This list is not exhaustive, but merely indicative of what admins look for when approving games.
1) Competitive or cooperative element
- 1a) If a solo game, player must make decisions to work toward victory; knowledge of a programmed set of instructions indicate the game is a "puzzle".
- 1b) Games generally need a point where someone (or a group of persons) has "won", or someone (or a group of persons) has "lost" (including cooperative games where the "game" wins). This generally keeps out drinking games (where the only goal is to give an excuse to drink), sex games (where the goal is to have sex and or add spice to a relationship), and parlor games that lack an ascertainable goal other than entertainment and passing time (e.g. Exquisite Corpse).
2) Must be playable on a tabletop, or failing that, within a room.
- 2a) Any games that require play in or movement to the outdoors are virtually automatically outside the scope of BGG.
- 2b) Any games which require a wide area that still comprises an indoor space are highly suspect (e.g. indoor scavenger hunts)
3) Require some sort of components to play
- 3a) e.g. Rock Paper Scissors would not have a place on BGG, but we have Rock Paper Scissors, Rock Paper Scissors Game, Rock Paper Scissors: The Card Game, and Rock, Paper, Scissors, Inc. which are takes on the traditional game. In contrast, Stephen Glenn's Finger Ball had the original design that involved cards, but evolved into a game that just used hand signals, and remains on BGG because of such.
- 3b) It's with this rule that BGG expands to cover card games as well as board games.
- 3c) Scale and portability are key elements when considering what is a board game and what is not. Billiards is out for being too large, but Crokinole is an acceptable size (and portable). Foosball is out, but Kineti-Go Magnetic Shuffleboard and Le Passe-Trappe are in (and are portable). Dart Wars is portable, but for practical purposes Traditional Darts is not.
Items that do not qualify as games are Outside the Scope of BGG
See also: BGG Guide to Game Submissions