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News & Opinion

Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 12/04/2017 10:17 am

Failure, Irritation and Zero Notification

If you have noticed some weirdness with Find Gamers lately, just know you aren't alone.  Our hosting company decided to convert it's web servers to an entirely different product without notifying it's clients.  The result was like boarding a train to failure and not a little bit of irritation on my part. 

I won't go into all of the details but the site kind of blew up for a few days.  We think everything is working right now.  At this point, the only weirdness might involve our web fonts.  You'll know if they aren't working just by looking at the main menu on the left. 

Try clearing your browser cache if they aren't showing up yet.  If you are still affected, please log-in and then let me know through Feedback.   

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  • By: Maelish
  • 10/26/2017 08:28 am

Got Wargame Ratings?

In the course of updating the available wargames in our Games & Genres, I've been trying to add more popular games to Find Gamers.  But it's hard to find a websites or publications that have information about the popularity of different wargames.  So I'd like to ask our members about some information we need your help in finding.

The first would be industry data on the sales of wargames over the past few years.

Secondly and more useful, do you know of a website that has a list of wargames that's similar to Board Game Geek's ranking system.  This type of information would let us know more about games that slow-burn over years.  They are popular over decades instead of driven by pop-culture trends.

Board Game Geek does have a "Wargame" section but it's a list of wargame style board games.  So it only includes games with boardgame mechanics like Axes & Allies but not for games like Bolt Action.  Their list does have a few very popular pop-culture games like the X-Wing Miniatures Game.  But it's a list voted on by predominately board gamers, not wargamers.  We're looking for games voted on by wargamers.

Our members probably know more about Wargames than I do.  If you aware of a source with information that Find Gamers can use, please pass it along to us.  Thanks!

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Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 10/23/2017 07:54 am

Behind the Scenes Updates

There are some updates behind the scenes affecting the programming language Find Gamers uses.  This upgrade shouldn't effect your experience on our site.

If you encounter a new error or something weird, be sure to let me know through Feedback.  Please be sure to include what you were doing and the page you were on if possible.

Thanks guys! 

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In Other News...
Sites Worth Mentioning
  • By: Maelish
  • 07/01/2017 12:02 pm

RPG Talk

There is a great resource on Discord for the gaming community called RPG Talk.  It's an active chat community centered around tabletop roleplaying games. They have casual play-by-post games, and channels to talk about your favorite game.  You can also find dedicated channels for lfg (looking for group), pug (pickup groups), crowdfunding, game production and gaming with a whole lot more.

Some of you might remember the community from it's time on Slack.  However recently the community has moved to Discord to take advantage of it's unlimited chat logs.  I personally find it a fun place to hang out with other tabletop gamers.

I hangout on RPG Talk fairly often, so it's a great way to chat with me as well.


Some starting tips for RPG-Talk:

  • After signup you'll automatically join a few channels like #general, #introductions and #off-topic.  Once you log-in for the first time, make certain to say hello in #introductions.  Chances are someone will ask you what games you enjoy playing, it'a a great way to get your toe in the water.  
  • Type /channels in any channel.  You'll get a private message from the RPG Talk Bot with the current channel list.  Joining channels is easy, just type /join channel_1 channel_2 channel_3 etc.  Incidentally I'd keep an eye on that list, it's updated frequently.
  • Don't be afraid to chat with people.
  • Be patient.  Sometimes the channel members you'd like to talk with might be tied up with work or real life.  Other times they might live in other time zones around the world.  If you are trying to get the attention of a specific person in a channel, start by typing @ and their name.  As you type a window will pop up and you can select them.  They'll get a notification that you mentioned them specifically.

Taking a look at the Discord widget below, you can see who is online right now.  But below that is the Connect button, you can click it join.  One last thing:  Although Discord has great support for voice chat, most members of RPG-Talk only uses text-chat.


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Opinions & Ramblings
  • By: Maelish
  • 05/04/2017 08:29 am

Roleplaying as an Educational Tool

I have a firm belief that new gamers can be found anywhere. A great example of this theory can be found in the work of Shaun “Jim” Low.  He's an educational therapist who works with students typically 10-17 years of age, many with learning disabilities.  Jim's educational therapy program uses roleplaying games to teach skills and subjects his students are having problems understanding.  

I recently took in a new student  let's just call him — J — who's fast becoming one of my favourite students. J is a bright fellow, but he has an impulsive and rather rebellious nature (basically a youth at-risk), so we spent the first few lessons just talking and getting to know each other.

I often like to use games and RPGs to teach concepts, so I figured I'd use one with J. I decided I'd start our first term together by showcasing genre types outside of the norm to broaden his view of the world.

Thus, we watched Mad Max Fury Road (which he loved) and played Atomic Highway.

Our first session, to my surprise, was a hoot. One of the best things about RPGs, in my experience, is that it often brings out the innate traits of a person, and with J, it was no exception. Underneath the tough guy exterior was someone wanting to do right and straighten out wrongs. Not only that, but I got to see some absolutely creative problem solving even with the odds stacked against him.

After that session, he just couldn't stop asking me when our next session would be. For someone who had never played many games in his life, and was always more of a sporty, extroverted kind of person, J was surprisingly very much into the game.

In fact, since that day, he's always been motivated to come for class. We don't always play (our next session is scheduled to be on the following week), but that first game had opened up a lot of opportunities for incidental learning.

This is not my first success story in using games for therapy, but perhaps one of the most notable ones, as I had had doubts it would work. The exterior is what we as adults usually see, but what's inside can be different. I've always believed RPGs to be an effective tool in mirroring the innate qualities of people, youths and children included, and this little anecdote certainly did help further that belief. What are your opinions? Do you have any similar stories? I'd love to hear them.

If you are an educator with an interest in Jim's methods, be sure to follow his blog at Swords & Stationery.

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Game News
Game News
  • By: Maelish
  • 01/19/2017 10:07 am

Can a Roleplaying Game save a Film Franchise?

While the premise is arguable, it is obvious that the Star Wars roleplaying game contributed to the continued popularity of the entire Star Wars franchise.  If it weren't true then toys, cartoons and novels made today wouldn't contain names created for the rpg some 25 years ago.  You read that right.  Surprising though it might be, the roleplaying game and it's sourcebook had a far reaching effect on the original universe and it's canon.  

I'd recommend fans of Star Wars (and who isn't these days) take a look at Chris Baker's article over at Glixel.  You might find a few things that surprise you.

Source:  How a Pen and Paper RPG Brought 'Star Wars' Back From the Dead

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