What a long, strange trip it's been (my first year on BGG)
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What a year! It is often hard to express in words what has happened, but being a writer I shall try to relate as best as I can my year one on Board Game Geek.
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1. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
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In the years before joining BGG, this was my favorite game. What can I say? I am a sucker for an Ancient Egyptian theme. I played the heck out of this game, with over forty sessions within the span of a year. And I continued to play it, and still do so to this day. It is a great game.

Then, at some point in late 2005, I was shown a hardcopy of Joe Gola's infamous Session Report on this game (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/24697). This was the funniest, wittiest thing I had encountered in a long time. It intrigued me. The idea of Board Game Geek had entered my consciousness.

Also, at about this time I had gotten tired of role-playing. Instead I immersed myself within the womb-like coccoon of board games. It did help that most of the board-gamers I knew were also among the nicest people to be around -- June, Eileen, Matt & Joyce, Matt, Steven, Lori, Randi, Bill & Bill, Bernie & Karen, Madeline & Sharon, and others (you all know who you are).

So, one day, having had my inner Board Gamer awakened, I approached the threshold of BGG. I made a user name, taken from my love for all things Egyptian (and based on the idea of Diogenes of Sinope who wandered Athens with a lantern in the night as he searched for "an honest man"). It was only much later that I would realize what I had gotten myself into.
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2. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
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I learned to navigate the 'Geek fairly quickly. I discovered a new world of games that I had not been exposed to with the people I had normally gamed with. And I found many useful things, such as Files, Reviews, and Variants. I could now browse game rules and decide whether I wanted a game or not. Then it happened.

I began to covet. Games. I would read about this one or that, and I wanted to have them. Nay, I needed those games! Slowly my bank balance dropped, as the once moderately filled gaming shelves overflowed with board game goodness. These games opened up new vistas for me. I now own board games I never would have had it not been for BGG. Although I am poor in cash, I am rich in fun.
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3. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:26]
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Time. It is what I miss most since I have joined this site. I do not notice its passing as I visit the forums and read the GeekLists and research new games. Surely, there must be something subliminal that makes me stay here for hours on end? Or, just maybe, Aldie is Hastur's illbegotten spawn and possesses powers to control Men's minds? That could not be it. Could it?
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4. Board Game: BANG! Dodge City [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
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I had spent nearly a week on this site, but the amount of information here and the sheer size of this site overwhelmed me. There was so much that was useful and/or had provided me with joy, that I decided to make my first contribution here. A silly Session Report on the game of Bang! we had played earlier that day (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/201584). It was fun to create and to read, but had only accrued four thumbs.

I have since created six other Session Reports, including a favorite for the game, "Betrayal at House on the Hill".

It was with these few simple steps that I began to make my presence felt on Board Game Geek.
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5. Board Game: Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1278]
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To share my love for the games I enjoy I added a number of Articles and Files to the 'Geek. Some of which I hope you will find useful, despite my occassionally bombastic and heavy-handed style. Maybe they will inspire you to do something better. Remember, each contribution might trigger a spark in the mind of another gamer, and who can tell where that will lead?
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6. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1631]
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Real early on I made my way to the Chit-Chat Forum. This was the sea-change for my experience on this site. There I met some of the best, funniest, silliest, caring, and thoughtful people on this site. If I wanted to name which of them makes that asyllum run in wondrous, hysterical lunacy, the list would begin at 20 names (and I would still be worried that I left someone out). It is like I always say, "I came for the games, but I stayed because of Chit-Chat." So come and visit us. We give free bacon popsicles, and the straightjackets are optional.
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7. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:793]
 
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My first GeekList. (You never forget your first.) It was a tribute to the really long games, and seemed to strike a nerve with folks. It appeared that more than one of us had been at a game that seemed to go on forever and a day. And then some.

Since that day there have been 42 others, including this one. My favorite, and apparently others' too, occured when I discovered that most of us on BGG are, to one extent or another, board game snobs.

Now, none of these would have happened had I not been inspired by those that came before me. There were numerous lists that I read that made me think or put a smile on my face. My own lists are but a pittance and a means to try and pay back those GeekLists and their hard-working writers.
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8. Board Game: Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1338]
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I do not know how I did it, but I caught the attentions of a great guy who had spent a glorious seven day period luxuriating in the pinacle of all Geekhood -- yes, he was the Geek of the Week. Through just me being myself and trying to encourage others Tino had decided I was worthy to follow him. Now, my contributions had been minor to that point (I had been on the 'Geek for less than 6 months), but I accepted nonetheless.

What a week that was! Answering questions (apparently people were more aware of me than I had thought). Basking in the glow. Entering the private club rooms of the BGG. And then stressing out to pick a successor -- that was the hardest part, so if you gain this honor ask people fairly early on in your reign to take your place.

Since that week I have tried to increase my rate of contributions to BGG and prove myself worthy of the honor Tino bestowed upon me.

So, if you want to be GotW: be yourself, encourage others, and contribute. And even if you do not achieve that position, we will still appreciate all your contributions.
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9. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1076]
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Thumbs. I love them. I collect them. I enjoy getting and giving them. In my first six months I had hoped to have 5000, but missed that goal by one week's time. However, thanks to the great folks at Chit-Chat I did gain over 10,000 before my one year anniversary. Thanks guys.

How did I get this? Apparently my double entendres and flippant comments and interesting contributions seem to appeal to my fellow Geeks. And that is the highest compliment of all.
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10. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:757]
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It was largely through the 'Geek that my girlfriend and I were able to find a club of, mostly, fun and great people to regularly game with. Thanks to guys like Vaughn and Lori, now most of those funds we spend on board games do not feel misspent. The games hit the table! And we get to play between 6 and 24 hours a week. Woo-hoo!
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11. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
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What a long, strange trip it's been. I have met many interesting character here, a number of you in person and am looking forward to meeting more. New games have entered (and taken over) my life. I have lost many an hour of daylight and sleep needing to answer "just one more post" here. My money has all gone to games. But, you know what? I would not trade it for anything. Board Game Geek is the place to be on the Net and I will be spending many more sleepless nights here, doing my part to try and make it a better, sillier place. Phht! Fnord. Ia, ia, ftaghn.
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