Weaning Myself from BGG

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time on BGG. I’ve spent large portions of many evenings

  1. Browsing games
  2. Reading geeklists
  3. Reading reviews and session reports
  4. Checking to see if the images I uploaded had any more recommendations or comments
  5. Checking back on lists I had commented on or added games to
  6. Tending my Geeklist Chain

BGG had become my ‘Bloglines’ activity. What I mean by that is that when I didn’t know what to do, I used to just bring up Bloglines. There are always links to follow, RSS feeds to catch up on, stupid crap to fill your mind with, etc. In other words, Bloglines is a great way to fill time with mindless farting around. If the last six months have taught me anything, they’ve taught me that I need to stop farting so much.

Well, let me put that a different way. I’ve read a few blog entries about ‘fringe gaming’. For the life of me I can’t find the reference. If it rings a bell to anyone I’d appreciate the link so I can give appropriate credit. I’m a fringe gamer. A gamer that spends more time reading and talking about games than actually playing them.

I’m seen as a gamer know-it-all by some of my friends, many people I work with, and my family. But when you get on BGG, you realize that you know very little in comparison to many members. It’s quite a humbling experience to become involved with the site and to be, for lack of a better explanation, repeatedly reminded that your ideas and thoughts are almost infantile compared to those of the elite.

BGG is lead by the ‘cool crowd’, those that post a lot of insightful or funny content. They garner a lot of respect. Almost any geeklist and/or forum entry by one of these members will attract recommendations, active respectful discussion, and genuine dialog.

BGG is used by new members who the cool members tend to help through the process of becoming cool. For the most part, they’re lead tenderly through the process, occasionally given a few hard knocks but in general they’re wished well in their journey to geekdom.

There are the faceless masses that use the site but submit no content. We of course cannot see them. Only the weblogs know but we all know they’re there…watching.

And finally, there are the Rodney Dangerfields of the site. Those that, try as we might, never seem to get plugged into the cool crowd, the funny crowd, or the crowd that everyone respects…the E.F. Huttons.

Even after almost 4 years of registered use, I find myself in that final group, not knowing enough to even break into the bottom feeders of the respected but also not sure I want to spend any more time than I already do learning about games. In the end, what’s really the point of knowing a lot about games and/or knowing about some inane geeklist when I could be doing something productive.

I don’t want to make surfing BGG yet another one of my hobbies. There’s really no purpose in farting around on BGG when I could actually be playing games with my kids, working in my woodshop, reading a book, or maybe even something as adventurous as learning to play the violin. I’m not boycotting BGG by any means but I’m going to be making a conscious effort to be more purposeful in my usage rather than trying to catch up to the Joneses.

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