Enter The Night Gallery...Exit With $Geek Gold$ (Featuring--Avatar Jeopardy!)
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Keeping to my pledge of "putting my Geek Gold where my mouth is", I submit my second full-blown contest list. The Night Gallery contest takes place in the game section of the list. Avatar Jeopardy takes place in the "list comments" section at the bottom. Both contests will be open for one week and will end at midnight CST on the night of Wednesday 7/21/04. And now, without further adieu, let's pull back the curtain and enter...

-The Night Gallery-http://www.nightgallery.net/index.html?pagemenu.html&1
Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of photographs, displayed here for (hopefully) the last time. Each is a collector's item in its own way - not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on film, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare...

So you submitted a photo to BGG and it was rejected. Why? Well, maybe it was out of focus, maybe it was too similar to a photo already accepted, and maybe, just maybe, it sucked. There are over 20k photos in the BGG database--an incredible amount of work. While the administrators do an excellent job of separating the wheat from the chaff, when you consider the sheer volume of raw data, it's hardly surprising that a few dogs escaped from the kennel and onto your monitor.

For this contest you must dive into the Photo Gallery, find the worst picture currently wasting BGG band width, and post it below. Why you think the picture is bad is up to you. Maybe it has terrible technical glitches, maybe it's out of context or very boring, maybe it's pointless or there's something stupid in the background that escaped the photographer's notice, or maybe, just maybe, it really sucks.

Once you've posted the picture, give the shot a "title" and describe why you think it's the worst. This could be a technical dissection of bad photography, a cartoonish caption, a sad or embarrassing story the photo reminds you of--whatever. I've done the first addition as an example. A photo may only be submitted once. Duplicates will be deleted. I would prefer that you add the corresponding game, but if you think a different game title will enhance your entry, feel free to add it. Hopefully none of my photos will be entered, but if they are, I wont hold it against you.

Prizes: 1st place-8gg, 2nd-5gg, 3rd-3gg, 4th-2gg

As I said, entries will be allowed till midnight 7/21 so feel free to dwell on the pictures at your leisure and in your own good fashion. But kindly don't touch, because here (as our first offering shows) they frequently touch back, and should I have failed to mention it, this is the Night Gallery...
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
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THE HAND OF VECNA

Submitted for your approval, one lich-like appendage. Click on this picture and take a good look at that hand. [Warning! May cause nausea!] I first saw this photo on robartin's infamous geeklist "Hands" (a list that will probably never die as long as skelebone still has a booger joke left to tell.) My hand has appeared in a few of my photos, and while I certainly don't have a future as a hand model, looking at it doesn't make my fellow geeks want to spew their cookies onto their keyboards. My god! Gangrene has set in! Rather than posing for a photo, this leper should be rushed to the hospital! Uhg! It haunts my dreams (and meals.)
 
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2. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:580]
Board Game: Coloretto
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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A DISARMING SMILE

Submitted for your approval. Eggo, I apologize for this, but. . .

This photograph is unsettling to say the least. I half-expect to turn up on "Cold Case Files," about a serial killer who chooses his victims and methods according to the fickle whims of the Tarot. Dismemberment is his fetish, as evidenced by the disembodied arm laid lovingly across the opposite side of the table. Our butcher is pleased by his handiwork (so to speak), and poses with the tools of his trade, a sinister leer adorning his face. . .
 
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3. Board Game: Don't Let the Leaves Fall [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Don't Let the Leaves Fall
ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
Melbourne
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Critic: What is the subject of this photograph?
Photgrapher: It's there, in the middle
Critic: What the floorboard?
Photgrapher: No, above the floorboards
Critic: Oh, you mean the glary out of focus section?
Photgrapher: No, no, not the corner, the middle
Critic: The person, well one presumes it is a person, sitting praying? The one, no one of the ones with no head that is.
Photgrapher: No, it is what he is looking at!
Critic: He?
Photgrapher: It is. But it is what he is looking at.
Critic: It is definitely a she on the left, but back to the reputed "he". "he" is presumably looking at the blue thing in the middle that has almost dropped out of frame. Although it is difficult to tell what "he" is looking at, since "his" head does not actually appear does it?
Photgrapher: No, but that's not important. All four of them are looking at it!
Critic: Four? There are only three - and two of them are headless so could be looking anywhere. Unless of course one is referring to the four orange fish that are look every which way.
Photgrapher: Fish? There aren't any fish!
Critic: Of course there are. Four orange, one yellow, five green ones and three purple ones. The orange and yellows ones actually work quite well but the placement of the green ones is deplorable.
Photgrapher: There aren't any fish!
Critic: This from the one who claims it is a "he" at the top.
Photgrapher: They're leaves.
Critic: You mean they left after the photograph was taken?
Photgrapher: No. The fish...
Critic: AH HA!
Photgrapher: No, no, no. The fish are leaves.
Critic: Why would there be leaves around a piece of coral?
Photgrapher: There wouldn't be.
Critic: Precisely. There would be fish around coral - badly positioned or not.
Photgrapher: It's not coral. It's a tree.
Critic: A tree? Has one ever been SCUBA diving?
Photgrapher: No.
Critic: Well perhaps one should, then one would recognise a piece of coral when one saw one. A fine specimen except for the base.
Photgrapher: It's not coral, it's a tree.
Critic: With fish? Don't be ludicrous.
Photgrapher: They're not fish. They are leaves from the tree.
Critic: Tree are not orange. Leaves may be on occasion, as can fish, trees however are not. Coral, as any self-respecting diver could tell you, can be orange.
Photgrapher: It's not coral...

unfortunately the rest of the transcipt is lost.
 
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4. Board Game: Doubles Wild [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:15011]
Board Game: Doubles Wild
ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Microbadge: 2F-Spiele fanMicrobadge: Bloom County fanMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Boîte à jeux fan (boiteajeux.net)Microbadge: Box Fart
Picture a golf ball.
Picture a golf ball at night.
Picture a golf ball at night on a really bad table cloth.

Question: I wonder if the flash will be good enough?
Answer: No.
 
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5. Board Game: Pass the Bomb [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:6421]
Board Game: Pass the Bomb
Ben .
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Surrey
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A picture speaks a thousand words.
These 16 I could probably sum up in one.
 
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6. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:722] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Board Game: ZÈRTZ
chaddyboy_2000
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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Hello.
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Where's the game? I can see the marbles, but not the game!

Apparently Zertz is a young girl who is enjoys snacking on large marbles.
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7. Board Game: Cube Checkers [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:18424]
Board Game: Cube Checkers
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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I have a very cheap and bad quality digital camera. This is one of the few pictures that were actually accepted and then not removed later because a better picture came along.

Zoom in to the hole of light boring into the center of the picture and dispersing blurriness everywhere.
 
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8. Board Game: Battlemist [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:9775]
Board Game: Battlemist
M C
United States
Mount Dora
Florida
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Not only can you not tell where the game begins or ends with this herendous table cloth, it is probably the most famous 'bad' picture on Geek. If I remember correctly, there was an offer to sell the table cloth on e-bay. . . .
 
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9. Board Game: 7 de Table [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Board Game: 7 de Table
Bas van der Meer
Netherlands
Oegstgeest
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Clearly visible on this picture are "engraved boxwood counters". Or is it the famous "triangular leather bag" you are watching? No, no, no! Stupid, it is a Centaur pawn!

This picture doesn't elucidate the nature of this game any more than the weird text with the game entry: "complex rules" or "no rules at all"? - it doesn't make any sense.
 
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10. Board Game: 15 Love [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: 15 Love
Pierre-Luc Thiffault
Canada
St-Laurent
Québec
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Title: What are YOU looking at?

Fine print at the bottom of the picture: I know you want to get spank with my paddle.
 
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11. Board Game: Bausack [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1257]
Board Game: Bausack
Kane Klenko
United States
Mount Horeb
Wisconsin
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BEEF LOVER COLLAPSES

At least that's all I get out of this picture. Is he even playing a game? It just looks like a guy in a dimly lit room who passed out and is falling out of his chair. Maybe he ate too much beef. Maybe his beanie is too tight. Who knows, but I'm not sure this constitutes a game picture.
 
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12. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:32]
Board Game: Puerto Rico

Greer
South Carolina
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This isn't the only picture of its kind, but I think it's the most well-known. The photo would be fine if there weren't people in it, but with their positions giving you a point of reference, it throws the whole picture out of whack. To me, it makes me think I've had too many margaritas, and I'm watching the game from the floor....
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13. Board Game: Nuts! [Average Rating:5.28 Unranked]
Board Game: Nuts!
Ben Vögel
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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Chess player since 1971. Wargamer nearly as long. Eurogamer since 1997. I've come to prefer a balance of favorites to churning new games. Weary of long multiplayer wargames, but 2 player I'll go all night.
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Nuts!, can't get this picture in focus, maybe if I lean further over the box ... nope, that puts my shadow right over the box and it's still not in focus ... shucks! , - I'll just take the photo anyway - it's not like the three other geeks owning this game will be fighting with me over photo submissions for this game.
 
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14. Board Game: Trillõn [Average Rating:4.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Trillõn
June King
United States
Unspecified
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Bring me her heart in this box.
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Yep, it's too dark to really do the game justice, but I'm new with the digital camera. Every time I used the flash, it reflected off the shiny shiny cubes. So it was either too dark or a vague shape with a big flashy thing in the middle.
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15. Board Game: Ben Hurt [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:15328]
Board Game: Ben Hurt

Greer
South Carolina
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It looks like this picture was taken through the wrong end of a telescope from the thumbnail. Even when you click on the photo to get the full-size image, it's hard to read the information on the game envelope. It may be in focus, but it's not zoomed in enough to be able to make out any of the details.
 
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16. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:409]
Board Game: PitchCar

Greer
South Carolina
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This is more a funny story than a bad picture, but I always like seeing photos of games that suggest they may have been staged. There are layouts of certain games that, upon close examination, prove to be impossible based on the rules of the game, but this picture has always stood out to me because it looks like this guy has his hand in his pocket.

"Hey, Fred, stand near the game for me."

"Like this?"

"No, quit smiling like that. Look like you're playing it."

"What do I need to do?"

"Lean over the game like you're going to flick your car."

"Like this, then."

"No, you're facing the wrong way. Turn around so you're facing the camera."

"Dang! Ok, like this?"

"That's pretty good, but look at the game and quit smiling at the camera. Act natural!"

"You DO know that's an oxymoron, right?"

"Geez, just shut up and look like you're playing the game."

*click*
 
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17. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1094]
Board Game: Poker
United States
Mississippi
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EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY

I really feel sorry for the pug on this one. He had so much going for him; drew a suited Ace-King combination in spades, with two more spades coming up on the flop. He bet high, and rightly so, but his opponent had a better hand on the initial flop, with two pair. The pug, with such a good chance of a flush, must have pushed the bet higher and higher in a last ditch effort to get back into the game. But the cards were not kind to him; he got two pair, Ace and King, but the last card turned over sank all chances he had to win the hand.

Oh yeah; and who the heck serves Jack Daniels to a pug anyway? That's just cruel...
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18. Board Game: Zombie Plague [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:5071]
Board Game: Zombie Plague
Devi "Day" Hughes
United States
Irvine
California
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Similar to the Puerto Rico image above, this one is a worse offender.

Seriously, this image gives me Vertigo. It's as if the photographer suddenly suffered from Narcolepsy, fell forward, and instictively squeezed the shutter all the way down. And then felt the need to post a photo, lest an entire roll of film go to waste.

Ahhh! I HAVE to stop looking at this... It's making me dizzy.
 
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19. Board Game: SPQR [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:3086]
Board Game: SPQR
Dude - either your game or your lens is victim of waxy yellow buildup!
 
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20. Board Game: Zombies!!! 3: Mall Walkers [Average Rating:6.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.11 Unranked]
Board Game: Zombies!!! 3:  Mall Walkers
Gary Zipfel
United States
Grayslake
Illinois
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It was a foggy night at the zombies!!! 3 game. Hey wait a minute. That's just a regular zombies map. What gives? Where's the Mall? Out of focus, bad angle, bad lighting... pure bollux. And I think I got first picture for Zombies!!! 3 with it.
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21. Board Game: Nautilus [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:3305]
Board Game: Nautilus
Thomas Donnelly
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Nautilus: Mentally ill? Mentally challenged? Nautilus is the game with a variant for you! Recent recipient of electroconvulsive therapy? Again, not a problem! Just look at this happy gentleman here.

(Note: drool cups are in the expansion only)

True story: Friend of mine with only somewhat questionable taste in games wanted our game group to try Nautilus. A few of us looked it up here at the geek...and promptly banned the game based solely on this image assaulting us on the main game page.

We gamers are not the sexiest people on the planet, granted, but this is just too much.
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22. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2092]
Board Game: Twixt
Brian Bersak
United States
Hillsborough
New Jersey
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In a word, ouch! Perhaps the picture taker should have removed the plastic wrap on the new camera before snapping a picture. Additionally once you get past the focus,(which I can't) you'll notice that this doesn't show at all what to expect in the game itself. Bad Bad Bad!
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23. Board Game: Breakthru [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:11115]
Board Game: Breakthru
Not that I need the GG, but this is so much fun...

This has to be the worst reflected flash anywhere. To get the full effect, you should click on the picture to bring it to full size. I squint just looking at it...
 
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24. Board Game: Gorilla [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Gorilla
A nice out-of-focus one. I also like how this picture gives a real sense of the tension and excitement that only this game can bring. Look at 'em go! Woo!

(Actually, it sounds like a kind of cool game. Kremlin meets Diplomacy?)
 
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25. Board Game: Astro Blitz [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Astro Blitz
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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IT'S FULL OF STARS

(Similar to the Zombie Plague gaffe above.)

Astro-Blitz has a double-sided board, and I just tossed it down and snapped the pictures. Once I loaded the pictures onto the computer, I decided they needed to be rotated so the game name was right side up, thus causing the screwed up perspective. Hardly the worst, but perhaps enough to make you dodge the "falling" mapboard when you pull up the full size picture.
 
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