Hive Mind: Where Do You Learn About Games?

If you’re looking to start a tabletop game collection, you probably have questions. GameRT is here to help!

In this blog series, once a month we’ll take a commonly asked “nut-and-bolts” question and share our different perspectives on it!

When you’re new to building a collection of games at a library, finding trustworthy review sources can be difficult! There are plenty of websites and social media accounts that review games, but which ones do other librarians trust for their recommendations? This is the subject of March’s Hive Mind question!

Where do you go to learn about games before you purchase them?

Cathy Wood, GameRT Facebook

I had hundreds of donated games to evaluate at the start of this year. For my first pass, I said, “If The Dice Tower gave it a seal of approval or excellence, I’ll put it in the yes pile.”

Home | The Dice Tower

Liz, GameRT Secretary; academic library

TikTok! It should come as no surprise that the ins and outs of gaming make up a decent chunk of my algorithms. I follow GMs and game designers who talk about game theory and “behind the curtains” tools and this often bleeds into game reviews and promos for new releases. I like using the video format to learn how to play board and card games. It’s often easier for me to pick up than reading the (sometimes questionably written) instructions. And you get to see how people might experience the game as they’re playing. Some of my favorite creators are @scene_four for GM musings, @GoblinMixtape for indie RPGs, @GrantsGameRecs for board games, @playin_a_round for more board games, @cozyboardgames for even more board games, @brain_in_a_jar for her “games I’ve collected cause they fit in my purse” series, and @gamergirlgale for (cozy) video game recs. Just make sure you figure out a way to make note of the games you scroll across because they’re not always easy to refind later. I use the collection feature to save videos that feature games I want to play or buy. Tiktok’s search function also allows you to limit your results to only videos you have watched. 

Dwanya Paplow, GameRT Facebook

The Family Gamers at . I first started to listen to their podcast, then discovered their Facebook page. 

Emma Fish, GameRT Membership and Promotion committee, Small Public Library and are both top notch resources! You can see what questions people have asked about the game, pre-read rulebooks of games you’re considering purchasing, and look at player ratings about age and difficulty levels. 

My favorite Podcast and YouTube channel for reviews is Shut Up & Sit Down. They review a wide variety of games, from classics and historical games to new releases. 

For news about new games, I like to check in with ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture. They talk about comics, tabletop games, video games, and RPGs, discussing new releases and business trends. 

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