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Subject: Geek of the Week #310 - Usrlocal rss

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Lucius Cornelius
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Vindolanda
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I have been lucky to have been a Geek of the Week, but am luckier to have the honor of introducing to you a true man's man, a veteran BGGer, and a Canadian man of mystery, usrlocal!
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I have always pictured him as his avatar, a straight-talking tough man who is exceptionally perceptive and surprisingly funny at the same time. cool
Indeed, he is the man who correctly guessed the true meaning of my ÜberGeekBadge.
Without further ado, here is usrlocal, in his own words:
Quote:
I'm truly honored and humbled to have been invited by the great Geek Emperor Sullafelix to be GotW. I'll preface my bio by saying that I am yet another denizen of the Wargames Subdomain forum, which is where I spend most of my time on the Geek. How did I get here? Well, I've been a gamer as far back as I can remember, having been infected with the gaming bug by an aunt who fed me a steady diet of Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble as a little kid back in the early 70s in my hometown in Northern Ontario. I became an obsessive collector type at a pretty young age, I guess, as I can still remember having an overstuffed games closet well before I hit high school. Mind you, we're talking about things like Parker Brother's Six Million Dollar Man game, but hey it was a start. Out of that morass of roll-and-move type games, there was one that really grabbed me. It was called MovieMaker, and I think it was initially published in the UK. It was a roll-and-move game where players were studio heads that amassed money in order to hire directors and actors, buy locations, etc. With the various personas and locations you accumulated, you'd assemble them into a movie of a particular genre (each actor and director performed differently in each genre) that would then hit the market. You could even win the in-game equivalent of the Oscar if your movies did well! MovieMaker was the first game that I remember playing in which great narratives emerged from gameplay, and that hooked me into looking for the meatier stuff.

I was a science fiction fan as well back then, and that combined with the thirst for deeper games led me to purchase SPI's John Carter Warlord of Mars at a Toys-R-Us in Traverse City, Michigan back in 1979, even though I had no idea what SPI was at the time. Wow! I was immediately enthralled by the rich complexity of the game and all of its moving parts, the combat systems, and once again, the potential for generating wild narratives! The gateway flung open, and I quickly moved on to the core of what companies like SPI, Avalon Hill and GDW had to offer. From Stalingrad to Panzerblitz to Squad Leader and beyond! My high school years were spent playing out most of the major campaigns of the Second World War in one form or another -- the crowning glory of these 'tours of duty' being an entire play-through of Avalon Hill's The Longest Day that had remained setup on the basement floor of my buddy's parents for about a year. I also played a goodly chunk of GDW's Europa series, including Fire in the East (which also took us about a year to play). I wasn't solely a wargamer back in the late 70s and early 80s. I'm of that Zelig-like generation that had the benefit of being at the ground floor of a lot of emerging game systems that are now popular and well established (RPGs, computer games, CCGs). I played a number of really interesting RPGs at the time, and I had a predilection for playing grumpy dwarves in the fantasy-related ones (which my wife finds hilarious since I'm 6'3" and pretty good-natured overall). And being a scifi buff, I was big into microgames from Metagaming and Task Force Games (including the new-at-the-time Star Fleet Battles) to fill in the gaps.

And then university happened: I left my hometown to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Real life, girls, beer, studying the Krebs cycle and all that. Sadly my gaming fell off at the time to almost nothing. This was in the mid/late-80s just before computer gaming became popular, so leisure time was more spent goofing off in the dorm common room watching TV and doing Animal House stuff like trashing couches. When I hit graduate school, though, a friend of mine got me into Go. I wasn't a bad player -- eventually I could hold my own and was playing at about 14-13 kyu. I'm really thankful for having learned Go since it has tremendously changed the way I approach boardgames, especially wargames.

I moved to Montreal to pursue my Ph.D. in the early 90s. That's when I got back into boardgaming in a big way. I met my wife-to-be in 1994, and on our very first date she taught me how to play Magic: The Gathering -- it was love at first play (here I'm referring to my wife, of course; Magic, not so much)! This was my first exposure to CCGs, and I've been dabbling in them ever since. My first re-aquaintance with contemporary board wargaming came around that time too, when I picked up a copy of Guderian's Blitzkrieg, the first OCS wargame by The Gamers. My friend and I enthusiastically played it through over a few weeks, and I was really impressed with how wargaming had matured as a hobby over the years. For some reason, though, it would take me another seventeen years to really get back into wargaming.

In the intervening time I married my gamer geek wife, we bought a house and settled down. After grad school and some post-doc stints I landed an academic position and now happily do scientific research and teaching as a profession. Gaming is still an important part of my life, and I have a regular group that gets together to play Arkham Horror, Cosmic Encounter, and stuff like that. Earlier this year I ordered, on a whim, a copy of Fields of Fire from an online retailer after I read about it being a good solitaire squad-level tactical wargame (I fondly remember Ambush and all of its expansions). That was the watershed that got me back 'home' to wargaming! I was so blown away with it that I dusted off my wargamer hat and have immersed myself once again in the hobby. Since then I've been happily exploring a multitude of new and intriguing game systems. BGG has been a godsend since for the first time ever I could communicate with a large number of other wargamers, and even play PBEM games with them on Vassal!! In addition to wargames I currently have a soft spot for games by esoteric/indie designers such as Phil Eklund (Sierra Madre Games) and John Clowdus (Small Box Games).

So here I am! I've been on BGG since about 2007 (in fact I discovered it while Googling for information on that first game love of mine, MovieMaker), and I've been proud patron of the site since 2008. I've always found BGG to be a wonderful gaming resource and a vibrant gathering place for stimulating discussions with a wonderfully diverse and fascinating group of gamers from across the world. I am grateful to the site admins for doing such a fantastic job at keeping BGG one of the few bastions of civilized and intelligent discussions left on the Internet (and I say that as a battle-scarred veteran of USENET). I look forward to continuing to participate in the site forums and to start making more tangible contributions in the way of play-aid software for some of my favorite games (as part of my research career I picked up a few programming languages, and have been looking for some good side projects for a while).

Long Live BGG!


Two truths and a lie:
Poll
Which is false?
1. At the invitation of Alan Emrich, I wrote the Foreword to the bestelling book 'Master of Orion: The Official Strategy Guide'.
2. I played a game of Squad Leader with Joey Ramone in the New York Public Library (42nd St. Branch) back in the 1980s.
3. I was almost killed by a housecat.
      121 answers
Poll created by sullafelix


Here are some questions to start it off:
1. What are the pros and cons of Canadian life?
2. What is up with your Avatar?
3. Some people think physics is the only real science. Do you agree?
4. Could you list your top 7 Kubrick films?
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Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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If you have some sanity left...
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...come and join me in the tavern I buy you a mug of beer.
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Congratulations!

My usual questions:
- Ever played any RPG's?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
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Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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but I'm not the only one
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My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own
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Congratulations!
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Bishop of East Anglia
New Zealand
Christchurch
i actually live in Wellington
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I'm, I'm afraid there's been a mistake. The man who has been speaking to you is an impostor. He is not in fact the Bishop of East Anglia, but a man wanted by the police. I am the Bishop of East Anglia and anyone who doesn't believe me can look me up
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Golden Camel !!!
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Congratulations!

have a great week.

My only question is will you choose another wargamer as the next GotW or will you look more widely around the many areas and disciplines on the geek?

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Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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Congratulations.

If Kelly's Heroes was recreated in a board game, what kind of play experience would you look for?

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Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
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New England Patriots
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http://thegamebox.gamesontables.com/index.php
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Excellent choice! I really like your contributions. here's my question: Case Blue?
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Judy Krauss
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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but I'm not the only one
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My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own
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Hmm, shouldn't this be under "Announcements"? Maybe a mod could move it.
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Lucius Cornelius
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Vindolanda
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Jude wrote:
Hmm, shouldn't this be under "Announcements"? Maybe a mod could move it.
As I understand it, only BGG gods can "pin" it there after being notified by the outgoing GotW, which is already done.
Just wait for it, I guess.

Edit: Ahh, here we are!
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Jacob Cassens
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Congratulations! Canadians in the spotlight! Woot!

Cheers,

Jacovis
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Bob
United States
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CONGRATULATIONS

Enjoy your week in the spotlight!!! thumbsup

Question:

What is your most & least favorite game mechanic and why?

meeple
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Congratulations!
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Freddie Foulds
United Kingdom
Durham
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All fled—all done, so lift me on the pyre—the Feast is over, and the lamps expire.
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Congratulations Peter! Hope you have a great week
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Chris B
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Congratulations! Enjoy your week!

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Alec Clair
France
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Congratulations, have a nice week.
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Runcible Spoon
United States
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Congrats!

I hope you enjoyyour week in the spotlight
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Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
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"GROG GRATZ!" Enjoy your Week in the SUN, well, that is, it WERE here currently. cool
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Dan Owsen
United States
Redmond
Washington
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I love it when we have a run of wargamers as GOTW!

Congrats!

One question, what is your favorite war game with Canadian troops in it?
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Rick Thomas
United States
Ohio
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Congratulations! What game have you enjoyed that you did not expect to enjoy?
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Sean McQ
United States
Mechanicsburg
Pennsylvania
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Congrats Peter
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Andy Beaton
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Congratulations!
Let's see - wargamer, cool music, cool films, science, Slack... I keep running into people on the Geek who are clearly of my genus!
Let me ask you a few questions -

1) What's the coolest historical site you've visited?
2) Who wins? Bob or the FSM?
3) Have you ever tried ASL?

I voted for the Masters of Orion choice to be your falsehood, because it would make me soooo happy if the Joey Ramone story were true.
Enjoy your week!
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Mark van den Boer
Canada
Richmond
BC
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SamNzed wrote:
Congratulations!

have a great week.

My only question is will you choose another wargamer as the next GotW or will you look more widely around the many areas and disciplines on the geek?


Indeed, otherwise we shall have to rename this to Wargamer Geek of the Week.
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Mario De Super
United States
San Jose
California
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Congrats!

I have two questions.

Is maple tea really as good as I've heard it is?

Do you think Irondie dice are worth the money?
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Lucius Cornelius
United States
Vindolanda
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syrinx2112 wrote:

Indeed, otherwise we shall have to rename this to Wargamer Geek of the Week.
I thought it was Science Geek of the Week!
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Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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The Geek is through. Long live the Geek! laugh

I have been very impressed that the past GotW can choose so deserving a successor, considering the relatively small population, and the frequency of the occurrence. Well done sullafelix, on your reign, and on the selection of your worthy heir.

CONGRATULATIONS! Peter, we're all expecting big things - and you seem to be off to a fine start.

Woof, WOOF! (That's my other dog impersonation) whistle

And a question: What are your top three Donald Sutherland movies?
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Eric Lai
Hong Kong
Happy Valley
None
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Have a great week!
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