Ever wanted to know how many unrated games there are in the Geek’s database that were published in 1940? No? Well, in case you’re now pondering that very question: it’s about 70. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t at the forefront of your mind, but I imagine the question “Are games getting better over time?” will rouse a little more interest. It’s an ideal topic for late night pub debates, but next time it comes up you’ll have some facts to back up whatever direction you choose to take thanks to this analysis of BoardGameGeek’s historical data. And, it seems, game ratings are indeed climbing over time:

Board game ratings over time

For another interesting fact: fewer than 10% of games have received a rating of 7.5 or higher – which is about the same percentage that have received a score 3.5 or less. For the statistical thinkers that are wary of headline averages, “the ratings are not evenly distributed. The mean rating given out is a 6.82 (median=6.95, std=0.98). People tend to rate the games they like and not rate the games they don’t like.”.

For these stats and more interesting facts, including the revelation that the worst rated combination of category and mechanic is “Children’s Game + Medical”, followed shortly by a more predictable “Religious + Roll and Move”, have a perusal of Leonard Richardson’s full board game data analysis.