Peeking at the ‘Geek’: Theming, Metagaming…and Donuts

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A look at each day’s most interesting and informative threads from the Board Game Geek general gaming forum.

(Geek Peeks is published every Monday.)

MONDAY, JULY 21

Terminology Twins

“Board Game” vs. “Tabletop Game”
submitted by Tobias Wehrum

A Masters candidate tries to devise a concrete distinction between the two.

Boardgame Terminology Opinion Survey #1
submitted by Mezmorki

A quick follow-up tries a different tack: Asking BGG users multiple choice and open questions about their use of various terms (fiddly, weight, etc). Check out his Google Doc questionnaire.

TUESDAY, JULY 22

Theming – the biggest barrier to a HUGE audience
submitted by skyblaze

IMO, the biggest barrier that Theming creates is: Cost. Eliminate the Theme and you eliminate expensive artwork and fancy components. Strip the game down, make it more affordable, and you add a lot of Casual Gamers to the marketplace.

Of course, that’s a simplistic way of looking at a very complex topic. You’ll be better informed by reading others’ comments than you will by reading mine.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23

Help me understand the concept of “metagaming”…
submitted by Hi_Regis

At first glance, I thought this would be a very simplistic question with a couple “are you kidding me?” responses. But the reaction in the BGG community has been fascinating. No real contradictions about the Comments, but there’s a lot of shading going on around that word.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from closely following BGG’s forum and Reddit’s /r/boardgame, it’s that every great question like this will have at least two equally valid and thoughtful answers. The first one to point this out on this thread was Paul DeStefano:

Meta game (Beyond the game) is the social war.
Meta game (the bigger game) is the strategic mindset.

Other commenters joined in by taking both answers a little deeper.

THURSDAY, JULY 24

Going to Ireland, anything to be looking out for?
submitted by Trevor Franklin

Yeah, Dungeons & Donuts, with fantasy RPG-themed donuts.

Great photo uploaded to the thread, but no one posted the web address:
http://www.dungeonsanddonuts.net/

FRIDAY, JULY 25

Another victim of the CSPC
submitted by dcorban

Last week I read somewhere a post about the legalities of cash tournaments, and how that applied to some tabletop game contests.

This week, the uncontroversial topic of age recommendations came under scrutiny because of guidelines issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

BGG user Daniel Corban just noticed

that the current and recent printings of Carcassonne are marked for ages 13+. This is due to the required testing and (relatively high) financial tithe which must be made to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for any “toy” marketed toward children under 13 years of age. The game, prior to this regulation, was marked for ages 8+.

It seems that any “toy” label for ages under 13 are more closely monitored & tested by government agencies. So, American printers are getting around this unreasonable scrutiny by labeling their games for 13+, even when the designer had a younger age range in mind.

BGG member Pas L gave a another example…

So this is why my copy of Skull says 8+ in French and 13+ in English. I thought it was just a subtle commentary on the competence of English speaking children!

SATURDAY, JULY 26

Boardgame Torture!
submitted by Joe Grimer

Tortuous things you put up with because you love board gaming. There are a lot of humorous observations here that hold quite a bit of truth within them.

Experienced gamer Mabuchi came up with some of the best comments…

 4 Player Mage Knight
A full table of Eclipse
Any Martin Wallace with AP players

In addition to that thread, there were a couple threads launched on Saturday about Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower podcast, with many comments reflecting negatively on Vasel’s influence on readers (in general) and the nature of his reviews (in particular.)

While the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast is a part of the Dice Tower Network, the reason I didn’t include either of those threads as the Best of the Day is because they’re both long, long, long. It’s a drudgery trying to wade through all those comments and I didn’t want to subject anyone else to it.

SUNDAY, JULY 27

Gaming in Summer
submitted by Colin Lundrigan

Our habits change during the summer. Some of us are able to adapt to the heat and the vacations, and others just have to bid adieu to the cardboard for a couple months.

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...