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Subject: [Review] A Wonderful Book rss

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Wallace E. Friedel II
United States
Toledo
Ohio
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HOBBY GAMES THE 100 BEST is a fantastic accomplishment. James Lowder deserves to be commended for his work as editor of the book. I can't imagine how much time and effort it must have taken to get such busy people as the gaming luminaries that contributed to this book to make time for the project. If this were a DVD then I would bet their would be some sort of bonus material like THE MAKING OF HOBBY GAMES THE 100 BEST--THE PASSION OF LOWDER that would chronicle the trials of putting this book together. I bet there are a couple of good stories about that. Hmmmm..... One might even find one or two posted here later...hmmm. Anyway, I digress so I will return from by fishing trip for bonus material and offer my humble opinion on the book.

If you love games then you will love the book. It really is that simple. It is a collection of 100 essays from 100 different authors about 100 different games that each author decided to champion as one of if not the best game. There was some important cavats that are worth mentioning. The authors could not write about any game they created or had a financial stake. They had to write about a hobby game and avoid tearing down or disparaging of other games. I think this was a successful formula.

I am purposely leaving out any mention of specific authors. I didn't even look at the table of contents before I read it. It was much more fun to be surprised by who I would meet when I turned the page. Maybe one could liken it to being at Callahan's Crosstime Gaming Convention. Do I hear crickets chirping? Okay, maybe that was cheesy. Consider trying it that way anyway. You might find it fun too.

The essays are written as if you were sitting in the Big Bar on 2 at Origins or, if you prefer, the Ram at Gencon and were just listening to talented people talking about their favorite games over a cold beverage. It is NOT a monotonous top 100 countdown list with Lowder interjecting Casey Kasem-like comments in front of each entry. Can you imagine how that might go? "An now number 89, CROCODILE POOL PARTY, but first a long-distance dedication and some crocodile tears from one of our fans halfway around the world in Korea, Tom Vasel." (Just kidding around Tom) Very few of the essays struck me as like game reviews or some sort of buying guide either. I neither found my eyes glazing over as authors discussed the minutia of game mechanics and rules nor did I feel like anyone was trying to sell me something. On the whole the essays were cheerful, positive and full of cool little nuggets of information, wit and the enjoyable memories of the writers.

Read and enjoy.
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Philip Reed
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Kyle
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Mr Freedly wrote:
The essays are written as if you were sitting in the Big Bar on 2 at Origins or, if you prefer, the Ram at Gencon and were just listening to talented people talking about their favorite games over a cold beverage.

I think a conversational tone was definitely the best way to approach the book. I know I rewrote my essay a couple of times trying to balance "fun" with "informative."
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Gavin Thorpe
United Kingdom
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PhilReed[/q wrote:


I think a conversational tone was definitely the best way to approach the book. I know I rewrote my essay a couple of times trying to balance "fun" with "informative."

I found I had similar issues. With something as conceptual as great gameplay, trying to get across why a game was so good whilst explaining the basics of the game (within the word count!) was challenging - in a good way, because it made me really think about what it is I like so much about the game I chose.

I've really enjoyed browsing my copy of the book and I feel privaleged that I was invited to participate.

Cheers,

Gav
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