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Thinking Out Loud

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Submitting Web/Unpublished/Prototype Games to BoardGameGeek >> Your Opinions?

I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit over the last few weeks. Within the last few months, I've had several prototypes have been reviewed by prospective publishers. While these games exist in a state of limbo between concept and the FLGS, they are still "real" games by several standards.

I know several folks have added their unpublished or web-published games to BoardGameGeek.com. And I've been entertaining the idea of adding several of my own prototypes (such as Forbidden City) to the database.

But something about it tugs at the back of my mind that I'd be doing it purely for ego gratification and it doesn't serve the BGG community. And it's hard for me to be objective about this since I have a vested interest.

The ongoing mental argument usually goes as follows:

I think it would be handy to add a prototype to BGG as a way to centralize information. The game designer could add some nice photos of the prototype and include some good information about the game w/o giving away too much.

It would help create an opportunity for all the Geeks and friends who have playtested such a prototype to leave comments (not necessarily ratings) and add some context to the game concept. A link to the game page could be passed along to a prospective publisher along with the prototype and other materials.

On the one hand, I like the idea of being able to include a link to a prototype page having a publisher see 10-15 comments from fellow Geeks (especially if they are well-known or avatar clad users).

On the other hand, perhaps publishers would be unimpressed, feel it's purely shill content, or be concerned about "shopping the idea" out in a format outside the publisher's control -- perhaps lessening their interest in a game if commentary and content are being supplied which bypasses the publisher's interests. And it seems awfully self-serving and not "be fair" to BGG.

I know there have been some very dynamic arguments and strong opinions expressed recently about the type of content that goes into BGG, and I'd love to hear what you think about it.

What do you think?

  • What sort of criteria should be the "baseline" for a game being entered into the BGG database?
  • How do you think entering prototype, web-published or unpublished works affects the utility of BGG?
  • If these sorts of games are added, what information or classifications would be helpful to make the entries as valuable as possible?

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