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Technically they're not either a board or card game, although you can play them whilst sitting round a table if you really wanted to.

However, I've got great new information out of threads like 'Anyone know more 'social' games like 'Werewolves"' and been able to pass it on in this more recent question.

[Self promtion ahoy!] Moreover there is a Pervasive Games proposal on Area 51, that could cover some of these games - especially the outdoor ones.

It pre-dates this sites beta but has a very low number of followers, perhaps it should be closed in favour of this site?

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I believe that social games should be allowed; we've had several questions on them already, they seem to have gone over well. There is also some overlap between social games (or party or parlour games), and board games, so it would be hard to draw an exact dividing line.

I'm less sure about pervasive games; I'm not terribly familiar with them, so if you could write or link to a good definition of them, that would help. What I'm writing here is based on a very rough idea of what they are from a little bit of Googling and glancing at some information.

I think that some of them might be on topic, while some are closer to sports, RPGs, or computer games, which are off-topic. Essentially, I would say for pervasive games, if social interaction, strategic skill, and random chance (dice, cards, RPS) are the bulk of the game, they could probably be considered on-topic, like Werewolf or the social aspects of Diplomacy (which also has a board, so that helps).

If there's a significant physical aspect or geographic aspect (as in some Assasin's games or geocaching), it may be off topic; better for a dedicated pervasive games forum, or possibly considered a sport. If there's a substantial roleplaying aspect, or LARP like aspects, it might be more appropriate for a roleplaying forum. If there's a considerable online aspect like Alternate Reality Games, a computer gaming forum could be more appropriate.

I think that we should generally try to be inclusive if possible here; try not to close anything as off topic if it could be considered on topic. However, there's a certain aspect of "I'll know it when I see it."

We can also try and apply the rules of thumb that I listed in another answer about what's on topic; "playable on or around a table" may have to be stretched a little, but Diplomacy already stretches that (as you need to be able to go off and make and discuss alliances in secret, so a substantial portion of the game is not around the table). I think a guideline for what is acceptable is that only social interactions may be taking place elsewhere than on or around a table; if there are substantial physical components beyond that, you're rapidly approaching something different than what we cover here.

For reference, the rules of thumb I listed:

  1. Be playable on or around a table
  2. Have objective rules of play and win conditions
  3. Offer dynamic challenges, either through other players, randomization, or both
  4. Be playable by hand, by human players implementing all of the rules
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  • An interesting note about 4. Be Playable by hand, by human players implementing all the rules. would rule out at least one CCG. NFL Showdown, used an electronic card reader to determine which player was the most important for a certain offensive vs. defensive play. It required that you scan the plays, and player cards to determine yardage, interceptions, etc. Not saying that (4) isn't a good general rule, but there are always going to be exceptions. There also is a board game that has a computer/safe talk to you as a kind of timer for events (cannot remember the name). – user1873 Jan 21 '12 at 14:25
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I think we should be more restrictive and keep it to Board and Card games, that's even a little wider than I like, but it get's harder to restrict it after that. I'm not looking forward for being the repository of all knowledge for Candy Land.

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  • CANDY LAND!!!!! – Michael Mrozek Nov 1 '10 at 17:55
  • The repository for all knowledge for Candy Land could fit in a Stack Exchange comment box, so you probably don't have to worry much if it does eventually happen. :) – Firefeather Dec 15 '10 at 23:21

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