A Board Game Listing Breakdown on the #1 Board Gaming site in the World!
In board gaming, it is an analog world. That being said, there is no reason not to use technology to make finding details on a particular board game easier, especially for newer gamers and although I could list a myriad of sites. There is one website that stands out among the rest. That is, of course, Board Game Geek (BGG).
BGG is a website that is free to use and is known for almost every aspect of the hobby. Be it a search for a board game to a rumoured expansion announcement. In fact, BGG dominates the online board game sphere so much that oftentimes, BGG is the first search result in Google's search results, surpassing even the publisher of a particular game.
The site for this niche hobby has hundred of thousands of registered users and currently lists over 90,000 board games as of the writing of this article.
Now although the site is a monumental achievement for the hobby, it is also known to not be the easiest site to navigate. So today we will go through some tips on how to best navigate BGG for the reason it is most used for, to find a board game and what is the myriad of information you can use once you are at the board game's listing.
Related: Board Game Hobby 101
Search Function and drop down Menus
First thing is if you are looking for almost anything on BGG but in general terms, like a type of board game, then the above drop down menus will probably be your best friend on the entire site as it centralises where you will need to go and breaks down the many uses of the site. Although it might not get you to exactly where you need to go, it probably is a good starting point.
If you do have a specific game or item you are looking for then the search bar is the best option but make sure to change the kind of item you are looking for to the left of the search bar. Also, BGG's internal search function requires an exact spelling of the item you are looking for, if not the search result will be 'item not found'.
Quick tip, if you are looking for a board game, the fastest way is to use Google and type in the game's name with board game or board game geek and it should be the first search item on the search results.
When you get to a board game's listing, there will be a lot of information to digest but let me help you by pointing out the most important information that people use.
Board Game's General Details
The first thing you will see is the general information of the board game from the many publishers internationally, weight, play time, designers, etc. Also if the game has garnered enough ratings, then it will be ranked among all the other games that have been ranked. The rankings are totally player driven and can be a useful guide along with the games other details to see if the game is for you.
Trade and Purchase of Games
The next section is especially important if you are starting to build up your collection and that is the buy option. The obvious benefits of BGG for buying games is that you can get great deals on games and you might even get that out of print grail game, you played as a child and regretted throwing away. Just be sure to check the seller's rating before making a purchase.
Also if you would rather trade one game for another, there is a trade function in the page above the 'Buy a Copy' section.
And reputation wise, BGG has proven to have a high success rate and positive feedback on the trade and sales it has done on its site.
And if you are a more visual person, there are many games that have videos done on them. These are usually reviews, playthroughs, unboxings, etc. Sometimes there are even people who do full instructional videos on how to play the game in video form. The majority of gamers now usually using video reviews to help decide if they want to buy a game or not.
Forums and rule clarifications
Each board game also has a collection of forum topics on the game. These can be about anything about the game but the most used forums usually are the ones for rule clarifications. Sometimes even the designer themselves will help to answer some questions.
Another tip here is if you are looking for a particular kind of forum on a page listing then you can click on the topic type itself if it is showing in the recent threads section instead of going through the normal stages by clicking forum. An example is in the above picture, shown by the lower second arrow in the picture.
Files (Player aids, Fan scenarios, etc.)
Last but not least is the files section of the listing, which usually has fan made items for the game. This can range from player aids to tuck boxes you can print out and put together. In fact, some designers even release free scenarios or updated rulebooks through BGG's file section.
If you ever feel a board game is missing something that the publisher has not released, then it is not out of the ordinary for a fan to help fix that with their own version of a solution.
In conclusion, there is so much to show on BGG and I would not be lying when I said that it will be a book that will be needed to fully show how to use all of BGG's functions fully. Thus, I hope that by showing a breakdown of its core function that you too will look to explore BGG and the hobby more and as always in the immortal words of Will Wheaton, "Play more games!".