Board Game Session Reports and Why I Like to Write Them
I’ve mentioned the web site BoardGameGeek on this blog already. It’s a fantastic resource for board gamers, with a vast database of every board game ever created, past, present and future. By “future” I mean announced but not yet published titles, not that the web site has time travel capabilities!
It’s also an online community where board gamers review, discuss, clarify rules for, and share their experiences with board games. So as well as being as a resource for information about games, it is like a social media site for board gamers, albeit in the older forum-based format from the early web. If you go to my user profile, you can check out content I have uploaded, as well as see our entire board game collection.
One kind of content I really enjoy is the Session Report. This is a post linked to a board game (each board game has its own page and forums) that is about a session playing the game. Typically it would be about one play of the game, though I suppose one could write about playing the game multiple times in one report.
I like to write, and this format gives me a nice outlet. When I play a game, if it seems like a memorable time or if it brings to mind some point about strategy or etiquette, or any connection to anything for that matter, then I will think about how it could be written up as a session report. I usually try to get it written down within the next few days, before the memory has faded, and then I submit it on the BoardGameGeek site. It has to go through a period of moderation before actually appearing on the site, presumably to screen for irrelevant submissions.
Here’s an example of one kind of session report that I like to write, which tells a story. It’s like a little piece of fiction. This is actually the report with the most likes of any report I have written, and it’s based on a solo play of an adventure-style horror game:
This is another story format session report of a solo game, but it’s a play of a resource and development strategy board game, so some creative license is employed to turn it into a narrative:
Here’s another one that gets into a strategy discussion, with other uses contributing in the comments section. If you are not familiar with the game, it might not make much sense. This one is more useful for people who have played or want to play the specific game:
This one brings up a point about game etiquette, with other users weighing in on both sides of a question in the comments:
This is a report on a game played in the distant past! I dredged it up from long-term memory. I was delighted by the amount of engagement it got. I’m sure this is because so many users are from the older generation, like me. I plan a few more reports like this one:
I have written 36 or 37 Session Reports on BGG so far, which has earned me a Copper Session Reporter microbadge. When I get to 50, I will earn the Silver microbadge! The full list of Session Reports I have written is here:
I hope that people enjoy reading these reports as much I enjoy writing them.