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Subject: Reluctance to the "10" rating? rss

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Steve Finn
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I've just broken the 100 game collection (now at 103), though there are some games I own that I have not entered into my collection on BGG (e.g., monopoly, connect four, battleship, etc.) for whatever reason. In any case, I just glanced at my games and realized I have only given two "10s". One of these to chess and the other to Scrabble. While I do not gain as much enjoyment from playing these two games, I still think they are perfect and classic examples of the kind of games they are. For this reason, I feel comfortable giving them a 10. Less than 2% of my games, then, are ranked as "10." Which leads to some questions:

1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?
2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?
4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?

My preliminary answers:

1. 2%
2. Yes. I think this is derived from the teacher in me. I have been trying to deal with grade inflation in higher education and I am reluctant to give out many perfect grades. Or, perhaps it is the philosopher in me who thinks the 10 is some sort of Platonic form, which can be approximated in real life, but never quite realized (with a couple exceptions).
3. I'm not sure if I do. I think I give scores to games relative to other games in their genre. Thus, for word games, Scrabble (to me) is the perfect game. However, it's not a "go to" game for me. As another example, my 6 year old son and I play Roma almost everyday and sometimes 2-3 times each time. In many ways, it is absolutely perfect for its particular role (a game to play with my son that I still can play to win but contains enough luck that he can beat me), but I am reluctant to give it a 10, though I probably should because of the enjoyment I get out of it. In short, I have no clear idea why I am not giving out more 10s. (Similarly, I find it hard to rate anything below a 3).
4. As previously mentioned, Roma, but also Samurai, Aqua Romana, Glen More are all frequently played games that I thoroughly enjoy, yet I am not sure what I am thinking by not rating them higher.

In short, I'm confused about whether 10s need to be "perfect" or just really good games that are fun.





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Eric Brosius
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1. 3% (17 out of 666)

2. No. I figure I should use the whole rating scale.

3. I ask myself a question: "If someone were to call me up at 2am and ask me whether I wanted to play, would I be happy to get the call?"

4. Sure. This category includes San Juan and Puerto Rico, Ra, and Wyatt Earp, each of which I've played at least 70 times in the past 10 years.
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Joe Huber

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drfinn wrote:
1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?


0.7% (17 out of 2281)

Quote:
2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?


I won't generally consider rating a game a 10 until I've played it ten times. I do this to get a reasonable feel for whether the game will hold up as a 10 rating for me.

Quote:
3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?


One of my very favorite games.

Quote:
4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?


Lots of them. There _is_ a strong correlation between my ratings and the number of times I play the games, but there are plenty of exceptions.

Quote:
In short, I'm confused about whether 10s need to be "perfect" or just really good games that are fun.


There's no such thing as a perfect game, IMHO. Some people don't use a 10 rating as a result.
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CHAPEL
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1. 1.1% of all the games I've played and rated are a 10(721 games, 8 I've given a 10)
2. I am not reluctant to give any game a 10, they just have to prove to be one.
3. My criteria is they have to be bad ass.
4. I play most of my games a lot that I enjoy playing and still don't rate them a 10, only because that aren't bad ass enough.
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Cyrus the Great
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1. 3.9%-10 out of 255. Four of those are expansions.
2. Not really. I rarely think "that feels like a 10, but I probably shouldn't rate it that high."
3. If I love the game, want to play it, and feel that it is a good game (whatever that means.)
4. Sure. There are plenty of games that I enjoy and play a lot but don't really have a "wow" factor for me.
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Carl Nyberg
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drfinn wrote:


1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?
2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?
4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?


1. 0%
2. Yes, because it has to be a really good game (oops I realized I had not rated Chess or included Chess in my collection, which I would consider a "10".
3. A perfect game
4. Yes, Axis & Allies Global 1940 (which I rated as "9").
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Kelly Bass
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1. .6%
2. I'm a bit reluctant because to me it means I will never drop the rating.
3. I use the BGG's "Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change."
4. There are many I rate 9 that I wish I could rate 10, but there have been times, or maybe just once, when I was just not in the mood to play it, so it cannot be a 10.
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Eric Brosius
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huber wrote:
0.7% (17 out of 2281)

Joe, you misread the question. You don't have 2281 games in your collection.
 
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Joe Huber

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Eric Brosius wrote:
huber wrote:
0.7% (17 out of 2281)

Joe, you misread the question. You don't have 2281 games in your collection.


Ah, yes, indeed. I can understand why - it's not a terribly meaningful number to me. I've given away two games recently, leaving me at 17 games I rate a 10 in a collection of 279 games (5.9%).

But - I fail to see the value of that number. As I originally calculated, 0.7% of the games I've rated I rate a 10. If I had a 10 game collection, 100% of them would be rated 10. If I had a 1000 game collection, 1.7% of them would be rated 10. Unless you don't rate games you don't own, I don't see why the percentage of collection rated a 10 adds value.
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Jonas Osnabrügge
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1. 4,3%; 3 of 47
2. No. If the game deserves in my eyes, why not?
3. I don't think perfection is a criterium for this - someone already mentioned platonic ideas - there will always be flaws. They can never be perfect in any objective sense. A game that is a 10 for me is a game that has something that all the others don't, something that makes it stand out above all the rest. That might be a timeless, elegant concept that never ceases to capture my attention and really forces me to give all I got to win, like Go; or, as with WotR:CE outstanding production value and beautiful components combined with an already very good game. It's highly subjective and hard to put in words.
4. Dominion is probably the game I and my group play most, sometimes several times a week. But there are some flaws to it, and I don't look forward to playing it as much or get as much satisfaction from winning as for example with War of the Ring or Eclipse. Same with Tichu, it's great fun and the whole family loves it yet I cannot help but think of it as 'just a card game'.
 
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Scott Hill
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drfinn wrote:

1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?
2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?
4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?


1. Excluding duplicates, 2/35 (5.7%)
2. No. See answer to 3.
3. I use the official BGG criteria. If I consider a game "Outstanding", "Always want to play" and "expect this will never change", then it gets a 10.
4. I go through phases of playing individual games a lot, no matter what I rank them, so yes.
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Paul DeStefano
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1. 13/546, 2.3%
2. No.
3. It makes me happy.
4. Yes. Some games play well with certain playgroups. But they are flawed anyway.
 
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jes m
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Ugh. I'm way too nice with my scores. I'm like a ten score floozie. I feel ridiculously guilty about rating things poorly.
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Rich Shipley
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1. I have four 10s out of 301 ratings for 1.3%.
2. I'm not reluctant exactly, but I'm stringent.
3. Pretty much the listed one. It has to be a game I'll always want to play (assuming gaming time and willing players). An indication for me is if I've travelled long distances to play them.
4. Sure.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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1. zero %
2. Yes, I'm reluctant to give out a rating of 10 because I interpret the BGG definition of 10 ("Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change.") strictly. There are certain games I enjoy playing, but I value variety, and I realize that my tastes may change in the future, just as they have changed somewhat already.
3. n/a
4. Yes, there are certain games I would like to play more often because I really enjoy them.
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Tim
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huber wrote:

I won't generally consider rating a game a 10 until I've played it ten times. I do this to get a reasonable feel for whether the game will hold up as a 10 rating for me.


This. I avoid giving games a 10 until I've played them 10 times. I also don't feel like there can be that many "10" games in my life. The graph should be something of a bell curve. There should be less than a handful of games (in my opinion) that I consider the best. I weight heavily toward 6 or 7, which is my range for saying "I like it just fine, but it'll probably wind up on the trade pile in 6 months to a year."
 
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Seth Brown
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*2.4% - 6 of 250.
*I'll give it when it's a game I don't see myself turning down.
*It's not so much what makes it a 10 (above "always fun to play"), but for more about one of any number of flaws will drop my score below 10.
*Naturally. I have played Magic: The Gathering much more than any other board game. When friends who play visit, we will play for hours. I love the game (admittedly, mostly with Zeddemore Format). I think it has some flaws, and rate it a 9.
 
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1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?

0% - 0.2% (do you count a "9.5" rating as a "10"? That's my highest permanent rating.)

2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?

I will sometimes give a game a "10" for a while, but lower the score when I no longer want to play that game more than any other - which is the way I interpret the BGG rating system's guidelines for a "10". I do have some "9"s and "9.5"s.

3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?

For it to be a "10", it has to be the game I most want to play.

4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?

Yes, there are games I play a lot, and usually/always enjoy (why would I play them over and over again if I didn't enjoy them?). I give them ratings of 6-9, depending on whether they are OK, good, very good, or excellent - just as the BGG rating guidelines suggest.
 
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Dave K
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I don't have all my games in BGG yet (laziness...) but I'd assume I assign 5% or so of my games a 10. I used to avoid giving anything a 10 because "nothing can be perfect." I realized that was a bad argument and I started using it.

I think actively avoiding using a 10 just throws your ratings scale off - it means you're rating things on a scale of 1-9 (or 9.5, if you're doing half points), and a 9.5 is your top score.
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Vivienne Raper
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I rate 16.7% of my games a '10', which means I plan to play them with grandchildren. We own a 1930s copy of Totopoly game, which belonged to my grandmother and still gets played.

Games that I'm not planning to trash/trade are rated 7. Anything below 7 leaves the house via the trash can or a trade: we don't have the attic space for the unfun, flawed or mediocre.

A rating of '9' means: 'I love this, but it doesn't have long-term replayability'. Ratings of 7/8 cover varying degrees of 'meh, but won't trade'.
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Derry Salewski
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6/84, so about 7 percent.

I am never reluctant to give a ten a ten. It's either a ten or it isn't. (A paper is either an A or it isn't!)

There's nothing very platonic about it for me. It's visceral. It's emotional. It's desire. The game hits me in the gut. It leaves me wanting more. I've traded sex for plays of tens.

I have the same sort of argument with my brother about liking things. (it's not the exact same thing, but feels the same to me.) He'll say he likes star wars more than me (for example.) I say I like it more (but it's close.) The thing is, he is viewing liking something as this ideal, that you can spend a moment raising it on a platform and giving it infinite appreciation. The problem with that to me, is, he's coming into my room and interrupting my reading a star wars novel, and while we're arguing, I'm looking at all the star wars lego ships hanging from my ceiling. I am devoting myself to it in the physical world, the here and now, so to me it feels like I like it a whole lot more. We both think the other's '10' is less valid.

Some of the games I play the most are games I wouldn't give a ten to. Sometimes I get so into it, that the flaws are too apparent, and they might actually make me want to play it less, even though I love it. Magic the Gathering comes to mind. That game for me is about a 5 right now. (Probably a 9 come the next prerelease or modern tournament that actually happens . . . ) But I still love it.

(And scrabble . . . really . . . ?)





 
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Mike Fox
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I currently don't have an 10s, but I do have 4 games ranked between 9.25 and 9.75, so they show up as 10s on my user page. That's 8.3%, or 4 out of the 48 games I've ranked.

EDIT:
And one is Chess at 9.75
 
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Richard Ham
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Not sure why everyone keeps coming up with their own unique defintions of what a '10' should be. Surely the ratings system as a whole would be better off if we all used a consistent metric for our ratings? And BGG does provide one:

10 - Outstanding game. A classic. Always want to play and expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent game. A near-classic. Always want to play it.
8 - Very good game. I like to play it. Probably I'll suggest it and will never turn down a game.
7 - Good game, usually willing to play.
6 - Fair game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 - Average game, nothing really stands out, take it or leave it.
4 - Not so good game, slightly boring, it doesn't get me but could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Below average game. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
2 - Poor game. Annoying, and I plan never to play this again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this again. Clearly broken.

So only rate something a 10 if you're 100% sure that you always want to play it, and will never tire of the game, for the rest of your life! That's a pretty big ask, btw, which is why I'm only at .4% for 10s (1 out of 253)
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Peter Brahan
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1. 2.3%, or 1 out of 42. The game is Ticket to Ride, after playing it over 100 times.
2. I'm definitely reluctant to give something a 10, as if I do, it's like I'm giving it the "gold" seal of approval, but also because I feel like after I give it a 10 I can't ever change it again! If I give something a 9, I can change it to and 8 later and not feel bad. But changing a 10? That violates the definition (at least that's how I feel).
3. I don't have any special criteria, outside of the BGG criteria.
4. I don't own many games, so we play some of them a lot. It is rare that we have a game where it doesn't reach 10 plays in the first year or so. For many of our games we have played 20+ games, but they are still a 7 or an 8.
 
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drfinn wrote:
1. What percentage of the games in your collection are ranked as a 10?
2. Are you reluctant to give something a 10? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Do you have criteria that make something a 10?
4. Are there some games that you play a lot because they are so fun, but yet you still don't give them a 10?


1. 0%

2. No. But just like any grade, it needs to really be what I think of the game.

3. Apart from of course being a fun, replayable gaming experience, it needs to have no rules or mechanics that I believe should have been better.

Now, I don't mean that a game needs to be my 'dream game' to be a 10. But if a game has a part that I feel unbalanced, or something along the lines of a very luck-based factor in an otherwise stategic game, etc, it's not a 10.

There's quite a lot of games I consider an 9, 8 or even 7, of which I could tell you outright what rule/component/mechanics changes would've made it a 10. So I think a 'perfect' game is very possible, I just haven't found one yet.

4. Oh for sure. In fact some of my most favourite games I've only rated 6 or 7.

Because whatever my personal reasons for enjoying them, objectively speaking they are just far from perfect in design. So I reckon that if someone else doesn't like it for some of the reasons I did, they'll probably not like it much at all because of all the flaws.

What I'm trying to say is, I factor enjoyment when rating games, but I know that enjoyment by itself is very subjective.
By rating a game I try to let people know what I think of the overall game first, and how I personally enjoyed the game second.
And the higher the grade, the more reluctant I get with letting my personal bias add a whole grade point.



Take HeroQuest for example.
This game has sparked my love for fantasy settings. I got it when I was 12, and before that I never had any interest in fantasy. After I fell in love with this board game, along came other dungeon crawlers, card games like Magic, but also RPG video games, books like Lord of the Rings, etc etc. I simply, on an emotional level, LOVE HeroQuest even today.

Yet there's like a hundred things wrong with that game. Whenever I play it with new people, I need to state a ton of house rules first. I also always play the DM so I can try and 'pace' the game as much as possible, giving the others the most enjoyable time by constantly working around the many shortcomings of the game. And still many friends quit after a few plays because of those shortcomings.

So I ended up giving the game an 8. Made up of a 5 for actual gameplay design, 2 more points for excellent component quality and how well you can design your own quests with it..and then a very biased 1 point for personal feelings.
In fact, while writing this I think I might drop that grade to a 7.
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