10

I find myself wanting to link to further information about a game or expansion fairly often. When describing something, it's nice to provide a link so the reader can find out more. But there are frequently several good choices of what to link to, and I'm not sure which to pick.

BoardGameGeek has a ton of information, including categorization of games, recommended numbers of players based on user votes, a description, reviews, discussion, file uploads for player aids and rule translations, and so on. On the other hand, the page is extremely busy, it can be hard to navigate, and you sometimes have to click through quite a lot to find all of the information it has to offer.

For many games, Wikipedia has a good article on the game. On Wikipedia, you have a much cleaner interface, and see pretty much all of the relevant information on one page. It doesn't have as much information on precisely categorizing games, reviews, ratings, or the like, but for the information it does provide, it can be easier to navigate. It also sometimes provides historical background or other information that BoardGameGeek does not or may be hard to find on BGG.

Then there's the official site for the game itself. These vary in quality; some of them just provide very basic information in the form of a blurb and a box cover. Some of them provide a good deal of information, like rules, strategy guides, errata, payer aids, and the like. They are generally promotional in nature, so you get to see how the company is trying to sell their game rather than what other people think about the game.

Another option is to link to Amazon or another online store. This allows anyone interested in the game to buy it right away, and will generally have some description and review information, but may not be appropriate for everyone on the site as other online stores might be more appropriate depending on their country.

When you're reading about a game in an answer, which of these sites do you prefer to get a link to? Is there a good rule of thumb about which link or links I should provide?

9

When I want to link to a page with further info I first visit boardgamegeek. If I can't find the game there I'll try wikipedia. Then I give up unless I really need that link.

The reasons why I prefer BoardGameGeek are:

  1. It is more likely to know any particular game. Wikipedia lacks pages for many less mainstream games.
  2. It is a site dedicated to games and almost always contains or links to more additional info (Images, Reviews, Discussions, Comparisons) than wikipedia.
  3. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and thus more interested in a game's origin, cultural impact and other aspects of it's "historic importance". BGG focuses on aspects that are of more immediate interest to gamers - such as:
    • a quick summary of the game concept
    • player count, duration, age suitability
  4. It is easier to correctly identify the desired game it case of ambiguous names.

For these reasons I prefer BoardGameGeek over Wikipedia or the often very short official pages. I personally won't go an place multiple links to the same game on alternate sites - I'm too lazy for that. If the reader still needs more information after visiting the first link he should be able and motivated to find it himself.

6

I prefer to link to Wikipedia usually. My reasons are:

I find BGG too difficult to read and far too cluttered, so linking to it for someone looking for info, I think is a bad idea.

Linking to the game's web page is far too narrow. It rarely has the amount of information that a wikipedia page offers. Again, as a user of this site, I would prefer more information than less, as the reason I would ask a question is to gain as much information about the answer as I can find.

Wikipedia therefore wins, as it is uncluttered, easy to read, broad enough information to be more useful than the game website and BGG in most instances and more often than not has links to BGG and Wikipedia.

I concede that this will not always be the correct method, but 9 times out of 10, I think it is the most suitable.

  • 1
    Wikipedia has been systematically deleting game entries in the last two years. If it's not on the pop-culture radar, the administration there doesn't want it. – aramis May 30 '11 at 7:09
5

Why pick one link to favor? Link to any or all as desired. Example:

Settlers of Catanwiki BGG official led the German board game invasion in 1995.

This method has several advantages:

  • Allows the poster (or editor) to use only those links that are useful for each particular game
  • Allows linking to more than one place easily
  • Provides information as to where the link goes
  • Is easily extensible. Links to any other site can be included if warranted.
  • 1
    I've done similar a few times; see, for instance, boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/1204/… in which I link to all three. But it's a bit clumsy to do so, so I wanted to poll people to see what their preferences are; nothing needs to be mandated, I just want to find out what people find works best. – Brian Campbell Nov 7 '10 at 23:44
  • 2
    @Brian - mandate might have been a bit strong (I've reworded that part). Realistically all we can do is encourage our editors to standardize and hope for the best. – Pat Ludwig Nov 8 '10 at 2:54
  • I have to concur with Brian here; linking to all may be appropriate on occasion but it's clumsy, as well as being more work than I want to do. I have a mild preference for BGG (much less readable but more likely to lead to useful game resources) but I agree it's worth going for a site concensus. – Tynam Nov 9 '10 at 16:41
  • @Tynam - ah, I had not meant to suggest that all should be mandated (or even encouraged). Editing post now. – Pat Ludwig Nov 9 '10 at 16:53
  • okay, how do you get the "small" superscript links? Do you code it by hand or am I missing some mark-up in the BGC editor? – My Turn Yet Nov 18 '10 at 20:56
  • @egg use <sup>BGG</sup> and then link the text. – Pat Ludwig Nov 18 '10 at 21:35
  • @Pat Thanks. I will incorporate this into my posts. – My Turn Yet Nov 18 '10 at 21:58
  • I like this linking strategy. Is there any way the editor for this SE could be customized to support and encourage it? I know that I link with <bracket>name<bracket><paren>link<paren> because it's quick and easy - faster than the button for a link, even. But if we have standards we want to push, we should try to assure that our tools encourage them. – gomad Nov 23 '10 at 18:59
3

Reasons I suggest for links to Board Game Geek:

  1. depth of database. Almost anything in print is in there, and lots that's out of print, including some little known games from a century ago. (EG: The Checkered Game Of Life (1860))
  2. depth of user base provides for a generally more useful set of views
  3. collection of information present on the main page of a given game:
    1. versions available
    2. internal links to reviews
    3. external links to other websites relating to the game
    4. internal links to similar games
    5. internal links to supplements, expansions, and rethemes
    6. generalized rating, and access to more detailed information about that rating
    7. links to ebay auctions and BGG marketplace
    8. targeted adverts by gamestores (yes, they can target pages of stuff they carry)
  4. Extensive designer participation
    1. lots of semi-official rules Q&A
    2. a good amount of designer commentary

BGG Drawbacks:

  1. Hard to navigate for new users
  2. sometimes, too much info.
  3. very responsive to DMCA notices (Anything related to games by Games Workshop gets gutted every couple years, it seems.)

Wikipedia, I don't recommend. In part, because it focuses almost exclusively on the social impact, and in larger part, because the management has been systematically targeting and removing pages about board and roleplaying games over the last two years. Further, many of the board game pages are not terribly accurate in their mechanical summaries.

Publisher pages are good links if there are FAQs or designer's notes, but not for game recommendations, nor, in many cases, links to point of sale. Further, almost all reviews on a publisher's pages will be positive, no matter how bad the game. A neutral site is far better for presenting balanced information.

  • Do you feel it is important to attempt to mandate a particular link destination? – Pat Ludwig May 31 '11 at 15:54
  • No, I don't. But in cases like wikipedia, it's a good idea to bar particular sites as generally unacceptable. – aramis Jun 1 '11 at 4:21
2

I prefer Boardgamegeek, it's busy, but it will have all the info anyone wants.

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