I don’t usually list and categorize the things that I like – I don’t have a “number one film” or “the video game I like most of all”. I prefer to analyze such instances of entertainment by their qualities, so I can choose the correct recreational activity, the one best suited to the current conditions. Another important analysis is the effectiveness with which their design matches their intent. A game might not be to my liking, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game – in games and movies etc, I prefer to use terms such as bad and good only in relation to how well designed they are. Scoring ladders and first places and the likes, even though they have their uses, are problematic at best, and I prefer not to use them myself.

For example, Order of the Stick is one of the best webcomics I’ve read, but it’s not the best. It’s great for long-form, but bad for short, stand alone jokes (for that I’ll go for VG Cats; and yet, even though I see it as an excellent strip, I won’t recommend to it someone who’ll probably won’t understand the references, instead pointing them at some other webcomic). There is no “the best” webcomic, not even ours, since they all have different qualities. That doesn’t mean we can’t compare them – but it’s only worthwhile within the circumstances and definition of that specific comparison.

Here are two data points that subvert everything I’ve just said.

The first is the Casties, by my fav podcast NPC Cast, in which the hosts compared 32 table top games, both of the board and RPG variety, and reached a single winner. As I said, I don’t agree with the concept as a whole, and yet, it was a wonderful listen and I highly recommend it. The guys really know their stuff, and they explain the idea behind each game, then make an interesting comparison in each matchup. Try it! A great way to catch up on most of the important games of 2015.

The second is the Icel.me 2015 Game Awards, in which an Israeli friend of mine seduced me to talk about last year’s video games (all in English), forcing me to choose winners in various categories. He used my only weakness against me – giving me an opportunity to voice my opinion with no time constraints. shiver