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BoardGameGeek FAQ

Use this area to answer all of the questions a new BGG user might have. The Guide to BoardGameGeek has more in-depth instructions on how to use the site. Users may also wish to consult the FAQ: New Users Want to Know...

Additionally, if a question asked and/or answered in the Forums seems appropriate for inclusion here, please include it.

Board Game Geek

What is Board Game Geek?

Board Game Geek (BGG) is a board game database - a collection or catalog of data and information on traditional board games. The game information recorded here is intended for posterity, historical research, and user-contributed ratings. All the information within our database was meticulously and voluntarily entered on a game-by-game basis by our user base - You. This information is freely offered through flexible queries and "data mining".

Is BGG a work and family friendly site?

No. There are many games with adult or morbid content featured on the site. As a database and information resource we prioritized accuracy when it comes to database entries. Therefore we do not censor game titles, images, videos, or other material associated with these games. You view BGG at your own risk.

Do I need to register to use BGG?

Yes and No. You don't need to register to look at anything on this site. You can browse all of the BGG pages anonymously if you want to. However, if you want to add anything, or change anything, such as asking a question in a forum, replying to a question, adding a game to the database or creating your own Geek List, then you will need to register. Registration is free and your details are not passed on to other organisations. You will need an email address but, other than that, no other details need be factual.
When registering, you will be asked to choose a user name. This cannot be changed at a later date, so think carefully about what you want to use. You can change the description that goes with your user name, but the user name itself cannot be changed. For example, my user name is "dipdragon" and the description is "J R". I can change "J R" to anything I choose, but "dipdragon" is fixed for all time.BGG Registration

Can I have more than one account?

Yes, so long as it is not used for nefarious purposes, such as violating our https://boardgamegeek.com/terms and Community Rules. Most of our user base who utilize multiple accounts use one as a personal account and the other as a business account. Who you let access your account(s) is entirely up to you, but you remain wholly responsible for any and all activity that occurs on said account(s).

How do I ask for help?

You can ask our friendly community to lend you a hand by posting questions in the Help and How-to Forums. If you need to talk to an admin, you can GeekMail any of the BGG Admins. We will be more than happy to help.

How can I financially support Board Game Geek?

To become a supporter simply go to the bottom of any page and click on the 'Support BGG' mini-menu item, or click any user's "Patron" badge. If you donate $15 or more you will receive your own Patron badge and if you donate at least $25 you can disable the advertisements on BGG. A BGG Patron is someone who has given money to support BGG. Such donations are not mandatory - despite what some users may say - and the money is used to support the running of the site in a general way - buying hardware, paying support costs, etc.

The Database

What is GeekGold?

GeekGold (abbreviated GG) is the virtual currency used on the site. You can use it to tip contributions, buy an avatar, microbadges or other things. GG is awarded for adding content to the site like games, reviews, images, files, and so on. The amount awarded is dependent upon the content type and quality.

What is GeekMod?

GeekMod is a community driven system where users pass judgement on images, reviews, session reports and representative images. GeekMod was made public on January 12, 2006 to speed up the verdict on content submissions while lessening the load on the admins. GeekMod is NOT handled by the admins, but by our user base. You can help out and earn GeekGold by participating in GeekMod yourself.

What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content. For more information about what a wiki is have a look at this entry in Wikipedia. For more information about the BoardGameGeek wiki go to About the BoardGameGeek Wiki or go to the Wiki Main Index to start exploring.

What do the game ratings mean?

There are three rating systems you will see on the site:
  • User Rating (aka Your Rating): The rating you gave to the game. When viewing the ratings section of a game page you can see the individual ratings each user gave that particular game. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches and your game collection.
  • Average Rating: The average of all the ratings from registered BGG users, calculated by adding up the individual ratings and dividing by the number of ratings. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches and near the top of game pages.
  • BGG Rating (aka Geek Rating): BoardGameGeek's ranking charts are ordered using the BGG Rating, which is based on the Average Rating, but with some alterations. To prevent games with relatively few votes climbing to the top of the BGG Ranks, artificial "dummy" votes are added to the User Ratings. These votes are currently thought to be 100 votes equal to the mid range of the voting scale: 5.5, but the actual algorithm is kept secret to avoid manipulation. The effect of adding these dummy votes is to pull BGG Ratings toward the mid range. Games with a large number of votes will see their BGG Rating alter very little from their Average Rating, but games with relatively few user ratings will see their BGG Rating move considerably toward 5.5. This is known as "Bayesian averaging" and a quick search of both BGG and/or the Web will reveal much discussion on the topic. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches, your game collection, and near the top, most right corner of game pages.
The "User Rating" is arguably the one you will use the most, and the "Average Rating" will be the most helpful when looking for a good, well received game. With both of these rating systems you will see a number between 1 and 10. Each user is encouraged to rate games based on their own opinion of the game. As such, different users may assign different meanings to the 1-10 scale. There is no official or set algorithm in place by which users are expected to follow.

Submitting Content/Contributing

How do I contribute to the website?

There is a flood of new game releases everyday. As you can imagine, keeping up with them all is a huge undertaking and any help entering new game releases is always welcome! Please read our in-depth guides before starting:
We also accept content like images, videos or reviews:

How do I submit a game award?

Contact admin Purple about awards. Do not submit them yourself. Award entries are not straightforward like games or versions. They are VERY easy to mess up and continuously require new sets, categories, and honor submissions every year. 99% of user submitted awards are done incorrectly and are not properly linked or titled.

Why was my submission sent back for revision?

When an entry is missing details or important information we may send it back for you to revise. A link to revise your submission will be at the bottom of the revise message you received along with an explanation of what needs to be changed. Games sent back for revision are "held" in a separate queue from the pending ones. As soon as you revise your game submission it will be sent back into the "pending" queues. Games that go unrevised for months may be declined.

Why can't the admins fix my submission for me?

The admins may elect to fix small mistakes every now and then, but they rarely clean up an entire submission themselves. BGG is flooded with new submissions and corrections every day for every item type in the database. It frees up an immense amount of admin time if you fix your own submissions and serves as a learning opportunity to familiarize yourself BGG's submission form. With literally thousands of games across multiple categories and play styles there is also a good chance that you know about the game than the admins.
It is also important to note that all the admins on BGG are volunteers. They are not compensated for any of the time and work they put into the site; They have real lives, families, obligations and paying jobs that require their limited time. It is unethical of us and an impractical use of their time, to ask them [the admins] to fix everyone's mistakes.

I submitted a game. Why hasn't it been approved yet?

Board game approvals typically take between a few days to a week. However, the board game queues will often swell in excess of 500 pending games and 1,000 pending corrections, with more flooding in daily. It is worst during the holidays and conventions. When this happens it may take one to two or even three months before your submission is approved. If you are a publisher or an independent developer looking to get your game into the database by a certain date, please take the average approval time and delays into account. If it is urgent, you can contact admin W Eric Martin (head of database management); be sure to include the name of the game submission you want approved.

I submitted an image. Why hasn't it been approved yet?

Images pass through GeekMod (a community driven system) and are not handled by the admins. How quickly an item passes through GeekMod is dependent upon how many users choose to take part in the voting process. Please be patient and do not re-submit your images again. Duplicates will be declined and the ones you have pending will not move any faster. If an image is approved or declined you will receive a GeekMail message notification. If one has not been received then the item is still pending.

How do I find other games similar to the games I already know and like?

If you have added some games to your Collection and rated them, then Personal Recommendations might guide you to other games you'd like.
If there is a specific game you like a lot, go to that game's Game Page.
  • There are descriptive tags added to the game by users (e.g. "zombies", "solitaire", etc.); these can guide you to games that people think are similar.
  • There are forums specific to that game, which are usually worth reading. Fans of a game often mention similar games.
  • There is a section of GeekLists which the game appears in. Some GeekLists are actually useful for collecting games which have something interesting in common (e.g. "List of games with zombies", "List of solitaire games", etc.)
  • There is a section "You Might Also Enjoy..." which is an automatically generated set of other games that the BGG software thinks are popular with users who like this game.
If you decide to post in a forum asking for recommendations, be sure to clearly explain what kinds of games you like, or what you are looking for specifically.

How Do I Add a Game to My Collection?

Go to the game's entry in the database. Expand the "User Information" section, if it isn't already, by clicking the plus sign. Then click "Add a copy to your collection". More options will appear that you can change as needed.
A game will also appear in your collection if you have rated it, commented about it, logged plays of it, or chosen to be notified of new content about it. This gives an easy way to see all the games you care about on one page.
Note that your "Collection" does not necessarily mean games you own in real life. It is a virtual collection of games you are interested in due to owning them, playing them, rating them, commenting on them, wanting to be notified of new content, whatever.
You can add several copies of the same game to your collection, e.g. because you own several copies, or because you have played several different versions and want to rate/comment them individually. If you rate a game multiple times in this way, then only your highest rating for the game is used.

How Do I Log Plays and Delete Logged Plays?

If you have an account you can log plays of games via My Geek or the collection section of the individual game's article.
You can delete logged plays if you go to any of the pages that show your logged plays (e.g. My Geek | Games Played | All) and click on the X next to the entry you want to delete.

What are the "Journal Entries" that appear in my profile?

"Journal Entries" are a legacy feature that have been replaced by the forums. The "Journal Entries" statistic that appears on user profiles between "GeekList Items" and "Forum Threads" serves no function for new users; it should always equal 0. (Ref:Journal Entries)

Reporting Content

How do I report offensive content?

BGG is not a family friendly. There are games that contain adult content featured on the site. We do not censor game titles, images, videos and so forth. If an individual is acting inappropriately on the forums you may report them to Octavian.

How do I report SPAM?

If you see obvious spam (e.g. advertisements for streaming movies, drugs, fake passports, etc), simply click the red-X next to the post or thread, then select the "spam" option. That will notify admins who will delete it. There is no need to reply or start up a new forum thread to report the spam. If you want to get more involved in helping zap spam quickly at BGG, consider joining LASH and posting a comment at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/821150/the-naughty-list/new when you see spam, which will notify some admins even faster.

I Want a Game Removed

Erasing an entire game entry from the database is not something we generally do or take lightly since it can impact user collections, ratings and other database items linked to it. Only a select few admins can merge or delete database items, and for good reason. It is a complex process, that done incorrectly can cause havoc and corrupt other data.

It is also worth noting that all information entered into the database is done so voluntarily for the purposes of posterity and historical research. Just because you want it gone doesn't mean that every trace of information on it should disappear into the aether. Copyrighted and trademarked material such as images and reviews can be removed. Listing general information about a product, such as the game name or number of players, on a website is not covered or affected by copyright and trademark.

How Do I Report Someone Rating Large Numbers of Games 1s?

The short answer: unless they are a bot, you don't. Everyone is allowed to rate games whatever they want for whatever reason.
We are aware of the nefarious practices some individuals employ as a way to tamper with the game ratings. Despite this, we do not police the user ratings, nor do we dictate what criteria someone uses to rate games. It is not our place. or anyone else's to tell you how to rate your game collection. If you are a small or independent developer and have concerns over poor ratings impacting your game before release, then we advise that you hold off submitting an entry until the game has been released and made its way into the hands of as many people as possible.

Other

Where Can I Promote My Crowdfunding Project?

Due to how quickly the promoting of crowdfunded campaigns can get out of hand, Kickstarter links are only permitted in the following forums:

Posting or promoting crowdfunded projects anywhere else violates our Community Rules and may result in the termination of your account. Sending out promotional messages to our user base is also prohibited.

Where Can I Find/Add Mobile Board Games?

BoardGameGeek is purely for traditional board and card games; it was never adequately setup to handle electronic games. As stated in the BGG guidelines under "What is not a Game?", it states the following: "Electronic items -- Items that are purely electronic (e.g. DVD games, video games, handheld electronic games, apps) are not within the scope of BGG."

Mobile ports of board games and DVD games belong on Video Game Geek. You can use the "Adapted From" field to link board game and video game entries. VGG also has fields for the media type (Android/iPhone/iPad) and a field to link directly to the iOS page of the game. Alternatively you can create a Custom Version.

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