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In the context of BGG, shilling is the practice of dishonestly promoting a game. Particular examples of this include:

  • Someone rating games very highly while concealing the fact that they are involved in the games design, publishing or financial success
  • Someone reviewing a game or otherwise making positive comments while concealing their involvement
  • Someone registering for multiple accounts in order to deceptively promote a game
  • Someone encouraging others to do the above

At various points, shilling on BGG has been perceived as a sufficient problem that there is often an extreme reaction to anything that is seen to be even close to dishonest promotion of a game. If you are interested in promoting a game on BGG, you are urged to read the Guide to Promoting Your Game.

Reporting Shilling

Is there an established policy for what to do when one notices apparent shilling? E.g. see in which the game Skrall had a half dozen apparent shill accounts created 2007-12-14 to rate that game highly.

Other related activities

If you are a designer or publisher of a game and in no way conceal that fact, many consider it reasonable for you to rate your own games highly, while others find this objectionable. The more up-front and honest someone is about their involvement in a game, the less likely they are to be considered a shill.

Some users, when they perceive that games are being rated dishonestly or in a manner with which they don't agree, will "counter-shill" and give those games a rating of "1". This activity itself is an issue of some contention, and has caused others to counter-counter-shill. BGG's ratings calculations include some measures to detect and eliminate shill votes.

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