & Hex & Twixt & Blokus etc) are annoyed when games like poker, bridge, Ingenious, Scrabble, Qwirkle, Kingdom Builder, etc get called "abstract strategy" games (and get nominated for "abstract strategy" awards like in the Golden Geeks, thus elbowing out real "abstract strategy" games).


FWIW I agree with what I take to be your intended subtext (that this sort of abuse of terminology by outsiders is inevitable, so there's no point getting too frustrated by it). But it doesn't mean one can't/shouldn't try educating people.
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Moshe Callen
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I would say also that the edge cases are valid areas of disagreement.
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whac3 wrote:
UnluckyNumber wrote:
One has to wonder why you would start an entirely new thread about the subject rather than simply post in that particular thread where they're already going over the issue.

Because to me is seems like a derail and I wished to be courteous. You might try it.


There was nothing discourteous about my post. I believe it went straight to the point. Why waste time with an entirely new thread to address an issue already being addressed in another thread that you're apparently afraid to post in.

whac3 wrote:

No, that thread asks why one should let eurogamers define what a wargame is. I'm in contrast saying that as some have remarked there even wargamers have no unique definition. Why worry about it? Again a related but different question than is asked in that thread.


Again, not seeing anything truly different that couldn't have been asked in the other, proper thread.
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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UnluckyNumber wrote:
whac3 wrote:
UnluckyNumber wrote:
One has to wonder why you would start an entirely new thread about the subject rather than simply post in that particular thread where they're already going over the issue.

Because to me is seems like a derail and I wished to be courteous. You might try it.


There was nothing discourteous about my post. I believe it went straight to the point. Why waste time with an entirely new thread to address an issue already being addressed in another thread that you're apparently afraid to post in.

whac3 wrote:

No, that thread asks why one should let eurogamers define what a wargame is. I'm in contrast saying that as some have remarked there even wargamers have no unique definition. Why worry about it? Again a related but different question than is asked in that thread.


Again, not seeing anything truly different that couldn't have been asked in the other, proper thread.

'm sure you don't. Idid.
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To answer the OP, no one is worried about it. Debating on, and philosophical fan masterbation about, the subject is what fans use the internet for.

Why worry about Kirk being better than Picard?
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The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

The question of 'who' gets to define what is a war game?

Mercy me, where's Tony Clifton when you need him?
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Sitnam wrote:
Why worry about Kirk being better than Picard?


You're absolutely right - why worry about? It's a foregone conclusion.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:

Mercy me, where's Tony Clifton when you need him?


The first to post an answer to the OP, actually.
 
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".
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leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".

I don't know, the first thing a new player posts is something like 'I'm new, what should I start with?' and they often get tons of helpful advice and encouragement.

But yeah, this place can be tribal.
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leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".

Exactly. If people just said, "This is why I think my definition of a wargame works better..." without the confrontational tone, thee conversations could be more interesting. Leave the confrontation to the gaming.
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leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".

I don't know about that. I lurk frequently, because I have a growing interest in the genre and I find the discussions and informed opinions here engaging and (sometimes, often) enlightening. I don't typically post because I do feel like it's not "my" corner, and I don't really have the depth of experience to add much to the conversation anyway, but the few times I've posted questions people have been perfectly willing to engage with me and offer suggestions.

Maybe visitors who stumble into the place just need to be prepared to deal with some of the more outspoken established personalities.

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leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".


In short, you want the wargamers to act more like Eurogamers - no direct interaction.
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Wargamers don't worry about it we just like to get the die roll on our CRT that sends us dancing round the table
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DarrellKH wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".


In short, you want the wargamers to act more like Eurogamers - no direct interaction.

The frequent gratuitous euro dismissals (whether they are meant seriously or as ironic jokes - often it's hard to tell) which seem to inevitably appear in every sufficiently long wargame thread being a good example!
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leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".


It was back in 2007 that I first discovered BGG and it didn't take me long to discover the wargame section and on the contrary, I remember everyone being very inviting, helpful, instructive and hospitable. Looking around its still pretty much the same group of people (minus Jude, whom I miss very much. She's lurking around I know )

In fact, I find the Euro sections much more antagonistic and inhospitable. Its sort of like playing an online game with a whole lot of teenagers sometimes. People tend to be more opinionated there and more importantly they are more likely to force their opinions & will upon others. Here in the Wargame section, there is endless debate, but rarely does it get derogatory. Still, there are subsections we can learn from, like say the Print'n'play section which are almost as a rule ultra-ultra friendly and helpful.
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russ wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The whole sorry shambles is yet another object lesson in how NOT to entice people into your hobby.

HMS has an excellent point. I feel that our little corner of BGG is pretty inhospitable to "outsiders".


In short, you want the wargamers to act more like Eurogamers - no direct interaction.

The frequent gratuitous euro dismissals (whether they are meant seriously or as ironic jokes - often it's hard to tell) which seem to inevitably appear in every sufficiently long wargame thread being a good example!


That's not true, here is the longest thread of recent years:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/753278/implementing-the-perf...

didn't have a single negative euro statement in it.

Here is the 2nd longest thread of recent years in the wargaming sub-section:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/808324/total-war-total-wait

didn't have a single negative euro statement in it either. lots of people whinging though.

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