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The Talk Classical Games

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Usually there are a number of games running simultaneously in the "polls" sub-forum, mostly run by Bulldog:

Many people who do not play these games yet have expressed bewilderment about the what, why and how of these games. In this blog post I will try to clarify this.

What are these games?

Let's start by stating what they are not: they are not a serious attempt to generate ranked lists of compositions of composers. What are they then? Fun!

Why do people play these games?

They are just for fun and to some extent educational. It is nice to push your favourites to a higher classification - or to prevent compositions or composers you don't like to end high in the final ranking. More importantly, it gives you a chance to explore works or composers you do not know yet.

How does one play these games?

A moderator defines the theme, and will usually start with a nomination phase. The moderator will state in the first post the conditions of this nomination phase, in particular how many nominations each player can make per their calendar day, and any restrictions (e.g. no composer to be repeated in the same nomination post). At a certain moment the moderator will end the nomination phase and post the playlist for the game. Usually there are too many nominations to play them all in one round (which typically would be 10-20 entries), so there will be a number of "qualification" (or "preliminary") rounds, with a predetermined number of entries moving to the next phase and so on. There may still be a further shift ("semi-final rounds") to come to a number of entries suitable for one final round. These conditions will be posted clearly by the moderator in the first post of a game round.

In each game round, the moderator will define how many points you can hand out every calendar day, the maximum number of points per entry, and the number of points to determine the winner. The moderator will post the "board", a list of the entries in that particular game, and post his/her own distribution of point . The next player (the one who encounters the thread next - there is no fixed sequence) will copy/paste the board and add their votes, and so on. The board should always be the result of all cumulative votes so far.

Some people have objected that it does not make sense to do this, as you simply would vote the same points distribution every day. However, as the game moves along, one may switch. If it becomes clear that one's favourite(s) are not getting enough support by other players, it would make sense to switch to other works/composers you like and that are already getting wider support.

Confused? Just try it!
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  1. Roger Knox's Avatar
    I have played a lot of games, and find it a challenge to balance my personal favorites with ones that are potential winners. Sometimes you sense the participants shying away from a too obvious choice, but coalescing around a less well-known work. You may question "Why am I voting for X?" and realize that the reason is trivial at best, e.g. "I feel sorry for this work & composer having 0 points so I'm going to vote for it." Or a few participants can be so massively for one choice that there is hardly a game at all! Really, you learn something about both people (including oneself) and music.
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