What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

Gaming brains don’t belong in jars

Wizards of the Coast will pull the plug on the gaming social networking site Gleemax in September.

The site was difficult to navigate — a crippling factor for a community-building website. It had other conceptual problems, such as failing to recognize that gamers are actually a collection of communities of layered and overlapping interests.   

Blog posting was always problematic. There was an even chance of your post getting eaten at some point. 

And the neon green motif? Well, it wasn’t exactly easy on the eyes.

I’m taking my brain and going home

It’s unfortunate it failed.

The gaming community(ies) would have benefited by the kind of site that Gleemax always promised it would become.

But WOTC never demonstrated the expertise to run such a site effectively, nor did it, by all appearances, approach those with the experience of building community sites to make it work.

Likewise, it closed down other communications mediums (such as the pdf Knowledge Arcana — which published a variety of user-contributed gaming articles — and print versions of Dragon and Dungeon magazines — which had advertising and editorial muscle) that could have publicized and marketed it to roleplayers.

Gleemax was never a double-word score

Hasbro is rightly and smartly concerned about protecting its intellectual properties. For example: It doesn’t want Facebook — another social networking site, incidentally — using a knockoff Scrabble game, and has taken legal action to remedy this. 

Fair enough. Hasbro should be diligent in this regard.

But knowing the popularity of the game, does Hasbro have the official Scrabble game online at Gleemax to attract new users, to promote a networking site of its own and reward current users? No.

Did Gleemax fail because it doesn’t have Scrabble? Of course not. But missed opportunities like this are indicative of Gleemax’s shortcomings.