The Problem with Player Numbers

They appear so innocent, so unimportant — just a few digits hidden upon a game box amidst the pageantry of artwork and logos. Oh, surely, they’re given a bit of prominence. Perhaps they’re printed in a 24-point font, even bolded or blacked. But that doesn’t give respect to their importance, to how they can make or break a game.

I’m talking about player numbers, of course, those variables which tell us who can and can’t play a game.
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My Life in Gaming

My Early Life in Gaming

The first game that I can remember ever wanting was Dungeons & Dragons. I was 8 or 10 at the time, and I asked for it as a birthday present. My father not only got me the game, but he also ran an adventure for me a few weeks later, after he’d figured out the rules.

He carefully plotted out a dungeon on graph paper, and filled every room with encounters. It was more an adventure-style game than D&D proper. I remember that he didn’t want to use the combat system, and so instead you could kill the skeletons in one room if you thought to throw rocks at them. But it was a wonderful introduction to roleplaying games. My dad’s spent a lifetime doing cool things for me, but that one still stands out. (Thanks, dad.)
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It’s Not if You Win or Lose

Grantland Rice, an American sportswriter who lived from 1880-1954, once wrote, “For when the One Great Scorer comes, / To write against your name, / He marks — not that you won or lost — / But how you played the Game.” I’m sure we’ve every one heard that saying, probably in its shorter, more succinct form.

There’s no doubt that Rice’s saying has become a touchstone for competition of all sorts. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with his point of view: Continue reading

The Year in Review: 2005

Another year is behind us, and as January slowly dawns over the horizon of the twenty-first century, our ever-human instinct is to look back and reflect upon what the previous year brought.

It was, in general, a year of growth and change for the gaming industry. I’m not convinced that any true classics were produced last year. I think that Caylus will ultimately prove too long to support its continued rating as a top-10 game. However, there were a decent number of good, gamer’s games which I’m happy to own and which will continue to occasionally hit tabletop for many years.

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