The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Web Notes

Chris Farrell has a new post, so back onto the blogroll.

For a minor celebrity, Rich Sommers has pretty good taste in games. On an almost related note, there’s the “Brushes with Fame” geeklist.

Time’s up gets a deluxe edition. I’m not sold on the “fourth round” (with pantomiming) … it’s a good idea, but difficult. We tried making the 4th round simultaneous. All players on one side close their eyes and the other side poses. That stops any problems with trying to quickly open and close your eyes over 30 seconds. Still didn’t quite work.

I do think that the “Titles” (instead of Celebrity names”) idea is good, although everyone seems to want to put in a title that is also a name. (I liked “Tom Jones,” personally).

I read the three-way discussion with Michael Barnes, Ryan Bretsch, and Eric Martin a few days ago. There was one good point (by Barnes):

That whole “different strokes” approach winds up undermining the whole point of having an opinion, discussing it, and defending it. That’s fine in day-to-day life and that’s how I live in pretty much all respects, but when it comes to opinion-making and criticism that shouldn’t be the de facto defense.

BGG has polls. Now they need to stop having so damn many (A geek-dime fee per poll. You heard it here first).

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Written by taogaming

May 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

Posted in Misc

7 Responses

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  1. I agree that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion” shouldn’t be a de facto defense (as it ignores the fact that some opinions are more soundly based and argued than others). But I see nothing wrong with acknowledging that different people of good will can have differing tastes. I can play a game like Pirate’s Cove and state it has 15 different things that drive me crazy and wild horses couldn’t drag me to another game. But I can also see that the game would be a blast for another audience. How does that empathy weaken my argument? Doesn’t it make me a better reviewer, to be able to point to the type of gamer who might enjoy a game that I dislike? Particularly if I can still list the things I dislike about the game and (as always, more importantly) why?

    There ARE bad games. For the life of me, I can’t imagine who would enjoy something like Polterdice, which has design flaws galore. But unless you’re perched upon a soapbox (and I think that’s the key distinction), a foreknowledge that your opinion is not the only one in the gaming universe seems like a very healthy attribute to have.

    Larry Levy

    May 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

  2. As Barnes goes onto state, ‘different strokes’ is a fine way to live, but not to critique. If you state why a game is flawed and then mention that people like it (or don’t mind the flaws) then you’ve still criticized. It’s just the “I didn’t care for it” that’s lazy. Plenty of games that I didn’t care for.

    Brian

    May 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm

  3. To me it’s an unnecessary diversion in a review. By definition a review is an opinion, so I don’t need to be reminded that other people are likely to have other views. Any published game likely appealed (or didn’t) to someone at some point, so it becomes a trite phrase.

    I don’t think such a statement invalidates a review, but it adds bulk without adding content. OTOH, as you point out Larry, explaining why someone might have a different appreciation is fine. The open ended “I did or didn’t enjoy it, but others felt differently” doesn’t say much though.

    frunk

    May 18, 2008 at 12:30 am

  4. I think the difference between “a bad game” and “a good game that I don’t like” is worth mentioning in a review. Pirate’s Cove is a good example: I have first-hand experience that it’s a blast, but I don’t care about it myself. I still would recommend it to others…

    Then again, saying “I don’t like it but someone else might” is lazy, while “I don’t like this, but if you like role-playing elements and pretending to be a pirate, and fighting and treasure-hunting, and don’t mind the dice, then this is good for you” is useful to a reader.

    Which is what Frunk says above, actually.

    Mikko

    May 18, 2008 at 2:05 am

  5. I had never heard of Rich Sommers before, but I couldn’t help but note the irony of him and brushes with fame being in the same sentence. As it turns out he is from Stillwater, MN, which is two towns over from where I grew up and where I had a number of friends. Further, he went to school at the tiny Lutheran college in MN where my parents, aunt and cousin wnet.

    Lou

    May 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

  6. I had never heard of Rich Sommers before, but I couldn’t help but note the irony of him and brushes with fame being in the same sentence. As it turns out he is from Stillwater, MN, which is two towns over from where I grew up and where I had a number of friends. Further, he went to school at the tiny Lutheran college in MN where my parents, aunt and cousin wnet.

    Lou

    May 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

  7. I had never heard of Rich Sommers before, but I couldn’t help but note the irony of him and brushes with fame being in the same sentence. As it turns out he is from Stillwater, MN, which is two towns over from where I grew up and where I had a number of friends. Further, he went to school at the tiny Lutheran college in MN where my parents, aunt and cousin wnet.

    Lou

    May 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm


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