As evidenced by the existence of this blog, I really do like games and gaming.  I’ve found a lot of friends through gaming, and somehow the complexities of various games allow me the immersion I seek.  But often, playing a game just isn’t a reasonable option, and so gaming projects present themselves.

Player Aids:  I enjoy making these.  So do lots of other game fans.  Cruise the files on BGG for your favorite games.  You are bound to find something wonderful.  Just today Rob sent me a link to a flash utility for playing the game Time Agent

Translations:  The need is not as great as it was ten years ago.  Nowadays most games come with English rules.  But I still enjoy sifting through the back catalog of German games, and seem to frequently need to do some translation work.  My current translation project is Nibelungen, a game that was given to me by a friend.  Apparently the game has passed through a few sets of hands prior to landing with me.  The fact that it was unpunched and untranslated may be a telling point.  But Nibelungen is based on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and since I just toured Neuschwannstein Castle last fall, the theme is appealing.  I also hold some hope in the fact that Wolfgang Kramer is the designer.

Rules Reads:  I’ve fallen behind on this front.  New games to my collection that I still need to read the rules t include:  Shipyard, Rise of Empires, and Dodge City (early Hans im Glueck game).  This activity can be fun or it can be difficult.  Often I have good facility at reading rules and making sense of what is intended.  Other times, the rules bounce off and I struggle to make sense of it.

 Statistics:  I don’t warm to this the way some of my friends do (cough… Joe…cough), but I do enjoy maintaining a spreadsheet tracking which games the Tuesday night game club plays.  I have devised a system that rewards games for getting played, for the # of players it entertained, and the average rating the game achieves over time.  My players are given an option of rating the game in the following scale:

  • Poor – Not so good, you would avoid it.
  • OK – Decent game.  You would play, but probably never request it.
  • Good – Nice game.  You might suggest it once in a while.
  • Excellent – Tremendous game that you anticipate wanting to play frequently.
  • Personal Endorsement – A game perfectly suited to your tastes.

I have been amused by how many players have requested that I allow them to have a “Very Good” rating.  But I have steadfastly refused to modify the scale, pointing out that a Very Good = Good in the statistics.  If it ain’t quite excellent, it is Good!  I’ve also recently started giving a time adjustment to games that run longer than 90 minutes.  This helps prevent all the shorter filler games from soaking up the top positions in the rankings.

BGG:  And perhaps the biggest non-gaming activity tied to this hobby is simply cruising BGG.  I update the club lists most every week, and I track changes to the collection, and even try to log my plays in their tracking system.  Of course reading articles and lists from other game fans is some of the best fun.  I have even started to learn about RSS feeds and notifications to help me track the content most likely to be of interest.

I’d guess only 20% of my hobby time is actually spent playing games.  The bulk of the time is devoted to the activities I’ve just described.


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