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Links: Anthracite is the New Red, Talk of Ninjato & How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Smaller Game Collection

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
• The Spiel des Jahres jury has revealed the name of its new award that will debut in 2011: Kennerspiel des Jahres, or "expert game of the year". The nominees for this award will be announced on May 23, 2011 at the same time as the nominees for Spiel des Jahres and Kinderspiel des Jahres, with the winner being revealed on June 27 concurrently with the Spiel des Jahres. The official color of the Kennerspiel des Jahres logo is "anthracite".

• The Game Artisans of Canada has released its second newsletter (PDF), which goes by the name "Meeple Syrup". Tales of success and profiles of designers await your attention.

• The winners of the 2011 Mensa Mind Games have been announced:

-----*Pirate versus Pirate
-----*Uncle Chestnut's Table Gype

Mensa's Mind Games site does not list all 58 games that competed at the 2011 Mind Games, which makes kibitzing a bit tougher than is normally the case for such awards.

• On his blog, designer Antoine Bauza describes one new card that didn't make it into 7 Wonders: Leaders – "The Guild of Assassins", a guild card that would force each other player to discard a leader from play. Bauza explains that such a card would have cost each other player 0-10 points depending on which leader they removed, which is mathematically equivalent to a gain of the same amount by the one who played the card – but playtesters revolted at the idea of having their leaders stripped away. In Bauza's words, "It seems that the insertion of a destructive element in a game about construction is rarely a good idea..."

In a follow-up post, Bauza reveals most of the contents of Leaders.

• The blog Dice Hate Me has an interview with designers Adam West and Dan Schnake about Ninjato, due out from Z-Man Games in June/July 2011. BGG News will run a designer diary from Adam West shortly before the game's release.

• Sage Board Games has submitted an iOS version of Kramer and Keisling's Tikal to Apple, and the app is now available through iTunes. Multiple screenshots at the link above.

• Big Daddy's Creations is working on an Android version of Neuroshima Hex! for a Q3 2011 release.

Days of Wonder is offering a free replacement token bag for Cargo Noir as the bag shipped with the game has proved friable for many users.

• Finally, Linda Holmes has an entrancing article on the NPR blog "Monkey See" titled "The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything". While the article is not about games specifically, you can insert the word mentally as you read. An excerpt:

The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers... [Y]ou simply have no chance of seeing even most of what exists. Statistically speaking, you will die having missed almost everything...

You used to have a limited number of reasonably practical choices presented to you, based on what bookstores carried, what your local newspaper reviewed, or what you heard on the radio, or what was taught in college by a particular English department. There was a huge amount of selection that took place above the consumer level. (And here, I don't mean "consumer" in the crass sense of consumerism, but in the sense of one who devours, as you do a book or a film you love.)

Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you're well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender...

Surrender ... is the realization that you do not have time for everything that would be worth the time you invested in it if you had the time, and that this fact doesn't have to threaten your sense that you are well-read. Surrender is the moment when you say, "I bet every single one of those 1,000 books I'm supposed to read before I die is very, very good, but I cannot read them all, and they will have to go on the list of things I didn't get to."
As someone facing the prospect of packing 1,300+ games and moving them to a new location, I'll be surrendering a lot in the months ahead. As much as I might want to have access to every game ever made – or at least to the games that I already own – I know that's neither practical nor useful. For 90% of the games I own, copies will always be available for sale from someone somewhere, so I need to focus on what I care most about playing, on what calls to me over and over again, and clear out the rest. Whether I can actually keep that focus is another matter...
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