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Subject: The new BGWS 065: Flicking Games and Catacomb rss

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Scott Nicholson
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The new BGWS 065: Flicking Games and Catacomb
As I warned you in my April 1 episode, I was coming back with something different.

I'm changing Board Games with Scott. No longer will I teach you a game in each episode - there are plenty of people who have taken and improved upon (or at least replicated) my one game, one episode format. So, time to move on!

While I will still introduce games to you, I'll be doing so in the context of other games. Episodes will be about mechanics, themes, lineage, or other aspects of a game. I'll then do a study of that element in several games. Or, I'll take one game and really tear some of the elements apart and look at how they work or don't work together.

I'm going to think of the show as an online class on board games, so each episode will be more like a lecture I would give in class than an introduction to a game.

So, if you are wanting to learn all about Catacombs, this isn't the show for you. If you want to think about how it fits in with other flicking games, then you'll want to watch it.

Enough jibjab - you can download it at http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=332 or watch it here:
There's also an iTunes link at http://boardgameswithscott.com
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Chris Hahn
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(Chris puts down his Hot Java Death coffee cup and start to do the cabbage patch....)




Scott's Back! Scott's Back! Scott's Back!
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Dallas
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Great episode, Scott! I think the new format is great, but I must say that I'm slightly saddened that you will no longer be doing in-depth game discussions only because you do them so well. You always seemed to have a knack for cutting through complexity, and I've used quite a number of your past videos on more complex games as teaching aids.

In any case, glad to hear that BGWS is back and hope you find it stimulating enough to keep it up. Thanks!

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David Kahnt
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story...
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I personally like how you made the distinction between "flicking" games and "dexterity" games in the title.

Very nice.

-DK
 
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David C
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You're treading on thin ice with this new format, because you're going to get comments like:

"Dude, where's taktika?"

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Eric Knauer
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Great show and welcome back. Promise us no more bored/burned-out speeches. We like optimistic & enthusiastic Scott!
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Peter Loop
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Good FOrmat Good episode.

Need to check out my new Fav flicker - Bisikle
the zball make it differnt feel then pitch car - check it out
 
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Owen Goss
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Love the new format, Scott! Great to see you back and enjoying creating the show.

Owen
 
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Caleb Wynn
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Great video, Scott! And I enjoy the new format compared to the old. I get to see more games in action and get a feel for whether or not I need two or three more games of a certain type in my collection. Great idea!
 
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Kris J
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. . . or just let me nibble your soul . . . .
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Great stuff. Value added. I'm in love.
 
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Tim Collins
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Good job Scott.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Maybe if you put up a geeklist for people to post their favorites of whatever kind of game you are talking about you could avoid them blaming you for skipping them in your video.
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Samo Gosaric
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Great to see you in new form Scott.

The comparison approach is definitely the right one. I've been thinking about is as well. I am a theatre/contemporary dance critic, wrote a couple of reviews for daily journal, some theoretical stuff, even taught
newcomers how to approach reviewing. And for the last month, the most interesting discussions for me (on F:AT with articles from Matt DP and Barnes some while ago, and here on BGG after Vassels negative review of Vasco da Gama)were about, well, what is boardgame review and what it could be.

The first step towards what I'd call a review is to skip the explanation and demonstration aspect. Most of the games have rules online. For those that don't (FRED, Mayfair), video explanation makes a good first information what this game is about, but it really shouldn't be called a review. I think right now people are confused as when they see a video review posted they actually want video demonstration. Al lot of this showed after Vassel's VdG review, and really some people have taken it to absurd levels (board to death show which is apparently run by internet tv crew who also do other stuff, but they make it "cool" and put (probably) hot chicks in the video, though the "review" part is so short you mostly miss it. The same with Gameswithhayden - a kid describing his games and making a review with "I like it, so you shouuld buy it"). The best of the genre right now is uvulabob who doesn't make videos at all but written text based explanations done in flash. So yes, we need more reviews.

From my experience there are two types of approaches you can take towards a review.
1) Analysis - try to decipher what the work (game, theatre, art piece) generates in the audience/gamer.
2) Contextualise - how does this work compare to the rest of its genre (judging it outside the genre is more or less problematic, unless you want to make a review/rant of the whole genre).
Mostly you take both approaches when you can, but I'd say the second one is easier but requires a lot of experience and knowledge of the field. The first one takes a bit more effort and is safer route for when you're not so familiar with the context.
So when I was thinking, of well, how I would have done a boardgame review without the description altogether (I am even pondering making a review without showing the components - just come chalk on blackboard, or felt pen on paper) it came down to these 2 things:
- comparison (what you are doing now, and I'm just "thank god somebody is finally doing this!")
- analysis - which for me means - what kind of experience the game wants to generate, or it tend to generate (if it's open to groupthink the experience might be different with different players). What kind of interaction does it promote and which skills the players must be good at in order to win.

So yes, I definitely think this 2.0 version is an important step in the right direction, not only as far as BGWS series goes (yes, I've watched them all) but also as far as boardgame video reviews go.
(But my attempt at a boardgame review will have to wait as I'm immersed into artistic stuff at the moment, and as a freelancer I tend to do the job that pays first. In the meantime I can cheer and lobby for the improvement of boardgame reviews).
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Skip Olivares
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Yaaaaay! You're the best, Scott. Thanks for another video!
 
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Daniel Velazquez
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I very much enjoyed the episode and agree that this new direction for the series is going to help a lot of people with choosing the right games for their needs and tastes. As a teacher, and someone who is trying to learn as much as possible about ludology, I can appreciate the insights on who these games have worked with your group of friends, as this is the real barometer that helps when deciding when an interesting game can go from potential purchase to must-buy.

Thanks a lot, Scott, glad to see you motivated and happy and here's to a long run with this new V2.0 of BGWS!
 
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Rahn
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This format is exactly what I was looking for in reviews. I didn't know I was missing it until I watched it for the first time though. Great stucture and really informative.

I love how you provide information at the end to help viewer's actually make a choice as opposed to just show how a game is played.
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Benjamin Parker
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Scott, first thought was, "excellent as usual."

Second thought corrected the first, because this isn't "as usual," as you noted a couple of times in the video. I love the new format, and Catacombs looks really awesome. I'm glad to hear that you're loving what you do again, and I'm looking forward to the next show!
 
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Jae Ha Woo
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sgosaric wrote:
The first step towards what I'd call a review is to skip the explanation and demonstration aspect. Most of the games have rules online. For those that don't (FRED, Mayfair), video explanation makes a good first information what this game is about, but it really shouldn't be called a review. I think right now people are confused as when they see a video review posted they actually want video demonstration. Al lot of this showed after Vassel's VdG review, and really some people have taken it to absurd levels (board to death show which is apparently run by internet tv crew who also do other stuff, but they make it "cool" and put (probably) hot chicks in the video, though the "review" part is so short you mostly miss it. The same with Gameswithhayden - a kid describing his games and making a review with "I like it, so you shouuld buy it"). The best of the genre right now is uvulabob who doesn't make videos at all but written text based explanations done in flash. So yes, we need more reviews.


I'm not quite sure if you're suggesting this or not, but anyways, I personally don't want to see the explanation and demonstration part completely dropped. I think video explanation provides a useful service even when the rules are posted online; there can be a number of people who just don't enjoy reading the rules online that much, and these people would find the video useful, regardless of whether that is a review or not. Yes, I agree that we need more "reviews", but I don't think that means the explanation part needs to be dropped completely, especially if it does not dominate the whole thing. I think this particular video is well-balanced in this respect, at least to me. However, I guess Scott can choose what he exactly intends to accomplish in his future videos.
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Samo Gosaric
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@ unfathomable.

I think the decision whether to drop the description altogether or still retain it is up to each individual reviewer. If I would do a review I would skip the description part entirely just because I think the boardgames reviews are burdened with them (but that would be a personal statement, of course). However I must stress out that the demands to cover the rules in its entirety and to have a complete description of the game flow should not be seen as relevant to any potential reviewer. I don't have anything against the video description genre, some of them are great, but reviews they aren't (or are only marginally so). However the description has a place in every review, firstly as a way of giving a basic description on what the review is on about and secondly as a way of giving examples to the points the reviewer wants to make - but this comes only secondary to the main focus of a review which is analysis and evaluation. This is not so much the response to your post but even more to particular users who attacked Vassel's VdG review (or the evaluation part in that review) because it did not cover ALL the rules in EVERY detail, as it shows a basic misinterpretation of what a review as a journalistic genre is.

I think Scott will tend to find the middle ground and even if not, he'll find a way of presenting it so that everyone will understand why, as is usually the case.
 
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George Leach
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I enjoyed the video after I skipped the last three minutes of explanation over changes... yawn. Ok we get it, you've changed the format a bit, as a "serious gamer" I find this style of review more helpful than previous styles, for a long time I've had a collection in which I have to decide for every new game whether it augments my collection or simply expands it. Sometimes your excellent explanations used to drag on and this moves along more briskly while still explaining the key parts.

An improvement, I hope they continue.
Oh and please don't sound so smug about your "excellent reviews" it makes me shudder a little.
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Mike Hulsebus
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Wow, I love the new format. I've been wanting to know about Crokinole for a while now and then to also see Catacombs in action was great. Thanks for the review and I look forward to more new episodes in the future!
 
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Brian Hoyt
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Pacing
I'm glad you found a way to enjoy it again post burnout.

In the rare event of an original idea that hasn't been posted, I'll drop a note.

Be well,
-B
 
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Luke Morris
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"I'm not going to "Tichu" the games..."

Ho ho ho Scott you cad.

Good to have you back you suave fella you.
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Jage
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Awesome as always
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Kurt R
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Great format, Scott. I really like it.
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