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Subject: Game submission rules/philosophy? rss

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Lori
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What are the rules on submitting different versions/editions of games to the database? For instance, the same game in editions published at different times with various changes in the game (rules, design, name, etc.); editions published by different publishers; editions in different languages. Can other versions be submitted, or would they be considered duplicates? Or, how different does a game have to be to merit a separate entry?

And whatever the rule is, why? I can see advantages both ways. If you put all the variants together, it creates ambiguity when people cite the game: which variant do you mean, or do you care? This seems particularly problematic in the contexts of wishlisting, marketplace, and trade offers. But it could also be a problem in counting game plays (though probably only if you'd ever play more than one version, though that could happen). And if you own more than one version, you wouldn't be able to accurately represent your collection.

On the game profile page, if you have different versions lumped together as one game, it's unclear to someone who doesn't own them all which images go to which (though maybe that's just inadequate labeling by the image contributors), and it's unclear (unless people continually specify what they are talking about) in all the game articles which version people are praising, criticizing, or analyzing--particularly problematic when there have been major rule changes.

On the other hand, if you're interested in comparing the different versions, it could be useful to have them all gathered together for discussion in one place. Otherwise, comparative comments would be relevant to multiple database entries (though I suppose that's no different from comparing 2 different games).

And since some games are published in a number of different languages, some games get reissued every few years with a different design, and some games have spawned numerous variants, maybe allowing every edition to be different would overwhelm the database with trivial distinctions?

I've seen some examples that tend one way and some that tend another, so I'm not sure if I haven't been around long enough for the standard to be clear to me, or if it's just not very strictly enforced. I'd be very interested to know what the rules are in this area and why they are whatever they are.
 
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Philip Thomas
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I'm inclined to lump different editions together where reasonable, like with Monopoly (no rules changes) or History of the World (rules changes are pretty minor). The basic reason for this is that splitting a game into seperate entries harms good games and boosts bad ones, due to the Bayesian effect. Also, I like to compare rules sets in the same game.

 
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Scott Alden
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I never set a standard, but if I have to be pinned down to one it's this:


If the game is a reprint with no significant rule changes, then we just add the publisher to the game page.

Unfortunately I made a decision early on to allow multiple monopolies which is why they exist as unique entries.
 
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Lori
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Thanks for the response, Aldie. I'd still like to know: (a) Is there any opportunity or procedure to disaggregate, or request the disaggregation of, versions that one feels should not have been put together according to your standard? And (b), is there any outlook on improving things in the future by introducing better distinctions in versions that are lumped together? Images, for instance, are particularly confusing when there are several versions in the database as one, a whole gallery full of images, and you can't tell which belongs to what. For users who are trying to see what they can expect this game to look like if they acquire it, it's not very helpful.
 
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