Board Game “Weight”

Board Game Geek has a system that allows gamers to rate games based on “Weight”. They don’t actually mean in terms of pounds or kilograms, but it’s often interpreted as a measure of complexity/learning curve/game length/etc. It’s a 1-5 scale where 1 is light, 2 is light medium, 3 is medium, 4 is medium heavy and 5 is heavy. This feature is seldom used, though I think there’s enough data in most of the games I play to make it somewhat useful.

One day, I was really bored and I looked up the scores of the games I own. I’m not sure what sort of result I was looking for, but I felt kind of weird knowing that my average game weight was 1.9 out of 5.

As a lifelong video game player, I definitely consider myself as part of the hardcore crowd. I also see myself within the hardcore circles when it comes to my other hobbies and interests. Though I acknowledge the fact that I haven’t been into board games for very long, it is weird to see my tastes “quantitatively” measured as being light to light medium. For whatever reason, I don’t like the idea of being in the casual/baby games crowd, even if I’m probably deserving of that title.

According to the Board Game Geek weight scale, my heaviest games are Dominion, Legendary, Pandemic and Yomi. All of those games have a score of 2.4 out of 5, which puts them just shy of the mathematical middle. In comparison to the rest of my collection, I would agree that they are the most hardcore. I also think that they push my current limits of what I’m willing to play in terms of weight. As I look at a list of top games on Board Game Geek sorted by weight, everything past Dominion: Intrigue doesn’t look all that appealing to me in terms of perceived difficulty and theme.

I do recognize the fact that I currently have lighter tastes and that there are levels of board games far beyond where I want to go, but is that a bad thing? Based on this chart from Board Game Geek user Aweberman, 459 out of the top 1000 rated games on the site have a weight between 1.0 and 2.4. The weight range with the largest number of games is 2.0-2.9, which accounts for 476 out of the top 1000. Based on this, my weight trends a bit more towards average. At the very least, that means there are still hundreds of great games within my weight comfort zone, for whatever that’s actually worth.

Does this matter at all? Not really, no. I’ll continue to play what I want to play and enjoy what I want to enjoy. If I choose to push forward in building my board game street cred, I will. If not, I’m at least at a level of competency where there’s a lot of great games for me to enjoy. At the very least, it’s an interesting way to contextualize my current tastes in board games.

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