Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

T
thegiantbrain
December 02, 2020
58 0

Episode 60 - Critical Strike

Podcasts & Videos
W
We-reNotWizards
December 01, 2020
259 0

Zombie Kidz Evolution Review

Podcasts & Videos
O
oliverkinne
December 01, 2020
250 0
U
ubarose
November 30, 2020
320 0
G
GrantLyon
November 30, 2020
298 0
MT
Matt Thrower
November 30, 2020
974 0
O
oliverkinne
November 27, 2020
540 0

Micro City Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
MB
mads b.
November 27, 2020
828 0
MB
Michael Barnes
November 26, 2020
1100 0
B
boardgameinquisition
November 26, 2020
342 0
AL
Andi Lennon
November 25, 2020
883 0
W
WadeMonnig
November 25, 2020
989 2
W
whowhatwhycast
November 25, 2020
286 0
O
oliverkinne
November 24, 2020
525 0
×
Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× Talk about whatever you like related to games that doesn't fit anywhere else.

Games criticism, reviews, and SEO

More
19 Nov 2020 17:30 #316352 by Shellhead
For what it's worth, I read all the written reviews here, but I never listen to podcasts or watch video reviews anywhere. I am a fast reader, but podcasts and videos are too time-consuming and plod along at the pace of the spoken word. I also feel that the process of writing a review encourages a greater degree of reflection and analysis by the reviewer.
The following user(s) said Thank You: southernman, dysjunct, RobertB, Sagrilarus, Msample, mezike, sornars, Pugnax555, Andi Lennon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Nov 2020 21:17 #316354 by DarthJoJo

Erik Twice wrote: I also don't think there's anything wrong in covering mostly good games though the whole "i don't do negative reviews" thing is awful and sinks all your credibility a a critic.

Does it though? A bad movie wastes two hours of your time. A bad album an hour. A bad game? An hour or two learning the rules and setting up; anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours to play; another three or four plays if you have integrity; and you have to drag friends into every play. That’s a huge investment of your week. If you’ve played enough games that you think the world needs to know your opinions, you probably have a good idea of what you like and don’t and can tell which camp a game is in by reading the rule book. Can you blame someone for not wanting to review something they know they probably enjoy? Which is part of what makes Dan Thurot a treasure. He plays everything: Rhino Hero Azul, Root, Meltwater, White Tribe, Planet Apocalypse, the latest from John Clowdus and Jim Felli.

I guess I’m separating no-negative reviewers caused by self-selection and caused by those who don’t want to ruffle feathers. I’m even compassionate to the latter because there’s always the chance you got a rule wrong that knocked everything askance and sapped all tension from the proceedings. There’s a credibility sinker there.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, RobertB

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Nov 2020 22:30 #316355 by Gary Sax
^Barnes has talked a lot about this issue and I sort of get it. You also have inflict it on *friends* in addition to wasting your own time.
The following user(s) said Thank You: DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 08:03 - 20 Nov 2020 08:10 #316363 by Erik Twice

Jackwraith wrote: I remember the whole "pivot to video" scam. The fact remains that the major critic figures in the industry don't do written work anymore. Why?

I think it's a combination of two factors: Most reviews from large critics include either comedy skits or have a large "showcase the game" element, often both. For example, SUSD are skit-heavy, down to dressing up as a "worm" for Dune and their latest review, for Eclipse, shows all the components and even how things fit in the box.

I really don't think the medium is as large of a factor as discoverability and the actual content.

Vysetron wrote: Erik's note on public codes of conduct scaring people is something I can corroborate. I don't mind that one bit, it's an easy way to tell who I should and shouldn't be working with.

The thing is, while this guy got upset, my audience loved it. I got a far greater level of support and even gained new readers because I published my code of conduct. My readers saw it as an excercise in integrity and were appreciated me taking the time to make it explicit.

DarthJoJo wrote: I guess I’m separating no-negative reviewers caused by self-selection and caused by those who don’t want to ruffle feathers. I’m even compassionate to the latter because there’s always the chance you got a rule wrong that knocked everything askance and sapped all tension from the proceedings. There’s a credibility sinker there.

Negative reviews are a vital part of criticism. I just can't imagine being a critic and not doing them because it's a large part of the job. And it's an interesting, valuable part, too. If revierws are worth writing, they are worth writing no matter if they are positive or negative.

Sure, I would rather play a good game than a bad one. I won't review trash or meaningless games in my blog. But I'll play games like Wingspan half a dozen times to write about it and be able to share my thoughts on it. And I actually enjoy criticism so much that playing a few boring hours of worker placement is worth it.

Personally, I try to keep a varied outlook. I don't post four contrarian reviews in a row or gush about ten economic games. It's not helpful for your audience. It's much better if they can get an get different perspectives on the same issue. To me a critic who avoids negative reviews sinks their credibility because it means refusing to do an important part of their job. How can I believe in their work if they don't believe in it themselves?

People have thanked me for writing negative reviews of Blood Rage, Deep Sea Adventure and other games because they could not find any reviews talking about their flaws. Was I the only one who noticed DSA was broken? Doubtful, the BGG forums are filled with people talking about the issue. I think people avoid negative criticism because they don't want to sound negative, be contrarian or face backlash. Which, ironically, only worsens those issues.

--
Lastly, I just created a Patreon and I'm a nervous wreck because it's a huge responsability even if nobody gives a cent.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2020 08:10 by Erik Twice.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars, DarthJoJo, Vysetron, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 09:16 #316364 by n815e
I recall someone on BGG saying that negative reviews were personal attacks against a game’s creators.

I don’t think many hold that point of view, but negative reviews tend to get negative responses. I try to remember to upvote negative reviews, even if I don’t agree with them, because they should be encouraged.

There are so many “just played this game, don’t own it, it was incredible” type reviews that garner lots of positive feedback and they are usually worthless as reviews.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Erik Twice, Vysetron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 10:35 #316366 by ubarose

Shellhead wrote: For what it's worth, I read all the written reviews here, but I never listen to podcasts or watch video reviews anywhere. I am a fast reader, but podcasts and videos are too time-consuming and plod along at the pace of the spoken word. I also feel that the process of writing a review encourages a greater degree of reflection and analysis by the reviewer.


Personally, I am practically incapable of watching or listening to a review. I know most of our audience feels the same. Therefore, the vast majority of our non-written content isn't traditional reviews. Some types of content are best presented in text, while others require different mediums.

Grant & Bernardo's videos are here for their entertainment value. Grant Lyons is a stand up comedian. His videos are about 90 seconds long, and are mostly set ups for a good one liner. (which usually crack me up, or at least make me smile. I like starting Monday with a laugh.)

Bernardo covers odd novelty games, which lend themselves better to video than text and still photos. His style is an entertaining parody of old Saturday morning TV game advertisements, so more entertainment than reviews.

Brad and Universal Head do playthroughs.

The podcasts are nearly all interviews or discussions, rather than traditional reviews.

Board Game Inquisition and We're Not Wizards are the exceptions, because variety and a diversity of voices is a good thing, and some of our audience does like podcasts and videos.

So, that is some of the rational for why we have chosen these videos and podcasts over the many that have asked to join us. And we also like the people. One of the important aspects of TWBGs is that we are a collective of creators, or as someone said "a group blog." So we have a little private creative community vibe going.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Msample, mezike, sornars, n815e, Andi Lennon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 10:37 #316367 by RobertB
Side note: did we lose 200-some-odd pages from this topic?
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars, Ah_Pook

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 11:29 - 20 Nov 2020 11:29 #316375 by ChristopherMD

RobertB wrote: Side note: did we lose 200-some-odd pages from this topic?


No, this thread just needs to be re-titled.

Edit: looks like someone ninja'd it
Last edit: 20 Nov 2020 11:29 by ChristopherMD.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 11:29 #316376 by Gary Sax
Problem should be fixed, some topic weirdness and a setting I didn't click when I separated them out. The big long thread is still there.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RobertB

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 15:14 #316383 by dysjunct

n815e wrote: I recall someone on BGG saying that negative reviews were personal attacks against a game’s creators.

I don’t think many hold that point of view, but negative reviews tend to get negative responses. I try to remember to upvote negative reviews, even if I don’t agree with them, because they should be encouraged.


This is IMO a symptom of BGG’s sprawling size. It’s too big to keep tabs on everything, so people use subscriptions to avoid the firehose. And you don’t subscribe to games you don’t like.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sagrilarus, themothman421, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 15:15 #316384 by cdennett
So, as a long-time lurker around here (much less so lately as Covid has reduced my desire to indulge in BG media, plus starting a new job a couple of months ago didn't help), let me ask a question: has the site TWBG thought about getting on Patreon? Because, as everyone has already stated, getting paid by the publishers is fraught with conflicts of interest, the answer is for a "media" company that gets it money from a different source (IE. advertising or crowd funding) to hire creators. The issue is that "Board Games" doesn't have the NY Post or IGN with large viewerships to make this happen. Clearly as BGs move more into the mainstream, there might be a few established media sites that branch out (Ars Technica comes to mind), but that's going to be few and far between. The closest "media conglomerate" out there is the Dice Tower Network, which probably brings in a few hundred thousand bucks a year, enough to pay salaries for a half-dozen folks or so (don't have any specifics, but clearly Tom and a few of his cohorts are getting paid enough to make it their full time jobs). While I have no idea what their conventions net for them, they probably still get over half their money via crowd funding (IE. their annual Kickstarter). While I don't think Kickstarter is a good fit for TWBG (I can hear the "hypocrite" cries already), a Patreon for the site seems like it could fit the mission. Rather then me hand out a few bucks a month to the different reviewers I respect, this would be a way to consolidate a donation and effect more writers (albeit less net for each). While I typically throw some bucks at the site at the end of every year, I'd probably have no issue throwing $5 a month at it instead. And yes, I could already do this with PayPal, but I like the fact that Patreon provides a way for the site to "push" things at me, rather then me seeking it out (and no, I don't like RSS if it's available). You can also throw in any gimmicks you want, special forum access, badges, gold stars, whatever. Seems, at least, you have a message/platform you can sell. I'm not saying that this will succeed, but maybe it will result in a few bucks going to contributors that wouldn't happen otherwise. I feel like nothing's going to change with this sites current model.

Also, if you're not cross-posting articles over on TOS, you really should (unless there's some objectionable content in it). More eye balls, even if you don't get a "click" from it, still raises brand awareness.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Andi Lennon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 16:05 #316386 by Sagrilarus

dysjunct wrote:

n815e wrote: I recall someone on BGG saying that negative reviews were personal attacks against a game’s creators.

I don’t think many hold that point of view, but negative reviews tend to get negative responses. I try to remember to upvote negative reviews, even if I don’t agree with them, because they should be encouraged.


This is IMO a symptom of BGG’s sprawling size. It’s too big to keep tabs on everything, so people use subscriptions to avoid the firehose. And you don’t subscribe to games you don’t like.


Subscriptions are the only way I consume content there now. The old front page was too scattered across a thousand titles to make it particularly useful for finding new titles.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 16:07 - 20 Nov 2020 16:08 #316387 by Gary Sax
fwiw, individual authors are on patreon, I believe if they do so most of them have links in their author profiles below each article, so I would go support them. Some of our authors have spread their stuff onto BGG and submitted, iirc, and the general ethos behind people submitting here is that it does not tie their hands to put their stuff up on youtube, other sites, have a patreon, etc.

Ubarose can speak to the rest or if I'm wrong with the above. She really does handle all of the actual business of the site behind the scenes, and extremely heroically I might add.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2020 16:08 by Gary Sax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Andi Lennon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 17:13 - 20 Nov 2020 17:23 #316388 by ubarose
@cdennett

Regarding pushing stuff out to you. You can subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get our top 10 most popular articles for the week: Newsletter Signup

Our feed has a an email option if you want to get everything daily (look below the dropdown for the link to subscribe by email): TWBG Feed

We do encourage people to cross post to TOS with a link back to the site. Some do. Some don't. Barnes can't.

RE: Why we don't do Patreon and split the proceeds

It is a reasonable suggestion, and I have considered it off and on just for the additional exposure.

However:
  1. Patreon takes about 10% off the top

  2. It is yet another thing I would need to update and manage along with the site itself, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  3. There is the cash flow issue. Money comes in unevenly throughout the year, through ad revenue, donations, and amazon commissions. At what point do we determine there is a surplus? We have big bills that come in twice a year, 6 months apart. Currently, if there is a surplus at the time the bills need to be paid, it is rolled over to pay the next bill in 6 months. If there is a shortage, it comes out of my pocket. If at any point we determine there is a surplus and disperse it, it is likely that 6 months down the line there will be a deficit.

  4. If we do determine there is a surplus, how is it divided up between all the contributors. By number of articles? Number of words/minutes of video? Number of hits? Do we only pay for exclusive content, or do we also pay for everything that gets cross posted here? Does a 90 second video video or 300 word article with 300 hits that is cross posted here from someone's youtube channel or blog get the same cut as an exclusive 3000 word article with 3000 hits? Do people who don't create content, but contribute a lot of hours to the site, like me and Gary Sax get a cut?

  5. Most importantly, I just don't want to assign a $ value to anyone's contribution to the site, or run a side business or do the accounting

So use the Donate button to contribute to our server fee fund, use our Amazon links to buy stuff, contribute to the Patreons of your favorite writers, vlogers and podcasters.

And, very importantly, show your appreciation for our creators by leaving them a comment. It means a lot to them.

If you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, please follow the site and our creators (numbers matter when publishers are deciding to whom they will send review copies).

Thanks.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2020 17:23 by ubarose.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mads b., Gary Sax, jpat, mezike, cdennett, DarthJoJo, Andi Lennon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Nov 2020 17:37 #316390 by cdennett
First off, signed up to the newsletter (didn't realizer there was one, or forgot about it), will see if that's what I'm looking for. But otherwise, I'm old school and pretty much live on the "Recent Topics" page.

Secondly, I understand it's more work, and thought if more money was coming in, it could go towards managing the increased workload (IE. delegate to someone with more free time that would appreciate a few extra bucks). But this thread was a bunch of complaints about a lack of paid independent board game critics, and there's not really much of a facility to make that happen. It seemed like the goal of the site encompasses written part with the exception of the "paid" bit, was just seeing if there was interest in trying to move into that space. Odds are you would ultimately fail, honestly, but nothing ever changes if someone doesn't try. But clearly I'm not willing to put my free time where my mouth is, so I fully respect the work done by the folks at this site without much, if any, compensation. I will continue to support those folks piecemeal as I already do (I'm do for a re-evaluation of my Patreon, honestly, and need to move some money around), but that's not going to champion any movement for greater crowdfunding of independent content. But really, it's turning this site into more of a business, and maybe that's not really what anybody wants....
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.170 seconds