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Subject: On Board Games 18: The Culture of Game Consumption rss

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Donald Dennis
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Round Table
The Culture of Game Consumption Scott, Erik, & Donald

Wandering Geek OBG Promo

Correspondent Segments
Games in Education - Giles discusses why games make a good addition to any classroom.


Reviews

* Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga, from Asmodee Editions, reviewed by Erik
* Hollywood Shuffle, from All Things Equal, reviewed by Ben
* Container, from Valley Games, reviewed by Scott
* Blink, from Out of the Box Publishing, reviewed by Giles
* Combo King, from Gamewright Games, reviewed by Donald, Connie, & Danny
* Gulo Gulo, from Rio Grande Games, reviewed by Erik and Hope


Web Site: http://onboardgames.net/
RSS Feed: http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/rss
Email us: onboardgames.net@gmail.com

---
Episode Discussion

Next episode's round table is about how board game culture has changed, (15 years ago to today) from being able to be "THE board game guy" of a game group with having ~gasp~ five or six board games, to today's culture of mass game consumerism. What changes do you notice in your game groups?

Our round table has already been recorded, now is the time to show how smart you are and come up with a better explanation of how gaming culture has changed, why your friends expect you to own hundreds of games instead of what you could fit in the trunk of your car. Also, will the board game boom lead to a board game market bust?

Post your ideas here or email me an mp3 at onboardgames.net@gmail.com and you could very well end up on the podcast.

When that episode is posted I'll add the show notes and feed link to this post.

*Edit to add show notes
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Mikael Ölmestig
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One thing I have noticed is that there is more rush to try out new games and old games are usually forgotten. There is a chase to try the new stuff. I think this is kind of sad, because there isn't the time to get in depth with a game in the same amount. At the same time I like to have more to choose from, both when buying and playing. I think the game market has developed with both (generally) better components and games.
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Donald Dennis
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godfeather wrote:
I think this is kind of sad, because there isn't the time to get in depth with a game in the same amount. At the same time I like to have more to choose from, both when buying and playing. I think the game market has developed with both (generally) better components and games.
I agree. Scott is definitely a "New, More, Better" kind of game consumer, while I'd rather play a game often enough until the group knows the ins-and-outs of the game, or at least knows who in the game group would be most likely to win. It is possible to accommodate both kinds of players in a game group, at least if there are enough players to field two games at once. The Syracuse Board Gamers has a "Game of the Month" that gets played all month, so at least there is the chance to break in a game.

How often have any of you worn out a game lately? I used to wear out games all the time. I can't tell you how many copies of Grass or Family Business I've gone through, and I played with my Dark Tower set until it cried for mercy and died with a whimper. Heck, my mom and grandmother used to go through a deck of Skip Bo cards every few months.
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Jim Shaw
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I see very good things ahead for the board game community. As I see it this is a pretty good example of a gamer. You grew up playing video games and traditional board games, fell into Dungeons and Dragons for a while in high school and college. Dabbled a bit in magic, then put everything on hold as you got married and had some kids.

Before you know it you're 30 years old. You miss gaming but, have a family that you want to play with. Dungeons and Dragons isn't going to work. Magic is too complex and collecting cards or miniatures just doesn't have the appeal that it used to(collecting complete games that's a different story altogether), and most video games are single player experiences.

What do you turn to in this situation? The world of board games of course. Maybe Monopoly hits the table. A game of Clue with the kids one night. Eventually you look up a rule online and find Board Game Geek. Then before you know it you are spending the afternoon listening to gaming Podcasts while you read reports on BGG and are downloading player aids on the new essen game you just had imported.

I know Im not alone in this. Am I?

As more and more people who grew up gaming whether it be in comic shops or on a Console gaming system get married and start families these people will look to include thier families and new friends into a hobby that they love, and we haven't even tapped into the recovering World of Warcraft junkies yet.
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Doug Faust
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Walsfeo wrote:
Our round table has already been recorded, now is the time to show how smart you are and come up with a better explanation of how gaming culture has changed, why your friends expect you to own hundreds of games instead of what you could fit in the trunk of your car.


It's easy. Giant SUVS and trucks = more trunk space = now hundreds of games will fit!

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Donald Dennis
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Phrim wrote:
It's easy. Giant SUVS and trucks = more trunk space = now hundreds of games will fit!
Freak'n brilliant! Needless to say, we were not clever enough to sus that one out in the round table. I may have to patch that one in.

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Christopher Haufe
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RedV wrote:
I see very good things ahead for the board game community. As I see it this is a pretty good example of a gamer. You grew up playing video games and traditional board games, fell into Dungeons and Dragons for a while in high school and college. Dabbled a bit in magic, then put everything on hold as you got married and had some kids.

Before you know it you're 30 years old. You miss gaming but, have a family that you want to play with. Dungeons and Dragons isn't going to work. Magic is too complex and collecting cards or miniatures just doesn't have the appeal that it used to(collecting complete games that's a different story altogether), and most video games are single player experiences.

What do you turn to in this situation? The world of board games of course. Maybe Monopoly hits the table. A game of Clue with the kids one night. Eventually you look up a rule online and find Board Game Geek. Then before you know it you are spending the afternoon listening to gaming Podcasts while you read reports on BGG and are downloading player aids on the new essen game you just had imported.

I know Im not alone in this. Am I?

As more and more people who grew up gaming whether it be in comic shops or on a Console gaming system get married and start families these people will look to include thier families and new friends into a hobby that they love, and we haven't even tapped into the recovering World of Warcraft junkies yet.



You have described my game history almost exactly. Except I avoided the Magic craze somehow.

The whole thing is driven by finances as well. I'm married and have a kid; an evening out either for dinner or a movie can easily hit $50 or more (plus babysitting). But I don't feel so bad spending $40 on a board game since it can get used multiple times and allows for inclusion of others, even my daughter.

However, I will admit to being an obsessive, "gotta own a bunch for a good library" kind of guy. I just like having a variety available for different situations or moods.
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Giles Pritchard
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The future of boardgames is a fascinating topic to discuss, I think that if the inducstry remains economically stable then the future is very very bright indeed, I think that in many ways this style of boardgames can ride a boom more and more into the mainstream (though never completely of course) and all because of the community that exists around the hobby - a community willing to work hard to evangelise their hobby.

Whether the industry does remain economically stable is another matter, with rising interest rates in the US and here in Australia there is an obvious knock on effect to niche industries and markets that survive off the 'wealth surplus' of disposable income. What impact this will be will be dictated largely by how severe the current market difficulties become, how much that affects industry and of course spending.

I'm no market anylist, so can only go on the current situation and the advice of others, so take what I've said with a grain of salt - I merely state it as a point to add that the industry has a bright future 'market willing'.

I hope the industry can remain as successful and prosperous as it has been over the last 5 to 10 years, and if it can be then I hope to see a swing away from cyclic miniatures games like Warhammer (and by cyclic I mean - V6 of the rules has been released, time to buy a bunch of new stuff...), and CCGs/CMGs. I hope the swing favours 'complete' games (as Jim said), because I personally think they have so much to offer the purchaser that other games types do not.

I have come from the minis game side of the equation as well, I moved from Warhammer & 40K into historical minis gaming, into roleplaying (enjoying many of I.C.E.'s offerings Donald - you'd be pleased to know as well as writing several of my own RPGs). I don't have the space or time for either hobby now (ironic statement considering the cupboards filled with game boxes), and enjoy buying and playing complete games. I guess I fall a little into the 'cult of the new' so to speak - buying and playing new games more often than old favourites. Although I also have a cadre of older games I love getting out and playing regularly.

There's only one game i have worn out - and that's Fairy Tale, which I have played many hundreds of times. Although there are other games I would love to get to wear out, time permitting (Origins: How we became Human being one I would love...someone convince me...maybe...maybe not )

Anyway - lots to think about and discuss - I look forward to hearing the roundtable on this one guys!

Great job!

Cheers,

Giles.
 
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Donald Dennis
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RedV wrote:
Eventually you look up a rule online and find Board Game Geek. Then before you know it you are spending the afternoon listening to gaming Podcasts while you read reports on BGG and are downloading player aids on the new essen game you just had imported.


I hadn't thought about how podcasts might have contributed to the culture of consumerism, but looking at it now I can't deny they do.

RedV wrote:
and we haven't even tapped into the recovering World of Warcraft junkies yet.
I'm a recovering MMO player! Granted, I was not as heavily addicted to WoW as I used to be addicted to EverQuest.
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Mike Fassio
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I liken the transformation of the board game industry and the subsequent culture of consumption to that of the video game industry. Prior to 1983, the video game industry had had relatively modest success with home video game systems. Pong, Pac Man, and Donkey Kong were all familiar names to most house holds with teenagers, but overall the industry was running out of steam by 1977. The same thing could be said about the board game industry prior to 1995. There were a few titles that everyone in the US had heard about: Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, etc. These games were fun, but there hadn't been a real revolution within the industry and with the surge in popularity of electronics and video games in the 1980's people weren't spending any time playing board games.

The real revolution in video games came in 1983 when Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). With its' 8-bit color graphics and wide variety of titles it completely changed video gaming in the US. The German-style or Euro-style of board games is like the NES of the board game industry. New, fresh mechanics and depth of gameplay sets helped set itself apart from the Western-style of board game. And with any revolution there not only needs to be the foundation, but a catalyst as well. For video games it was Tetris/Super Mario Bros., for board games it was Settlers of Catan.

Today it isn't uncommon for people to own multiple video game platforms or wait in lines overnight to be one of the first people to purchase a new system or game. The same is true with board games with people pre-ordering games or flying to Germany to attend Essen or Nurnburg to get their hands on new releases. The thing that most drives board game consumerism in the US is the same thing that drives video game consumerism - increased disposable income available to people. Also, now it is almost an educational requirement of gamers to own or play a lot of different kinds of games in order to be a more of a refined or conscientious player/reviewer/tester. What fuels the first drives the second.
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Donald Dennis
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We also discussed the possibility of a collapse in the market. Do you think it is possible or likely? We didn't discuss what to do, if a collapse was looming on the horizon, how could you help gaming through any impending shake-ups?
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Giles Pritchard
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I guess a market collapse is always possible, although I am certainly not sure how likely. What is likely, at least in the short term is an increase in the money spent by US companies producing games (the value of the US dollar vs the Euro etc).

With interest rates on the rise here in Australia, and I believe in the US as well, many people will find they have less disposable income than they did, whether this will affect game companies or not has yet to be seen.

If something was to happen I think the companies with the widest distribution networks would be in a better position than those without - having more chanels through which to sell their product. I think companies would need to work out how best to ride out any turbulance in the market and do whatever they need to to stay afloat.

How oculd you help gaming...well I guess by saving better if your income was being strangled and using some of that money to continue to buy game from companies that deserve your patronage - maybe to preorder from companies who set up preorder systems to make their product more viable (see Agricola).

All this is 'ifs and buts', but it is interesting to talk about. I'm no expert as I said above - so for me this discussion is of a hypothetical nature...I'm really not sure how I would help gaming through a tough economic patch - if it were indeed serious, then I guess we would see big companies cut back to core products and small companies turn to PnP or disappear until the good times roll in again...

What do you think?

Cheers,

Giles.
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I guess I'm just one of those annoying glass-is-half-full kind of guys. If the market were to suffer, and gaming companies were to start fading away...I would have a chance to replay some of the games I already own.

One of the spectacular things about this hobby is the fact that most games offer near infinite replayability. A collection the size of mine could keep me entertained for the remainder of my life. With all the time I spend looking at new games for purchase, there is always a few games tucked back in my closet that I would like to get to the table more often.

In essence you could say that my proverbial bomb shelter is all ready, so if the nuclear winter of gaming comes, I'll be safe and warm playing another round of Pillars of the Earth with my family.

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Giles Pritchard
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I would absolutely agree with you Ben!

I would also offer the fact that Jay mentioned in his last RGG newsletter that the last quarter of last year was the most successful ever for the company. So here's hoping that continues!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Donald Dennis
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caradoc wrote:
How oculd you help gaming...well I guess by saving better if your income was being strangled and using some of that money to continue to buy game from companies that deserve your patronage - maybe to preorder from companies who set up preorder systems to make their product more viable (see Agricola).

All this is 'ifs and buts', but it is interesting to talk about. I'm no expert as I said above - so for me this discussion is of a hypothetical nature...I'm really not sure how I would help gaming through a tough economic patch - if it were indeed serious, then I guess we would see big companies cut back to core products and small companies turn to PnP or disappear until the good times roll in again...

What do you think?


I can't say what I think about collapse or no collapse until after the podcast comes out, but I'd say the biggest help for the health and wellbeing of the game culture would be to broaden the exposure of games to non gamers. Use appropriate games as your primary gift on giving occasions. If you have kids, let their teachers know what games the kids like to play and how games help educate.

Starting clubs would help, but that's preaching to the choir, recruiting new players would be the big pay off.
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Fraser
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caradoc wrote:
With interest rates on the rise here in Australia, and I believe in the US as well, many people will find they have less disposable income than they did, whether this will affect game companies or not has yet to be seen.

Australian rates are rising (regularly), but US rates are plummeting at the moment. Down 1.25 percent (yes 125 basis points) in less than two weeks recently. This said, Australian rates are still a long way short of the rates in the late 80s, can you say 18% home loan?

The American dollar has fallen (plummeted?) against the Euro which has made a lot of games more expensive in the US I believe and has certainly increased the price of imports. Now, relatively speaking they are still probably cheaper than they are in Australia, but US citizens are not used to our prices

In Australia you should just liquidate your assets and invest in games devil
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Giles Pritchard
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I'll tell Kylie we should sell up and invest in a cardboard heavy portfolio!

Cheers,

Giles.
 
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Erik Dewey
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Mmmm Kylie. cool
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Giles Pritchard
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- That's my wife you is talkin' about!
 
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Giles Pritchard
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An interesting thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/291991

Cheers,

Giles.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Having some upload problems, I expect to get it corrected on Sunday. It is a shame you cannot listen to it yet, since it is our best episode since # 14.
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Giles Pritchard
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Looking forward to listening to it Donald!

Cheers,

Giles.
 
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caradoc wrote:


I'll tell Kylie we should sell up and invest in a cardboard heavy portfolio!

Cheers,

Giles.


Just mention AMCOR as one possibility of investing in cardboard, then buy more games ninja
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On Board Games » Forums » News
Re: On Board Games 18: The Culture of Game Consumption
We are up and running. The latest episode is up, and I think it is the longest yet. I've added the show notes to the first post in this thread.

Cheers!
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Giles Pritchard
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Very interesting Roundtable guys! Another great episode!

It was good hearing Connie, Danny and Hope in the reviews guys! I thought they did a fantastic job of adding another perspective to those game reviews - and it was fun to listen to!

Great job too Ben - I am enjoying your reviews!

Cheers,

Giles.
 
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