A brief thought on game ratings
I believe actions speak louder than words, so a rating system should reflect it. I mean, BGG has a difference between 6 and 7 and 8, but these are pretty fine grained. For me, anyway.
I’m comfortable with Michelin style ratings. Why not port it to board games, although I do think (unlike Michelin) there’s value in distinguishing “Mediocre” from “Crappy.”
Zero Stars — I avoid this. This is a truly bad game.
One Star — I’ll play this, but not often (and perhaps only to be polite).
Two Stars — I’ll suggest this, and play it frequently. I own it (or would if necessary, or possible).
Three Stars — I play this often, and frequently suggest it. Worth scheduling a game day around, if longer.
We could add “Four Stars” for a lifestyle game (one played to the near exclusion of all others), but that’s fine. Perhaps I should adjust it so that “No stars” is neutral. Borrowing a page from Fudge, let’s make these adjectives.
- Avoid — I won’t play this
- Indifferent — I’ll play this out of politeness, but won’t suggest it
- Suggest — I like this game, and suggest it
- Enthusiastic — Play this often, suggest it.
The great thing about the guide (for me) is that I’m constantly thinking “Is this game a 6 or 7?” but I have no trouble at all looking lumping games into those four categories. (I’m pretty quick to avoid a game; but I have a large, varied game group where people don’t take offense …)
Another thing is “How do I feel about games I haven’t played before and have heard little about?” 5 Years ago, my default was “Suggest” but now I’m leaning towards “Indifferent.”
As for BGG, well, the ratings roughly map
- Avoid is 0-3. Why that needs 3 ratings is beyond me.
- Indifferent is 4-5, maybe 4-6. I do think having subratings is fine.
- Suggest is 6-8 (some overlap, because I do think there may be boarderline cases where I’m indifferent if I’ve played it recently, but it’s OK every now and then)
- Enthusiastic is 9-10.
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