Last Friday afternoon, Geekdo.com launched — and as a gamer, you’re going to love it.

Geekdo is BoardGameGeek (BGG), but for both board games and RPGs (and it literally is BGG — one account runs the board game and RPG sides of Geekdo).

That’s a big deal because BGG gets so much right, from its overall approach to the quality of the content and the community. Apply that to RPGs, and my little gnome stands at attention.

From BGG to Geekdo

If you’re not a big board gamer, you may not be familiar with BGG — if you are a board gamer, you almost certainly use it. I joined in early 2008, and BGG completely changed my relationship with board games.

I’d always had a respectable collection, but my interest had tailed off over the years. In a nutshell, I wasn’t liking what I played, but didn’t know enough about my options to branch out. BGG changed that. I now have more fun with more games than ever before — and it’s not just me, it’s my whole group.

BGG is also one of the best and most welcoming communities on the web, and it’s completely free. I ponied up a contribution as soon as I saw useful it would be, and will do so every year that I use it.

Why Geekdo Will Change Everything

Geekdo has been a long time coming, and I’m stoked that it’s here. I fully expect it to realign and hone my gaming perspectives in much the same way as BGG did for board gaming.

It’s user-driven, with thousands of dedicated folks uploading content around RPGs — covers, reviews, commentary, and more. And if BGG is any indicator, there will be tons of user-created material that you can download for free and use in your own campaigns.

The site’s internal economy runs on GeekGold, which you get for making contributions. You earn GG by doing things that help other users, and people can also tip you from their own pool; you use GG to buy badges, avatars, and other goodies. Silly? Sure — but it works.

I’ve uploaded over 150 pictures to BoardGameGeek in part because of the GG system. Thousands of other users contribute in many different ways, all the time — BGG is board game Mecca for a reason.

And (again on the assumption that Geekdo will be like BGG in many ways) I expect the forums to be as devoid of rancor and as full of pleasant people and good stuff as BGG’s. It’s an amazing community.

The RPG side of Geekdo isn’t “complete” yet — but like BGG, if you see that your favorite game is missing, you can add it to the database, wiki-style. It will rapidly become more complete, and it’s already pretty damned comprehensive: 1,300 RPGs as of July 31.

Delicious Geekdo

I’ll be transitioning my account into combination board game/RPG status over the next little while, and I hope to see you there. Give Geekdo a try — you won’t regret it.

About  Martin Ralya

A father, husband, writer, small-press publisher, former RPG industry freelancer, and lifelong geek, Martin has been gaming since 1987 and GMing since 1989. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Alysia and their awesome daughter Lark in a house full of books and games.



9 Responses to Geekdo.com: Pure, Distilled Awesome

  1. I like BoardGameGeek because it’s pretty much the only web-site to get reviews on board games, unlike video games and RPGs which are flooded with reviews.

    I think I’m the opposite of what Geekdo wants, though. Geekdo wants people who play fifty RPGs and get excited whenever a new one come out. I pretty much focus on 4e, and I come to blogs to pimp out my game as much as possible. Oh well, I still support the site’s future success.

  2. So.. what is geekdo? Some sort of forum? Never heard of BGG, so the comparison doesn’t help.

  3. @blalien – That’s fair. I certainly fit the target audience. ;-)

    @Rhamphoryncus – In a nutshell, it’s a user-powered, all-encompassing resource for board games and RPGs. You can find out about games (BGG contains details on thousands), chat in forums from the very broad to the very specific (each game has a forum), discover games that fit your tastes (based on rating your own collection) — too much to list, in other words.

    Trust me, it’s worth a look. ;-)

  4. I love BGG, but don’t use it that often. It features highly when I’m in a board game buying mood– as do rpg.net reviews– but our board game playing isn’t stepping up to the next level. We play the infrequently enough that there’s no need to get new– the old aren’t rotating out due to being solved or overplayed.

    I do wonder if I kept track of games and our reactions (as you have), if I’d have a way to rekindle our excitement in board games. I also wonder how I’ll use the RPG side…

  5. @Martin Ralya – I did take a peek. After being bombarded by the home page I came back here.

    So it’s a forum, but it also has image galleries (don’t have to be a member to see them!), some embedded ebay link, and dedicated rating/review “posts”.

    Obviously an active community too.

  6. @Rhamphoryncus – Yep, I suppose the underlying structure is a forum with a wiki, but that really doesn’t do it justice. The main page can definitely be a bit overwhelming, though.

  7. The site makes a lot more sense when you look at the page for an individual item.

    For example, this is the page for 4E D&D category which shows all products and books related to that: http://rpg.geekdo.com/rpg/190

    You can see that each item has a rating (and rank–based on ratings) and ‘how many people’ own it, as users can make a personal collection list of games they own, rated, commented on, track play sessions, etc.

    If you look at the page for a particular item (here’s one for a board game as it’s more fleshed out) http://boardgame.geekdo.com/boardgame/3076 – you can see there is comprehensive information about the game itself, photos/images people have submitted of the game, files that people have uploaded (rule summaries, piece labels, lots of DIY stuff), links to the site’s marketplace where people are buying/selling the item and several forums about different topics about the game – reviews, rules discussion, session reports, etc.

    It’s a great site and if you’re looking to get facts and diverse opinions on a product, its invaluable, even if you don’t participate in the amazing community.

  8. “my little gnome stands at attention.”

    Dude, I was eating while I read this, lol. Geekdo sounds good, though; I’m going to check it out, right now.

  9. @Juomes – Oh hey, there’s an RPG section! I didn’t even see that link.

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