Geek Peeks for the Week, 7/8-14: Story games, Ikea bags & Have you ever cheated?

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(Geek Peeks is published every Monday.)

We take a peek at the best daily threads from the Board Game Geek general gaming forum.

MONDAY, JULY 7

Games with largest disparity between “For Trade” and “Want in Trade”
by AndySzy

In baseball they call them sabremetricians, stat freaks who love devising new ways to analyze and apply the numerous statistics the game generates.

What would we call them on Board Game Geek? I’m guessing geekametricians (From Geek + Metrics). Leonard Richardson, of Loaded Dice, is one such geekametrician. He’s your standard factory-made geek, but a side order of gamer. So, every once in a while he crunches numbers he culls from BGG and comes to some interesting conclusions.

I was introduced to his work through the above-named thread, where AndySzy makes a game out of comparing site members who are trying to trade away a particular game, versus those who are trying to acquire it, through BGG’s trading marketplace.

Andy’s game was to find the highest Trade/Want ratio. His example was the basic Killer Bunnies set, which 488 users were trying to get rid of, compared with 21 users who wanted to get a copy. Whether you figure it by differential (467) or ratio (23:1), it’s obvious Killer Bunnies is a very undesirable game in 2014.

I’m not going to review at the results commenters found, but instead focus on alexr’s link to Leonard Richardson’s work. He crunched similar numbers, but using Wishlists instead of Want in Trade, and Owners instead of Want to Trade.

So, Leonard is showing just how many owners of a particular game are trying to get rid of it. Sure, hundreds of Munchkin owners are trying to trade it away, but since there are tens of thousands of owners, that’s not a significant amount.

I’m not sure which would be the more accurate indicator of an Overrated game, but Leonard’s other chart—which flips the ratio—is a great indicator of Underrated games. High on that list are Capes & Cowls, Wok Star, Taktika, Hotel Life and Entrapment. They’re very underrated, as they never really showed up on my radar. Wok Star is the most recent of those, from 2010.

If you’re thinking of buying a game, and don’t trust ratings, find out how many owners are trying to unload their copies and compare that with how many members are looking to get a copy. I think that’s a pretty good way of deciding whether you should buy it.

TUESDAY, JULY 8

Do story-based games have staying power, or do they grow old?
by Mirefox

Okay, much shorter commentary here…. I liked this thread because I had the same question while playing Mice & Mystics. There are some casual story-tellers among the commenters, but there seems to be some hope for future expansions. So, as long as publishers keep releasing additional chapters, a good game can go on for a long time.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9

Plastic static cling straps for cards?
by grimbergen

A nod to Hugo’s Amazing Tape, which can be very useful in keeping your cards together without using rubber bands. One caution noted in the thread: the product has been found to cause damage to a very small number of game cards (eg, Summoner Wars, Cartagena) but those are logged in a linked thread.

THURSDAY, JULY 10

Ikea bag is breaking! What’s everyone carrying their swag in?
by Jedo1

I guess mid-week is for game accessories. This thread discusses options for transporting a large amount of games.

FRIDAY, JULY 11

[Poll] Have you ever consciously cheated?
by Kyur

It’s not the Yes/No question that’s important (57% said Yes), but the 2nd question, which asks why people cheated.

There were 5 choices listed (Wanted to Win, Bored, Fun to Break Rules, Bad Rules, Thrill of Risking Getting Caught) along with a few other comments. With 37 votes in, “I wanted to win” got 76%; on the opposite end, “I was bored” is in 2nd, with 30%.

It certainly made me think about how much (how little) I’ve cheated in my life. The only time I can remember consciously cheating was with friends in a game of Scrabble. In fact, we all decided to break the rules after the game bogged down. We invented Scrabble Neology, where we played words that were not in the Scrabble dictionary. We assigned points based on how well the player sold the word, and props were encouraged, if you could fit them on the board.

It’s not cheating if everyone does it, right?

SATURDAY, July 12, 2014

Introducing games at work
by VetruvianGamer

The question has universal appeal, because what gamer wouldn’t want to use their Lunch Hour for gaming?

Yet there have only been 4 comments on the subject. Still, a couple good suggestions, headed by everyone’s favorite light game, Love Letter.

If you have any suggestions or experiences, post them!

SUNDAY, July 13, 2014

When does a reviewer become a shill?
by Stuart Finlay

Pretty good question, which can be proven by the 54 comments. (Shill: an accomplice…who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.)

There’s so much discussion on this question because there’s no set of rules for board game reviewers, no union, no fraternity. Anyone can post their opinions about any game. But there are some unwritten rules that should never be broken, such as revealing that you received a free review copy from a publisher, or that you’ve invested in the Kickstarter for the game you’re reviewing.

A good suggestion: before reading a review, check the comments already posted. If there’s a lot of pushback from experienced members, the OP could be shilling.

Publishers must know that any efforts to pay reviewers would likely be exposed to the community. I imagine that most ‘shills’ merely want to please publishers so they can receive free games. Toward the end of the thread, Kaffedrake posted a link to another worthy post, Are reviewers too afraid to be critical or am I hypercritical?

I can’t read everything, so tell me in the Comments what great threads I might have missed.

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About Author

Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...