Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Backlash Effect

A mere hours after Tom Vasel posts a message questioning the popularity of the Gipf series as compared to other abstracts, Rick Thornquist does the same in his weekly roundup, throwing off an insinuation that these games derive most of their popularity simply because Rio Grande Games published them.

I hereby announce the start of a new Backlash Effect on Gipf, an effect most recently visited upon Caylus by people who haven't even yet played the game. Expect a series of people to now denounce Gipf games as over-produced and over-hyped, and "not so special" when compare to lots of other abstract games. I have my own gripes about games that I have not enjoyed as much as I was "supposed to". I've made these feelings clear on this blog as I've played them. I was a victim of believing the precursor to the "Backlash Effect": the "Hype Effect".

I suggest that everyone try the following exercise: go to your games rating page on the Geek and click on the arrow that arranges them all by rating, from 10s down to 1s.

Now, I assume that your 10s are only the real all-time classics that you expect even your grandchildren to enjoy. And the 1s are only reserved for games that simply are not games, like "Bingo", as opposed to simply bad games, like "Candyland".

For the remainder of the games, those in the 2 through 9 range, check if all of your 9s are really more enticing to you than all of your 8s. Do the 9s all hold a similar level of appeal to you? Do the 8s? Now do the same for the 8s and 7s, and so on down the line.

Look at your list. Remember that most games have both good and bad aspects. The best games have a few faults, and (most of) the worst have a few saving graces. Maybe both sides of the coin are true, to a certain extent.


P.S. Edited to remove poorly worded sentences.
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