January 6, 2012

Towards a Science of Boardgames (Part I)

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This post was originally posted January 6, 2012 and was a landmark post for the blog.  It was a coalescing of many ideas I had come across as I dug into the hobby and the various was it was being sliced and diced.  I attempted to pull together a number of key points, from game classification schemes to mechanic categories, to ways of experiencing games.  The post generated a lot of traction for the blog - and in the aftermath helped spawn a number of spin-off initiatives aimed at further developing the "theories" put forth by this post.  Feel free to drop a comment or reflection! (June 10, 2014)

I’ve been on BGG for a little over a year, and I must say that I’ve learned a ton. The discussions, conversation, and support has been an immeasurable help for creating better games and getting a thorough understanding of the gaming community, exposure to new mechanics, industry environment ... and the list goes on (I guess this my personal thanks to BGG and the wonderful users!).

During this time, I’ve found myself intrigued by a few lines of conversation and discussion that pop up from time to time. I wanted to summarize a few of these threads and provide links back to the original discussions where appropriate. In many ways, these conversations, to me, aim towards the makings of a "science" of boardgames, complete with its own (possible) analytical tools, classification schemes, and technical vocabulary. The size of the BGG database, coupled with a very willing survey audience, opens up a lot of doors for scientific exploration.