Thrifter/recycler/maker turned gamer. If I can DIY a version of a game from the detritus and jetsam of our great wasteful nation, I will. Opportunity cost and time spent is of negligible concern -- the making of the game is a game in itself, with all its regular pleasures and own rewards.
The list of my owned games includes both commercial copies and my handcrafted efforts. Gallery images
of some of my homemades.
My avatar is from Monad
, the game that brought me to BGG. Its stylish design is very appealing. And the game itself is stack management of the highest sort.
My enthusiasm for resource conversion, solo efficiency optimization, victory point engine Euros is rapidly dwindling of late. More joyful are games that offer the opportunity for destructive interference, uneasy partnerships, parasitic play, and overall strife...especially those in an economic, share-holding, route-building setting. Naturally, I take a shine to the efforts of Martin Wallace
and Winsome Games
. Take-that for take-that's sake, however, fails to amuse me. I do not participate in fun-loving sessions of Munchkin
, The Red Dragon Inn
, or Killer Bunnies
Despite having virtually no interest in military history, I dabble in wargames.
Forgotten, overlooked, or obscure abstracts are also an area of involvement: Chase
, Shing Shang
Table talk and in-game off-color commentary are typically very much enjoyed. In fact, I often have to control myself from turning every game into a negotiation game.
I cannot abide games with hidden trackable information. This means I play Tigris & Euphrates
with open scoring, Acquire
with open stocks, Thurn and Taxis
with open cards, Hare & Tortoise
with open carrots, and all games with money -- even those with money cards such as Löwenherz
-- using poker chips in open stacks countable from across the table.
Other features in games that are not to my tastes:
•Secret player endgame objectives
•Co-op puzzle solving
•Deduction as the sole exercise
•Storytelling and narrative at the sacrifice of real game decisions
•Interactions of arbitrary special effects (Small World, Dominion, Agricola, Glory to Rome, etc.)
•An emphasis on "leveling up" player-chosen attributes and abilities
•Inordinate resource conversions, best exemplified by Ora et Labora
•The chief source of the game's struggle being the game itself and not the players playing it -- in other words, games where you do your best against the game and everyone else does the same without trying to hinder anyone else and whoever does the best overall wins
The journey to the gamer I am today is the culmination of a lifetime of uneventfulness.
Things are much different now. I'm blessed to live Eugene, OR, a town with a vibrant gaming community where opportunities for playing with friends abound, and doubly blessed to live with my girlfriend who eagerly sits down to heavy economic and war games, and just as eagerly wipes the floor up with me.
Though I support BGG with Patron-level contributions, I choose not to adorn my avatar with badges and other flair. To that end, I launder my donations to the site through my cat's account:
Cosmo is credited with the most-thumbed geeklist created by a cat
. She thanks this geeklist
for her source of inspiration.
I've created three geeklists that have been removed from the front page for violating BGG's community rules. See
what they don't want you to see!
My geekiness seems to begin and end with the boardgaming sort. I haven't read any Lord of the Rings. Save the first one in 1977, I haven't seen any Star Wars movies. Pirates, ninjas, and superheros do not concern me. I lived in Japan for about 10 years without ever being captivated by anime or samurai. I eat only healthful, homemade foods and drink only water and tea and the occasional intoxicating beverage. Though music is one of my life's great joys, speed-demon technical prowess, overwrought and overcerebral progginess, smartypants NPR-approved coffee house eclecticism, and comic musical novelty/parody have no appeal. One example of the sort of music that does give me joy:
Some of my other interests are rustic Japanese and Chinese cooking, green and oolong teas, urban gardening, wild yeast bread baking, vintage cookbooks, Cultural Studies, Post-structuralism, Feminist theory, and raising chickens.
I'm an aesthete. My tastes lean toward clean and minimalist. Or irreverent and absurd. Maybe that should be "and/or". My homemade version of Tigris & Euphrates
manages to embrace both:
Both the Pegasus and Mayfair editions of T&E are to my eyes insufferably overdetailed.
And more minimalist irreverence, "Miffed", my Miffy-themed version of the very unfriendly Intrigue
And this, my transformation of the drearily themed Container
into a cash-flowing frenzy of drug smuggling:
I'm also especially fond of unrefined, hand-hewn imperfection, like in Antiquity
...photocurio's charming maps for Pampas Railroads
, Texas & Pacific
, and New England Railways
....kilgore's board for Medici
...Reinhold Wittig's scrap metal race cars in Hill(y) Billy
...my handcrafted Ramses
using shirt board, wax pencil, and wads of tape
...and this marvelous surrealist nightmare from San Quentin Kings
I have a real aversion to player pieces in garish, primary colors. Examples of this are too numerous to mention. See Stone Age
for a notably egregious culprit: