Wikipedia is largest online encyclopedia in the world, but for the gaming population, there is one bigger source for games – Boardgamegeek. It is incredible site – it stores all information about more than 45,000 games. You read it right, 45,000 GAMES!
Every game from the early beginning of gaming industry until today is completely covered with reviews, pictures, descriptions, gaming aids and many more. Community itself improve the site with new information and pictures, and there is even gamer database, where anyone can register, make a list of games he owns, rate games, and find are there any gamers nearby with similar interests.
According to their own statistical measurements in April 2009, they have more than 250,000 users. That is just plain awesome number, and many gamers track their own record to every game played on their BGG account.
I really had a great use of the site. Whenever I wanted to buy some game, I just looked there before I buy. I would see pictures, game rules, comments of those who played that game already many times, so it gave me great insight to any game.
You can leave a donation to site in similar manner as on Wikipedia, but BGG greats their donators with some microbages of their favorite games. Microbages are listed after user’s name and they are purely for decorative reasons, but people like to have them. Aside from donations, they have many ads there, and it is the first time I actually have a use from an ad. I find many great online stores that sell games with decent discount, and free shipping when order is bigger.
BGG have their own marketplace. It is quite big, and they even have e-bay games auctions listed on their site.
There was a comic for BGG, and it can still be found on forum, done by Brian Barling about gamers, games and gaming community. It was funny and it showed the true nature of gaming fans. I suggest everyone to find and read all of them.
Maybe the best part of BGG is that any user can leave some files that helps playing the game, like gaming aids. I downloaded and printed more than dozen of those, as they are helpful and made by people who know what can be problematic about certain rules in games.
BGG is very open to add new games to their site, with full review, description and pictures, so new stuff is added on daily basis. BGG now even put if there are some rumors that some game can be released soon, and as soon as there are some new info or pics, they are on site.
Many thanks to authors of BGG. They did very good job and helped gamers a lot. I’m sure that without BGG world gaming community would be many times smaller. That said, help BGG in any way that you can, but maybe the best is to click on their site and check it out, there will be many games that you’ll want to play after you saw them on BGG.