Best Board Game Blogs of the Week, ft. Diversity in the Game Place

(A mid-week recap of the best blog posts from the last 7 days.)

I found out this week that a blog post can be thoughtful, and still be a fun read. Check out these great examples!



Across the Boardgames, 9/12, by Luke Turpeinen

Luke takes to the Twitterverse in his fight against male-dominated Euro-centrism in board games. A previous post tackled the passive racism that pervades many games today. Now it’s time to broaden the discussion:

I’d also like to make it clear that the issues of representation aren’t only a problem when it comes to race. Sexual identity, sexual preference, gender, religious tradition and other ethno-cultural customs that aren’t necessarily tied to the way we look are all factors to consider. Race and gender tend to come up more frequently when talking board games because those topics are more easily seen just by looking at the game, but that doesn’t mean other areas of representation are not important.

There are signs of change on the horizon…

With their recently released 5th Edition, Wizards of the Coast has made a better play at inclusiveness. The iconic picture of a human in the newest edition of D&D is a black woman, and even just casually browsing the book shows that the character art is much more diverse, both in terms of gender and other physical attributes.

But Luke correctly makes the point that the designer, artist and publisher didn’t add this diversity on their own, but in response to demand from passionate RPGers. Keep speaking up, and they’ll listen!


It was hard before Kickstarter
Boardgames That Tell Stories, 9/15, by Ignacy Trzewiczek

What if there had been Kickstarter in 2005…?

Respected designer Ignacy understands the trials and travails of designers in the pre-Kickstarter era. Specifically he lists 3 main differences that would have kept forgotten games like Conquest of the Fallen Lands from becoming forgotten.

The one thing missing from this short and sweet post is a call to action to put the game back on Kickstarter for a polished 2nd edition. Let’s do it, people!

Cutting up the traditional story arc to generate new game ideas
Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged, 9/15, by Jan Schröder

The actual title is too suggestive for a family blog, even with asterisks. But the subtitle works for me. Jan’s post is inspired by movies with untraditional narratives: Pulp Fiction, Memento, 500 Days of Summer, et al.

It takes the 3-Act format of many dungeon crawls (Character Generation à The Quest à The Epic Duel) and mixes them up in different orders, creating different kinds of stories:

1 – 3 – 2 (character generation – epic duel – quest) = Will you find what it took you to win? – a push your luck dungeon crawl

2 – 3 – 1 (quest – epic duel – character generation) = Amnesia – a deductive dungeon crawl [like the movie Memento, perhaps?]

It makes for fun reading. A long, thoughtful post, but if you RP, you definitely want to read this.

Designing for The Deep Dive
Hyperbole Games, 9/11, by Grant Rodiek

What makes a game timeless? What’s the antidote for “gotta-have-every-new-game” Disease? Grant gives you a rundown of features that keep a game from gathering dust.

Just one of the ideas,

Multiple Divergent Strategies: Put simply, give players multiple ways to seek victory. There should be several truly different strategies that, paired with variability, mean a player can seek to win and master the game in new ways.

And Grant uses 7 Wonders as the perfect example of this.

(The above four blogs earn consideration for the BGA Blog of the Year Award. One point is awarded for inclusion, with an extra point given to the Post of the Week.)


Trade Negotiations
Tiny Wooden Pieces, 9/12, by Aileen Cudmore

An appreciation of Catan, with a comic strip thrown in for good measure.

In an odd mood
Every Man Needs a Shed, 9/14, by Tony Boydell

Not just a session report, a life report…

In this episode, Peter is stuck at a table with two 12-year-olds, trapped in an endless game of Heroes Wanted… Let’s see what happens next…

What is a 4x Game?
Clever Move, 9/15, by Matt M. Casey

An important addition to our game glossary, as I had absolutely no clue what “4x” stood for…

10 Things I Dig About the New “Monster Manual” (And 5 I Don’t)
Critical Hits, 9/15, by Dave Chalker

Generally, I despise “Top 10” lists. But I do so loooooove “Pro & Con” lists. So, let’s call this a “Pro & Con” list….

Which one of these posts did you enjoy? Are there any blogs that I missed last week? Let me know in the Comments section!

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  • Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...

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