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Spiel des Jahres Jury Chairman Tom Felber on Choosing Germany's Game of the Year

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Spiel des Jahres jury chairman Tom Felber has been touring North America to talk about the Spiel des Jahres — Germany's "game of the year" award — at various conventions and game stores, and as part of that outreach effort he visited BGG.CON 2014 and spent an hour discussing the origin of the Spiel des Jahres, how one game won the award twice, how the Kennerspiel des Jahres came to be, the requirements for being a SdJ jury member, how long it takes to play all the games under consideration, how many times he plays the three SdJ and KedJ nominees, why he appreciates the 2014 SdJ Camel Up, and much, much more.

To summarize for those who don't watch the video — although I encourage you to do so, given this opportunity to hear about the gaming industry's biggest award from someone who knows about it better than almost anyone else — the bottom line is that if you're active on BoardGameGeek, then the Spiel des Jahres award is not intended for you. Most likely, you know more about games than the "average" person; you know how to interpret rules; you have experience with dozens or even hundreds of games. Spiel des Jahres, as noted on the SdJ website, is "intended to promote games as a cultural asset to encourage gaming amongst family and friends and to provide an aid to selecting the best games from a wide range of products on offer", with "best" meaning best for the average person on the street.

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