I’m kind of onboard with the idea that highly interactive games are best, I just don’t need or particularly them to be interactive in the sense of facilitating verbal/roleplaying/laugh-out-loud interaction.
A two-player game in silence, where the first mistake made will be ruthlessly pounced on and exploited, is great interaction for me. A multiplayer game where someone makes a “sub-optimal” move, and I can recognise that they did it not because they didn’t see the “better” one, but because their move indicates a detente, and allows me to refocus on a more pressing threat, or even begin collaboration to take down a bigger threat, is a kind of holy grail of interaction for me (in practice, I don’t have this level of understanding with anyone, and such agreements have to be talked through - but I have read of groups who achieve this level of non-verbal communication).
I agree with Sagantine that Quinns and Matt probably blow each others’ trumpets too much, but I don’t think the format of two very vocal guys liking the same stuff necessarily lowers the quality of their output. I am glad that Ava is around though, as the only person who I see some overlap with, in terms of gaming preferences.
Back on the original thread topic, I make a distinction between bookkeeping fiddle, and general fiddle. Bookkeeping fiddle is bad, as you aren’t making any decisions and it’s all downtime drudgery. General fiddle can be OK, as long as you are getting more depth with the granularity, and game length doesn’t get excessive. Small differences that snowball into bigger things can be good. So, I have a high tolerance for when turns involve moving lots of pieces, and little tolerance for when a “bot” turn or a cleanup phase involves doing lots of stuff.