Games and Learning

My First Impressions with Board Game Geek

Visiting www.boardgamegeek.com (BGG) might make you feel like you’ve gone back in time about 10 years. The site is very cluttered and the layout is extremely outdated. When I submitted this website as my affinity space of choice I knew I had a challenging road ahead of me.

Right on the front page, you can observe this affinity space in all of it’s glory. There are different sections dedicated to information such as: announcements and news, contests, links to board games for sale on eBay, videos, reviews, and links to various discussion forums, and this doesn’t even cover half the things present on the main page. On the left side of the main page you have access to your recently viewed games and something called “The Hotness” which I can only assume is a list of the games that are popular on the site at the moment.

BGG Front Page

After I made my account I quickly realized that not all features are included in a free membership. Avatars, GeekBadges and Microbadges are all purchasable items. I’m opting not to purchase any additional items for the time being.

One of the ways that I’ve interacted with this space so far is the logging of my board game plays. Since joining, I’ve logged every single one of my board game plays (in just over two weeks, I have had 10 board game plays). Logging your game plays allows you to enter notes, tag other players, and post the play to Twitter. Everyone can access your game plays, even those without BGG accounts.

I’ve also perused some of the forums. The BGG community seems very nurturing. I have not found one instance where someone seems annoyed or has put anyone down for asking a question, even seemingly simple ones. This makes me feel comfortable about asking my own questions or answering questions.

One of the best features of BGG is the ranking system. The board game ranking system is based entirely on user ratings. When you enter a game into your collection, you have the option to rank it (from 1 to 10). This rating gets calculated into the overall ranking for the game. The ranking system has an overall list and list separated by game type. For example my most recent game play was Shadownrun: Crossfire; it’s overall board game rank is 531, and it’s type rank (thematic type) is 108. I can see this being very useful when looking to purchase games, and it makes me happy to know that most of the games that have entered my household in the past month have ranked fairly high.

So what’s next on my agenda? As you can probably tell this affinity space is huge! My next steps include: entering some of my games and rating them (I probably don’t have time to enter all 90, but I’ll enter some of my favorites and least favorites), interacting with other users on the forums and continuing to enter my game plays. They also have a new user interface in beta testing and I have the option to turn it on. I might just do that to see if, and how, it will change my experience with the space.

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