Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Sunday, March 29, 2009

BGTG 92 - Game Awards (with Dave Arnott)

Part 2 of my discussion with Dave Arnott was about game awards. There are a bunch of them, from the Spiel des Jahres to the Golden Geeks. We talk about a whole range of them, and also consider how game awards are similar or different from other artistic awards, such as the Oscars. (By the way, I did go see Slumdog Millionaire that night, and though I liked it I wouldn't have called it the Best Picture of the year.)


P.S. Let me know if you think the audio levels sound better on this recording. Like most of my guests, Dave has lower lows and (especially) higher highs than my own voice, which makes leveling the audio tricky with my low budget rig. Aldie suggested I pipe it through some software called Levelator, so I'm trying that for this second half of our show.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prompted by a comment in this episode, I started a BGG wiki entry for the "A la carte" award. Have at it:

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Daniel Brown said...

When I was new to modern boardgames I looked to awards and top 10s to lead me to games to try. Now that I have 100+ plus games, I do not pay any attention to these awards. I know enough now to know that recommendations from people I don't know or don't know anything about are worthless. I get more useful information from this and other podcasts, because I know about you and your taste and how they match with mine. Even that can be very misleading. For example, I heard your all about show on Medici and I thought I would not like the game. I then played it and I and everyone in my game group really like the game. On the other hand I heard you talk about Oltremare and I thought that my game group and I would love the game. Not one of the players liked the game.
So, in the end the only way I know to purchase a game is if I play it and like it. But if I am going to take a chance on a new game, I don't even think about awards. I will weight the thoughts of people I know and respect and make a guess as to if I will like the game or not.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous davebo said...

Dan's got the right of it. Buying a game is a big crap shoot. You just never know who's going to like what, and for what reason. I find this to be especially true for my kids.

I've pretty much given up buying games that I've never played. I play with enough people that introduce games to me that I just don't need to take the risk anymore. Also, I have these 200+ games in my collection, and no longer have the craving to build my collection. I say that, but I still purchase quite a few games a year, but at least the vast majority of them I've already played.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Chris Norwood said...

Couple of things...

First, you didn't use the most current Games Magazine Games 100 list. They always release their list in November(ish), and technically they call it the list for the coming year. So the list with games from 2008 is called the 2009 Games 100 list. Anyway, here is the most recent list:

And speaking of the Origins awards, from what I understand, the list is generated by some jury, but then voting is done at Origins by any and all attendees. So, what makes it such a joke is that you don't have to play or even know anything at all about a game to vote for it. And what seems to usually happen is that companies with a strong presence in the exhibition hall (such as Looney Labs when Treehouse won boardgame of the year) or with name recognition (such as Starcraft) tend to win over games that are actually better.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of your best! Full of thoughtful commentary; though all your podcasts are great!

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Dave Arnott said...

"Also, I have these 200+ games in my collection"

Wow, Davebo, you have more games than I do. Of course, I discovered early into this hobby that I wasn't much of a collector... and by "wasn't much of" I mean that I really went crazy starting my collection, but found, after a year or two, that I was happy to have it be relatively small (by gamer's standards), and that after 150-ish games, I was okay with that being my, uh... shelf capacity number.

So part of it's me. But I also wouldn't figure you to keep going past 200... though it doesn't completely shock me :)

12:03 PM  

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