GameChat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop an friendly and productive environment.
Of necessity, each division of GCL is kept relatively small (typically between 12-16 members, though individual divisions may incline one way or the other). A tight-knit discussion group tends to function more smoothly than a free-for-all. It allows individuals to be heard and understood, and for each participant to keep up and enjoy multiple topics as the week progresses. The format is geeklist-based, and lists are not published to the BGG front page.
But GCL divisions are not (and never will be) closed-off for the sake of exclusivity. Anyone who is curious about the format should feel free to follow along using our subscription threads. Please inquire with that particular group if you are interested in commenting. If you would like form a new division, or are simply wondering how that would work, contact JohnRayJr and he will be glad to answer your questions.
GameChat League Hub List
GCL_Amoeba (Organizer: DoubtofBuddha, 2011-01-10 - 2012-01-02)
GCL_Beehive (Organizer: saccenti, 2013-06-10 - present)
GCL_Eclipse (Organizer: ldsdbomber, 2011-07-12 - 2011-09-07, currently DancerinDC)
GCL_Gelato (Organizer: leroy43, 2012-04-16 - present)
GCL_Mafia (Organizer: Rishi, 2011-01-25 - 2013-04-08; mith, 2013-04-08 - 2013-12-17; currently ecargo)
GCL_Meatball (Organizer: ldsdbomber, 2011-05-11 - 2011-09-07, currently qwertymartin)
GCL_Phoenix (Organizer: originally JohnRayJr; currently indigopotter)
GCL_Stingray (The original division, active for all of 2010, retired following an expansion of GCL)
GCL_WWP (Organizer: demiurge, 2013)
The idea for GCL took shape in Late 2009. At that time, I was commenting intermittently in a series of discussion geeklists run by Mike Jones (user Guantanamo) known as GB or Guantanamo Bay. The lists were a space for 20 geekbuddies to congregate and chat about the hobby. I inquired about joining, but, understandably, Mike kept the list to 20 regular participants for practical reasons. After a couple of months of following along and chiming in here and there, I decided that, rather than hover on the periphery, I should round up a bunch of my own geekbuddies and see about forming our own group with our own vibe, preferences, habits, etc. The original division of GCL came together almost overnight, with about 8 of us participating at the outset. Our first list went live on January 22nd, 2010, and by the following week we had dubbed ourselves the "Stingrays" (out of whimsy more than anything else!). We developed our own conventions, schedule, etc. over the next several months. The format slowly evolved, and our roster grew by one or two members at a time. Some were invited following internal discussions, and some users found us and asked to join. Still more found the lists and simply "fit in," eventually coming aboard. In one or two cases, a member would bow out given various constraints on their time or gaming. From week to week, though, the group was stable and the discussions were more than robust, often yielding 300-500 comments per list. Though the lists were not published to the front page, BGG's subscription system led to many fruitful encounters with users from all over the site, and by late 2010, the Stingray division was an unwieldy conglomeration of 15 active members and at least that many lurkers and subscribers. The sheer volume of content was exhilarating, but also overwhelming and ultimately something that began to undermine both the original purpose of the League and the long-term interest of many of its founding members. So, almost exactly one year after the Stingrays set out to conquer all things gaming, we disbanded and were reborn as the Phoenix and Amoeba divisions. At the time of writing, the newly expanded GCL appears to be more vibrant than ever. Five divisions and counting, with over 75 total members.
Essentially, what I wanted from GCL was a mechanism that allowed groups of talkative, curious, and upbeat gamers to converge, while at the same time being resilient and sustainable in the face of new interest. Almost two years later, I think that's what we have. Long live GameChat League!