July 18, 2012

Great Expectations and the Enigma of Intent

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Let us begin with a question.

What role do our expectations and our perception of the creator’s intent play in our interpretation, enjoyment, and critique of a creative work?

This question can of course apply to all forms of media, but in terms of boardgames I’m trying to be more conscious and aware of my expectations as well as give more consideration to what I think the game’s “intent” is. By intent, I mean the kind of experience the game was designed to achieve.

A tendril I see swirling about a number of the critical discussions here on BGG and elsewhere is that “can’t we all just enjoy the games, who cares if it is bad/wrong/under-developed, if you had fun that’s all that matters!”

July 16, 2012

By the Numbers - BGG Rank Data + Analysis

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So I have a bit of a love affair with Excel. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m not a super mathy-type but I do enjoy working with statistics and thinking about data. Probably has something to do with my background in science eh?

Anyway, since I’ve been on BGG I’ve had a lot of interest in running some basic analysis on the game data, focused on the ranked games. While statistics can certainly be manipulated to say just about anything, I still find it intriguing to examine the numbers, make graphs, and pontificate on imagined importance.

So what have I done? I’ve assembled a massive excel file containing game data for all 8000+ ranked games in the BGG database. I’ve started whipping up some graphs below (which we will get into), but I’m also curious about what other people are interested in seeing. Any correlations between factors? Trends? Summary statistics?

July 3, 2012

Critical Collision Course: Kickstarter, Reviews, and Retorts of Course

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So I wasn’t planning on writing, but then I read THIS post, which led me to THIS article from Pete, which led me to THIS and THIS from Matt Thrower. It also related to THIS posdcast that I recently listened to, as well as THIS recent post from Drake and some of my own unwritten reactions from THIS conversation about “fun” (incidentally in reaction to THIS other post). Phew… Needless to say, my reply mushroomed into its own labyrinth with enough twists and turns that I felt it justified its existence as a blog post instead.

This is a bit rambling, but here we go!