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Links: More Gen Con 2011 Reports, CPSIA Update & Does a Bear Play in the Woods?

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
First off, a handful of Gen Con 2011 reports filed since the previous round-up:

• io9 posted a pic-heavy summary of the "coolest and craziest stuff" at the con.

• Derek Thompson has a Gen Con recap on Meepletown, with descriptions of the two Star Wars titles from Fantasy Flight.

• Trask concludes his Gen Con coverage on with a catch-all post.

• Eric Martin (yes, lots of us have that name, hence my W.) at Death of Monopoly highlights a large-scale RoboRally.

• Dan at The Old Board Gamers' Blog covers Plaid Hat Games' Dungeon Run (available for demo at Gen Con) and the Summoner Wars iOS app in the works. More coverage of Gen Con 2011 on OBGB collected here.

And now on to other game-related tidbits:

• Issue #12 (PDF) of the Italian-language ILSA Magazine is available for download. The focus for this issue is fantasy, and those who don't read Italian might still care to check it out for an interview in English (and Italian) with designer Christophe Boelinger.

• Designer Rob Bartel, in his role as curator of the Canadian Heritage Collection, has posted the most recent "Canadian Made, Canadian Played" newsletter on his blog, with extended coverage of Filosofia's purchase of Z-Man Games and a rundown of games coming from Canadian designers.

• Designer Michael Schacht has created a standalone website for Mondo (in both English and German) with new downloadable variants and summaries of what's available in the world of Mondo.

• The August/September 2011 issue of Battlespace, featuring Japanese-themed games and much more, is available in umpteen formats on the mag's website.

• Based on his recent blog posts, artist Mike Doyle has apparently moved into LEGO artwork and out of board game graphic design, but he will be selling limited edition prints of a number of his cover images. Contact him via his blog for more details.

• From the AP: "Bear interrupts family's outdoor Monopoly game" (HT: Matt Carlson)

• The U.S. Congress has passed an update to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which lowered the lead content standard in products for users under age 13 to 100 ppm (parts per million) from the previous limit of 300 ppm. CPSIA has been on hold since it orignally passed due to concerns over its impact on smaller manufacturers and the sale of used products. That said, over the past couple of years a number of U.S. game publishers have bumped the minimum suggested age of their games to 13 to avoid situations in which their games would be deemed "for children" – and therefore open to huge penalties if they fail lead tests – despite the primary market of those games being adults.

In August 2011, CPSIA was amended by the U.S. Congress to address some of the concerns by smaller manufacturers. The Toy Industry Association summarizes these changes on its website with the largest ones being:

-----* Used products are now exempt from the lower lead standard.
-----* The Consumer Product Safety Commission can exempt individual products or entire product categories if the parts are "not likely to be placed in the mouth or ingested".
-----* Small batch manufacturers (those grossing less than $1 million in sales annually) can be exempted from the testing requirements on "covered products" if the testing costs are prohibitive and no cheaper alternatives are available; a "covered product" is one from a small batch manufacturer that had fewer than 10,000 units produced in the previous year.

(HT: Purple Pawn)
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