June 18th, 2017


Review scores

I'm pretty active over on RPGGeek, which is BoardGameGeek's sister site devoted to RPGs. They share the database (content from one can be read through the other, and accounts also carry over), but the cultures are rather different.
There's a 'peer moderation' system in place: reviews, session reports and things like that get placed in the queue, and other users either approve or decline your submission. If they approve, then they can also decide on a GeekGold reward for taking the time to add content to the site, from 1 to 5. (GeekGold are the Fake Internet Points used on BGG/RPGG, which can be redeemed to buy an avatar, main badges and the trillion microbadges they have on the site.)
In the end, if your submission is approved (which I think needs more than 10 approvers), you get the average GeekGold award that the moderators gave you.

When I read an RPG book (and I do tend to read quite a few), I try to write a review of it if there are no reviews available or if I think I have something to add to the discussion. The review gets added to the queue, and when it gets approved (I've never had anything I submitted be declined), I take the GeekGold award as a measure of the quality of the review: if that's very high (and it's always high -- my peers are pretty generous), then that's an indication of what they thought of the effort I put in.
So my review of Monsterhearts 2 might be the best one I've written yet: it got a 4.9 GeekGold award!

That also might have to do with the subject of Monsterhearts -- it is very thematic and designed to explore queer themes. That makes it very much non-mainstream -- most RPG players probably won't play it (or even have heard of it!) but it has its fierce supporters. It certainly gave me a lot to think about -- and it's written with such wit and clarity, making it one of the best RPG texts I've ever read.
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