Board games need a better community
The King of Average
The board game industry has some growing pains. One of those pains is a lack of great choices for the community to freely communicate with one another.
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0:58 Why invest in the community now?
2:00 The issue with other groups
3:03 How to be welcoming *and* open
5:56 Anything goes…but be respectful
7:05 Leading by example
9:03 Question authority
10:07 Communication is key
11:01 Acting out what I preach
11:24 Join The Board Game Kingdom!
13:18 Thank you for an awesome community
I just joined the FB group and waiting for approval. Looking forward to being a part the community again. I left most of my board game groups because of the content that was allowed while banning others for having differing opinions. Respectful discourse is important.
Bunch of spoiled retarded blue hair babies are ruining everything we love that our ancestors fought hard for in the past.By the way, I was banned too, screw BGG
The biggest problem I see is virtue signaling posts designed to get a reaction, (usually hoping for an "atta boy"), and then the dog pile on people who disagree. Usually gaming adjacent political rants.
Examples: "I can't believe it's 2022 and there are no women in this game." "How do we enjoy games that have colonizer themes?" "I just transitioned. It's so great to be a part of such a welcoming community." "This is a picture of my son. He loves boardgames." "My gaming group isn't diverse enough." "We should support more games from [named sexual or ethnic community]."
The Discord! Join the discord! First hotdog on the house!
I contributed in many ways to BGG for 10 years before getting banned for simply siding with a cancelled board game channel. Yes, banned for defending someone who could not defend themselves.
You raise an interesting question here with discussion of banning and blocking. I have other hobbies where they seem to highlight bringing more people to the various forums, while board gaming seems to like to show off how many people they banned or blocked. Why brag about banning your potential customers in a hobby? How do you grow your hobby or sell your game to people you have banned and blocked, often for reasons that have nothing to do with board games?
But I like that Thing. I like that Thing! THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO EXIST THAT LIKE THAT THING! WE WILL NOT BE SILENT! – Prozd
Elon should buy BGG too
I follow a group of authors in a certain genre of fiction. While they in some way are competing with each other in the same space, they actually work together and promote each other and support each other and actually recognize that the people who buy author a, are going to like author b and buy their book. They understand that the fans of the genre can actually be fans of many of the authors. And when they do events they work really hard at bring more readers to the genre and buying all of their books. I have been to many of their events either in person or virtual and have never seen them brag to each other about how many people they banned or blocked. They never go to an event and say how horrible their fan base is. They never go around on one hand trying to sell a book while at the same time brag about how many people they blocked or banned from following them. You have fairly prominent people in board games who are involved in selling games or represent big sites or forums brag daily about how many they blocked or banned. And again very often these issues have nothing to do with board games. I never had one of the authors I follow, look at my views on things that have nothing to do with their books and block me.
I wish there was a proper alternative to BGG, with a better ranking system and a ingame way to trade/sell/show collections.
haven't watched the whole video yet, but honesty for BGG it is ran by a bunch of power hungry mods, the moment someone don't agree with them a ban happen. I couldn't be any happier I never supported BGG because right now it is a complete joke.
IMO being a moderator is like any other job, you need to be committed to it and do it honestly and fairly. Moderatorship is a thankless job and is stressful. What you are talking about are people who do not want to really do the job they want it quick and easy that is why you see them blocking and banning people and their posts. Of course some of the people who get blocked or banned are not following the group rules or are just being asses.
It seems like building a new site would not take that long or be difficult. Adoption of a new site finding mods that have a life (so they don't become megalomaniacs) would be more difficult considerations. I wonder how these sites make money to keep the hosting costs in check.
I have to say this isn't accurate at all. They remove your message first a few times before they end up banning anyone. I've been banned after my comments have been removed around 5 times. I also got unbanned the next day.
Any attempt to build up an alternate space would be attacked with words like alt-right, sexism etc unfortuantely. We reached a point where people in power weild it with inpunity and use it to destroy any attempt to their power. As you said though, the opposite to them doenst mean something good either as many people under that umbrella would do the same things if they had the power currently.
I mean you kinda did with Thomas but okay. You weren't vile about it and you didn't say he was a bad person explicitly but it was kinda implied (which I get you'll counter "he's not bad but just that particular action was bad" as a rebuttal so I won't get into the weeds of that). But this is besides the point and not my real issue here, no "community (and I don't know if I'd call playing board games a 'community.' 'community' is uncomfortably overused for everything and thrown around a lot. I won't get into that too much why here)," works this way. All "communities" have ideological, social, cultural rules that are not explicitly stated, that if you break, you're gone (or if you don't like it you leave voluntarily as most people tend to do [there are exceptions to this general rule]). This is why there is so much ideological balkanization to begin with on the internet. Because people tend to hang with people who have the same values. To simply read a list of rules and think "that's all there is," and not "get" there are rules of a group that are not explicitly stated, some level of ideological (or personal, etc) nepotism when it comes to rulings, etc, is just not to understand how things work. These same people are shocked when they get banned, punished, etc, when they didn't break any rules. They will often vigorously point to the official document of rules for a lack of violation, as a defense, to often no avail (or very little success and being watched thereon out). It's not how it works, and it is not how it'll ever work, ever. Be it BGG, BGR, or whatever. Leaders give off an ideological bent to the groups they govern whether think they are or not, and they do indeed set the tone, because they are the ones with power to ban (so people conform based on knowing the implicit social norms not explicitly stated and understand the consequences if they do not adhere. some people are naïve and don't get it and quickly find themselves getting banned if they don't figure this out, etc). Not in just the explicit way you're talking about with being a "good person and respectful." Plenty of people are "respectful (which is often subjective)," yet are interpreted as not respectful due to some ideological offense they committed (which is the issue with BGG). Because again, "respect" is subjective to a large extent based on ideological/cultural reasons. To reduce it to simply "do not call people bad words and make mean comments" is ridiculous. BGG and BGR have a different ideas of what "respect" is- regardless how you feel about it (this goes to any group really). That's why people get banned there. Basically, my biggest gripe is that this video is not in tune with reality and how things work, or more importantly, will ever work. It's naïve.
I love your Facebook group. I was so happy (and grateful) you would let me post videos there. There are so few places to share stuff these days.
Boardgame Spotlight is pretty good.
Board Game Geek does more damage to the board game industry than any other entity connected with the hobby.
It’s run by a bunch of heavy handed nut jobs.
There absolutely needs to be a viable alternative. All empires eventually fall and when it does I’ll be celebrating vociferously.
The issue affecting the board game industry is similar to what has happened to several others: companies openly deride the majority of the customer base to placate a vocal minority. This, in turn, translates to industry adjacent services like BGG, FB groups, etc.
1. this is just my unimportant 2 cents and point of view,
2. this has become a wall of text – sorry, I get easily carried away – so, if you are bothered by a lot of text, skip my comment
3. "we need a better community" – really? I think the community itself as in "the members" is fine, but the medium of choice is terrible…
….. moving on in detail
I guess this issue is as old as internet… or almost as old. A community is usually really good up to a point where it reaches a certain amount of members and thereby a certain amount of anonymity. I understand the reference to police and respect and authority and leading by example, but I feel that is just avoiding the fact:
Communities, ANY community, functions by one clear distinction and that is a sense of identification and thereby a PERSONAL responsibility.
If you are part of a real life community like a union, a relation, a friendship, a sports club… anything… you risk your membership. The internet in its very core prevents that.
So, for the natural habit and community catharsis to gain track and function, the community NEEDS to shift from anonymity of avatars and nick names to real life faces, names and voices – i.e. community meetings in an effort to shift from a purely "virtual community" to a "real life community" that just happens to meet and interact via the internet.
Now, that will by no means prevent quarrels and bad interactions to happen, but people will act vastly different in a community of real people known to them than in community purely virtual to them – the same disease infects and often kills many online games, especially those with pvp content.
Is this feasible with an international community like the boardgame community? Probably not. But what often a enough, a nucleus is enough. A nucleus of people who know eachother and can mediate between eachother can pacify – not necessarily will as this can also go in a very different direction by seperation. But as I said, Communities suffer such internal seperations naturally when they reach a certain size. I my 20something years in the internert I have been and still are part of several communities and I found for myself: 1. the smaller, the better – if they don't die…. 2. to set of rules, no amount of mods – openly present or invisible and unkown – will prevent stress…. and critic of moderation and you just need only a very few people willing to shift the theme of the community from games, bee keeping, car tuning, roleplaying games, whatever away to … "freedom of speech", "censorship"reaching the point of "facism" very fast…. this is concentrated poison… that's why a lot of community founders set one rule "moderation is no topic of discussion – if you have a problem, we discuss this privately, but not openly". This is just keeping the fire and poison in check. And if one does not have the trust in the community moderation in dealing with you critic and points fairly than one should leave the community as in any other grouping in real life. This might sound overly authoritarian and negatively, but as long as you do not install paid labourers for this but expect people of the community to do this for the community in their spare time, this is the only thing and fair.
So, my bottomline: If BBG or other big communities lost trust due to their way of handling things, install a new one… until this goes southward… install a new one… rinse and repeat.. cause this is the hailed and glorified way of the freedom of the internet. But if some individuals of the community really want to strengthen the bond, trust and respect within the community take it to the next level – get to know eachother by more than your nickname. In that sense, if someone ends up in Berlin, Germany, drop me a message and I might be able to point you to some interesting locations are meet at some place… that is the way gamer conventions start. 😉
So you are doing the same thing just with more steps… and a self confirming sense that you are not the same as them but in the end you end up banning people you don't like with nebulous standards. 100% feelings based which is the same as the other community with extra steps yo make people say and act how you want, so you feel better. I'd argue that is worse.
Be respectful is the most important thing? Define all the parameters of being respectful… you can't be subjective like that and expect anything to be ran any different especially with emotional biases.
Unfortunately the bigger the community the more toxic it will become. No matter how good the intentions might be. Look at the video game community.
The BGG mods suck the big one. Nothing but cancel cultrue kids with tender feelings that must have had their milk money taken one too many times in grade school
Hooo jezz .. me joining the facebook groupe nnnnnoooww… nnnoooww !! .. why because my king is the only source for my knowledge of gaming.. boom !! Ok .. im gonna post my painting .. see what folks of age think about my talent.. if you dint mind
Not been on BGG in years, had even forgotten about them.
That "community" talk is the problem. Your hobbies and fandoms are not a community. Nor are the companies involved with them. "Community" is the excuse these entities use to behave the way they do. It's a mindset that's abused by the awful people that run such things. They hide behind that "working for the greater good" mindset to build their mobs and get their way.
The only community you have is your friends and neighbors. People that you'll rarely or never meet are not your community. You owe them nothing; they owe you nothing. You're not entitled to their properties, nor are you responsible to improving them. Your focus should be to improve and build upon your own groups rather than obsessing over being part of theirs. If you want a better vision for the hobby, build it. Be the change you want.
Not easy to have a mature mature discussion in board game communities, to many fan boys of subcategories of the hobby who always feel the urge to comment on topics in a negative (even if not disrespectful) way.
You can try to make a post discussing some rules or impressions on Monopoly and you will always get the comment: why don't you try a better game.
Does ban solve the problem? No.
Does any other action of the admin solve the problem? I'm afraid neither.
The only way for these people to grow up is to be completely ignored on those comments, and this is responsibility af any single member of the community
What I'm seeing is US Politics being pandered to in BGG. BGG is good for gaming information but not for differing opinions. Discussing differing opinions in a civil manner provides learning opportunity.
You should check out love thy nerd
Some have been working to make Board Game Atlas an alternative to BGG, but it has a long way to go because so many stick with BGG
Very reasonable talk.
Heck yeah brother. BGG is such a terrible place. Most folks I know have left there ( no pun intended) and seek info elsewhere, discord for instance. While you FB group I am sure is great, no way Id make an account on FB just to join a BG group. I cant believe folks still use fb …..
I kinda stopped giving my thoughts on some more "hot topics" (that was very rare) or even contributing at all because I don't want to contribute to a forum that removes every post that someone thinks it's not a good opinion but keeps the rest. I am talking about opinions, not offending people or something like that.
The last time that I got my comments removed was because I give my opinion regarding the action of Frostheaven removing any topic that could be offensive and more specifically the way he treated people that have a different opinion of him at the very end of that specific post. And on my comment, I very specifically said that I agreed with some of the aspects that he pointed out but not with some. You know how it ended, removed.
Not a Facebook fan so this won't be for me.
The only community I'm a member of is the town I live in. Being a part of a hobby "community" is weird.
Spot on with so many of your comments. Leadership (and leading by example) is so vital. Being an adult rather than a "troll" is so vital. One of my gauges is if I would want to sit across a gaming table with a moderator/YouTube personality. In your case, absolutely! If I lived closer (but I don't), I would love to be in your gaming group. Keep up the great work and thank you!
We need more content creators speaking up about this. Thank you for giving this some light. As a conservative moderate with traditional values I have found that over my 20 years in the hobby it has become ultra progressive. I never talked politics or culture at the table but I was amazed how others just assumed you had the same political base as them. This worsened in more recent years and personal experience has shown me that the ultra progressives are the least tolerant people I have interacted with. It has driven me from the hobby. You are one of the last content creators I watch in the hobby anymore.
So I am just getting into this community, but I appreciate all you are doing. Thanks for talking about this subject and starting your FB group.
Money is tight with myself and my family or else I would be a paid viewer, but what I can commit doing is watching all of your advertising ads during your videos. Thank you for being so fair balanced and honest.
I like BGG the idea of BGG as a huge games database. I find awful the idea of a community of 'elite' people that finds justifable and right to hammer in the brain of every user of every conversation the 'right and only acceptable' mindset that is the-right-one. They say that everything is politics and politics is everywhere, but I find it wonderful to be able to sit with a stranger or an acquaintance and spend 2 hours having fun without thinking that he does not respect the LGBT + minority or has problems with black people or any other minority.
We are light years away and yet we can find a common point for at least 2 hours and this is magic!
And instead it seems that there are communities of Taliban who instead pushes to divide, fight and force brainwashing? Is leaving a happy little island where you can just have fun asking too much?
I did not participate in the discussions of BGG very little, now I have blocked everything with an adblocker and thus I also avoid wasting time with all the 'drama' that I do not feel any need.
Board Game Revolution catches flack but the worst of the bunch is the one that Derek Funkhouser runs…lord that little turd is a self righteous little mouth who bans as soon as someone disagrees with him. For a veteran you would think he would be better…but he is one of the worst out there. I avoid his posts in other groups, not worth the effort of engaging with such a trollish little man.
I commend you for trying but the issue I think you're going to come up against quickly is that you're assuming everyone is operating in good faith. They're not. The word "trolls" is overused online but they totally exist. What I mean by "troll" is not people hold a controversial opinion they want to discuss/share, but someone who doesn't hold that controversial opinion, but it going to post it anyway, just to watch what happens. The first time that happens, I'm sure you can talk to the troll, figure out what they're doing and then finally decide to take action to ban them. But then they come back the next day with a different account and a different opinion. And then the next day. And the next. Are you going to be taking time out of your day every single day to try and figure if it's a legit person with an opinion or just a troll? So you put up some hurdles to stop people creating new accounts and joining right off, but then they figure out a way around that and they're back. And eventually, you end up just banning anything that looks like trolling first, ask questions later. And you end up being what you didn't want to be.
The reality is, when any community gets to a certain size, unpleasant people with too much spare time decide they're going to their best to ruin it for everyone, because they can. It only takes one or two such people, and there's very little that can be done about it. I've seen it time and time again, and honestly the only communities I've seen survive it are those that have gone "right, this is a benevolent dictatorship and what I say goes" and get heavy handed with it. And inevitably when that happens a few prominent members decide they don't like that and go found their own community with an emphasis on being open and democratic, and it either gets overrun by trolls (often the same ones in that original community) or goes the same way.
I wish it wasn't the case, but short of things behind some sort of paywall (eg your Discord) it seems to be inevitable.
I know BGG has issues now, but was anyone on there ten years ago? It was really not good. It certainly wasn't welcoming and open. The actions they've taken since have swung massively in the other direction, but honestly it's 10x better than it used to be. Hard to imagine I know but it really is. "This comment has been deleted" 7 times on a page might be annoying but it's less annoying than some heated argument about an unrelated topic breaking out when you're trying to look up a rules query.
I sincerely mean it when I wish you the best of luck with this – going to join now – but I think it's going to be one of the biggest challenges you've yet faced!
Cancel culture….is a blight. Unfortunately its rife in Geekdom. Strange how they elude to fighting for inclusiveness and acceptance.
Please talk about the Funforge Namiji disaster. Something needs to be said.
BGG, BGR, and so many others are the way they are because of unadulterated wokeness and hatred for anyone with a different point of view. You don’t even need to be a “conservative” to be victimized by them. They eat their own.
Sorry for the lengthy post below but I sent this to Ocatvian a moderator at BGG four years ago re members getting banned from the forums..
I saw that you are the moderator for this forum which I used to find fairly interesting and I feel oddly compelled to email you about issues with the forum. Now…well to say that it has taken a turn to the left is an understatement. Your policies say you don't tolerate sexism, bigotry etc which are admirable but this forum is no longer a place where you can even voice a dissenting opinion on anything and if you do you are labelled a nazi (which i fucking hate as my ancestors fought the Germans).
About half of the posts are simply there insulting Trump ( I don't have a fight to pick here he's not the leader of my country) and taking a swipe at the government. I looked at the banned list and saw "mackaris"had been banned. He was one of the few who actually voiced a different opinion. I certainly did not always agree with what he wrote but that's life in general you always meet people who you won't agree with.
You state that it is largely unmoderated but from what I've seen it's those who voice an opinion that does n't support the left that get penalised the most. It is a shame as it was quite an interesting forum to is it to read about alternate view point.
Being banned from posting in RSP is the generally the result of overt racism, misogyny, hate speech, or other toxic behavior. I am certain that any correlation between that behavior and political affiliation is purely coincidental.
Thanks to your last videos and coverage I’m now avoiding clickbaits in the group that started with, “hey what do you guys think about this new game mechanic? I always want to know more about it – Here is a link absolutely not advert but bitly”.
I see lots less people responding to those too , so people are learning I guess.
You sound like you’ve got a cool thing going on here but if you are going to let people with a few alt ids cross post their clickbaits from other groups then I’m not for it.
If people wanna promote content , sure , but I’d like to see they make no profit from it. No more bitly link for me.
I think people should get paid for their work, but not ones working clickbaits.