525,600 Minutes...How do you measure a Year on the Geek?
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Well, based on my profile it looks like this Saturday marks the 1-year anniversary of my initial registration. It seems like so much longer, but sure enough it was one year ago that I started contributing here on the geek. So how have things changed for me in the past year? Or as the cast of Rent might sing...How do you measure a year?

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1. Board Game: The New Games Book [Average Rating:5.70 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Games

What a difference a year has made in my collection. I believe when I first joined my collection was right around 275 games. As the year has passed that number has jumped to 330, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. So should I be upset with this website for draining my wallet? Not at all, I probably would have bought that many games anyways, but there's a difference (see the next entry.)
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2. Board Game: Tell Me: The Grand Quiz Game [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:9855]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Ratings

I think my average game rating was somewhere near 4.86 when I had entered my entire collection into the database after first arriving. Today it sits at 5.75. That is really a huge improvement considering the number of games I had rated to start. Thanks to BGG I have acquired better games. In fact, two of my 10-rated games and six of my 9-rated games were all purchases based on information gathered at BGG.
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3. Board Game: Green Thumb Cards [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Thumbs

If you truly wanted a way to measure my addiction to this website, then check my thumb-count. At the moment I type this, it's sitting at 14,401. I don't imagine that any of my contributions are groundbreaking. I've written a few useful or interesting geeklists, and occasionally I contribute a witty comment. But really this thumb count has to do with the sheer quantity of my contributions. My only hope is that you all have seen your fair share of thumbs from me too. I really appreciate your contributions and feel that my stuff pales in comparison to some of yours, so thanks for sharing.
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4. Board Game: Badge of Honor [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Microbadges

Let's see I've participated in lost 6 contests (soon to be 9 when I get the Ticket to Ride Card Game, Say Anything, and Mutant Chronicles losses out of the way.) I've been able to express some of my interests by purchasing microbadges of my favorite games, a couple of the podcasts I listen to, and my favorite sports teams. Then there's the gift exchanges I've been involved in (Secret Santa and the Chain of Generosity) these have brought some great games into my home and made me feel wonderful about sharing some games with others. Then there's the big one...that big golden GW. To think people wanted to know stuff about me so bad that I was selected as a Geek of the Week when still in my geek-infancy. I've truly been blessed.
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5. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: The Year in Review – Questions about 1993 [Average Rating:4.80 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Reviews

Man, my reviews have been all across the map. I've tried reviewing games that need the content, and games that I'm passionate about. I still feel like I need to find some kind of format to stick with, but I haven't been satisfied with anything that I've tried so far. My next goal is to share more reviews of mass market games in hopes that others will give them a second look.
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6. Board Game: Forum Romanum [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1858]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Forum Threads

There was a corner that I turned somewhere at the end of 2007 when I suddenly found the joys of Chit Chat. This is when I truly got involved in the community that is here on BGG. It's been a real delight sharing my life experiences and opinions with the folks there. If anyone says that BGG isn't a community, they clearly haven't shared any conversations with the Chit Chat regulars.
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7. Board Game: Articulation [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Articles

My newest passion on BGG is the Game Article section. I've really tried to devote myself to watching for people who are asking questions about games I own. I figure if I'm going to be of service to this community then I have to start sharing my knowledge and opinions of the games I play. Have a question about a game in my collection, you'll probably see a response from me. Even if 5 people have already responded with an answer, I'll chime in just to have my voice heard.
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8. Board Game: Book of Lists Game [Average Rating:3.82 Overall Rank:10341]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Geeklists

This is my 86th geeklist, and boy have I had fun with these. From my early lists where I created *gasp* thumb-voting geeklists, to my more current ones where I've tried to focus on creating discussions about games. There have been lists that I expected to really take off that have fallen flat, and others that I expected to have only moderate interest that created a ton of feedback. I think I'll make it my goal to hit 100 geeklists before the fall. But whether I make it or not, I'm still enjoying sharing in your lists and having you share in mine.
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9. Board Game: Gold! [Average Rating:4.87 Overall Rank:9648]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Geekgold

There was a day when I was struggling to find the geekgold to even purchase an avatar. I thought I would never be decked out like some of the geeks around here with badges and avatars and such. Now I look at my collected geekgold figure (787.98) and I'm amazed that in one year I've had that much geekgold run through my account. True there was a large portion that went out as fast as it came in (particularly when I ran the Christmas Avatar Giveaway, and the Super Bowl Squares) but it's still more than I ever would have expected.
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10. Board Game: City and Guilds [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2936]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Guilds

It's always nice to find a little group where you can discuss your shared interests. These guilds have brought some really interesting conversations. In particular I really get a lot of fun from the podcast guilds. There's something about podcast listeners that creates a lot more conversation than the other guilds. Then there's the local guild that always keeps me informed of game days and local cons that I don't want to miss.
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11. Board Game: Trader [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Trades

By many standards I may be considered a trading rookie. With a trade rating of only 17 I've hardly lit the world on fire with my quantity of trades. However the quality continues to be really nice. Each time I've been able to unload games that I would never play again (or that I had 2 copies of) and received a quality game in return. I am currently involved in my 4th math trade and I'm starting to feel like a real veteran now. For those who have been avoiding math trades...stop avoiding them! It may look and sound complicated, but with the addition of JeffyJeff's online wantlist generator it's almost as simple as making a geeklist, and you can get a game you want for those games you will never play.
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12. Board Game: Play the Game [Average Rating:5.64 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Plays

Before I knew of BGG I never kept any record of what games we played. Now I find myself with 509 logged game plays. This has been a delightful tool because I can look back at game nights that were almost a year ago and when I see the list of games suddenly the event comes back to me. It helps me remember who was at the table and why we got together. There is nothing quite as much fun as looking back into the past and remembering the good times we had around the game table. (Now if BGG just had a way for me to record who won each game, I would know what games I am best at.)
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13. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:524]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Comments

When I first entered my collection into BGG, I put a simple comment about each game. But as I have learned, other users' comments can serve to influence my purchasing decisions. So I decided I needed to be a bit more specific and helpful with my comments and ratings. So now each time I log a play of a game I'm checking to see if my rating is accurate and I'll adjust my comments if anything has changed for me.
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14. Board Game: Friends [Average Rating:4.31 Overall Rank:10286]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Measure in Friends

I have a lot of Geekbuddies, and I've probably missed some people who I'll remember to add later. I greatly value their input and I feel like I know these people really well. More people than I can remember have told me that if I'm in their town I should stop by and play a game with them. People have sent me games or components that I was looking for and asked nothing in return. You folks have made me this place so welcoming, and I really feel like I've made some great friends.
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15. Board Game: Love U [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Seasons of Love

That's right, I said it. Although our relationship is only a year old, I'm in love with the Geek. This website has literally changed my life in the matter of a year. If there is a downside to this whole thing it's that I haven't gotten as much work done as I once did. But that's a small price to pay because now I don't dread work. I have something to look forward to no matter how miserable the meetings, workload, and clients may get. Thanks for an awesome year, here's to the start of another great one!
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