Bulwer-Lytton's $GeekGold$
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Board Game: The Game of Shakespeare
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Board Game: Ghost Writer Mystery Game
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In honor of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest I present another full-blown contest list. Bulwer-Lytton's $GeekGold$ takes place in the games section of the. BGG Jeopardy takes place in the list comments section at the bottom. There will also be a daily mini-contest so check back in when you can. Fawkes, Sky Knight X, and Octavian have kindly agrees to act as judges. I usually also judge, but this time it would put me in a financial conflict of interest (see Friday mini-contest). For now though, put your inner monkey in front of the keyboard and try to win...

Bulwer-Lytton's GeekGold

Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton was a popular 19th century author and playwright who coined such phrases as “The pen is mightier than the sword,” “the great unwashed” and “pursuit of the almighty dollar.” Today, however, he is usually regarded as a byword for bad writing since his prose strikes many contemporary readers as anachronistic and overly embellished, though at least one of his works (The Last Days of Pompeii) is still regularly read. His name lives on, however, in San Jose State University's annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, inspired by his novel Paul Clifford, which opens with the famous words:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

To play this game you have to write the opening sentence to a terrible (imaginary) novel; a sentence that's so bad a reader would immediately close the book and throw it in the trash. Here is the actual winning sentence of the 2006 competition...

"Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean."

The "novel" can be any genre: sci-fi, detective, romance, you name it. Since we are gamers, our own little contest must have a game reference. Here is a 2006 runner-up example...

"Detective Otto Slugbert liked to compare himself to a legendary chess master, but his arch-enemy Bert Boswell often sneered that at best he resembled a merely average player of Mille Bornes or Tri-Ominoes."

The game title mentioned need not be in context. For example, starting a sentence with, "As I landed on the island of Puerto Rico..." would be acceptable. Post the game (or one of the games) mentioned below on the list and add your bad sentence to the description. The picture need not be the game referenced if you feel that something else will illustrate the action. (I've posted an example in the #1 slot.) Here are the rules...

1) An entry must consist of a single sentence. Sentences may be of any length (though you go beyond 50 or 60 words at your peril).

2) Only on entry per contestant (although the same game may be used by multiple contestants).

3) Resist the temptation to work with puns like "It was a stark and dormy night."


The trick is to go over-the-top into the realm of very bad, but not so far over that it's obvious that you're winking at the reader. Winners will receive...

1st: 15gg!, 2nd: 10gg!, 3rd: 7gg!, 4th: 5gg!, 5th: 3gg!

This contest will end at midnight BGG-Time (CST) on Friday, July 28th, when the judging will begin. Message me with any questions. If you need further inspiration, here is a link to the 2006 San Jose State winners: http://www.sjsu.edu/depts/english/2006.htm
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1. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:431] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Board Game: Abduction
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I had just sat down to a game of chess with my computer, wanting to try out my new video card, when the alien space ship, its sides gleaming like the stainless steel in the kitchen of a McDonalds restaurant, streaked across the sky, crashed into my yard and destroyed my wife's prize winning petunias.
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2. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.37 Overall Rank:21955]
Board Game: Monopoly
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Monday Mini Contest

Monopoly Impossible

Good morning Mr. Phelps. The Hasbro board of directors has just discovered the web site, BoardGameGeek, and see the potential to sell tens of thousands of their game Monopoly to this untapped market of gaming enthusiasts. Unfortunately our sources have confirmed that these connoisseurs have nothing but contempt for the old real estate trader. Your mission Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to write a really good ad (for this very bad game) that will have these Euro-snob grognards foaming at the mouth to purchase a copy. For example...

Monopoly - You know you're going to be stuck playing it with the in-laws so you might as well make the best of it and pick up a Lord of the Rings copy.

The members of your I.M. team that write the best ad copy will receive: 1st - 5gg!, 2nd - 3gg!, 3rd - 2gg!, Lottery (random winner) - 1gg!

As usual, if you or any member of your I.M. team should be captured or killed (or in this case become nauseous), the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This mission will self destruct at midnight tonight BGG-Time when the board will make its selections. Good luck Jim...
 
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3. Board Game: Capitol [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2142]
Board Game: Capitol
The rain fell mercilessly as I drove my ancient Studebaker down the slick streets of this dark and terrible city; the Capitol dome rose majestically in the distance, making me think again of...her.
 
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:191]
Board Game: Ra
Dustin Martin
United States
Delafield
Wisconsin
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As Graham worked at the base of the rising behemoth of stone cubes, the glinting shards of light rays broke over the horizon causing him to squint as he strove to perceive the measurement he was taking.
 
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5. Board Game: Enemy at the Gates [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:4262]
Board Game: Enemy at the Gates
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
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In the orange light of the sodium lamps, the big pores on Glenda's face made her look like a violent, trampy tangerine; a sour, acidic citrus, raised in the dry soil of Orange County, that, no doubt, was going to take care of the enemy at the gates of this community of McMansions, turning it into a tragic kingdom, indeed.
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6. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:323]
Board Game: San Juan
Rob
United States
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Flying over San Juan, Bridget was reminded of her husband Trevor – from the smoke belching from the sugar factories, the scarred and wrinkled hills of the silver mines, and the sulfurous gases escaping from the waste treatment facility.
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7. Board Game: Heatway Rally Game: New Zealand [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Heatway Rally Game: New Zealand
Red Moss
United States
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As the final wisps of warm, dry air washed over his face like a freshly belched punctuation to a fine meal of mustard-encrusted New Zealand lamb loin and the screeching metal choir sang the last notes of its Holy, Holy!'s and Hossanah!'s to the dimming welkin, nine year-old Jeffery finally realized the breadth and scope of his father's forty-five years of accumulated wisdom - at least inasmuch as it related to not launching fireworks at the end of an airport runway.
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8. Board Game: Burp [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:17768]
Board Game: Gravity Blocks
Brian Rowe
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Studrud desultorily stripped to his waist--a burp, blurp sound emitting from his throat--as the rocket screamed across the sky overhead in its half-broken, LifeSaver-sticky parabola.
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9. Board Game: Alfredo's Food Fight [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:15952]
Board Game: Alfredo's Food Fight
Mark Beyak
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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Camille, desperately wanting to avoid a food-fight, handed the ape-man her last ration in a quixotic attempt to stave off the inevitable reprisal she most certainly had coming, for the other six rations she foisted on the beast contained no less than 1500 grams of Olestra - the intestinal discomfort and anal seepage surely to follow would unquestionably anger this monster beyond reason.
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10. Board Game: Boggle [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2436]
Board Game: Boggle
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
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A pedagogue to the oligarchy, Wilhelm Riesen Schrect, who had long preferred his name pronounced with the unmelodious hard V sound, was dying in the palatial bed treasured nearly as dearly as his Guttenberg bible, was awestruck by the irascible irony that it would be he amongst all men who would be found dead in the morning with that single radiant Boggle cube lodged deep within his ample nasal cavity.
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11. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:21712]
Board Game: Busen Memo
When Randall stared up at the stage through his whiskey-inflamed eyes, he had little reason to think his life would be changed forever. But in the moment he saw Keeshka shaking her assets, he had the briefest flash of life at his mother's nipple, a "Busen Memo" as the Germans would say, and knew that at long last his family had found it's way back together...
 
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12. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
Laura Appelbaum
United States
Maryland
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Jan Yoder wrinkled his nose against the fetid odor that stormed against the storied walls of Carcassonne, chief town of four cantons in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, pressed between the Pyrennees and the Massif Central of France like the small African American boys are pressed, inexorably, against the enormous bosom of their mother in that commercial for Paramount King’s Dominion theme parks, an odor of neigh on two hundred fiercely sweating, desperate men; men driven by such exigencies that they urinated in their own clothes as they pounded their thighs up and down, up and down, driving the four hundred pedals on their composite carbon-fiber and aluminum machines onward, ever closer to the fortified city of the Cathars, much as the crusading army of Simon de Montford came likewise to assail the city in 1209, though of course the riders of the 2006 Tour de France were wearing closely-fitting garments woven of the most advanced combination of nylon, lycra and spandex, and as the city was assailed by that smell, and the excitement swept through the crowd, one man, Jan Yoder, thought of the farm he had left behind in Pennsylvania, and of the farms his ancestors had been forced to flee in Alsace, in Northern France following the Reformation, and he clutched his handmade sign more tightly, as if he feared the Gauls, the Frenchmen, the plébiscite de tous les jours around him would deny him the right to cheer on the man he had traveled so far to see, Floyd Landis, his countryman, a one-time Mennonite who had forsaken his religion in order to ride and to race and ultimately to humiliate the French riders, just as his former teammate, Lance Armstrong, had done seven times before; and Jan Yoder waited by the ramparts of Carcassonne, waited, waited, and just as the peloton came into view someone raised their giant green cardboard finger and struck out his eye.
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13. Board Game: Catan: Seafarers [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked]
Board Game: Catan: Seafarers
K. Bailey
United States
Sacramento
California
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Captain Candymar stood proudly on the swaying deck of his ship, while belowdecks his cargo shuffled about, stumbled noisily, emitted a 'bah' sound now and then -- for the Handsome Gretel carried a fat load of sheep in her belly -- and Candymar's face broke out in a salty grin as he considered how much wood his cargo would fetch in Port Teweferwun, which was only some three days of good sailing hence.
 
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14. Board Game: Reporter [Average Rating:4.06 Overall Rank:20906]
Board Game: Reporter
Jonathan Tang
Malaysia
KL
WP
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The wooden components of the game were like a sawmill's rejects whose sawdust would've been embarassing for a used-car salesman to line the fuel tank of a beat-up Yugo, the cardboard was too thin, like a wet Lays potato chip which had fallen from the safety of its shiny, foil home into a puddle of dull, black water screaming as it fell all the way down because it knew it was going to be part of a crappy game; and the colors, oh the colors... they were so garish they looked like Picasso had done a Chopin on the palette, picking colors a blind green elephant wouldn't have picked if it were dying and the elephant doctor said they only way you'll live is if you picked a horrifyingly shocking-tastical color.

- excerpt from a game review by S. Morgenstern (as told to Jonathan Tang)
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15. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:160] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Board Game: TATATA!
Shawn Low
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
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She was like a black lotus; rare, powerful, expensive but worth every single dollar and Garfield knew that with her, the deck would be stacked in his favour and he would win the admiration of people worldwide as well as millions of dollars more from people hungry to own a piece of her ... if she didn't manage to get her mind twisted again that is.
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16. Board Game: Magnetic Poetry The Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Magnetic Poetry The Game
Arcadian Del Sol
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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[Once][Upon]a mid-[day][Sunday]as [the][timepiece][ticked]to Monday
[Came][companion]s for a [fun] [day], [fun] [day] [fill]ed with games [galore]
'Caylus', said I [clutch]ing, [clinging]. 'Nah too hard,'reples [came][ring]ing.
'Too confusing,' [they] were [sing]ing as [the] [words] were burning, [sting]ing - [sting]ing like a canker [sore].
When to now from [kitchen] raiding, like a caravan [parading]
came the [carrion] [call] [persuading], persuading [all] to [freezer] [door?]
'What are all these [little] [tiles] affixed to yonder freezer [door]?'
Tis a [word] game, and [nothing] [more].

[Words] we forged, and [phrase]s p[last]ered. Quickly then the [game] we [master]ed.
Then at [once] a stupid bastard, [pull]ed a [tile] and fouly [swore].
'Damn!' he said with [pale] [project]ion, 'Damn again!!' with [intro]spection.
'Sir!' said I '...or [mad]am?' (since his [hair] was some[thing] of a 'dour). '
'[Tell] us [now] so we may r[ally]! Tell us so our [point]s can [tall]y! [Share] with us the [world] youve [chosen] that must [rhyme] for [bonus] [score]!?"

'tis [orange] - and nothing [more].

--
Try Magnetic Poetry The Game at your next party!
Now with 100% less [orange]!
 
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17. Board Game: Friday the 13th [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1994]
Board Game: Friday the 13th
Drew Holmes
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
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I felt the needle prick my skin and the poison burn through my veins as, in rapid succession, several thoughts washed over me (Had anyone seen me make change from the church collection plate last week? Was my donation to BGG really tax deductible?) but, while darkness finally consumed me, I was certain of only one thing: I had definitely left the iron plugged in.
 
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18. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:434] [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
Board Game: Catan
David Matchen
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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As Mathilda Dinwoodie watched her family's oil fortunes dwindle away at the rapacious hands of their archenemy, Sir Ogilvie Thripshaw, ruthless tycoon and chief suspect in the disappearance of the priceless Vanderwhoops Diamond last May, she reflected, "Well, that's the last time I trade crude for cheap."
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19. Board Game: Paris Paris [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4103]
Board Game: Paris Paris
Sandy
United States
Puyallup
Washington
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As she sat waiting in that smoky Parisian café, she was sure he wouldn’t show. She knew he had other work to do, things more important than a rendezvous with his lover. She loathed that about him. She both loathed and loved the mission he chose, his so called life-work. She could never compete and she chastised herself for even trying. His was a noble cause, which she had to remind herself of daily. She hoped someday they would have the time when his mission was done and they could finally be together. It was possible, she just had to keep reminding herself of that fateful day when Hasbro would finally be brought to their knees and the small gaming companies held captive would once again be free to produce games that gamers wanted. Then she realized he would never have the time for her because there would always be another mission. She could even imagine that next mission... would it be ridding the gaming world of licensed games? She realized she had to sacrifice her needs for the better of the gaming community.
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20. Board Game: Manhattan [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1225]
Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$
Graeme Jahns
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
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It was a cold night in Manhattan, but then these days they all were. I was just about to head home on the Metro from my second floor office overtop of Mamma Mia's Pizzaria when this Dame walked through my door. Tall, slender, and incredibly beautiful. She looked like an Amazon.

I realized then that I knew her. She was Doris Nestel, the jewel that was engaged to Frank Matthäus, the owner of Frank's Zoo.

"Attika? Attika Wallenstein the Private Investigator?" She asked.

"Yeah, you've found me." I replied.

"Oh, Mr. Wallenstein, you need to help me, Frank's in trouble!" she gasped.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Carolus Magnus has him!"

"The Railroad Tycoon? Your boyfriend sure keeps some Funny Friends. What does Carolus have him for?"

"Carolus runs a casino in Chinatown called 'Vegas Showdown'. Frank's been gambling there for weeks now, and I keep telling him to stop, but he says he can't. He Can't Stop! And now if someone doesn't come up with enough money to pay off his debts, Carolus says he going to make Frank sleep with the fish!"

"A Reef Encounter, eh? Hold on sec Doris. Let's go have a word with Carolus. Just let me get my cash... my Ca$h'n Gun$."
 
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21. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:98]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
It was a glorious day in the face of Apsu and Anshar as Nissaba led the people, his people whom he had sworn to lead and protect, down by the river, into the lands between Euphrate and Tigris.
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22. Board Game: United Nations: A Game of World Domination in Our Time [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:18603]
Board Game: United Nations: A Game of World Domination in Our Time
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
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Tuesday Mini Contest

GROGnation

You're brilliant at linguistics - college honors, world traveler. You speak over twenty languages fluently. And now you're ready for the ultimate challenge: U.N. Interpreter to Ambassador GROGnads from the nation of GROGdonia. To prove your skill in GROGese you must write and submit your own GROGnads quote and provide an interpretation. For example...
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BuT HAng a b0ther ... and wait FOR the chicken ruts--can't see 2 the hocKS ....... so Godzilla BEAT THAT!!! = MoreovER tOo the sIGn language, %% strangle dangwOmBaT?
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Interpretation: "Yes, I agree with the previous poster."


The best interpreters will receive: 1st - 5gg!, 2nd - 3gg!, 3rd - 2gg!, Lottery (random winner) - 1gg!

The U.N. will be accepting applications until midnight tonight when the supreme interpreter and his/her aids will be announced.
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