Critic Guidelines

Find all the information regarding the accredited critic and blue check system. 

---------------------------------------

WHAT IS THE BLUE CHECKMARK

---------------------------------------

A blue checkmark is given to a variety of individuals in the board game community deemed a professional in a variety of categories. As of right now, this check only applies to those selected as accredited critics but the program will be expanded soon. Some additional classifications planned include Publishers, Retailers, Designers, Illustrators and Content Creators. 

---------------------------------------

HOW TO BECOME A CRITIC

---------------------------------------

The Board Game Atlas Critics are individuals, either independent or part of a publication, that are looked to as a distinguishing voice for quality and integrity in the board game community. 

Those participating have gone through a vetting process to gain their critic status. A wide array of platforms and followings are included such as dedicated websites, Youtube, podcasts, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, TikTok, Pinterest, and others. Publications may have multiple individuals registered as critics.

A critic must have consistent review output and an audience that is engaged with their content. A variety of different metrics are considered depending on the platform, volume and community.

To apply, you would need to fill out a form with your information. This is done during the three open enrollment periods of the year. A selection is made based on the field during that period of time. If enrollment is closed, check back for updates for the next open time.

Open Yearly Enrollment Periods: March | July | November

ENROLLMENT IS CURRENTLY CLOSED, CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES ON THE NEXT DATES.

---------------------------------------

CRITIC SELECTION CRITERIA

---------------------------------------

Critics who wish to apply should first review our guidelines below. All candidates will go through a vetting process and be evaluated against our criteria. Satisfying these requirements does not mean an automatic approval, these are minimum requirements to start the selection process.

Key Values

Insightful: Your work needs to add value to the conversation. You have content that has a distinct voice and offers perspective, not just a synopsis, how to play or retelling of facts. 

Objective: Your opinions are not swayed by paid promotion. You are transparent. Your opinions are based on your knowledge of the board game field and are properly able to convey what a game has to offer to a defined audience. You base your opinions on sound logic and facts.

Original: Your opinions and style are your own. You do not take your opinions or creativity from others in the community.

Articulate: You are able to provide an opinion that provides depth to the subject at hand. You do not just say something is good or bad, you are able to explain why.

Dedicated: You are consistent with your content. You have a long track record for delivering a high volume of content on a schedule. The quality of your coverage is apparent across everything you create.

Civil: You do not attack others. You are respectful to your fellow critic and to the community. You favor building up, not tearing down.

Audience 

You have a strong community that is engaged with your content across one or a variety of platforms. Whether you have an audience on one platform or many, all available information will be considered. The minimum follower/subscriber counts that will be considered are as follows:

For PRINT reviews, have a minimum of 4k followers across all platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others.

For AUDIO/VIDEO reviews, have a minimum of 2k subscribers across platforms such as Youtube, TikTok, Twitch, or similar distribution networks.

No one platform is weighed heavier than any other. A critic that is primarily invested in one platform is just as important if not more than a critic that is represented across multiple platforms.

In some cases, even if a critic or publication does not meet the eligibility guidelines listed above, we may consider them for approval if we believe their inclusion will benefit the utility of Board Game Atlas and its audience.

In all cases, Board Game Atlas maintains the right to approve, reject, include, exclude and remove critics, reviews and publications on a case-by-case basis at any time.

From time to time we change our guidelines, and there may be critics or publications who are still included that may not meet the current set of guidelines.

We cannot guarantee a response time on applications. If your application is declined, you may reapply during the next open period of enrollment.

---------------------------------------

ACCREDITED CRITIC EXPECTATIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES

---------------------------------------

We will regularly review our active accredited critics to ensure the quality of the system is maintained. We expect you to follow the systems behavior and content guidelines below:

Behavior

We expect both applicants and approved critics to honor journalistic integrity and observe ethical behavior. We do not tolerate plagiarism, harassment, obvious trolling, discrimination, or other breaches of conduct across all platforms.

We expect that for all reviews you create, you log your corresponding summary on the Board Game Atlas Platform.

We expect you to uphold the quality and standards that led to your selection as an accredited critic in the field. You will also uphold the quality standards of the system and not use it maliciously or for any unintended purposes for your own gain.

**We reserve the right to revoke critic status from any participant as we see fit. If you are in violation of any of these requirements, we will be forced to take action to preserve the quality of the system.

---------------------------------------

WHAT TO DO NEXT AS A CRITIC

---------------------------------------

Adding A Review

To add a new review to the system, head to that game’s page and click on the “add a review” button. As a critic, your reviews will automatically be elevated to that level, you do not need to do anything to designate that it is a critic review. 

Once you choose to add a review you will need to enter in - (1) the review snippet, (2) the date the review was created, (3) a score 1 - 100 and (4) a link directly to the original source of the review, not a homepage or generic profile page.

If you have previously made a review on Board Game Atlas, whether as a critic or not, you can edit your existing review. To convert from a regular review to a critic one, you will just need to add the additional information of the link to the original review content.

If you would like to upload more than one review at a time, we can provide you with a batch information process to make that easier. Just let us know.

Content Guidelines

You have 280 characters to convey your thoughts on a particular title. This can be an excerpt from your review itself or new text that summarizes your existing thoughts.

Your snippet of text cannot contain links. There will be a link that points to your original review, but the description should not contain any additional links.

This is a review and not a how-to or other reference. Your statement should be an opinion and not just a presentation of facts about the game.

Your summary must include insight and not just a generic like or dislike.

Example - Good

“Jenny’s Roof was a fantastic worker placement title that blended in simultaneous action selection in a way that I have never seen. Great use of theme and really solid medium weight gameplay.” (provides opinion and insight that could be helpful)

“You put out tiles and then you play. This fun title may be one of the easiest games ever to get on the table and I love it for that.” (yes uses facts, but ok because used as support for opinion)

Example - Bad

“Check out my review of Jenny’s Roof to see what I had to say. There is also a link there to check out my review of Azul, another game that has to do with tiles.” (not an advertisement for content elsewhere)

“In Jenny’s Roof players take turns placing their workers in an attempt to seize different tiles that they can then play on their roof. The goal is to have an amazing roof. Jenny’s Roof was created in 2020 by designer Blaze Winterstorm” (not a presentation of facts or how-to)

“I hated it.” (lacks insight)

“Jenny’s Roof is a great worker placement game (www.oursite.com/best-worker-placement) and a unique one I think has enough interesting elements to it that it is worth your time.” (links cannot be included)



Please log in or make an account to post a comment.

No Comments

You can start the conversation by leaving a comment above.