Not everyone is a hardcore gamer

But almost everyone plays cards and boardgames once in a while. So they can be a bit "lazy" and ask a question like:

I can't decide between Risk and Axis&Allies, which one is better?

If I have understood well, this kind of question would be closed. However, I think there is a legitimate "ask the experts" element there but doubt that this kind of player is willing to go read the faqs, search for different games info and post a more objective elaborate question; it's just a game right?

If the poster is asked about what he likes and wants, the question can be transformed [edited] a bit.. yes it's a bit of against SE and a bit of spoiling but..

Is a casual gamer (almost anyone) a regular member of B&CG?

I mean, how many monopolies is he going to buy through his life anyways?

So then, what's the attitude towards that kind of questions here?

3 Answers 3


No, Boardgames.SE has few if any regular casual gamers

A regular user would be someone that logs in once a day, or at least once a week. Someone who is only casually interested in board games is unlikely to search out information on Boardgames.SE, or on any other site for that matter.

Recommendation questions do have an element of expert knowledge that can determine if a game would be a good fit, or with a large enough sample size a poll could reflect which game is the best (like RottenTomatoes with movies and critics/people ratings). The problem with those sorts of questions is, that the don't fit the stack exchange Q&A format:

  • Open recommendations result in long lists, with no definitive answer. (i.e. What is a good game for 3 players)

  • Open recommendations quickly become out of date, and are difficult to maintain.

  • They are too localized (i.e. What is a better game [for me] Risk or Axis&Allies?)

  • They become a poll of not necessarily the best answer, but the most popular answer.

There are other resources on the net that can provide better answers for these sorts of questions. BGG has a Gift Guide 20xx, and Games Magazine has Game of the Year. SE users are also free to ask for suggestions in chat, which they should be directed to. There, they can be prodded to provide more information that would be necessary to pin down which games would be best for them.

  • Nice agree on that. But regarding the problems with those questions, I asked if it's worth to correct them: I mean pull of the information from the poster so the question becomes objective, closed and ultimately profitable
    – quinestor
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 9:15
  • 1
    @quinestor, it can't be done. Example make your OP question, "Which is better Risk or A&A?". It is too subjective (what is "best" for each person), the question is closed (only has two answers, nothing to fix here), but will not be profitable to later users. Even if you add "Why?" to the question, it just becomes a sort of review of each game, AA has better pieces, Risk can be finished in less time, AA isn't as balanced, ..." StackExchange isn't a review site, how would voting reflect "reviews" of these "Why is Risk better than AA?"
    – user1873
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 14:34
  • thank you , user1873 ? Weird that sounds unpersonal :)
    – quinestor
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 19:00
  • 2
    You make an assumption that a casual player should look up things on this site. I'd like to remind you that having 80-90% of the traffic coming from google searches is one of the goals of most SE sites. I believe a casual player would google "I like Settlers of Catan, what should I buy next?"
    – K.L.
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 14:57
  • @K.L., you will have to remember that I wrote this a year ago, when our numbers were much lower. That being said, I don't think it matters if casual gamers come from Google or not. I don't think that having an answer for, "I like Catan, what should I buy next?" on BG.SE will help improve the site for the reasons I list above. The hardcore/casual gamer split doesn't change the reasoning for why we don't allow those questions on the site, and neither does a users regularity.
    – user1873
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 15:39

I'm not clear precisely what your question is, but it seems to include the assumptions: (1) Casual game-players will find this site and ask questions on it: (2) A casual game-player won't have the time and intelligence needed to ask a good StackExchange question and (3) A bad question is better than no question. I find all of them factually dubious, and in any case you are ignoring the reasons why the BCG rules were created in the first place. Stack Exchange members are not random visitors: they are expected to have some expertise, which they freely give for the sake of improving (the hobby, in this case). I for one would stop visiting if the front page were overwhelmed by "what game should I buy as a Christmas present for my 12-year-old nephew?" questions.

  • Define casual player. As you put it, only game designers would have any interest in B&CG. Thats not exactly a big audience.
    – K.L.
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 14:54
  • @K.L.: As defined in the question, a casual player is somebody who 'plays cards and boardgames once in a while', but has no particular interest. If you read my answer, I specifically say that such a player may ask good questions. And are you seriously suggesting that the world is divided into game desigmers and casual players? Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 18:16
  • yes! Because there is no "hardcore boardgame player" label to be attached to boardgame players. For the sake of berevity I put all the people involved in or interested in the making of a boardgame into a sack labeld "people with expertise" or "game designers". You said that every user of this site should have expertise. Well, in my book having played a few (or a lot) of boardgames does not make you an expert. And only experts can have expertise. So if every user needs to be an expert, the site would be only for "game designers". IMHO user != contributor!
    – K.L.
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 14:54
  • 1
    I dont really need to be an expert mechanic to come into carfix.se to ask how to fix my broken xxxx, and so I dont have to be an boardgame expert to come to B&CG and ask questions about boardgames. As you can see, the main problem I have with your answer is mainly semantics and terminology. You dont even have to be a member to ask a question! So requiring "expertise" from every asking questions is a bit too much. You can require expertise from people ANSWERING questions tho ;)
    – K.L.
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 15:00

I don't like most "recommendations" questions. But I feel that there is an important subset that shouldn't fall under these strictures.

The problem with most recommendations questions is that they tend to be open-ended and therefore "broad." A recommendation question might read, "I'd like a suggestion for a multiplayer game, played with dice, where the object is to acquire objects/properties of value, and ultimately to dominate the whole board and be more powerful than other players. That is a "too broad" question that ought to be closed.

A much narrower version of the question include the foregoing, plus an actual game that you've played. "Besides the above, the kind of game I had in mind is like "Risk." Then a logical answer might be Axis and Allies. Or, "I was thinking of Monopoly. Then a logical answer might be "Easy Money." The additional detail on preferences narrows the question considerably by asking for substitutes, and probably makes it answerable. I created a new tag, substitutes, just to deal with this kind of question.

Of the two, the "Risk" question was a bad one, because the OP didn't tell what he liked about Risk with enough specificity for us to know whether Allies and Axis was an adequate substitute. But the Monopoly question has some specificity and might be worth reopening.

  • 1
    As soon as you specify what qualities and features you like about a board game, you are back to asking "Recommend an X-player board game that has quality Y and feature Z."
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 16:46

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