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Subject: Suggestion: Children's Ratings rss

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MK
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I understand that the purpose of game ratings is to show your personal desire to play a game and how much you enjoy that game.

As a consequence, of course, many children's games get relegated to the "kiddie table" of ratings - somewhere under a 4.1 and not getting any better.

This of course is only an accurate reflection of the teen or adult geek's desire to play that game.

What about a separate rating for games based on the childrens' viewpoint? Similar rating scale perhaps, but reflective either of how much your kids (or kids you happen to know, or that you get to borrow once in a while from your sister) enjoy playing that game, or how much you enjoy playing that game with children. Or both.

 
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Yeah I have wondered about this too. Especially when trying to find the best kids games to get. There are tons of adults rating it low, which is of course because it is a kid's game.

However, asking kids for their ratings might not be much better. It might depend on their age. I could ask my 4 year old and it would be just like rolling a 10 sided dice. The 7 year old would do a little better, but I suspect his ratings would still be considerably more unstable than an adult's ratings. The rating scale would have to simplified I think for that to work.
 
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Jesper A
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For me it's not a problem to rate a childrens game - or any other game. My desire to play again depends on who i'm going to play with. If i only had my 5 year old to play with, Power Grid and Puerto Rico would get a pretty low rating. She would be bored to tears and i would be grinding my teeth.

There's no real challenge for me in playing "Tier Auf Tier" but none the less i suggest it all the time. I like it beacuse my daughter and i have a exiting and fun time together playing it - mostly because she likes it. Rated 8.

I doubt it would be a hit with my gaming group, and if i only played it with them it would probably be a 4 or 5.


Don't be afraid to rate a good childrens game high. I will not judge you, but if "the game elite" does - so what!
 
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This would be helpful, but I think it should be clear what the "children's ranking" means. Is it a rank based on how much my daughter likes to play it? Or by how much I like to play it, when I'm playing it with her? The first way candyland gets a 7; the second way, a 5. (And of course, for how much fun it is for adults, candyland is around a 2).

This also could open a can of worms. Maybe ranks by wargame fans should be kept separate, so you can see how much a war game is liked once you rule out all those euro-players? Maybe allow a "how much fun is this game when you're drunk" rating? Etc...do we need dozens of different types of ranks?

I'm not shooting down your idea here, I've wished for the same thing when looking for games for my daughters, but just pointing out that even aside from the work for Aldie to do this, there are some issues involved.

EDIT: Jesper hit a similar point. Incidentally, when I rate a children's game here, I always rate it by how much I like playing it with my daughter, and I make a note saying so.
 
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Randy Cox
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I wouldn't expect kids to rate the games. I'd expect their parents/guardians/older siblings to evaluate the kid's affection for the game and rate it accordingly.

I think that we need ratings categories something like: Under 4, 4-8, 8-12, teen, adult. And if a game isn't listed as a "children's" game, then disable the ratings for all but adult. Otherwise, you get people rating adult games with 10s for their kid rating, saying "well, if kids like Hi Ho Cherrio, they should love Puerto Rico."

Speaking of which, as I was entering a few games last night, I was shocked that we don't have a place to enter the suggested age ranges for a game. Seems like that's useful information that's lacking.
 
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David Seddon
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Quote:
I wouldn't expect kids to rate the games. I'd expect their parents/guardians/older siblings to evaluate the kid's affection for the game and rate it accordingly.


I have argued and practised that for a long time. A kids' game is a 9 or 10 if it's a really good kids' game. That's the way I do it. The fact that such a game may not be as deep as E and T is irrelevant.
 
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Jon
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My only "10" is for Go Away Monster.

Quote:
rated in comparison to other games suitable for 2 year-old children. I've played this one at least 100 times now....
 
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Chris Shaffer
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I check comments a lot more closely for children's games. I also look at other games rated by the people who rate them high or low, to see what their usual course of action is for children's games.

I, personally, add a note along the lines of "rated for play with children" or "my seven year old loves this game!" when I rate children's games.

I also recommend Friendless' meta-geeklist:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...


 
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Davido
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AnakinOU wrote:
My only "10" is for Go Away Monster.

Quote:
rated in comparison to other games suitable for 2 year-old children. I've played this one at least 100 times now....


Yep, what he said. "Go away monster", "Crafty Badger", "Hisss" are all *kids* games and get rated by how much they are enjoyed by daughter and myself. I'd rather be playing "Magic Realm" (is that a bumper sticker or what), but Daughter at 3 years old, isn't quite there yet. So daddy is digging the kid games w/ her
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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I'll rate children's games as if I were playing them with children, and say so in the comments: "Rating based on playing with children." By this metric, for example, I gave Sindbad a "9."

However, Randy is right: we do need age ranges. I wouldn't think Sindbad would work well with pre-schoolers, though I could be wrong. I've only played it with elementary-school-aged kids.
 
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Dave Peters
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First initial response: great idea!

After a couple minutes of pondering, though, I wonder at the utility
of employing the 10 point scale for children.

To be more specific, my six year old daughter is a delightful young
gamer: her favourite early-evening activity is to play a game. But
which game? Some days she wants an abstract like Dvonn or Clans);
some days a roll and move game (like The Hobbit or the Esdevium Lord
of the Rings) or a simple push-your-luck game (Diamant or Can't Stop);
others a dexterity game like Eiertanz, Hamsterrolle, or Villa Paletti;
still others she wants to try some game she's not played yet. But
she's not sophisticated enough to have any persistent scale on which
all of those games are "good": today, she likes the games she likes
today.

I could track her preferences, and try to present those (in aggregate)
as "hers"; but I'd be distorting the truth. As they say in the
investment world, past performance is no indication of future results.
Some of the games she loved six months ago are passé; the only
thing I can say with confidence as that a five and-a-half year old
girl played them with enthusiasm.

So: a counterproposal. There are a lot of us here in BGG-land, why
not try for an interesting statistic. Suppose, for each game, we
could add records of the form "This game (did|didn't) work for
(number) small gamers aged (age)". One might easily presume that only
a very small range of ages are interesting: perhaps 3-12 (although
most of the 12 year olds reading this will object "Hey! I can play
anything my mom/dad can. And I usually win!") One could present the
accumulated data as a fairly simple graph of total positive votes as a
percentage of total votes for each age. The shape of the curve is the
interesting thing: I'd imagine some games will show a sharp peak at a
particular age while others will be acceptable to a larger range of
children.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I'm with Chris re using the comments (both as a rater and as a reader). As I've said elsewhere, the lowballing of kids games here hasn't been much of a problem for me because it's fairly consistent and I'm usually comparing kids games to kids games. Who cares is E&T is higher rated than Kleine Fische? They aren't competing for the same niche in my game purchasing.

But I really do want adult opinions of kids games (and not just kids' opinions of kids' games) because if I buy them, I'm going to end up having to play them. And I'd much rather play some of the games my kid loves (Roma) than others (Break the Safe). Please, please let me know what I'm getting into and I'll do my best to do the same for you!
 
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Hunga Dunga
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smithhemb wrote:
But I really do want adult opinions of kids games (and not just kids' opinions of kids' games) because if I buy them, I'm going to end up having to play them.

Indeed!



I think that the ratings for kids games are subject to the same vagarities as the ratings for adult games: many less-than-thoughtful ratings, but it all comes out in the wash.

Now, a hotlist of games for kids under 12 years old, that might be interesting.
 
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David Wilson
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Hungadunga wrote:
Now, a hotlist of games for kids under 12 years old, that might be interesting.
That's been done unscientifically in a lot of geeklists, and anyway that wouldn't be that much more useful. I would rate games differently for my 5 and 8 year olds ... let alone 12.

I think with kid's games you just have to look for good geeklists & read the comments. If you look at lists that contain games you know your kid likes, that is your best bet for finding new ones -- ones that show up in the same lists.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I've seen forum threads used really effectively for kids' recommendations as well. And that gets around the age/personality/interests/taste/abilities issues that can plague some of the more general kid-oriented geeklists.
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Hmmmmm - I wonder if a "Children's Games Geeklists" or "Children's Games Forums" might make a good module. Or both. This would require a check box, such as currently exists for Trade Geeklists.

But the advantage would be those uninterested in children's games would never need to subscribe to such a module while those interested would be able to. It would, in effect, become a geek subdomain.

You'd need a link to it from the Welcome page for newcomers, of course.

But then, I've been lobbying for an Auctions module with no luck, so I doubt this would fly, either ...
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that Snakes and Ladders sucks the big one.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I think I'm against a separate module. Part of it is that I don't see much of a line between kid and adult games in most cases (at least where we're talking about *good* games -- bad kid games and bad adult games are decidedly different from each other, LOL!). Lots of games that are fun to play with kids are also fun with adults who are more casual gamers (and/or, I hear, adults who are drunk....)

Also, more philosophically, I think that one obstacle to mainstreaming the hobby in the US has been gamers' insistence that games aren't just for kids. A gaming subculture has grown up here (e.g. distribution networks) that segregates games in age-specific ways and that inhibits family gaming. Ultimately, I'd like to see more and better kids/family games in game stores and more challenging games in toy stores (I'm lucky to have that locally!). I think that having our conversations about what we're playing with whom intersect/cross the age-divide is a step in the right direction. Already I see the online game stores in the US expanding their selection of kids games to reflect the games that people here talk about. They're still catering to gamers (some of whom have kids, go figure!), but in doing so, they're making themselves outlets that I can send non-gaming parents to, which is great IMHO.
 
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Randy Cox
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Good points, all.

How 'bout this? What if there were some additional fields for each game entry. Of course, you wouldn't need to fill in all of them, just as people don't always fill in all the fields for existing games in the database.

Best Age for this game: __ 0-2 __ 2-5 __ 5-8 __ 8-12 __ 12-16 __ Adults

Or it could even be done as a drop-down selection box, where you choose the range you feel is best.

Anyway, when a game has multiple selections, you could see the results something like this...

Under the entry for Puerto Rico, you might see...

Best Age--
Adults (99%)
12-16 (1%)
8-12 (0%)
5-8 (--)
2-5 (--)
0-2 (--)

Under Go Away Monster, you might see...

Best Age--
0-2 (67%)
2-5 (32%)
5-8 (1%)
8-12 (---)
12-16 (---)
Adults (---)

And for something like Yahtzee, maybe you'd see...

Best Age--
Adults (41%)
8-12 (36%)
12-16 (12%)
5-8 (8%)
2-5 (3%)
0-2 (---)

These could even be catchy bar graphs to show relative weight of each vote.

Then, you can also show the ratings based on the age group selected by each rater as most appropriate. For instance, you might get something like this:

Go Away Monster...
Best Age--
0-2 (67.4%) - Avg Rating: 8.7
2-5 (32.0%) - Avg Rating: 7.2
5-8 (0.6%) - Avg Rating: 9.0
8-12 (---)
12-16 (---)
Adults (---)

The down side here, is that someone may still give the game a rating based on adult play (4.0), but list it as best for 0-2 year olds, bringing down that group's average.

For that reason, I still think it's better to have an additional set of ratings:

Rating for adults only: __
Rating for age 12-16: __
Rating for age 8-12: __
Rating for age 5-8: __
Rating for age 2-5: __
Rating for age 0-2: __

And you just leave any blank that you feel are not applicable.

Someone mentioned that the current 10-point scale doesn't work for kids ("last month, such-and-such game was an always-play, but now it's history..."). For that reason, these supplemental age-based ratings should be subjective ratings having nothing to do with the current "how often I want to play" scale. Maybe even change them to a true grade scale: A, B, C, D, F and don't explain whether you're grading components, mechanics, desire to play, depth, learning curve, etc. Just ask the rater: "What letter grade do you give this game for each age group?" and leave it at that.

So, to formalize my wish, there would be three new entries for each game in the database:

1) a drop-down box to select the most appropriate age for this game: 0-2, 2-5, 5-8, 8-12, 12-16, Adults

2) A letter grade rating for each age group (which could then be shown with averages as more people give age-grades).

3) Age range as stated on the game box (this would be part of the base data like game length, year of publication, etc).
 
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This would be a good addition, I think. I've always wondered why the publisher's suggested age range isn't already included in the data base. Seems like it exists for the majority of games, and is primary game data.

I like Randy's specific suggestions too, generally.

Definately yes on #3. Call it "Age" or "Ages" or "Suggested Age" or ?

Possibly yes on #1. Randy's 6 age ranges seem pretty good to me, but does anyone know if there's any pre-existing research or analysis on this? Any psychologists out there who can advise?

Probably yes on #2. But I suggest a number scale instead of the letter grades as it is more abstract (independent of language and culture, specifically). I think it should be 1-10 but it should not have quite the same guidelines (the "would play this anytime" etc.)
 
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John Peterson
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How about something simple like "Recommended for Children" and "Not recommended for Children"?
 
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Jesper A
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scubadawg1 wrote:
How about something simple like "Recommended for Children" and "Not recommended for Children"?


Define children.

A 5 year old and a 9 year old are as different as day and night. A game that will delight a 5 year old could bore the 9 year old to tears.

There's no easy way around this.

I can pretty much tell from the description if my daughter will like a game or not...... and if i can stand playing it.
 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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I do think this should be thought about. While I would not expect a child to rate games. I would like some kind of age related rating system. Something like:

age 4 and under(game is okay for those who don't read yet)
Age 4 - 6 (game is for new readers or played with adults, too)
Age 6-10 (kids okay)
Age 10-12 (not quite ready for Titan and Die Macher, but almost there)
Age 12 and up (the big time)

I'd like to be able to rate a game in all those categories.

So Candyland would rate:

Age 4 and Under: a 5
Age 4-6 : a 3 (getting too old for that)
Age: 6-10, 10-12, 12and up: a 0 (just not suitable or fun for that age)

Puerto Rico would rate:

Age 4: 0 (can't do it yet, might eat pieces)
4 -6: 1 (can't sit still or remember that many rules)
6-10: 3 (some can do it, but not all)
10-12: 10 (this age can get it)
12and up: 10 (very suitable for mature kids and adults)

I think perhaps the age rating should not be based on the "funness" rating we use now, but more a suitability for that age rating or something.

-Helen

 
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Sue Hemberger

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All the permutations suggested here make me think that comments are the way to handle such issues. Otherwise you get an unwieldy system that very few people will use. But I do kind of like the idea of including in that series of check boxes describing game types -- e.g. roll and move -- one that says "no reading required." The other one that might make sense is something like "adults & kids" or "multi-age" -- basically an indication that there's intergenerational fun to be had.

So far, for me, in choosing games for kids, the dividing lines have been reading, math, and length of game. Age ranges don't work. It's funny to have an 8 year old who loves both Blue Moon and Laura's Sternenspiel (and not for nostalgic reasons -- we've only had it a few months) -- but, watching her peers, I see that range is not uncommon. And an 8 year old with only younger sibs plays very different games than an 8 year old with older sibs, IME.
 
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Amy O'Neal
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AnakinOU wrote:
My only "10" is for Go Away Monster.

Quote:
rated in comparison to other games suitable for 2 year-old children. I've played this one at least 100 times now....


laughlaughlaugh I can understand that...
 
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