OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Delete your abandoned games

There are many websites where you can advertise your PBEM/PBP game. It’s unfortunate though that so many of these types of site aren’t updated regularly enough. In today’s world of social media, Twitter, Facebook, etc, many of us check websites regularly, and if we see that nothing has been updated we’ll check back less frequently, and eventually we’ll not check back at all.

There are many websites where you can create a PBEM/PBP game. Often these will be on forums, or Yahoo! Groups, or other such hosted solutions. It’s also pretty easy to setup a PBEM game using each of these ideas, all you need is something to type with and an imagination. The choice of places to host the game also means that if the game isn’t working, it’s not hard to setup somewhere else, and because all of these solutions are free – it doesn’t matter to users if they abandon a game without even making clear that it’s closed.

This is why on so many sites I see that allow you to create PBEM/PBP games, there will be many abandoned games. For example I took the screenshot below from a PBEMListings website, which shows that 10 out of 12 of the games being played there haven’t even been posted to this year. And some haven’t been posted to since 2005!

A PBEM forum showing many abandoned games

Screenshot taken from PBEM Listings

This isn’t the worst I’ve seen, I have seen sites advertising PBEM games that haven’t been updated since the 1990’s. That’s over 10 years ago!

Can’t see the wood for the trees

It’s dangerous to leave these old games hanging around. If a user comes to your site and sees so many old and abandoned games, it’s much harder for them to pick out the cool new ones out from a crowd. Look back at the screenshot above, there are current games there, but they’re lost in a sea of old abandoned games.

Let old games die

I think it’s important to clean out all these old games. If you have a website which advertises places in a PBEM game which is closed, it should be deleted. If you website hosts games which are years out of date, they need to be deleted.

Let the most recent games shine through

Viewers of your website will want to see the most recently updated games. You might consider showing these games first, or possibly having a leader board of most active games.