With regard to that Settlers article last week, here’s some harder sociological evidence that folks like Uberplay and Days of Wonder might want to keep the complexity dialed down. Redoubtable geek-feed Boing Boing cites a Scientific American article by Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz about the dynamics of choice in the Western world, and how more people are turning from Maximizers (what we in the gaming tribe would call min-maxers, obsessives who analyze and agonize over every move to get the best possible return) to Satisficers (not evidently a typo, and well characterized by the board-gamer’s exhortation to “be German,” that is, adopt the supposed tendency of German gamers to pick a good-enough move and not worry so much). The article itself is behind a paywall, but you can read more about it here and here.
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