Saturday, January 3, 2009

This looks cool, let me Google it.

I recently became interested in, and have purchased the roleplaying game Savage Worlds.  I have to say I am very impressed.  I will try and write more about that later.  What I thought I would write about this morning though was what I did after I got the rulebook and seriously started looking for game resources.

Typically, when I buy a new game I will Google the games name to see what resources exist other than the product home page and forum.  This works pretty well.  I find related blog articles pretty easily, and finding fan sites is not too difficult.  The Internet is a big place though, where else can and should gamers be looking for information when starting up with a new game (or anything new for that matter)?   I will use searches for Savage Worlds as an example throughout this article.

  • Facebook – It seems that there is a page or group on Facebook for everything.  The Facebook community is growing by leaps and bounds, and doing a search for your new game there should be stop number 1.  In Facebook, click in the search box in the upper right hand side of the window and type your query.  You will see all the different items that match your query.  If you want, click on the Groups or Pages heading to narrow the results.  You can either join the group or become a fan from their.  Once you have found the resources be sure to participate.  Lots of groups form, but do not have much activity.  This is a great way boost that friend count on Facebook with some new friends, and it is a great way to find new players in your area.
  • Twitter – Searching on Twitter has come a long way.  It is super fast now to find all of the conversations about a particular topic.  Searching on Twitter is a fast way to find a) links relevant to your query and b) other people that share your interest in the new game.  Occasionally, you will find people discussing actual play experiences which is even more helpful.  Subscribe to the people you find talking about the new game, and then strike up a new conversation with them.
  • FriendFeed – Another place to search is FriendFeed, and perhaps it may be best to just start here.  FriendFeed aggregates posts from lots of other places.  So when you search here you are going to find things from Twitter, and Facebook, and Delicious, and all over the web.  It works well though for that very reason, it shows what members are doing across all of their web activities.  Make sure you click the Everyone link in the right navigation bar in FriendFeed before you search so that you don’t just search the friends you already have.  Subscribe to anyone who looks interesting, and follow the links that seem to have good info.  The nice thing about the links here is that typically they are posted because they are good (same on Twitter).  FriendFeed can be a little noisy, but if you learn how to use it, filtering the noise does work.
  • Wikipedia – I mention this one, even though it shows up near the top of the Google search results, because it can be such a good resource.  I don’t always find the game I am looking for here, but when I do I jump to the bottom of the article and look for the complied external links.  This is often a treasure trove of related fansites, often old ones, but still with good information to be had.  The article itself can be a good resource for how to play the game.

So there was a quick look at four different places, besides Google, you can go to find information, and fellow enthusiasts, for new to you games.  I didn’t include links to places like Board Game Geek or here because those sites almost always show up in a related Google search.  I hope that this helps people who are trying to find good information about a new game, and if you are interested in discussing Savage Worlds or other games with me you can find me on Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook.

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