Board Game Studies Colloquium XX in Copenhagen 2017

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Hagbard
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Board Game Studies Colloquium XX in Copenhagen 2017

Post by Hagbard » Tue May 23, 2017 3:16 pm

The University of Copenhagen held a most successful BGCXX May 17th-21st 2017. A two-storey auditorum full of amiable board game enthusiasts, mostly high level university people - researchers, PH.D's, professors; about 55 participants from Australia, Europe and USA; much of the time parallel lectures in two auditoriums. I was pleased to meet Fred Horn, Netherlands, Jürgen Stigter, Netherlands, David Parlett, UK, Irving L. Finkell, UK, Bruce Whitehill, USA, Arnold de Voogt, Netherlands, Rolph Haefelfinger, Switzerland, Peter Michaelsen, Denmark, among others.

Some glimpses from the days in the gallery
http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_gallery.php
Last edited by Hagbard on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Board Game Studies Colloquium XX in Copenhagen 2017

Post by Hagbard » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:01 pm

At the colloquium Dr. Jorge Nuno Silva, Portugal, gave an interesting lecture, and he cited from a book of his, how to tell if an abstract game is a good game.

The authors of the book are:
Dr. João Pedro Neto. B.Sc. in Computer Science; M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning); Ph.D. in Neural Networks and Theory of Computation. The Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon.
Dr. Jorge Nuno Silva. Mathematician. Professor. Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Lisbon.

An extract from the book with the part cited by Silva:
Dr. Joao Pedro Neto and Jorge Nuno Silva:
"Mathematical Games, Abstract Games", Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York. 2013. 200 pages:
G. H. Hardy, one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century, said that the only difference between a chess problem and a mathematical theorem lies in their relevance. Abstract games and pure mathematics are the same...
We believe that the practise of good games nurture the intellect. We do not know how this mechanism actually works, but we believe that some good comes from playing interesting board games.
...

Quality control.

How can we tell a good game from a bad one? How can we access the quality of an abstract game? Which qualities would we like to find in a game so we would spend time with it?
...
One of the most important elements are depth, or strategic complexity. How specialized can one be in one game? For example, tic-tac-toe has a very low complexity; ... On the opposite side is chess; there are several levels of sophistication at which chess can be played, from beginner to grandmaster.
...
Clarity is another important issue. Clarity tries to answer the question "How difficult is it to create a good tactic or strategy?" The easier it is to visualize moves in the future, the greater clarity a game has. ... It is nice when our victory is due to wise planning,
...
Another important quality is drama. A game has drama if it is possible to overcome a difficult situation by surpricing strategic or tactical moves (for instance, sacrifices). Chess is a great example of a dramatic game, ... But, on the other hand, a game should be decisive: there must exist a situation towards which a player conducts the game that ensures him of the victory, ... A game without this characteristic becomes confusing, producing cyclic dramatic events, with no end.
The average time a game takes is also important. A chess game takes about 40 moves. ... nowadays games that take too long are penalized.
...
Ramification, that is, the number of possible moves a player can play, on average, in each move. It is in some ways the opposite of clarity.
...
The interaction is also important. This property addresses the level at which the pieces act on each other ... In games with good interaction, it is possible to create complex configurations with the adversary's pieces, improving the quality of the game and increasing the number of relevant tactical moves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- These parameters of quality go very well with the tafl games!!

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Re: Board Game Studies Colloquium XX in Copenhagen 2017

Post by Hagbard » Sat May 21, 2022 10:34 pm

May 17th - 20th 2022 I attended online the XXIVth Board Game Studies Colloquium in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
Last year I attended it likewise online in Paris, France.
2017 I was there in person in Copenhagen, Denmark.

These events are very international. 2017 there were contributions from USA. 2021 and 2022 there were contributions from India, Brazil and Mexico.

The option of following the Colloquium online was not possible before 2021, the option was created 2021 because of the corona virus.

I've written about the BGSC 2017 in a previous post.

BGSC 2021.
It's always enjoyable to see the photos of board games hundreds of years old, they're mostly old fashioned lithographs carefully printed in old colors with fine techniques using lithographic limestone or metal plate.

A presentation mentioned our tafl work here. The scientists research in measuring the "distance" between board games, determined by distance in time, geography, culture and trade routes.
The trick is that if the "distance" between two games is small, measured this way, then there might be similarities in rules etc. And so if there are holes in your knowledge about a game, then inspecting other games close in distance, might help you fill in the gaps.
And so one of the examples was that help for the inadequately known rules of Hnefatafl can be derived from the known rules of Tablut.
The Fetlar Hnefatafl and the Copenhagen Hnefatafl rules were mentioned.

Another presentation investigated the development of Chess through times.
In ancient times chess rules were very simple, and the game was very slow. This was the way the players wanted it. To be a mediocre chess player was considered to be a good quality of personality. Whereas an excellent chess player was considered to invest too much energy into unimportant things.
At a particular point in Medieval Age this attitude changed completely. A new type of players had emerged - university people, lawyers, philosophers. They wanted fast and spectacular chess games, and they wanted to be master players.
This is when and why chess rules were changed into the modern ones.

BGSC 2022.
The board game "distance" researchers met for a presentation in person (last year was by internet).
One of the examples was again the close connection between Tablut and Hnefatafl.

(Comment: Both presentations 2021 and 2022 underline that the Tablut rules are known from Linné.
Yet the present website aagenielsen.dk is the first place where these Tablut rules were reached and used.
Other places back then were fx. the Foteviken Museum where the Tablut rules involve base camps and a strong king, in contradiction to Linné. And various other places like Brainking where the Tablut king is unarmed and must be surrounded from 4 sides and the throne is inactive (friendly), also in contradiction to Linné. And the Skalk version where the king wins in corner, also contrary to Linné. Etc.etc.)

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