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A friend told me Kickstarter is ruining his gaming social circles and he's right

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18 May 2019 18:33 - 19 May 2019 05:00 #297267 by Erik Twice
One of the people I play the most with just sent me a message telling me to write an article about "How shitty kickstarter games ruined my friends circle". I asked him what happened and he told me he had just realized the following:

1) We were meeting less often
2) He was meeting less often with another gaming group
3) Bad kickstarter games were the cause

And he's right. I've been meeting less often with him and a Kickstarter-buying friend because I don't want to play bad games anymore. My enjoyment of meeting to play has gone down massively because isntead of playing a couple nice games, we play poorly tested crap once and then move on to more poorly tested crap. Going from Fury of Dracula, Terraforming Mars and Chicago Express to playing the average Kickstarter once is a massive downgrade.

My friend also complained about not being able to say anything, because criticism of those games is taken personally. And it's true. In general, game owners don't take it kindly when people criticize the games they bought, but it's significantly worse with Kickstaters. Part of this is the larger personal involvement of patronage or preordering compared to buying, but the other part is that these games tend to be very poorly tested and, hence, have more to complain about.

I must admit this is also a recurring issue at the club. I may be a whiny elitist, but I never wish I would have stayed home when the resident classic eurogame fan invites me to play, while I often end up doing so when the Kickstarters hit the table.

Thoughts?
Last edit: 19 May 2019 05:00 by Erik Twice.
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18 May 2019 19:45 #297268 by Gary Sax
I could absolutely see this happening. I feel like kickstarter would do the least amount of damage to larger clubs/meetups where the people who don't want to play a new game every single week that might be bad can all play old stuff together. In a small meetup, you have to make a choice.
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18 May 2019 20:17 #297269 by n815e
I am noticing that the number of review videos is being overcome by unboxing videos.
Instead of opinions of games we get opinions on components.

I’ve also encountered someone claim that criticism of board games are personal attacks against their designers.
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18 May 2019 20:29 #297271 by Sagrilarus

Erik Twice wrote: One of the people I play the most with just sent me a message telling me to write an article about "How shitty kickstarter games ruined my friends circle". I asked him what happened and he told me he had just realized the following:

1) We were meeting less often
2) He was meeting less often with another gaming group
3) Bad kickstarter games were the cause

And he's right. I've been meeting less often with him and a Kickstarter-buying friend because I don't want to play bad games anymore. My enjoyment of meeting to play has gone down massively because isntead of playing a couple nice games, we play poorly tested crap once and then move on to more poorly tested crap. Going from Fury of Dracula, Terraforming Mars and Chicago Express to playing the average Kickstarter once is a massive downgrade.

My friend also complained about not being able to say anything, because criticism of those games is taken personally. And it's true. In general, game owners don't take it kindly when people criticize the games they bought, but it's significantly worse with Kickstaters. Part of this is the larger personal involvement of patronage or preordering compared to buying, but the other part is that these games tend to be very poorly tested and, hence, have more to complain about.

I must admit this is also a recurring issue at the club. I may be a whiny elitist, but I never wish I would have stayed home when the resident classic euroga,e fan invites me to play, while I often end up doing so when the Kickstarters hit the table.

Thoughts?


This happened before kickstarter, but to a lesser extent. There were less bad games, and you had trouble finding them let alone buying them.

I walk away from games I don't want to play because my group is about seven people usually and I can. I often am pulling out an old game with good specs and "relearning" it because I don't get to play old games more than once every five years. Often someone joins me.

Part of the hobby now.
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18 May 2019 21:03 #297274 by ubarose
Interesting. Hasn't happened to me. Terraforming Mars has killed my interest in going to certain game meetups. I really, really, really wish I liked it, but I don't. Today I was thinking of going to a meet-up, but then was like, why bother. All the people I like and want to hang with are going to be playing Terraforming Mars on repeat for like 7 hours, and then when they leave they will be all cross that I didn't spend any time with them.
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18 May 2019 21:10 #297275 by san il defanso
I think my regular circles stayed pretty solid. But I do expect it killed big meetups for me. Stuff like conventions, game nights at local stores, those things have become way more of a crap shoot.

Partly that's because they are populated by more than just people I know, which is fine, but it's not nearly the communal experience it used to be.

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19 May 2019 05:38 #297277 by Shellhead
FFG has a solution: "New Board Game Uses All Your Other Unopened Board Games as Resource Tokens"

thehardtimes.net/harddrive/new-board-gam...-4p4UNrVW9IipRNlpnc8
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19 May 2019 06:46 #297278 by Msample

n815e wrote: I am noticing that the number of review videos is being overcome by unboxing videos.
Instead of opinions of games we get opinions on components.

I’ve also encountered someone claim that criticism of board games are personal attacks against their designers.


Every time you watch an unboxing video a kitten dies .
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19 May 2019 07:22 #297279 by DukeofChutney
I spend more time reading this site than playing games these days and this is a factor as to why. It's not so much just kick starter but i got fed up with playing the new game of the week, so after awhile my motivation to along to regular weekly gaming meet ups just dropped. Partly this is because some of those games either were just bad, or were not my tastes. I agree that you have to be careful what you say as people do take their taste in games as part of their identity. However the bigger issue was just a general empty feeling where in the new game as a thing became the focus of all attention rather than meeting up with friends. I like games, and I do like learning new games, but somewhere there is a tipping point were it becomes mindless grind of new boxes, each never quite satisfying.
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19 May 2019 13:13 - 19 May 2019 13:14 #297284 by Michael Barnes
Yet another example of how Kickstarter has negatively impacted the gaming culture.

I quit playing with one of my regular groups (10+ years)) because it became a weekly Kickstarter showcase with 2-3 people showing up with whatever shipped that week and an aspiration to get it played... even if it means fumbling through a badly written 50 page rulebook and sorting through piles of components at the table. Then the next day - “well, we played it wrong”. I got sick of playing first scenarios of campaign games.

But along with those games, there was also a weird psychology brought to the table. Nobody wants to be the one to tell the guy that the $300 they invested a year ago in an entire product line’s worth of garbage content was wasted...and that nobody wants to play it next week. There’s this weird sense that you are playing something just so somebody doesn’t feel bad about their buying decision. It’s a strange kind of social pressure...in some ways, it’s almost this narcissistic kind of thing- “I bought this big expensive game and you all are going to play it with me”. That’s not really exclusive to a Kickstarter game I guess, but it’s amplified when every week a new $300 pledge is on the table.

TBH, the only regular group I play with is made of folks that barely buy games. They play pretty much what I bring. And we play and replay the games we all really like. We aren’t searching for anything. We know what we like to play. Some nights we spend 0 minutes in rules explanation. There is never any pressure to appease someone that brought their $300 pledge.

I can’t imagine going to a public game night in the Kickstarter era...
Last edit: 19 May 2019 13:14 by Michael Barnes.
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19 May 2019 18:50 #297295 by ChristopherMD
Game-of-the-Week burnout was a thing long before Kickstarter, but we can pretend it wasn't if it means ranting about KS destroying the hobby I guess.
My first few years in the hobby were wasted on hundreds of "meh" games that would only get brought out once then onto something else next week. I used to log my plays and think it was like only 1 in 10 sessions were replays of the games I actually wanted to play. Imagine wanting to get Tigris & Euphrates on the table for a second or third time but first you have to play 20 different bland Euros.

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19 May 2019 19:31 #297296 by san il defanso
That's a fair point, but it's also fair to say that there is rarely consensus about what games are big deals now. The first year I got in the hobby was the year Agricola came out, and everyone was playing that one. Everyone had to have a consensus about it. It's true that the cream rises to the top now, (stuff like Scythe can seize the narrative) but it's so fractured now that I frankly haven't heard of most of the games that make it out at game night anymore. The rate of new releases has ramped way up and it's hard to engage with the hobby on any broad level.
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19 May 2019 21:51 #297301 by cropcircles
One of the things I really miss is how few games really spark common conversations hobby-wide anymore. How many big games from the last few years have we all played multiple times and have informed opinions about? Scythe? Gloomhaven? Anything else? Now it seems instead like we’re fractured into a million little cells, each playing a different Kickstarter crap du jour.
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19 May 2019 21:59 #297302 by Gary Sax
Terraforming mars is a notable one, but yeah, I agree it's a big problem for any media or space around board games, most people aren't playing the same things.

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19 May 2019 23:28 #297303 by san il defanso
The whole thing has made me conscious of how much every reviewer curates what games are worthy of attention just through what they cover. When there was some broad consensus, you were able to participate in a larger conversation based on what games were big. Those opinions on popular games, combined with the less known stuff you choose to cover, would serve as a sort of broader narrative for reviewers. Whether that's good or bad is up for debate, but it's definitely been a big change in games writing.

But when you are kind of guessing at what will be big, you are really just adding to the fractured nature of the hobby, because you're basically writing about completely different games from everyone else. Again, not good or bad but definitely different.

It doesn't help that so many publishers are loathe to comp copies these days. It just means that you need to either wait longer to review something that becomes popular, or curate some more by way of what you purchase.
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