[Poll] How go should be advertised?

Black is so greedy :stuck_out_tongue:

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That was in Russia, right? Russia really has a lot of youth players, like 2000 or so.

It was in Ukraine.

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Ah yes. EYGC 2019 was in Russia (Moscow). It had 150 participants U12: European Youth Go Championship Under12 | Tournament card | E.G.D. - European Go Database

This is a picture of the 2019 youth tournament in my village:

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Chess pieces are like different characters with different personalities, which appeals to young kids. What if Go stones had emoji’s printed on them? Play a :smiley: stone for when your group makes two eyes, play a :angry: stone when invading, play a :fearful: stone when running out to the center, :slightly_frowning_face: stone when you can’t kill a group but have to settle for seki, etc.

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:elephant: jump
:monkey: or :monkey_face: jump
:tiger2: or :tiger:’s mouth
:lion:’s mouth (trumpet connection / tiger pair)
:panda_face: bamboo joint

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Brochures, handouts and posters from the AGA.

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If we’re linking old AGA stuff

Or this one seems slightly longer

That is what happened to LotR.
When I was a teenager and was reading fantasy books (Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms mainly at the time) I was a super-nerd wasting my time. Fast forward a few years and teenagers were wearing LotR shirts and talking about LotR and even paving the way for other, undeserving, books to ride the trend.
Game of Thrones - book 1 is one of the worst I have ever read - yet look at its popularity, eh? :face_with_head_bandage: Why? because now that stuff has been rendered cool, via almost two decades of “going mainstream”.

I think you’ve reversed cause and effect here. LotR did not become popular because it became cool. It became cool because it became popular. And it became popular on its own merits, and not because a marketing genius somehow wrapped it in an allure of coolness.

In general, things are loved by massive amounts of people because something about it resonates with fundamental bits of the human experience. If you think the Game of Thrones is popular because LotR became cool, then you don’t really understand what makes any story or game successful. There are many fantasy books that far more resemble LotR and are yet far less successful. I won’t go into too much detail into why I think GoT is successful, popular, etc… It’s sufficient to say that it taps into deep currents of human emotion (the yearning for justice or revenge, for example) with competent prose.

On the topic of advertising Go, I think the best example is Hikaru no Go. I learned about Go from the anime, and I knew exactly what I was getting into because HnG focused on the story of playing Go. It’s a story about challenging yourself, overcoming obstacles, dealing with failure, and finding joy in simple elegance. That’s the story any advertisement about Go should tell, and it has the advantage of being a promise Go can keep.

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Cool and popular is a bit like “communicating vessels” if that is the correct English term. There are very hard to distinguish which fuels which. I do not want to stay on that too much, so in the following text I will refer to them as cool/popular

Creating a few epic movies with famous actors and directors that cost a couple of hundred million dollars, is hardly a book becoming cool/popular “on its own merits”.

LotR had been around for many decades before the movies helped it explode in popularity/coolness, exponentially.

In general, things are loved by massive amounts of people because something about it resonates with fundamental bits of the human experience. If you think the Game of Thrones is popular because LotR became cool, then you don’t really understand what makes any story or game successful.

Two things:
a) LotR making money indeed opened the door for other epic fantasy settings to enter the movie/TV scene. Producers wanted to make money, just like the Tolkien book movies did. That is also the reason we are currently drowining in super-hero movies. I do not know which super-hero movie started that trend of money-making, but that is not the point.
b) I didn’t think that just mentioning GoT merited any analysis on why it succeeded. GoT’s theme is not applicable to Go, that is why I did not go into it. In simple terms: Sex/nude scens/incest, betrayal and violence in prime time, constituted a “guilty pleasure” that fueled the coolness/popularity of those series. Indeed “it taped into deep currents of human emotion”, but I do not think that those particular undercurrents are relevant into the promotion of a game.

On the topic of advertising Go, I think the best example is Hikaru no Go.

Indeed. It made Go look cool/popular. Do we have the ability and money to do something similar? That is one of the main questions.
Just as with LotR where millions watched the movies, but only a fraction bought the books and became actual fans of fantasy books, regardless of the story.
That was also true with Hikaru no Go. Millions watched it, but only a fraction ended up playing, regardless of the story.
It is true with any promotion of any kind.
A lot of people will see an ad, a book, a movie, a street event, but only a fraction will be interested and become fans.

The question is, sustainability and perseverance.
Hikaru no Go was a “one shot”. It succeeded, but had no follow-up. So the coolness/popularity waned.
LotR had follow-ups. Super-hero movies (stemming from what once was the epitomy of nerdiness) had follow-ups. So their coolness/popularity, remains.

I can't help getting triggered when GoT is mentioned

And that’s exactly the mistake the creators made, and GoT went to s***.

Thing has: interesting plot, good writing, hits different themes, has good acting, money goes into production and it shows, nudity and violence.
Producers: “It must be the nudity and violence, get rid of everything else and it won’t matter!”

And also taking from the GoT example: it must be something that can stand on its own. If it’s so obscure that it only appeals to Go enthusiasts, how is it supposed to bring new people in? If we’re the only ones getting the joke, how can we expect others to get interested?

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And that’s exactly the mistake the creators made, and GoT went to s***.

Well, like in any good recipie, balance is needed.

For the other points:

The shock value of all that stuff in prime-time TV was what made the initial splash and made it “the talk of the town” … afterwards they could have toned it down a notch and focused in the more important parts you mentioned (plot, acting, etc).

But, instead they doubled down, trying to keep the shock value up … which is never a good idea, as far as I am concerned, but hey, I was not the target audience so who cares? :stuck_out_tongue:

On a slightly different level, because the quality of the story was mentioned earlier in regards on how we could promote Go and how Hikaru had some very positive story tropes, I want to say that once something makes a splash, people will forgive a LOT of things and GoT is a perfect example of it.

If you really ignore the series and the shock balue and stop and think about the plot, it really sucks.
I’ve only managed to read the first book, but only within that we have:
a) A spineless king that is being dragged half a continent away, passivelly accepts his daughter’s wolf to be butchered without evidence, gets penned up in an alley and has all his retainers and friends murder and, despite that stays there and eventually he dies as well. Ye Gods!
b) A Queen that believes, again without any evidence, a sleazy douchebag that once wanted to bed her that the dagger that was used to her son’s murder attempt was a gift from Tyrion. A reasonable monarch would send agents to investigate and seek proof. What does she do? She LEAVES the kingdom which was entrusted to her, to her inexperienced child, she vanishes on a half-a-contintent quest to find Tyrion and once she does find him there is a ridiculous scene on that tavern where a queen is literally gambling everything - her life included - on the good will of total strangers. And that is hailed as intrigue?
c) And let’s not get started on the trip of the queen with Tyrion and that other dude towards the fort/castle of her relative and how Tyrion got off there.

Anyway, I could write pages on the moronity of the plot, but all those are hidden beneath the veneer and shock value of sex and violence. If the first book was any indication, I am not really surprised they doubled down on that. Maybe that was all they had anyway … :confused:

And also taking from the GoT example: it must be something that can stand on its own.

This is very true … it is a bit like if we were to use the meme thread to promote Go … there are some great memes and jokes in there, but who outside the people that already play Go could ever grasp what the funny thing is?

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Creating a few epic movies with famous actors and directors that cost a couple of hundred million dollars, is hardly a book becoming cool/popular “on its own merits”.

LotR had been around for many decades before the movies helped it explode in popularity/coolness, exponentially.

I think you’re reversing cause and effect again. The Lord of the Rings was made into epic movies in the first place because of its inherent strengths. And that epic movies appealed to a large audience because of the nature of the original work. At the time of the movies’ production, the LotR had already almost single handedly created a new genre of secondary world fantasy and was an extremely popular book. The movies didn’t hurt of course.

In the same way, GoT was worthy of investment and succeeded with large audiences because of the merits of the original story. By the time the show began, it was already a popular fantasy series. You’re right that the discussion of its merits are not really relevant to advertising Go, but the logic is important. You can make a widely appealing thing more popular by showing it to people, but something which has only niche appeal may not even benefit from extensive advertising. That’s the main problem with advertising Go. I think as long as the people who might be interested know that Go exists and can easily learn the game, we are doing about as much as we can.

On GoT

If you really ignore the series and the shock balue and stop and think about the plot, it really sucks .

It really doesn’t. You don’t judge a plot by how smart the characters are or are not. Characters make decisions based on a lot of things, including motivations and their backgrounds. Ned (a lord btw, not a King) was preparing to leave King’s Landing when perhaps his best friend died. He chose, almost certainly foolishly, to try to save the Kingdom without killing any children. In this case, his desire to do the right thing was explicitly coded in the books as noble but probably very misguided. That’s part of what makes Ned’s death tragic. The plot doesn’t suck because the character’s behave according to their character. That’s actually part of what makes it great. It would have sucked if Ned had suddenly changed at the key part of the book and become a Machiavellian killer (like Tywin). The same analysis applies to point b (about Lady Catelyn).

Actually, the sex and violence is a much smaller part of the books, and the decision by the show to emphasize that aspects of the books is just the first in a long line of mistakes that generally demonstrate that they don’t know what made the story good to begin with. You don’t either, from the flaws you list with the plot. You may not have really paid attention to the way in which both Ned’s and Catelyn’s actions follow directly from their desires and struggles.

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I’m not sure this is even true, there’s very few books that sold more copies than LotR did, as far as I could find only Harry Potter and religious texts have sold more copies.

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[quote=“FinrodFelagund, post:70, topic:37114, full:true”]
I think you’re reversing cause and effect again. The Lord of the Rings was made into epic movies in the first place because of its inherent strengths.[/quote]

Alas no. It is not only the story that matters most in movies. The actors, the budgets, the effects and the whole BALANCE of everything together. Behold!

I am sure this would Box office a few billion dollars, too, eh ? :wink:
No? But why? It is such a good story after all. In fact, it is the same story and it was made prior to the one that made all the money. So, maybe the other version had other merits, beyond the story?

And that epic movies appealed to a large audience because of the nature of the original work.

By the way, I actually watched the first LotR with a friend that had never read the books and he was very perplexed by the plot of the first movie. He was like “why didn’t they chuck the damn thing into the ocean?” and that is a question that Tom Bombadil answers. Alas Tom is nowhere to be found in the movie. Anyway, he still found the movie epic and fun to watch, but totally baffling.

Bandwagons, fellows. Bandwagons!

At the time of the movies’ production, the LotR had already almost single handedly created a new genre of secondary world fantasy and was an extremely popular book. The movies didn’t hurt of course.

Tolkien’s books shaped high fantasy for decades. Indeed you could argue they made the whole genre and the whole hero’s journey genre + mentor trope.
Not to mention the two Terry spinoffs: “The sword of Shannara” by Brooks and “The sword of Truth” series by Goodkind, which were suspiciously identical to LotR.

That doesn’t alter the fact that people that read all that stuff, played DnD and whatnot were branded as geeks and nerds, prior to the movies. That is what the movies changed really. Coolness/popularity.

In the same way, GoT was worthy of investment and succeeded with large audiences because of the merits of the original story.

Yeah, a story so good that the first book was so lame that it is among the few books that I have ever contemplated not reading to the end.
Fame, actors, budget, money. Those are the real factors to market such stuff.

You mean to tell me that if a small studio makes a movie or a TV series out of Brandon Sanderson’s “Stormlight archive” (which is arguably a much better series than GoT and with intrigue that actually makes some sense) they’d get the billions HBO made?
Of course not!
If a company like HBO got the same books and poured money and production and actors and CGI, then and only then, people would watch it. Else it would be “cringe”, like the Russian LotR.

By the time the show began, it was already a popular fantasy series. You’re right that the discussion of its merits are not really relevant to advertising Go, but the logic is important. [/quote]

Popular to a very narrow and “considered un-cool” fan-base, like we are about Go. That is why I agree with you that the logic of the thing is important.
That is why I described how that fanbase got rid of the unpopularity and uncoolness.
Alas that takes money and years and years of marketing, effort and a multitude of new products like Hikaru no Go. It needs to be a continuous effort.

On GoT

You don’t judge a plot by how smart the characters are or are not.

No, but I judge them by the properties that they should have according to the plot. A king/lord has to be smart and at least be aware of cladestine plotting and even if he is kind and despises such practices he is oblidged to have people in his retinue that deal with counter-espionage, at the very least. Yet, Ned Stark has no clue. A king/lord the very least, has to APPEAR to be fair and firm. Yet, Ned Stark is a pushover. He doesn’t even bother hiring people that know that stuff. So, how is he still a lord?

Governing is not about sitting in a chair and wearing a circlet. Ned Stark would have lost his life decades before the books even started, if that level of incompetence was typical of him.

I’ll give you an example from another series. The powder mage Trilogy" by McLellan. Within it, one of the main characters, High Marshall Tamas is hailed as the best military genious of the last century. ALAS either the author was not good at tactics or just wanted to progress the plot, and the mistakes the “best military genious” makes within that trilogy would have made a kid facepalm, let alone an adult. This leads to suspension of disbelief. To that author’s credit, the next trilogy is much better and he seems to have read upon some stuff to make things more realistic (yes, fantasy settings also need a modicum of realism).

Similarly, try playing a wizard or sorcerer in DnD. The stats say that you should have intelligence 16+ or charisma 16+ in order to be effective on the battle-side of the game. By on the role-playing side of things, how do you, an average person of intelligence/charisma 11, roleplay a person with intelligence 16 ( high Mensa ) or charisma 16 ( the appearance of a model and the verbal abilities of an orator ). You just can’t , so the result is a carricature of what you THINK such people act like, with your limited scope.

That’s GoT.
That’s how GRR Martin thinks that lords and generals act, but, alas, they do not. Stark and his wife are the kind of people that here in Greece derogatory are characterised as “people that had never even owned a newspaper stand”, meaning that they blatantly have no experience about anything. Sorry, but you cannot set up people as lords and rulers and then have them act as naive children and call that “intrigue” and “good plot”.

In this case, his desire to do the right thing was explicitly coded in the books as noble but probably very misguided. That’s part of what makes Ned’s death tragic.

There were so many things that he could have done to protect himself AND still do the right thing. But he did nothing. That is what makes his death needless and stupid.

The plot doesn’t suck because the character’s behave according to their character. That’s actually part of what makes it great.

Not if that character would have had them murdered or deposed decades ago. :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, the sex and violence is a much smaller part of the books, and the decision by the show to emphasize that aspects of the books is just the first in a long line of mistakes that generally demonstrate that they don’t know what made the story good to begin with.

Actually, the sex and violence is a much smaller part of the books,

Oh, I totally agree on that, but

and the decision by the show to emphasize that aspects of the books is just the first in a long line of mistakes that generally demonstrate that they don’t know what made the story good to begin with.

… but it goes to show that they knew what the audience wanted. :wink:
Proof? The billions they made

You don’t either, from the flaws you list with the plot. You may not have really paid attention to the way in which both Ned’s and Catelyn’s actions follow directly from their desires and struggles.

I read that book many years ago and alas didn’t keep my old review of it where I go in detail on how their thought-patterns did not befit their characters and their positions as rulers. If I located later I will send it in a PM and if you want we can discuss that, but I am not locating the book and re-reading it just to prove my points. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly re-read a good fantasy book (I just finished re-reading the “First Law trilogy” and earlier this year I re-read the full 3500 pages that is was stormlight archive in order to read the next book in the series), but I wouldn’t re-read the first GoT novel, unless my life depended upon it :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, according to wikipedia approx. 150 million people have bought the books, worldwide
According to polling I found by a cursory google search, 77% of the people polled had watched LotR. Let’s say that this is generous. Let’s say it is just 50% of people in just the USA have watched at least one of the movies. 326 millions / 2 = 164 million people only in the USA.

So, I think that my sentence that only a fraction bought the books worldwide, is correct.

How is that “a fraction”?! Come back when you find any other movie based on a book where the number of people that have read the book are significantly higher (and not Harry Potter). Your claim is ridiculous.

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Ok, how many people are in the world that have access to movies and cinemas and streaming services and torrents? Let’s say 3 billion and I am being generous.
Let’s say that 50% of them have watched one of the LotR movies and, again, 50% is a bit on the low side.
So, 1.500.000.000 people have watched the movie worldwide, in 20 years.
and 150.000.000 million have bought the books in a century.

10%. A fraction. And a very good one, because LotR really IS that good and it is worth it. ( Other francises wouldn’t even dream of turning a 5% fraction of movie/TV series audience to books sales, but I digress )

and how many of these 150mil people (out of the 3 billion) are fans now and kept investing into fantasy books (which is what we want to achieve in Go promotion, people that will STAY within the community and play.)
A fraction of that fraction. Noone knows how big that fraction is (because noone cares to count it, which should give us a clue), but I think it goes without saying that not everyone that bought a LotR book, became a fantasy book afficionado.

Maybe we forgot that the end goal of promoting Go is to attract new players, not just people who just say “oh, yes, I heard about that game. Don’t know anything about it.”

New players are what great fans are in books. They are a fraction of a fraction even in a huge popular and packed with money bandwagon like LotR.
Gaining Go players is a monumental task. That’s what I am saying. If my claim is “ridiculous”, then why is it still a problem that hasn’t been solved in decades not only here, but even in the countries that Go originated? Because popularity it is a hard thing to achieve even for simple things like “buying a book”, let alone a game that demands a lot of time from you.

If we cannot even agree that becoming a Go player is harder than going to a bookstore and buying a novel, then I rest my case.

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I guess in a literal sense 10% is a fraction, but in my understanding of English “a fraction” is synonymous with a negligible amount, I guess that’s my point.

I agree with your argument that it’s hard to attract new players. :stuck_out_tongue:

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oh, I see the misunderstanding there :slight_smile: A fraction is indeed a small part, but we tend to think that it is a veeeeery small part due to various phrases ( e.g. “a fraction of a second” which indeed means something of negligible amount of time).

In any case, how many people you will lose along the way really depends on what you are selling/promoting, but in each step you expect a small amount of people to be retained.
In case of books it is easier to become a fan, since the act of buying books is, indeed, easy to accomplish and be persuaded to do so.

So, let’s say you have a campaign that reaches X amount of people.
A fraction of them will be interested in the object of the campaign. An ad/campaign that gets (10% of X) hits (it is called a response rate) is considered a success in this era.
Now, considering that we do not want them just to be informed about something or just purchase a book, there is a next step of getting people to like the game and become fans, which also has its own “response rate”. This step is much harder than responding to a call to buy something, so even a 1% response rate, over the already applied (10% of X) would have been awesome imho, but that is just my guess.

So, it is something like 1 in a thousand people will learn about Go and will eventually stick around and play longterm? Seems about right.

I guess we eventually did go down into something that is a fraction, in both of our understanding of the word, but I hope this clears up any misunderstanding :slight_smile: