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Subject: Comments on Comments rss

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Eric Lai
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If there are any moderators listening: I have a 2012 BGG wish.

For me, the game comment section is my favorite section of the whole website for information. The individual comments are so much more valuable than the game rankings. Its probably my most frequently visited section of BGG. This isn't just the province of Wargames, its useful whichever sub-genre you are interested in.

I wish we can comment on other people's comments (and reply of course) in the individual game's comment sections. It would definitely make the game comment area livelier and also will make it easier for people to clarify queries about certain comments and about the games themselves in an open and constructive manner. Sure. I can just geekmail the individual, but that isn't what a forum is about! Its about people being able to garner information and passively learn more through reading other people's discussions with the option of participation.

To show your support: make a comment.


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Alex Grant
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And thumbs too. I have several times tried to thumb a good/useful comment. And then remembered I can't. It'd be great to be able to then sort by thumbs to find the interesting ones.
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Justus Pendleton
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I think the reason why comments (at least the gestalt) are better than "reviews" is because people DON'T worry about being flamed for every non-glowing thing (or overly glowing thing!) they say. Comments seem to generally be treated as almost quasi-private thoughts and I think that's precisely why they're so valuable.

If you see a comment that you think warrants a response, why not just create a new thread in that game's forum to talk about it? Or just send a note thanking the person or give them GG directly or what have you.
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Eric Lai
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alexgrant wrote:
And thumbs too. I have several times tried to thumb a good/useful comment. And then remembered I can't. It'd be great to be able to then sort by thumbs to find the interesting ones.


I think the thumbs idea (from Alex) is excellent and helpful to the community of end users and make using the comment list easier, especially the long ones.

hoostus wrote:
I think the reason why comments (at least the gestalt) are better than "reviews" is because people DON'T worry about being flamed for every non-glowing thing (or overly glowing thing!) they say. Comments seem to generally be treated as almost quasi-private thoughts and I think that's precisely why they're so valuable.

If you see a comment that you think warrants a response, why not just create a new thread in that game's forum to talk about it? Or just send a note thanking the person or give them GG directly or what have you.


I disagree that the fear of being flamed as a valid reason not to promote discussion. In fact, it is these emotive outpouring that may help people decide one way or another. Being able to comment means that you are more likely to get both the pros & cons of the issue out into the open.

I for one wouldn't be deterred from making comments for games because I am worried about other's replies. I would look forward to other's showing me the errors of my ways... or even the occasional praise. I also find that such fear of comments odd for anyone who is willing to make comments in a worldwide forum.

Making a thread in the individual game's forum is a valid idea, but I've found the traffic through individual game forums anaemic at best and you're not likely to get much debate for many of the little known games (especially many wargames).
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I also find the comments the most useful part of the game pages, but I'd prefer not to wade through flame wars, which I'm afraid would be the result of allowing people to reply to others' comments. That's what threads are for.
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Eric Lai
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zuludawn wrote:
I also find the comments the most useful part of the game pages, but I'd prefer not to wade through flame wars, which I'm afraid would be the result of allowing people to reply to others' comments. That's what threads are for.


You could easily implement (which already exist like for geeklists), a simple command to "hide comments". The moderators could even make it default or better yet, a cookie to remember your default.

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Eric Lai
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Maybe split the difference, and add a functionality that auto-quotes a "comment" and starts a thread in the "review" forum for that game, with a new post where you can both respond to that comment, and alert the original commentor to your post.

It would then generate some traffic in the game forums, and hopefully not start flame wars in the comments sections, which I agree should stay unsullied by reply comments.


That's a reasonable middle ground. What say you all?

I am bouncing the idea around because I want more active discussions for individual games, which simply isn't happening at the moment for less popular games (which is most of the games!)
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Andrew Kluck
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BGG Suggestions
Re: Comments on Comments
I really like reading comments by themselves, they're a shout in the ether about what one person thought of a game.

If I have a suspicion or question about someones rating their entire voting history is one click away, and that usually tells me more about their point of view than the defense of their opinion to pedantic fanboy digital diarrhea.

"He rated it a 6, that's kind of low. Oh, he firmly believes in the Bell Curve and he thinks the game is better than average."

"This guy rated a game I might buy a 2 his favorite game is Munchkin...that's all I need to know"
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Judy Krauss
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I read the game comments, too, especially if I am thinking of getting the game. But I don't want people to rate or comment on my comments. The notes I write there are usually for my own personal use (solitaire playability, rules problems, which extras I have for the game, etc.) and I don't mind other people reading them if they find them useful, but they aren't open to discussion.

I also would not like it if my comments were copied and used to start a thread about them. Especially since it is likely that I would not even know this was happening.

If you really like someone's comment, send them a geekmail and ask if they would be willing to write a review or start some kind of thread based on the comments.

The ability to thumb game comments might be okay.
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Judy Krauss
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Garfink wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
Maybe split the difference, and add a functionality that auto-quotes a "comment" and starts a thread in the "review" forum for that game, with a new post where you can both respond to that comment, and alert the original commentor to your post.

It would then generate some traffic in the game forums, and hopefully not start flame wars in the comments sections, which I agree should stay unsullied by reply comments.


That's a reasonable middle ground. What say you all?



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David
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The comments section is the one place you can say what you like without getting hammered laugh
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Paolo Robino
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Garfink wrote:
I wish we can comment on other people's comments (and reply of course) in the individual game's comment sections. It would definitely make the game comment area livelier and also will make it easier for people to clarify queries about certain comments and about the games themselves in an open and constructive manner.

Please no. I already restrain myself from commenting games in my collection exactly because I've been questioned in the past by geekmail about my opinions on games. Yes, I do have opinions, sometimes they differ from the majority, sometimes they will make no sense to you, please accept the fact. If I wanted to discuss my opinions, I would start a thread.

Also, mb.

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Samo Gosaric
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I'm with those who think it's a bad idea.

BGG forums are sometimes about valuable informations, but are more often about popularity contests and discussion can go on the level of the lowest common denominator. User's comments don't compete with anyone, they're more honest and therefore more valuable.

Also I'm strongly against evaluation of these comments. Because the most valuable comments are not those ranking the game as 10 or a 1 (and these will get the most popular), but those of users who have similar taste as you and rank game a 4 or a 6 or a 7.

The way to use and find comments is though geekbuddies.
Geekbuddies provide you with an option to build separate horizontal net(works) of personal information. Thumbing would create one universal vertical structure and would only help people aligned with bgg mainstream (these people already have the help of BGG ranking system, which is of little use to other users).

hoostus wrote:
I think the reason why comments (at least the gestalt) are better than "reviews" is because people DON'T worry about being flamed for every non-glowing thing (or overly glowing thing!) they say. Comments seem to generally be treated as almost quasi-private thoughts and I think that's precisely why they're so valuable.


I agree: imagine people who rank a certain game low getting flamed because BGG mainstream luvs this same game. Threads like "I hate Agricola" or Let's hate "Games Workshop" were infamous flaming pits - now imagine this spills into private comments users make about their collection. Now imagine popular BGG personalities getting assaulted by fanboys - mr. Tom Vasel, why do you rate this game so low?

There are places on BGG which encourage public discussion, and your collection and the comments are the refugee area which I believe should stay. The difference between posting my comment on a game in my collection or on a public forum: the public comment is there to be scrutinised it must therefore be much more solid, objective piece of writing. Personal comments are personal and do and should't adhere to this logic. Personal opinion is different than public opinion - it has different content, different meaning and different value.

Garfink wrote:
It would definitely make the game comment area livelier and also will make it easier for people to clarify queries about certain comments and about the games themselves in an open and constructive manner.


I have serious doubts about that and predict quite the opposite.
Garfink wrote:
Sure. I can just geekmail the individual, but that isn't what a forum is about! Its about people being able to garner information and passively learn more through reading other people's discussions with the option of participation.

Why should people be confronted on their personal comments just because you would rather not have to contact anybody via geekmail? It seem like - I can't be bothered to ask people questions directly, no we'd rather make a gladiator arena out of personal comments and I'll bring the popcorn and watch the show.

Comments are such as they are precisely because they aren't on a forum.
Garfink wrote:
You could easily implement (which already exist like for geeklists), a simple command to "hide comments". The moderators could even make it default or better yet, a cookie to remember your default.
So for a change you would like to happen so you can remain more passive, BGG would likely need to add 2 moderators just to keep this under control?

Do activate yourself:
1. find yourself geekbuddies that share your taste in games, they will provide with the most accurate recommendation you can find. Warning: it takes some effort. Like an hour.
2. If you find some user's comments very interesting - like the user played 3 or 4 games you're thinking on buying but can't decide, use geekmail. I had nothing but welcoming responses so far. I recently even asked a user from another thread to give me a comment on my thread which got stuck in a rather frustrated standstill - and he helped a lot.
3. Search through bgg immense resources already existing: in zillion of geeklist and threads there are comments that will help you once you find them.

Garfink wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
Maybe split the difference, and add a functionality that auto-quotes a "comment" and starts a thread in the "review" forum for that game, with a new post where you can both respond to that comment, and alert the original commentor to your post.

It would then generate some traffic in the game forums, and hopefully not start flame wars in the comments sections, which I agree should stay unsullied by reply comments.


That's a reasonable middle ground. What say you all?


Vetoed.

Personal comment is a personal comment is a personal comment.
I do not wish any of my personal comments on the OP of a thread without my explicit approval. Because a comment written for such a post, would be written with totally different attitude, structure and content.

Garfink wrote:
I am bouncing the idea around because I want more active discussions for individual games, which simply isn't happening at the moment for less popular games (which is most of the games!)


Examples?

Any time I started a thead on the game's page there were some responses. If the game is very rare (meaning 20-30 ratings) there would be nothing weird about seending geekmail, but even so - I think they would comment on a game's tread.

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Samo Gosaric
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Paolo Robino wrote:
Please no. I already restrain myself from commenting games in my collection exactly because I've been questioned in the past by geekmail about my opinions on games. Yes, I do have opinions, sometimes they differ from the majority, sometimes they will make no sense to you, please accept the fact. If I wanted to discuss my opinions, I would start a thread.


My condolences. I didn't think this happens that often.
You must be a popular user.

General comment: it's ok to geekmail users you don't know, just be polite.
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Paolo Robino
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sgosaric wrote:
Paolo Robino wrote:
Please no. I already restrain myself from commenting games in my collection exactly because I've been questioned in the past by geekmail about my opinions on games. Yes, I do have opinions, sometimes they differ from the majority, sometimes they will make no sense to you, please accept the fact. If I wanted to discuss my opinions, I would start a thread.


My condolences. I didn't think this happens that often.
You must be a popular user.

Nah, it's got more to do with the fact that I've been around here for a long time now...
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Samo Gosaric
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Quote:
The ancient Greek sculptor Polyclitus once did an experiment where he made two sculptures, one in his private workshop and one in the room where he often entertained guests. Whenever people visiting would make suggestions about the sculpture they saw, Polyclitus would change it according to their suggestions. When both sculptures were unveiled, the private one was considered a masterpiece and the public one was considered an absolute disaster. When asked how the two sculptures could be so different in quality, Polyclitus said, "Because I made this one (the private one) and you made that one."


From this article on co-op games (but anecdote applies on our topic as well).
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Lawrence Hung
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The comments are personal own turf. I would rather prefer the discussion in the forum of the games and that's where they should be. I don't think the function would likely to increase/ promote discussion of those games already with low activity.
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Eric Lai
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Okay... I submit to the consensus. How about adding "thumbs" to the comments? Would that invade your "comment" world not too much, but still add to the end user's convenience?
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If this refers to comments in a member's profile, then no, FWIW.
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Lawrence Hung
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Garfink wrote:
Okay... I submit to the consensus. How about adding "thumbs" to the comments? Would that invade your "comment" world not too much, but still add to the end user's convenience?


I remember BGG in the beginning counts the pageview of the individual pages. That function was somehow removed. The thumbs would be kind of the same statistics. I can understand why you would want to have that. It really saves the amount of work copying your comments to the forum. But then you should first write up more reviews! We are interested in your views towards many wargames, given that we haven't had the time to play half of the collection.laugh



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Garfink wrote:
Okay... I submit to the consensus. How about adding "thumbs" to the comments? Would that invade your "comment" world not too much, but still add to the end user's convenience?


I can revise and rewrite comments if my view changes as I get more experience with a game. I don't know how people would feel if they thumbed my positive comment on a game that was changed to less positive later (or the other way around).
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Wendell
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Garfink wrote:
Okay... I submit to the consensus. How about adding "thumbs" to the comments? Would that invade your "comment" world not too much, but still add to the end user's convenience?


I wouldn't mind it if people could thumb comments. Agree with the consensus that commenting on comments is probably unwise.
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Samo Gosaric
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Garfink wrote:
How about adding "thumbs" to the comments? Would that invade your "comment" world not too much, but still add to the end user's convenience?


I predict that in general, more thumbs will be received by short in-yer-face comments that would be either very positive or very negative. Good posts don't get nearly as many thumbs as short populist ones. So I don't see how this would give you any data you couldn't get by ratings or reviews? You would still have to hunt the relevant ones yourself.

Also the nature of comments is transient, people change them all the time. If you have geekbuddies you can even follow these changes they make.

The biggest problem is of course this:
What exactly do you wish to gain?
If you want to know which games are popular - check bbg top listed games, if you want to know which games are highly regarded with people who play them - check their rating, if you want to know whether or not the game will be to your liking, that's a lot harder.
Second biggest problem is this: for you the most relevant posts are from those people that share your gaming taste. And this differs from user to user as there are many different gaming tastes and reasons for gaming. So how exactly will you solve this by thumbing posts - those most relevant to you, won't be relevant to many others. In the end all comments relevant to anybody will be thumbed, and then what?

We could go the IMDB way - whether comment is useful or not, but then again personal comment is not there to be useful, that's what reviews are for.

Or you could assign to comments, 1.00 being a minimal bid, but still I have this bad feeling it would ruin bgg economy as people will began to promote their comments. So yes, however you turn around, any public interference will ruin the most valuable thing about personal comments - that they are personal.

It's Heisenberg uncertainty principle: active looking changes the nature of what you're looking at.

Just get yourself geekbuddies already, geeze...
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Warren Bruhn
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I agree with the majority above. OP question already well answered.

But thanks for the reminder about Geek Buddies, Samo. I started to use that feature when I came on the Geek, but then haven't used it in a very long time.
 
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Sim Guy
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I was still new to BGG when I started entering my Collection and providing comments and ratings on my games. I didn't really know what to do, so I treated the comment section like a place for notes or a capsule review. With over 600 games on my list, I have only really had contact with people asking about parts. I'm not really expecting to have to explain my comments, but I probably would. For some of the more active, higher profile users, this might be a problem, but I really don't mind.

I too, use the comments to learn about games and find them very enlightening. I don't really have an opinion on ratings other than to say that BGG could probably add a "N people found this comment useful" tag, although I guess thumbing the comment would serve the same purpose...

Doesn't really make all that much difference to me.
I vote 'Present' shake
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