Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The elusive 10

Whenever I've neglected my brain for too long, it gets lonely and starts talking to me. Today, in one of my many many many visits to Board Game Geek I happened to be looking at my profile. My brain noticed something:

You have no games rated above 9.

So What?

Can't you find games you really like that much? There are thousands of them you know. Besides, it would make a much more normal looking bell curve.

I've got 7 games rated higher than 8: Carcassonne (plus expansions and The City), Carolus Magnus, Ra, and St. Petersburg. I like them all very much.

So why no 10's?

Well, I guess I don't consider them my perfect game.

What's wrong with them?

Nothing. They are all great for what they are.

Are you hoping one day to find something better than those 7?

It would be nice, but I don't think my perfect game exist...yet...or ever will.

So what's your perfect game?

Well, it's hard to describe. In every game that exists today, there are rules which define what you can do. They set the bounds for possible actions. With the exception of games that have a social element (or perhaps role playing with a DM), the bounds are finite. This means that every possible action, or combination of actions, can be known and expected by the opponents.

I dream of a game where you can enact plans that have never been conceived and could not have been predicted. I'm not just talking about complex combinations of existing elements. I'm talking about being able to introduce new elements on the fly. But how can this be done, while making the game playable? How can you make rules for a game with non-finite possibilities? I don't know.

So you are going to leave your 10 space blank for a game that will never exist?

Sigh. I don't know. Should I adjust all my ratings so I have as many 10's as 1's, and as many 9's as 2's, etc.? I don't think so. The numbers I use seem right to me. They reflect how much I look forward to playing the game, and how much enjoyment I get while playing.

Ok then. I'm going to go away again for a while. Good luck with that.

2 Comments:

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Steve Janecek said...

Saint Petersberg is a 9? You know I don't like Carcasonne, yet you are in love with it so I allow that, but rally St Pete is a 7 at best. It has so much luck in round one with regards to craftsmen and buildings to consider it so high, when a random player starts off with a generous lead is crazy.

Mind as well make Monopoly and Candyland a 9 too with these terrible ratings

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Marc Gilutin said...

Aaron Fuegi, owner of the Internet Top 100 Games List, came up with some excellent criteria for rating games.
In his words, a 9 is:

"Excellent, always want to play it."

A game that's ranked a 10 is all of that and
"expect it will never change".

 

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