To those who didnt make it. We hardly knew ye.
SeeKay
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The recent thread reflecting on early iterations of the 'geek got me to reflect on the early* days of the hobby** and some of the early contributors that are no longer around***. Here is my geeklist tribute. These folks provided me with enjoyment and helped me to find the joy of boardgaming again. I know I left alot out so please feel free to add on.



* early- meaning early for me, which is circa late 90s
** by hobby i mean specifically the resurgence of games, eurogames, and the internet/boardgames complex.
*** or may still be around in a shadow of their former selves
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1. Board Game Publisher: The Avalon Hill Game Co
SeeKay
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I grew up playing avalon hill games. I had a standard HS-college boardgame hiatus. The game that got me back to playing games again in 1997 was, of course, Magic the Gathering. Instead of getting TOO hooked, I started to look for the games I played growing up, specifically Squad Leader and Civilization. Unfortunately for me I was right in time to witness the implosion of the Avalon Hill Game Company in the summer of 1998. Initially after they were acquired by Hasbro it didnt seem bad. I had picked up beautiful reissues of acquire, history of the world and diplomacy as well as some great new games like Battle Cry and Queen's Gambit. Things looked cautiously fine to me until the beginning of the end when the division was handed over to WOTC to conduct the funeral. Now its pretty much all axis and allies all the time.
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2. Board Game: Seriously Silly [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Back in the day, there were pretty much three internet stores that I can recall.
1) Boulder Games - great prices but they had a funky mechanism whereby it was a pain to use credit cards until Jim got to know you
2) Funagain Games- great site, great reviews, always a touch more expensive than the others. Seemed to have every game I could ever think of in stock back then.
These two are thankfully still around and, from what I can tell, still doing well. Unfortunately for me, my favorite store was
3) Seriously Fun Games- they closed in 2001 (?)

Special mention to Gamefest. I never ordered from them but I know they hosted some great content, including Gamewire and early episodes of Dice Tower.
 
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3. Board Game: Board Talk [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Before board games with Scott, before Geek speak there was: The Board Room. This was an internet television show out of Pittsburg that ran several episodes. It starred Bob Schwartz, a game shop owner, and Drew Kail, his henchman?, and every episode they would introduce and review a different game. I'm wracking my brain here but i think some of the games they did were Carolus Magnus, Plunder, Tigris and Euphrates, The Lord of the Rings, Mancala, Modern Art, Manhatten, Crokinole, and at least a few others. Can anyone remember any more?

At the time this show was really huge for me personally. I lived in an area without much of a FLGS so seeing these things live and "in person" was really informative.
 
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4. Board Game: Critical Acclaim: The Acting Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Before a sweet little site called boardgamegeek.com was more or less omnipotent and the existence of prolific reviewer/celebrities like Tom Vasel it was actually difficult trying to find reviews for games that you might be interested in. One decent source was at funagaingames.com. beyond that there were some great blogs that I remember visiting time and again for reviews. alot of them are still around (eg. westbank gamers, etc.) but this is a tribute to Gamenight, Steffan O Sullivan's reviews, and Matthew Baldwin's pre-yeti blog ( i cant remember the name of it).
 
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5. Board Game: Cabinet Minister [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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The Games Cabinet. Before BGG this was the place to get translations as well as hordes of game resources and articles. It pretty much went kaput in 2000 and the content more or less got rolled into this site.
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6. Board Game: Outrageous Journalists [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The Games Journal. I already spoke of some web published gaming resources above. To me this one was the best. Great articles and great reviews. I don't remember who all was involved but my impression was that it was 98% Greg Aleknevicus (sp?).
 
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7. Board Game: Networking [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
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rec.games.board. I remember my first internet account was a vax node which you could use to connect to Usenet ( and MUDs but thats another story). Epic flame wars aside it was a great early community, especially to connect with other geeks. I know its technically still there but its just not quite the same. I pretty much lurked and never posted much and dont have much to comment on the Spielfriek/Niggly Bits controversy.
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8. Board Game: Speakeasy [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
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Geekspeak. The original boardgaming podcast. In my opinion still the best. I didnt download it for weeks thinking "who the hell would want to listen to two people talk about boardgames for an hour(or 2)?" After downloading it i realized that I would. It was like hanging out with these guys shooting the bull about stuff we have in common. Sure it caught criticism for the "free flowing" format but thats what I liked about it.
 
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