Monday, December 05, 2005

Session Reports: Does Anybody Read Them?

Tomorrow is game night (come join us!) and that means, come Wednesday morning I'll feel compelled to write up a session report. I write them for a couple of reasons. First, because it gives me a chance to mention the games that I like and say a few words about them. Perhaps somebody will see a game they don't know and want to know more about it. Second, it gives the guys in my game group who couldn't be there some idea of what went on in their absence and hopefully keeps them interested in coming back.

Every time I write a session report I find myself wondering if people actually read them. I subscribe to a number of game related blogs and I have to confess that I rarely do more than briefly skim the session reports. If I see a game that's unfamiliar to me then sometimes I'll read but most of the time I'm just not interested. I think that's because most session reports that I read are long winded and written like abridged play-by-plays of the games. They list the names of players I don't know, talk in depth about games that I already DO know, and then give me scores at the end that, quite frankly, I really don't care to know. I have to admit that most session reports really don't contain much information that interests me.

When I do our game night write-ups I try and keep that in mind. I try and include pictures of at least some of the games (so people can tell at a glance what was played without having to read). I try and give each game a short paragraph. I seldom talk about every game played. I mention names for the benefit of those in our group but I don't worry about recording detailed scores unless they're interesting (usually because they were very close). I try and describe the game in terms of what I like about it and why I think someone else might like it just in case someone's never heard of it before. Most of all, I try not to waste someone else's time with rambling meaningless statistics.

What do you think? Do you read session reports? Let me know. I'd love to hear your opinions. Email me at and tell me what you think.

And if anybody knows how to get Bloglines to allow reader comments, I'd like to hear that too. It's the number one feature I think Bloglines lacks. But that's an entry for another time.


At 7:20 AM, December 21, 2005, Blogger Yehuda said...

My own group reads my session reports, and that is reason enough.

I also usually skim session reports unless I find something really interesting. Just seeing what games people are playing is an important piece of "lore" that affects the way the game world works.

I will read session reports when I know someone or when I'm bored or when I want to know about a game that i am looking at. Or, when I want to see someone else's experiences with a game that I love or have a problem with.

But the gem session reports are the ones that are actually interesting to read. Either very funny, like Joe Gola's famous Amun-Re report, or ones that have conversation in them in quotes, like a story. I guess that if I was a wargamer I would also like wargame reports written as if they were first person accounts of the action.



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