Getting to know our Admins
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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One of the many awesome things about BGG/Geekdo is the fact that we have an active group of administrators. They aren't faceless, nameless entities that lord it over us without ever getting involved. They are gamers, just like you and me, who do the work because they have a passion for board/role-playing games. But for those who are new to the Geek (and even a few of our veterans,) you may be unaware who our administrators are unless you happen to come across that above their avatar.

Therefore, I thought it would be helpful if I created a geeklist to introduce them all to you. But I didn't want to just create a boring list of names, because you could find that in the wiki. Instead, I sent all of our admins a geekmail with 10 questions. Thankfully, they were willing to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules and get the answers back to me. Hopefully, these questions will help you learn a little more about the folks who make this website the best one on the internet.

Note: I'm still missing a couple admins' responses, and I'll add them when/if they have time to get the information to me.
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1. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Aldie's Full of Love!
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Lead Software Developer, IT Management, Accounting / Finance management. Deciding the future direction of the site.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Tigris & Euphrates.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Magic: The Gathering. I played this everyday for 2 years straight. The game has incredible depth, I feel that there's infinite strategies to explore. I still admire the game and love it.

4. Why do you love playing games?
2 reasons - I love analyzing games. I like to figure out how they work and trying to figure out how to win. The second and more important reason is the social aspect to them. I like getting together with friends and playing the latest and greatest games.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
GeekLists - I'm always amazed at the creative lists that people come up with.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Photography

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Monopoly was pretty much a standard game in our household along with Cribbage, Euchre, and Backgammon.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Middle-Earth Quest.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Members of the community sharing their deep personal moments. It heartens me that the software that I wrote allows them to express a wide range of emotions based on personal events in their lives.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
It's not just about the game, it's about the people you are playing with.
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2. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Jon
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Board game file approvals, overall snarkiness (although I've really been trying to keep this in check recently.)

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Ooooh...tough one. Let's go with Tichu. A great little game, easy to teach, easy to learn, and plays well with the in-laws after my kids have gone to bed. This one is timeless, and I'm sure I'll be playing it with my kids and their spouses 30 years from now.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Overall, historically, I'd have to say Magic: The Gathering. I spent countless hours in college playing wacky multiplayer variants, building weird decks, etc. The art, the open-ness of the design, the variability of play from one game (and one deck) to the next...it was all fascinating, and really sucked me in. By the late 90's, though, I was spending way too much money on cards and not playing the game at all, so I called it quits. I still have a couple boxes of cards tucked away in a closet, waiting for my kids to get old enough to play...

4. Why do you love playing games?
It's a social hobby, with intellectual stimulation and a small dose of competition to get the adrenaline pumping. What's not to love?

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Subscriptions. No longer do I need click through random Geeklists, forums, publisher pages, and designer pages, hoping to catch the latest scoop on my favorite games. It's all right there waiting for me on my own personal subscription list. Fantastic.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Video games, from the Atari 2600 up to the most recent PC games. If you're wondering, Death Tank Zwei (a "hidden" game in Duke Nukem 3D on the Sega Saturn) is quite possibly the best game EVAR.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Crossbows and Catapults, hands-down. I still have the all the pieces...the dragon, the minotaur, the battering ram...ahhh, memories. We even made a stop-motion animation video using my parents' camcorder (rec-pause-movepiece-repeat), which has unfortunately gone to the great VHS tape collection in the sky. I don't remember much of the plot, but I know we incorporated a radio-control car and a softball into the mix, somehow...

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Hrmmm...let's go with Dungeon Lords. I've loved everything I've tried from Vlaada Chvatil, I I have high expectations for this one, too.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Primarily the visibility, activity, and level of dedication to Geekdo shown by Aldie and Derk. These guys have taken a small hobby site and grown it into the greatest repository of gaming information ever, with the best online community I've ever seen, backed by some truly amazing techno-wizardry. AND they work every day to make it better. AND they make all of it available for free. Amazing. These guys rock. When you see them at BGG.Con, take a minute to thank them for all they've done.

Also, I gotta say I've been surprised by GROGnads. Specifically, the fact that he continues to post in technicolor, and I have no idea how to translate that into English. You'd think I'd figure it out after all these years, but nope. I'll just be reading a thread, blah blah blah, then BAM. GROGnads.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Take care of each other. We have one hell of a great community here, and it's all too easy to fall into the trap of anonymous internet jackassery. Help out your fellow geeks, give thumbs and tips when you see something you like, and be nice to the new users that join every day. We're all here because we enjoy spending time with each other at the game table, so let's make sure we bring some of that online, too.
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3. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Adam Smiles
United States
Dedham
Massachusetts
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The ratio of people to cake is too big.
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
At the moment, mostly just forum moderation. Every so often I’ll pitch in on approving web links and corrections. When I started as an admin in 2004, I did reviews, session reports, images (all now done via GeekMod), new games, links, corrections, etc.....

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
The Princes of Florence. It just clicks for me in a way very few games do.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
If you count the 500+ plays on BSW, then it probably has to be Dominion. I stopped tracking my games played several years ago, but I’d guess I probably have about 100 FTF plays as well. Runners up might be Amun-Re with 300+ plays on BSW. If you limit it to FTF plays, I probably have to go back to childhood, where I played a ton of Strat-O-Matic Baseball and Pursue the Pennant. I’m not sure how many plays that is, but they are both likely to be in triple digits.
Besides being completely different then most games out there, Dominion has a very high depth to game time ratio. It is also one of the few games that gets consistent play with both family and my game groups.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I think it’s in my DNA. They let you to use your brain, express a little creativity, and allow for social interaction.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Advanced Search. It utilizes the full power of the database, being able to sift and sort for exactly the criteria you’re looking for.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
I play Fantasy Baseball and online Poker. I play in a Volleyball league. Most of my free time is consumed by parenthood.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Civilization, Axis & Allies, Stratego, Risk, Clue, Pursue the Pennant, Strat-O-Matic Baseball, Gin Rummy, Spades

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
I think I’m in a Le Havre mood, although game selection is almost always group dependent.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Derk in a catsuit.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Don’t feed the trolls.
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4. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:61]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Lucas Hedgren
United States
Dublin
Ohio
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
A bit of everything, here and there. Mostly just file and link submissions, and answering users concerns/requests/questions.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Age of Steam (But Race for the Galaxy is hot on its heels.) Its a really intense gaming challenge, every time I play. It forces you to create a Plan, then a Plan B, and also a backup Plan C in case everything goes wrong. Flexes my gaming muscles.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Dominion for sure. I am a playtester, so the irrestibility of new cards and the short play time create lots of opportunities for plays

4. Why do you love playing games?
Several reasons, really. But, the primary reason is the intellectual competition. Games create a great level playing field for players to, within a framework, attempt to simply do better than one another. Additionally, working through new processes and mechanisms is fun for me, so I love trying new games. Euro-type games typically provide a low barrier (relatively) new set of rules to reorient yourself to. That's fun! (For me.)

Now, like I said, this is the primary reason. Not all games are conducive to that, and I certainly enjoy almost all kinds of games as well. (Some of my most fondly remembered gaming moments have come when playing something light.) I just go into those games with a different mindset. But, I'll probably wish I was playing something more intense.

I think this is a great question, as the reason for playing games really determines the type of games you like. And it goes pretty far in explaining the different rifts or groups that arise within our hobby.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Geekbuddies Recent Additions. Great way to get a feel for what's going on without being overwhelmed by the BGG deluge. (Provided you choose a nice cross-section of geekbuddies.)

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
I play basketball, read (mostly non-fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and comics) play a few video games (but a lot less, lately), and recently started geo-caching a bit (thanks to Chad Krizan.)

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
So, I remember having a huge closet full of games at my house when I was younger, but I don't remember playing them much. The one that my friends and I played a ton of in middle school was Solarquest. Basically a Monopoly variant, but a lot more control over your fate, with some added depth through fuel management. Pretty cool. Nothing earth-shattering.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Right now, I'd play Ghost Stories w/expansion with Brian Yu, Matthew Monin, and Anthony Rubbo. Pretty much only see those guys once a year, and we always have an awesome time with co-op games, especially GS.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The generosity and general level of cooperation that exists among a group of people linked merely by a common interest is astounding. Constantly surprised and impressed.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Something that tends to work for me: Zig when everyone else seems to be zagging. And then anticipate when the zigging will be out of style, and switch back. That works in life and boardgames!
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5. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Jeff Anderson
United States
Midlothian
Texas
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BGG.CON Est. 2005 BGG@SEA Est. 2015 BGG♥FAM Est. 2015
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RV6 Progress: Finishing canopy and fuselage.
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
BGG.CON and now I'm starting to work for the Geek full-time in software development and technology management.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
I have many, depending on the situation. I can't pick one favorite, but based on the answer to the next question, let's say Tichu.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Tichu. I play it at every convention and on BSW.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I really enjoy the social aspect of it and the intellectual challenge.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Guilds.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Flying and anything to do with airplanes.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, Black Box, Murder, She Wrote, Risk, Carrier Strike!

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Indonesia

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The outpouring of support when people need it - Katrina, Cici, "DenverGamer in need".

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Be excellent to each other.
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6. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:61]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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Bloooooop.
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Bluuuuuurp.
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
My primary job these days is as an ad consultant for BGG, working with various game publishers and retailers to give everyone useful and relevant ads to check out. I'm trying to help make it so you don't have to look at Evony ads all day! I'd much rather have you be able to find out about the latest games and hottest sales via the ads.

I've also been known to help clean up on file submissions if I see there's a giant backlog.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
If I had to pick one, it would probably be Trias. The tile drifting mechanism is really unique and cool. It's extremely cut-throat, although it takes clever play to screw over other players while not opening yourself up to get screwed. Formula Dé is a very close #2 to Trias though.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
I play the crap out of Lectio since it's my group's closer at our weekly game nights. Somewhere along the line it just caught on with us, and game night doesn't feel right without it! It's a funny game in that I don't think I'd like it all that much as a card game played with cards. However, those sweet clacktastic bakelite tiles make all the difference!

4. Why do you love playing games?
I think I like playing games mostly due to the social interaction. I really like the mental challenge that gaming offers, but take away the social interaction and I'm not very enthused. I've tried playing online a few times, but gaming just loses it's magic for me when not played face to face.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
I don't know... I kind of use it all without anything in particular standing out to me. I guess the most useful to me has been the file section for rules translations, but I also use the game ratings and comments a lot (and look forward to being able to thumb game rating comments!).

Geekdo as a whole is just an amazing resource though! There are so many cool things that just add up to the most useful site on the internet for me.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
I have all kinds of hobbies! My favorites outside of board gaming are geocaching, frisbee golfing, and photographing freight train graffiti (known as graffiti benching). I also like garage saling and collecting Art-O-Mat art, but don't do that as often any more.

You can check out my graffiti benching here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaddyboy_2000/sets/72157606084...

There are also a bunch of geocaching pic sets in my flickr.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
I'm an only child and my parents weren't into playing games, so I really didn't play many board games as a kid. I would play cards with my grandma though, with Skip-Bo and Cribbage being my favorites. During high school, my friends played quite a bit of Monopoly and Risk, with a couple of attempts at Axis & Allies, but that was about it.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
I could go for some good old fashioned Age of Steam. I rarely get to play that game, and I love it!

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
I don't know if I'm ever really surprised by anything, but I was actually able to read one of GrogNAD's posts once. I guess that's about as surprised as I've ever been around here!

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Hmmm, how serious of advice are you looking for? The only really important advice I could give belongs over in the RSP forums, and it's a message that I think needs to be shared with everyone. You can take a look at my center geekbadge to guess what that message might be. Any other advice I could give would probably be rather trivial!
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7. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Daniel Karp
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Developin' Developin' Developin'
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100 geekgold for OverText, and all I got was this stupid sentence.


1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Programming--primarily fixing bugs and coding new features.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Probably Tichu. I like the pacing, the interesting decisions, and the way both luck and skill play a part in determining the winner. I always have fun playing Tichu.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Definitely Tichu. I used to play quite a bit of Tichu online at Brettspielwelt, and many of my friends, especially people I know through conventions, enjoy Tichu as well.

4. Why do you love playing games?
Both for the social interaction--hanging out with friends--and for the mental stimulation.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
I'm highly biased on this one. I worked very hard on the subscription system, and am tempted to pick that, but I think I have to go with Geeklists, because people have done so many interesting things with them.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
My primary other hobby is origami. I only fold origami sporadically, but when I am folding, I can get into it quite intensely.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
I enjoyed many games, including traditional card games like Gin Rummy and Casino, Risk, Monopoly, Chess, etc. In high school, I regularly got together with friends to play Talisman, Illuminati, Poker, and Cosmic Encounter.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
I think some 18xx game, because while I enjoy such games, I rarely get the opportunity to play them.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
I was surprised by the success of microbadges, although in retrospect I probably shouldn't have been. I didn't think people would want to buy more than 5. I sure was wrong!

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
If you are having trouble with BGG, first try turning off Norton Internet Security, if you use that.
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8. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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A Derk appears from the mists...
United States
Portland
Oregon
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Aldie and I started the site together back in January of 2000. Originally I was Chief Data Monkey, then I kinda became an advisor, but in 2009 I joined full-time. Yang to Aldie's Yin, Bad Cop to Aldie's Good Cop, my job is to figure out new ways to make money so that we can hire more people to build better tools.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
My favorite game? I just got a massive Tichu dragon on my inner right arm, so I'll go with Tichu for now. I like it 'cuz it's partnership, it's cards. I like it 'cuz I can be social and still play it well. It's just a great game!

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Prolly Tichu again, but runner-up would hafta be Tigris & Euphrates. When we first rolled out the game for BGG, we had a half dozen games constantly going for a year. I'm very good at E&T. But that's 'cuz I've learned to play very aggressively over the years...

4. Why do you love playing games?
'Cuz it's fun to plan and see what happens when that plan is executed. 'Cuz it's fun to hang out with friends over a game...

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Aldie. He's been the source of virtually every major element of the 'Geek as we know it. If it's great, it is so because of him...

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
I like bicycling, rummage sales, hiking, travelling, reading.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
The usual: Monopoly, Risk, etc. Like many, I couldn't get my family to play games with me, so I went into hobby gaming, which meant Steve Jackson's Car Wars and Axis & Allies and the like. It was many many years later that my world was turned upside down by Catan.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Right this second...? 18xx. I have a serious 18xx addiction right now. In my game room, I have four or five different 18xx's all ready to be played, just lacking opportunity...

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The most surprising thing? That we can still run fund drives on the site. Clearly this is a testament to Aldie's dedication to the Community he's created, as there are so few sites that can count on direct user support.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Elevating those around you is much easier than tearing down those around you.
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9. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:40]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Ben Baldanza
United States
Fort Lauderdale
Florida
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Find ways to make Geekgold more valuable to all users, including potentially the ability to redeem for discounts at other websites. Support the Geek team for any and all business related matters to make the site more valuable and useful.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Crokinole. I love the partnership aspect combined with dexterity and strategic play. Favorite "heavy" game is Die Macher, and that's why I chose that as my user name.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
I don't keep track of every game played, so I'd call this three-way tie among Crokinole, Tichu, and Schotten-Totten.

4. Why do you love playing games?
The social interaction with friendly competition is a very enjoyable combination. With limited down time in a week, it's great to keep the mind sharp while having fun at the same time.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Ability to comment on games and record session notes. Also the worldwide gamer database is a real plus. (It's helped me find gamers all over the world when traveling and in the few times I've moved.)

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Playing piano and trombone (not at the same time), running, mechanical timepieces.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
We played Scopa (an Italian card game) often, usually after dinner. We typically played with a modified standard card deck at our house but an Italian deck at my uncle's house. Other favorites were Spades, Hearts, Scrabble, Clue, and of course Monopoly.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Tichu, as I'll usually drop anything for that game and it can be played anywhere (unlike Crokinole, another game I'll always play).

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The general uselessness of Geek Questions.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Time isn't money if all you have is time.
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10. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:70]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Fabio Tola
Brazil
São Paulo
SP
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Right now I'm on files.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Right now I'm in love with Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - after a long time looking for some good civ game.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Amun-Re and Puerto Rico probably. Maybe Tichu... dunno...

4. Why do you love playing games?
The people around it, Its always about the people.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Ratings and Files.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Hmmm.. Computer Games

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Some old stuff released in Brazil - Alaska, Acquire and Supremacy. I also made up some crazy games with my Playmobil.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Go. In a nice board with a real person.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The community power - Katrina fund was really impressive.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Next time you want to post a nasty or reply, grab a friend and go play a boardgame instead. Remember why we're here for.
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11. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Nothing specific at the moment. I came aboard in the pre rpggeek days because I have both a boardgaming and RPG background. At the moment I am on four months holiday in Germany with the family so do not have much time for specific duties. Ask me again next year

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
I can't choose just one, so I will say Power Grid and Tigris & Euphrates. For me, both have enormous replayability and are always challenging.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Physically face to face is Gang of Four because it was the standard lunch time game at work for over a year (259 registered plays), if I count PBeM then Tigris & Euphrates added to my face to face plays would be well over 300 plays by now. PBeM T&E is very easy to play and every now and again I start and/or join a whole bunch of games. Since my internet access is intermittent whilst on this long holiday I am not playing any at the moment.

4. Why do you love playing games?
Playing games is fun. I have always played games. None of my family were particularly interested except for my Nanna who taught me 500 and we played that a lot. I have strong memories of playing games from a pre-school age and have never ever stopped.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Geekbuddies especially Geekbuddy Analysis.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Reading and at the moment German beers - our local supermarket here in Germany has over 200 different types of beer and this is of course a challenge

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Squatter, Stock Market Game, Kingmaker and Escape from Colditz. My first wargame was The Battle of Britain at about 10 or 11. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons in the very early days.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Currently I have the time, if I had the space it would have to be a big long game - something like (in pseudo alphabetical order) Civilization, Diplomacy, Europe Engulfed, 7 Ages, War in Europe or World in Flames. That or the long awaited Power Grid Party.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
A user who changed his name to "Melissa's Husband".

Also the explosion of GeekLists, When I first joined I read them all and read all the updates. It just isn't possible these days.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Trump the opposition's Ace. Be very careful attacking the Russians in winter and try to be nice to people on the Geek.
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12. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Assisting with Forum Moderation. I'm a bit of a flake at the moment, because I have been having fairly significant internet access problems for the lasts few weeks (and also because I'm spending a lot of time travelling).

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Hmm. Let's say, The Princes of Florence, which is my pick for the Best Game Evar. I rarely get to play it, but I think it has that - for me - perfect edge of there being so much to do and not enough time to do it. I'm competing against myself as much as against my fellow players.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Definitely Agricola! Not only did I translate it, I also, for a long time, had one of the only copies in circulation in Australia - I love playing it, so I was happy to teach it too. Although when I got to five times in two days, I was starting to want to play something else for a change ...

4. Why do you love playing games?
I love the social interaction of sitting down with friends and family to do something together. I grew up playing games and I would much rather do that than sit and watch a movie with a group of people. It's a great way to meet new people, as well as to spend time with friends.

It's also a great way to interact with my children - when we sit down to play, we aren't just parents and children, we're also people who are choosing to have fun together.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Definitely GeekBuddies, for two main reasons:
1. GeekBuddy analysis - one of the best ways to check out an unknown game. Show me what my GBs think before I look at the rest of geekdom, because I know that I like the same sort of games as some of them, and different games than others. So if buddy A likes it and B doesn't, there's a good chance that it might be for me. (Yes, I know, I could get sophisticated with GB groups ...)
2. Friendships - so many people who started as GeekBuddies met here have become friends in real life.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Travelling and learning languages! My family and I are spending 5 months this year living in Germany, to give me a chance to speak some German (not happening much) and the kids a chance to learn the language (they are both in the German school system, so must be learning something). I'm hoping to have some time to go to France at least twice, as I have been learning French, and I dream of going back to Hungary (but I don't think it will happen this year, sadly).

Today we are in Denmark and I learned to say "Tak" (not sure of spelling) which means Thankyou. (I asked the guy at the desk of our hotel)

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
I learned to play Bridge at 10, although I probably didn't really enjoy it until I was 15 or so. At 6, my favourite game was Santa's Workshop which I have been unable to track down on the internet. All I remember is that there were coloured dots that you moved along, and there was a card with Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer. I have no idea what the real victory condition was, but my brother and I always felt we'd won if we got the Rudolph card.

Of course, we played Monopoly and UNO, but the main thing we played was cards - a lot of Oh Hell! (mum tried to get dad to call it Oh Bother - yeah right). I also played some chess, but not very well.

At 10, I started playing Dungeons and Dragons and a couple of boardgames too. I enjoyed the JEDKO game Dungeon!, which I recently played again and still enjoyed very very much. I also played Diplomacy, although very unsuccessfully.

Once I got to University, I got back into boardgames. We played a lot of Cosmic Encounter and Junta as well as card games like Red Empire. The first boardgame I ever bought myself (with a gift certificate from a roleplaying games con) was Britannia.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
I'm answering this in a hotel room at Legoland in Denmark, listening to my children avoiding going to sleep. So it would have to be Ramses Pyramid, which my husband Fraser bought recently and which I have yet to play.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
I think, without pulling punches, they're often to do with money. I've seen people put huge effort into saving a measly few dollars, for example by making their own versions of published games rather than buy them (this disappoints and disillusions me as I see it as theft of a company's and designer's intellectual property and potential earnings). At the same time, the members of BGG can be astonishingly generous. Take, for example, the fundraising auction for little Cici, which raised over $10,000. Or the BGG Secret Santa, which many people see not as an opportunity to get something for free but as an opportunity to go over the top in giving.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
If you are travelling, and you have a spare evening, take the time to look up some local gamers. Gamers as a whole are, I find, very friendly and helpful. They are also welcoming and - most importantly - great company.

Also, more topically, buy Lego products in Euros rather than in Danish currency.

Ouch. gulp
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Matthew Gray
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
I help Aldie out on backend stuff (coding & design). Before Dan, I was the only person other than Aldie who touched the codebase for a long time. I wrote the XML API, for example. I have been known to do a small amount of game approvals and the like, but less so these days.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Race for the Galaxy. It's deep, varied, and fast.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Electronic Catch Phrase! (but Race will soon pass it). It's a great party game and once it comes out it tends to get played a lot.

4. Why do you love playing games?
Social interaction, variety of experience and engagement. To me, board games are one of the best platforms for social interaction, and that's part of why, despite being a gamer, I'm not really a computer gamer.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Ratings & Comments. A lot of people obviously give ratings (or comments) too much credence, but a lot of people just declare them worthless too. To me, they're extremely useful, but far from infallible. I find the ratings on BGG to be one of the best pieces of information for me in evaluating a game. Comments similarly help interpret and evaluate games. Plus, I love data and ratings & collection management gives me lots of data.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
I have two young children and spend a lot of time with them, gaming and not. I read a lot. I do some software projects in my spare time (like BGG).

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Other than RPGs, which I was a huge fan of as a kid (and still enjoy, though I'm way more boardgame focused now): Thunder Road, Scotland Yard, and Careers are three examples that come to mind.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Something new. Barring that, Race, or maybe Dominion. I haven't gotten sick of those yet. Though I've also had a recent hankering for Power Grid too.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The repeating pattern of the new gamer discovering "these games". It happens over and over without the majority of them having had any prior awareness of the category. Somehow, I thought the general increase in awareness of this kind of games I and my friends went through in the late 90s was more universal. Every week there's someone who has the same reaction I did of turning a corner and going "Wow, where has this been all my life?"

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
I was going to give forum etiquette advice, but I'll leave that to a more active moderator, but really, please be civil and ignore trolls. 3 bits of advice:

1) Roughly 300 games is "enough", but you can go a lot higher before you have "too many".
2) Logging games you play (on BGG or a notepad or wherever) and with whom makes a really nice record or social events, gaming groups, vacations, visits and the like.
3) Don't have board-game-shame. Talk about the hobby with others (don't persevorate...) A lot of people are going to look at you sideways and say "Oh, like Monopoly?" but it's worth it for the occasional person who says "Oh, like Puerto Rico?" or "Tell me more."
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14. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Matthew M Monin
United States
Branford
Connecticut
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
I am the admin who spends the most time interacting directly with the users on the site. This includes responding to questions through geekmail and email, mediating trade and marketplace disputes, and moderating the forums.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Tichu - see below

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Tichu - it's actually rather out of character. I don't care for most "traditional" card games, but despite being played with what is essentially a normal deck of cards (with 4 special cards) Tichu is awesome! I've gotten my family hooked. I've gotten my friends hooked. It's just a great game.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I love mental stimulation. I'd go so far as to say I crave it. Games are a very satisfying and social way to scratch that itch.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
The forums. We have so many smart, funny, kind, and otherwise great users that I can very easily spend entire days just reading interesting threads.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Video games (with what extra time I can spare for them), raising my son, walking our dog, and smack talking about the NFL.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
I played Chess quite a bit, though I never devoted the time necessary to get good at it. I enjoyed Battle Masters, but only ever got to play it once a year when I could convince my younger sister to play against me. In high school I got away from boardgames and got into RPGs in a big way. Shadowrun, Marvel, and D&D were my favorites there.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Go. Haven't played a game in a while, and I'd probably lose!

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The amount of generosity in our community is staggering. Between official charity drives for Katrina victims to grass roots efforts for what, at times, can be very personal causes, the willingness of our users to reach out and do something to improve the life of someone they've very likely never even met never ceases to amaze me. It really does make me proud to be a member of this community.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Don't be shy! We've got a lot of characters here, but there is always room for new voices. Find a niche that you are comfortable with - maybe a specific game you really like, or a particular forum that interests you more than others - but find somewhere to start and just start posting! Even if you never branch out from there and explore the rest of the forums, there will be countless people who will appreciate that you contribute what you do. Join us!
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15. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Brian Leet
United States
Montpelier
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
I'm working on the RPG side helping to develop standards, review and approve submissions to our rapidly growing database and generally help out where I can. With such rapid growth of the site we are still figuring out what help is needed.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
I don't like playing favorites (if you'll pardon the pun), but I'll go
along. My selection is Race for the Galaxy. Both because I find it very
fun to play and because I'm in awe of the design. It is so cleverly
balanced and well developed.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
The launch of RPG.Geekdo.com makes this a much easier question to answer! I'd have to say [rpgfamily=192]. If you include CCGs I'd say magic. I do have one prototype game of my own that I have played hundreds of times. On the board game side I'm less sure, perhaps Puerto Rico because of availability on BSW.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I love the social atmosphere and the intellectual engagement. I've met so many amazing people in this hobby.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
I'm enjoying the new subscription system. Overall I'd say that I remember when Geeklists were introduced and what a difference that made to the site. They still are a remarkably fun way to provoke a discussion.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
While they overlap I try to make time for both board games and role playing games as hobbies that I track separately. I also spend an inordinate amount of time reading about pop culture and politics on the internet.

But, my main other hobby for the past two years has been pursuit of a private pilot's certificate. I've finally completed the time requirements and my checkride is coming up soon!

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
The first 'complex' game I played was a copy of my Dad's flat box Stalingrad that I discovered in third or fourth grade. We didn't play right, but we played often! I'd say that my favorite board game growing up was probably either Civilization or Dune. The love for Dune has stuck with me. Role playing was also huge and we spent a remarkable amount of time playing a souped up home-brew Mertwig's Maze so I have to give it a nod.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
This is an easy one. Middle-Earth Quest was on our docket for tonight and the owner was sick and couldn't make it. I've only played a four turn learning game thus far, so I'm looking forward to giving this one the full treatment.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
A good question I wish I had a good answer for. I guess I'd say it is the remarkable generosity of the site users. I'm impressed by how smoothly things like Secret Santa go, and various charitable efforts have been well received here as well.


10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Two pieces of advice. First is, it is only a game! Play intensely, but have fun. Second is to get out and try to meet as many fellow gamers as you can. You won't click with everyone, but everyone can find the right group for themselves.
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16. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Emile de Maat
Netherlands
Hengelo
Overijssel
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Moderating the RPG submissions (for rpg.geekdo.com), and help with decisions on the datamodel for the RPGs.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
For boardgames, at the moment, Caylus. It seems to be in my sweet spot; a nice amount of interaction, building, and thinking ahead (but not too far ), and I like the luck due to chaos better than due to randomizers.
No specific RPG is currently my favourite; there are many that appeal to me, but I'm still looking for the 'perfect' one.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
I think that is Magic: The Gathering. It has been played that much because when I played it, I had a lot of time, and there were few game competing for that time.
As for RPGs, it's probably [rpg=244], which I played in the same period, and which garnered a lot of playing time.

4. Why do you love playing games?
Because of the social activity they offer (I like to do things together with other people), the stories the games tell, and the intellectual challenge (some) games offer (I like thinking about potential tactics/strategies and trying them out). Now, if the next question is: why do you love those things, I wouldn't be able to answer. I just do.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Well, boringly enough, the ratings and comments on games. I'll often browse through those to see if a game is worth trying out.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Reading books (mostly Fantasy, but also some Science Fiction, English Literature and Thrillers), playing computer games (nowadays mostly World of Warcraft and Dance Dance Revolution). I also used to dance (ballroom) but at the moment, that's a bit out of the picture.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Space Crusade, Stratego, Key to the Kingdom, Die Mauer, Magic: The Gathering, homebrew LEGO versions of Labyrinth, and my self-made Neverending Game.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Automobile. I got in in the mail some time ago, and still haven't had a chance to play it.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
In general, the community, which is very friendly and helpful. More specific, the game identifying power of the community. The people here sometimes seem to come up with the right game title even from description like "I once played a game with red wooden sticks, anyone know what it is?".

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
With regard to Geekdo? Let's keep the community friendly, as that is its greatest asset, I think. Respect other people's opinions, give out thumbs or GG tips to contributions you like, and offer help if people ask for it. Oh, and visit the RPG subdomain, there's lots of fun stuff there too
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17. Board Game: Entdecker [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1475]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Ryan Johnson
United States
Independence
Missouri
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Art Director

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
I have many favorite games... right now Entdecker stands out for me.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Bid Whist (lunch time card group)

4. Why do you love playing games?
Intellectual challenge and shared camaraderie.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Game Database and User Opinions (opinions on games that is)

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Disk Golf, Video Games, Reading, Comics, Art, paintball

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Dark Tower, Outdoor Survival, Axis & Allies

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
meh... A Game of Thrones (first edition)... really Im a go with the flow guy...

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Flared Tempers (not a surprise, but they never cease to amaze me)

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Share your passion for the games... keeping in mind that sharing is best when it's positive.
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18. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:40]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
Game Submissions -- When you submit a new game entry, I'm the guy who looks at it and makes the approval or denial submission. If you receive the message, "More information is needed, especially for a new release. Please elaborate and re-submit" or "Duplicate of [gameid=xxxxx"], I'm the one who wrote that to you. In my tenure as a BGG admin, I've handled a lot of game submissions; according to the database stats, I've handled almost half of the entries in the DB, ~99% of everything after Ninja Galaxy. At our current rate, we add another 5,000 games to the database every 9 months.

Game Corrections -- I also address the items submitted under Game Correcitons. Whenever you click "Submit Corrections" that form is sent to a queue that I look at. Since the Februrary change-over, it functions much better than it used to, since a lot of changes can be submitted directly on the form and I need only hit the Approve button, but I also still do a fair share of opening up tabs to move pictures, submit new designers, merge items, and other stuff that's not directly on the form.

Links Approvals -- Links are a red-headed stepchild of BGG, so they sometimes don't get as much attention as they should. I help administer the approvals of links, checking out the linked pages to ensure they're related to the content of the game-page and that they're more than just a sale page or a link to the game page at a retailer (that material skews toward advertising, and is under Chad's purview). Links used to be less imporant to users on BGG because they were an altrusitic venture, but now that there is associated with links, I see a lot more link submissions.

Head of the Adminions -- I came up with this little group in a flash of coffee-fueled inspiration one day. Basically, user project group on the site. They were responsible for the bulk of the Expands / Expanded by links on the site... and after Aldie built a module to integrate those links into the game entry, they also helped dismantle them and put in the module item links.

Designer / Publisher approvals -- This has been an area in flux lately. Under the old system, new designers and publishers were submitted with a game, but now they are submitted and approved separately from game entries. Most of my work in this are revolves around getting submissions linked to games so that items in the database are credited and merging designers and publishers that are duplicated. Currently we're having a flurry of submissions that are mostly being handled by the RPGG admins in order to get credits on the thousands of new RPG items. I also handle a lot of the badge linking for user-accounts to designer/publisher accounts.

Overall, I'm more of a technical services admin than a moderator -- I work in the background with my toolbag and do what I can to improve the accuracy and organization of the information in the database.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Crokinole has a solid 10 in my book. It's easy to play and teach, but it has enough player involvement coupled with skill to make it an intense contest. My favorite "gamer's game" is currently Merchants of the Middle Ages, though I haven't played it in quite a while. I love commodity speculation and pick-up-and-deliver, and it has both with just a touch of negotiation.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Crokinole tops my list, though followed by Lectio which my group plays at virtually every game session. Lectio just has that right combination of climbing/trick-taking mixed with the tactile feel of the chunky tiles. I wrote a review on it here : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/324935

I'm a little lax about listing my plays on BGG, though I do keep them in a paper journal. I think I'm about 6 months behind in logging plays. I'm also terrible at updating ratings on games -- I think I last went through and rated things I've played about 2 years ago.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I really enjoy the face-to-face competition, but also the camaraderie and fun from sitting down with a group of friends and having a structured fun-time. I do enjoy online gaming in a pinch, but not as much as face-to-face.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
I think the one that I am most excited about is the implementation of versions on the board game side. It's been something that I've viewed as the next evolutionary step for the site for a couple of years, and now that it is coming to fruition I'm very interested to see it in action.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Gaming on the Xbox 360 -- up until this year, I've never owned a current video game system. Back in 2000, I got a used, chipped PS1 and a spindle of burned games, but other than Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Intelligent Qube, and Ape Escape, I didn't really play too many of them. Since I got the 360, I've really been relishing the advanced graphics and the quality storylines of games. On my 100% list are Bioshock, Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Batman, Kung Fu Panda, and Half Life 2, and HL2 Episode 1 (both from the Orange Box). I also picked up an original Xbox and did a softmod to convert it over to a Xbox Media Center machine, which is pretty neat.

I also tinker on my computer and read, and I'm in the middle of a stained-glass project.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
I didn't play a lot of board games growing up, in fact I didn't play a lot of board games before I came to BGG. As a child we had a few of the regular mass-market games that we would play on occasion. I recall that I liked Sidewinder a fair bit, and we played it until one of the "snakes" broke. My parents bought us an Intellivision in 1983, and then staunchly refused to put any more money into video games, so I played Snafu and BurgerTime a lot.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Right now I would love to play a game of Shogun or Wallenstein (first edition) with the guys I from law school, but that's probably not going to happen any time soon, if ever again.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The sheer amount of change and update that the site has seen since I first came here in 2004. When I first came to BGG, there was a database of 7000-10,000 games, no forums, no extra features. Since then, the site has developed and blossomed into a real community site where people come together, talk about games, get to know one another, and spread the passion for the hobby. The level and speed of growth is astounding. Since I became an admin in 2006, we've nearly doubled the number of games in the database, and now the addition of RPGG has added another ~

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Don't get married in January -- get on the ball and file your papers and marriage contract by December 31, and then you can claim married filing jointly status for the entire year. Have your ceremony whenever you feel like it, but get those papers filed.
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19. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:182]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Sterling Babcock
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
I started out being the only person doing File Submission approvals, but I was unable to keep up with the influx of submissions, so we got more people. Now, we have at least 6 people keeping up with file approvals on the boardgame side alone, and it is keeping much more up to date.

I have also tried to use my avatar, named Winkles by several users, as a sort of a morale mascot to encourage a positive and friendly attitude on the site. I try to encourage people to reread every post they make before they send it to see how people might mistakenly misinterpret what they are saying and to encourage them to make their posts clearly communicate what they want to say and be impartial.

Winkles
United States
Colorado
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Right now, I do file submission reviews, continue awarding Winkles microbadges, work on special requests like moving threads and images around, doing representative images, and monitoring threads in the background (but passing them on to thread moderators.)

I would like to get more involved with event planning, and get involved in some of the coding activities, but I do not have that level of access.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Roads & Boats. To me it is a nice logistical puzzle game which is all about building up your capabilities from scratch. You start with a few donkeys and geese, and build up to mining gold, building roads and, yes, boats. It is like building up your own little farming community with out all the details of farming. I feel a sense of achievement when I play the game.

I am also a fan of Tichu.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Probably Dominion, because it is short and easy to play. Most frequently played game varies from time to time, including Race for the Galaxy.

4. Why do you love playing games?
For me it is a chance to get together with friends and just enjoy ourselves. I have made many friends through gaming, and to me a friend is a highly valuable thing. I try to do right by them and make sure they have a good time as well. It is also a chance for me to try to improve a few things I would like to do that sometimes does not come natural to my personality. I strive to be more generous, play faster in my turns, and to be a valuable friend. I would like to think that the people that I game with find me to be a likable person.

Gaming also gives me a chance to get away from the computer I use at work all day and to gain some social interaction that I do not get at work.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Hard to say. I think it would have to be GeekMail. A private email service for the users here. It allows me to communicate with people and interact on a social level. So many times I see someone's avatar and shoot them a geekmail: "Hey, I like your avatar!" Generally this results in a nice exchange where I learn about the origin of the avatar and a bit about themselves.

I also love the ability to trade games and fine tune your game collection.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Not a lot. I play a few games on X-Box, but I do not have a live account. I collect a few things, but have fallen out of doing that.

Oh, I do grow Concord grapes at my house and built an arbor for them. Hmmm. It looks much better this year with all the growth. I need to post a new image:


An image of me and my wife and our grape iris's (They smell like grapes.):


The custom bookcase I made with deep shelves for my games:


7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Surprisingly, The Game of Life, and Careers. As kids we enjoyed the old version of The Game of Life with the stock market track, and Careers with the varied paths to victory. I also liked building toys like Girder and Panels and Erector sets.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Roads & Boats.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Some of the grass roots community efforts to help fellow members in need are amazing!

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Measure twice, cut once? In other words, write anything you post, then reread it a few times. Think about how someone might read it out of context and completely misunderstand you. No, not out of maliciousness, but just out of misunderstanding. Then modify it so that it clearly communicates what you want to say. It might not be perfect, but at least it better says your point of view. This is always a good idea in corporate email, online, or in any interaction I think.
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20. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Tom Rosen
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Arlington
Virginia
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
A little bit of everything. We all consult and debate about various issues that arise. I help with some forum moderation, including moving threads to the right place. I also help moderate tags when the tag system is misused. And I help with photos when they need to be moved or have their captions edited. A lot of us just pitch in wherever we're needed when things come up and have the time to help.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
That's a tough question because it depends so much on how many people are there and how much time we have. I try to have a good game in my collection for any number of people and any amount of time, so a great game for 3 people who have 90 minutes, or for 5 people who have 30 minutes, or for 2 people who have 120 minutes, etc. To be specific though, I consider El Grande my favorite game because I have so much fun when I play it. When you have 5 people engaged in a game of El Grande, they naturally get so talkative and involved, debating what to do and what others should do. It's a very social experience. I also love how simple and straightforward the game is, yet how difficult the decisions you have to make are. Simply deciding which power card to play and which action card to select is always challenging and a bit agonizing, which is what I look for in games: fairly simple rules, with difficult and meaningful decisions.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Crokinole. It's a fast and fun dexterity game. I got it for Christmas back in 2006 and have played it 168 times since then. It's great as a two-player game or as a four-player game with two teams. I love the mix of strategy of dexterity, and it's also a great decoration hanging on the wall.

4. Why do you love playing games?
I dunno, I always have, and I'm guessing I always will. It's so much more engaging than most other forms of entertainment, and there are so many different games, I want to try as many of them as possible for some reason. I really enjoy learning new games, then again, I also enjoy returning to old favorites.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
The GeekBuddy Analysis feature (the "Analyze" button in the Statistics section of each game's page). This allows me to see the ratings and comments of all of my GeekBuddies for any game that I happen to be looking at. It's a wonderful feature to use when I'm researching a game, and almost always the first thing I check when I start thinking about a game. I like to see the broad range of ratings and comments, the good, the bad, and the ugly, about any given game. I'm always adding new GeekBuddies who make interesting comments along with their ratings of games.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Hmmm, besides playing board games, writing about board games, collecting board games, and reading about/researching board games... I suppose that leaves a little time for cooking, tennis, photography, and some video games.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
The Omega Virus, Screaming Eagles, Crash Canyon, Fireball Island, Crossfire, Talisman, Risk, etc. We also had some more traditional games like The Game of Life, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Clue... but I always enjoyed the more oddball games like Crash Canyon, Fireball Island, The Omega Virus, and Screaming Eagles. But I was basically up for anything I could get my hands on. I was frequently asking/begging family and friends to play board games.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit. I just bought a copy on eBay a couple weeks ago, and I'm loving this game so much. It's a ridiculous amount of fun, and a real shame that it's not more widely available. I look forward to playing it many more times and would love to play it right now

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
Wow that's a tough question. There have been a lot of surprising things, but I think I'll go with the pleasant surprise that is the successful growth of BoardGameGeek with more users now than I ever would have imagined and the site being able to support a handful of full-time employees now too. BGG has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years and it's been really impressive.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Give people the benefit of the doubt if something in one of their posts bothers you but it could be ambiguous. Understanding the intent and meaning of people's writing on the Internet can be difficult, and most people mean well, so re-read their post and think before getting upset and responding. It seems like most disagreements in the forums are simply due to a misunderstanding. I suppose it would also be a good idea to re-read what you're about to post and consider whether you'd say it if you were face to face with the others involved in the forum thread. If people did that I think this would be an even more wonderful place than it already is.
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21. RPG: Ars Magica (5th Edition) [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:16]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Samuel Sol
Brazil
São Paulo
SP
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All engines full to awesome land!
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
For now working on the RPG Geek queues. Both aproving new items and corrections.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
BGG-wise. For now I'm going to stick with Steam and Age of Steam. It is fierce, difficult, keeps my head always on fire all the time. Twilight Struggle is a good second-almost-first place for the same reasons and the fact that it was the first modern boardgame I bought (I only own 3, with a 4th on the way). On the cooperative front I love Arkham Horror, mostly because I love Lovecraft. On the RPG side of the spectrum, [rpg=1044]. It is simply amazing, the setting gorgeous, the rules clear at the same time flexible and it is a very nice concept to play with. Proof that at least once, Rein-Hagen did something good.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
On the boardgames it was Catan. I started on the modern games world just recently (I think 3 years ago) and so I hadn't the chance to play as much as I would love. As of RPGs I played mostly AD&D 2nd. One of first games, so I played a lot of campaigns during my youth days. For the last years I played [rpg=405], [rpg=886], and [rpg=1043] and a lot of [rpg=1044].

4. Why do you love playing games?
Because it is fun, it is always great to sit with friends, chat, laugh, drink and get serious down to business to crack some skulls. I like a challenge, I love math, and I love tactics. Games are the perfect venue for me on this.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
Subscriptions. Thank you Daniel and everyone involved, that is AMAZING!

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
Video games in general, specially civilization-type. I love reading and poetry, I'm fan of Edgar Alan Poe, Byron and others. I had for two and a half years an internet radio program where I played a lot of jazz, blues, and Brazilian Music.

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
Connect Four, Simon, Guess Who? and Mastermind were the most comon. My favorite ones though were 221B Baker Street: The Master Detective Game (here called Scotland Yard) and Scotland Yard (here called Interpol).

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game. I'm thirsty for it since it was announced.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The community. All the fund raising, the Fold@Home drive. Cici's geeklist(http://rpg.geekdo.com/geeklist/42357) was really impressive.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Keep cool, keep playing, enjoy your friends, real and online, enjoy your life. Live long and prosper. Be careful how much you bid on the auction of Steam. Never play Age of Steam with a 40ºC fever. Stay way from the King in Yellow. Never ask "How do I mine for fish?". Read, always read things that are diferent. Have no fear of the new, but always keep a safe route.
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22. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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dale yu
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Cincinnati
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1. What is your primary admin responsibility?
I'm currently the file czar for the boardgame side. I mostly work on file submission approvals with a bit of work recently in standardizing submissions and cleaning up the database. Otherwise, I just do whatever needs to be done.

2. What is your favorite game? Why do you like it?
Dominion.
Partly because I am one of the developers and partly because it's just so damn fun to play.

3. What game have you played the most? Why is that one played so much?
Dominion.
I think I'm close to 1,000 logged plays here on BGG. It's been played due to near constant playtesting and development over the last 2 years. I think the next most played game is either Agricola or Age of Steam. Agricola is up there due to my work on polishing the solo game rules. Age of Steam due to a phase where we played all the time trying to play all the expansion maps.

4. Why do you love playing games?
Because it's not work? Really -- I like games for 2 reasons: 1) I love the puzzle aspect of TGOO. I like trying to figure out how to play a game well (or at least better than my opponents). 2) I love the social aspect of gaming - playing games is a great chance to spend time with friends.

5. What is your favorite feature on BGG/Geekdo?
The immediacy. OK - it's not really a feature per se, but I love the fact that the community / hive mind is always available. If I have a rules question or clarification - I can post it here and feel pretty certain that I'll have an answer (or strongly voiced opinion) within the hour. Also, if I need a player aid, they're available around the clock.

6. What other hobbies do you enjoy besides board/role-playing games?
My other main hobby is Platform Tennis - this is a winter-only outdoor form of tennis played on a miniature court surrounded by a chicken wire fence. Seriously. http://www.platformtennis.org or http://paddlepro.com for more info.

Otherwise, I spend the rest of my time at my kids soccer games. Gotta love the Select soccer year-round season!

7. What were some of your favorite games when you were growing up?
In grade school - Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit
In high school - Magic: The Gathering, Axis & Allies (and the rest of the MB Gamemaster series)
In college - Catan and the rest of the Euro invasion
In med school - Age of Steam and all of the expansions as well the Winsome games (esp. Locomotive Werks, TrainSport: Austria and Pampas Railroads)
Now - Dominion. And anything new. I'm clearly part of the Cult of the New.

8. If you could play any game right now, which would you choose?
Dominion. In fact, I'm just taking a break from some playtesting to answer your questions. People always ask me if I get tired of playing Dominion, and frankly, I still look forward to every game.

9. What is the most surprising thing you've seen on BGG/Geekdo?
The admin badge under my name. It's still amazing to think that I've fooled them into trusting me.

After that? Derk in a catsuit. It was surprising and nauseating all at the same time.

10. Do you have any piece of advice that you would like to share with the BGG/Geekdo populace?
Just be nice to everyone. Treat others online as you would if you were in person. Treat others as you want to be treated. And when in doubt, blame Derk for things that go wrong.
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