Photos can be a great resource for your game, both directly — to show the players what their characters see — and indirectly, as inspiration for the scenarios that you write.

Flickr, a free photo site that supports social tagging, is a neat place to find photos to use in your games.

This topic has come up on TT before: I’ve discussed some ways to use digital photos in your game, recommended taking photos during your sessions and pointed to some excellent photo resources (Silent Ladies and Gents, Opacity’s abandoned urban sites and’s gallery of sci-fi images). There are a couple of things that set Flickr apart, though, and make it worth discussing on its own.

The first is that you can upload your own photos for free. If you don’t want to maintain your own website, this can be a handy option to have.

The second is that everyone who uploads photos tags them according to their subject matter. This social tagging lets you search by subject and find photos of what you need, taken by people all over the world — it’s pretty neat.

To give you an idea of what you can find on Flickr, here are 5 RPG-related tag searches (off the top of my head):

Update:: …and several reader-recommended tags:

TT reader xcorvis also recommended using Flickr’s tag cluster feature, which is a good suggestion. Here’s the tag cluster for “ruin” to get you started.

There’s an organic quality to using Flickr that makes it different than, say, hitting up Google Image Search — Google is very useful too, but in a different way.

If you haven’t already checked out Flickr as a GMing aid, I recommend doing so — and I hope you enjoy it. I’d also love to hear where you go to find photos for your game — and if you’ve got favorite RPG-related Flickr searches, please share those as well!