Skip to Content

What do you think about the cult of the new?

9 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

Most of you probably have seen the comic strip on BGG showing "the cult of the new": the fact that people only want to play new games rather than games they already know. One of my friend even made a comment: "People have so much unplayed games (because they buy too much) that they want to play their unplayed games first instead of playing old games or known games."

On the other hand you have the cult of the "one game" which creates groups like chess, shogi and mah jong clubs.
The advantage of always playing the same game is that you can analyse and play the game very deeply. The disadvantage is that it can become boring due to the lack of variety.

As for the Cult of the new, you have a lot of variety but you don't get a chance to analyse the game through repeating plays, the replay value of a game is useless and you don't get a chance to play an old game you like.

Personally, I am in between both cults, I want to play good games often enough to get a deeper analysis of a game but I want to play more than 1 or 2 games.

The cult of the new seems to follow the "Play and dispose" philosophy of video games. When a game is finished or has been played, players forget the game and want something else.

What does it change to game design? If people are not replaying games, designers won't make any effort to make their game replayable. Second, designers might also not make as much effort to make a good balanced game, because when the effect of the "new" would have passed away they know that weather their game is good or bad, people won't play anymore. So people play a game not because it's good, but because it's new.

Does any of you have suggestion on how to overcome the effect of the "new"? Making expansions can be a way for people to replay your game.

Could this be considered a problem that we should try to overcome?

Another drawback of only playing new games is that you need to learn new rules all the time which mean that the games needs to have relatively simple rules and fast to explain else people would find loosing too much time learning the rules. Which has the effect of making more complex games less attractive.

domd's picture
Joined: 12/15/2008
larienna wrote: Does any of

larienna wrote:

Does any of you have suggestion on how to overcome the effect of the "new"? Making expansions can be a way for people to replay your game.

Could this be considered a problem that we should try to overcome?

Building community around a game is another way of getting repeat play. It is more than just playing to garner a deeper understanding - it's about having more fun each time out, about competing against the people you've grown to know through playing the game. In some ways, that sense of community and competition provides people with a deeper understanding of the opponent or the teammate, rather than the game.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
the cult of the new is

the cult of the new is generally good for designers.
as with many things, the reason is reached by "following the money".

publishers, (and thus as a result designers), want to sell as much as possible.
with things like short attention spans and collector's-disease fueling it (among other things), people will always buy new games. thus publishers will always want to provide new games for them to purchase.

you will still want to present a balanced game because if it's clearly broken in that first play or two, people will not recommend it to their friends, or in BGG-land, it will get bad reviews... and thus sell less copies.

as you mentioned, replayability would tend to be a diminishing trait, in the long run- though the more expensive the game, the more people look for that in a game (they want to recoup their investment with playtime). so i think there is still some impetus for a thorough design. plus, if your game is replayable, it satisfies BOTH the cult-of-the-new and the more focused gamers. whereas if it is not, it only satisfies the one group.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Cult of the Recent

I don't much like the Cult of the New, because it means it's difficult to get repeat plays of games I like. Or even find out if I really like a game.

The first time I play a game it's usually a learning game for one, some, or all of the players. There's no way to really get a good, competitive game on your first play - heck, many times people get a couple of rules wrong! I really like to play a game a handful of times, really get to know it, try and get better at it or try different strategies from game to game. Without people willing to play a game more than once or twice, it's tough to do that. In my game group I helped get a "game fo the month" system going so people would be encouraged to play the GotM each week at least.

At the same time, there are many neww games coming out all the time, and it's fun to try them out - but there needs to be some common ground between trying a game just once and then moving on to the next new thing, and playing a game every day for 3 months to the exclusion of all else.

Joined: 11/24/2009
The Cult

I have a few of the Cult of the New friends, and it seems that we spend about half the time learning new games. Which can be extra frustrating knowing that it may be the last time you ever play that game. I like a good balance, and some games simply cannot be appreciated without a few plays at least.

Yes, I think these CotN eople do drive the industry a lot, but there is a danger. In the 80's video game production became so prevalent, that the quality really dropped and in the end it hurt the video-game industry. I have played more than a few board games, where the game clearly wasn't completely thought through before it went to production. Shame on them for that. It cheapens the experience.

On the buyers end, I say only buy what you know is quality, to keep the good designers and publishers in business. If they need to make a second edition to work out the kinks, wait for it. Don't let them be lazy.

On a designers end, make the best thought-out, original and fun game you can. Focus on originality here. There are so many games that are so similar, that if you create something original it's popularity shouldn't fade that quickly.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:In the 80's video game

In the 80's video game production became so prevalent, that the quality really dropped and in the end it hurt the video-game industry.

I did not quite understand what created the video game crash. Was it really because they were too much crappy games. In a report I have seen, I remember them saying that a few key games really sucked and people simply get bored to play video games.

Do you think a crash could eventually happen to board game industry?

jeffinberlin's picture
Joined: 07/29/2008

After discovering German games here, I felt as though I was playing "catch-up" with both new and old titles, and rarely played games more than once or twice (including those I bought new or used). Now that I'm trying to reduce my collection, I often wonder why some gamers have so many games when they cannot possibly play them all regularely.

Of course, as was already pointed out, this benefits designers, as there are more publishers, and therefore more new designs (and designers) needed to fill their catalogs.

The demand for something new could, however, encourage lazy design by game designers, or rushed selection/development form publishers, and that's not a good thing for the future of the industry, which is also not good for the future of game designers.

jeffinberlin's picture
Joined: 07/29/2008
Good for game designers to be part of the cult?

Another point is that it could actually be beneficial for game designers to be part of the "cult of the new." Recently many wannabee game designers have dropped by our open prototype-testing sessions at the gaming cafe, to show us their designs. Most, however, actually have very limited experience with the variety of modern games (hard to believe, when they live in Germany:)), and their designs are really only variants on their favorite games (Monoply, Uno, etc.).

My advice is to simply point to the "wall of games" in the cafe and tell them to start playing those. Only then can you start to get an idea of what's possible with the medium, and what is no longer that original.

My 7+ years of gaming with a "cult of the new" group has given me a fairly good knowledge of what has been done before--as well as encouragement that there is always room for innovation. Even when I don't have the opportunity to play every new game, I read about everything that attracts the attention of the gaming press. Sometimes, I'm inspired to take a new mechanic from another game further, while at other times, a mechanic that has already been done 1,000 times before forces me to think in a different direction.

Although as a player, you may want to have more time to explore all the different strategies of a particular game, it may actually be more beneficial to you as a designer to play a variety of games with less frequency.

Taavet's picture
Joined: 08/15/2008
Over Stimulation / Competition

I think in today's world there is just SO MUCH available that everyone is always playing catchup.

Some enjoy the 'new' aspect of things and its an easy appetite to fill. Others are just consumers and if there gonna buy stuff anyway (even with money they don't have) why not board games!

As already mentioned it does have its ups and downs.

On the designer side how many of us start a 'new' design because some thought hits us compared to how many of us have the same one idea that we are trying to perfect?

From a different aspect the internet has brought a whole new level of competition. Many times you will see posts that say: 'first', 'second', ect. People competing to be the first and post a message. Likewise at places BGG people want to be able to add their input and opinion about games. When there are already many reviews and posts about a game who really goes through and reads them all? If you want your comments to be read and commented on it helps being the first to post about any given topic. Starting to ramble now but you get my point.

Lastly, I think PRIDE factors into wanting to be the first, have the most or something more/better then others, and we know gamers are competitive and love to win!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I like the idea of the game

I like the idea of the game of the month so far.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut