Top Tips for Taunting
Jason Clague
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Hamilton
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BGG Secret Santa is upon us again! Over 1700 geeks joined up to this fantastic event. I see many comments from newcomers who are excited but unsure about the whole 'taunting' aspect, as I was last year.

Tommynomad gave us a great list last year, (Tips to Make Yourself the Best Secret Santa) - a fantastic resource about the whole SS process that you should definitely read if you haven't already. Actually, scratch that, go and read it again now even if you had read it before. I'll wait.

whistle

I wanted to do my own list, specifically on the taunting part. So, without further ado - I submit to you my Top Tips for Terrorizing Taunting!. I've put the first ten in, feel free to add any sage advice you have for your fellow geeks too. But please keep the following in mind:

IMPORTANT: Taunting is NOT an official part of the BGG Secret Santa program. It is NOT compulsory, NOR is it expected. It is a bit of fun for those who want to participate in it. Anyone who complains about a lack of taunting and/or response from their target is lucky they didn't get a pile of coal. Maybe they will next year, Santa is always watching! ninja
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1. Board Game: Investigators [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
Jason Clague
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Do Your Homework.

Harness the wonderful power of the internet to truly get to know your target. Start with their ratings. Find out what games they like, and want they don't. Drop some hints that you have found a hard-to-get copy of a game they hate. Suggest you might be looking at games not on their wishlist. Have they heard of Candy Land?
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2. Board Game: Stalk-1 [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked]
Jason Clague
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Stalk Like You Mean It.

Don't stop at simply looking at ratings though. Study their contributions to BGG. All of them. Find some off-the-cuff comment they made in February and make a comment about it in your email. Make them feel like they've been watched all year! goo
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3. Board Game: Extreme! [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Jason Clague
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Go Extreme.

This is where you really put the power of the internet to good use. Subscribe to the user by clicking the down-arrow in their avatar block and clicking 'Subscribe'. You will be notified the minute they post ANYTHING. Now tell me that isn't creepy. zombie
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4. Board Game: Mailbox: A Treasure Hunt Party Game [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
Jason Clague
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Use the Santa Account.

Now you know what your target had for breakfst this morning, sign in to the Santa account to get things started. The username is santa and the password is password.

Secret Santa
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Ho ho ho, Jolly Santa here from the Great White North wishing you a Merry Christmas
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Probably the most important message in this list: before you send ANYTHING - check, check and check again that you are actually signed in as Santa and not yourself. I highly reccommend against any dual-window-open-in-your-browser shenanigans. Many a perfectly planned taunt has come undone at this final stage by sending a beautifully crafted geekmail from your own account. For that matter, watch out that you don't automatically type your own name at the bottom of the geekmail!
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5. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:307]
Jason Clague
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Get Inventive.

Pick a new persona to use in your emails. It doesn't have to be Santa - it could be the underpaid elf who hates his job, or the one who actually had to pull quite a few strings to be assigned you as a target - you know, the one who you probably should have a restraining order against...
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6. Board Game: The Big Idea [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:3376]
Jason Clague
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Still Stuck For Ideas?

Still stuck for ideas? Then use the internet for the other thing it was designed for - plagiarism!

Check out Santa's outbox - see what sort of messages other geeks are sending. There are a whole lot of really sick talented people on this website.

Warning - this may result in your losing track of whole periods of time as you sit there giggling away at other Santa's correspondence. You have been warned.
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7. Board Game: Respond! [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
 
Jason Clague
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Get a Response.

One of the problems people sometimes have is a lack of response from their target (see my note in the header about not complaining, however).

One thing you can do though, is to gently prompt for a response. Start small - if you've done a good job of taunting so far they may well be mildly terrified. Don't start by asking them to produce a 400-thumb geeklist. Ask them to fill out the wishlist comments column for their games if they haven't already. Ask them a simple question like 'would you rather have something off your wishlist or Candy Land?'. Ease them into it.

Santa gets hundreds of geekmails. Unless you want to wade through all of that, suggest to your victim target that they don't reply to the geekmail at all, and instead the write their reply on their profile page.
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8. Board Game: Guess Who? [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:17568]
Jason Clague
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Drop Some Hints.

This is optional. Some people like to be found out by their target, they like to make a game out of getting them to guess who they are. You can make some great geekbuddy friends this way. If you are keen, then go for it! Drop some obtuse hints about who you are and where you are from. Keep them guessing!
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9. Board Game: Top Secret [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:12772]
Jason Clague
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Or Stay Secret.

For some people, staying secret is all part of the fun. If you want to remain anonymous - here's a tip to stay that way. If you need to include sender's details on your package - don't use your details! Use your neighbour's name and address. Use your significant other's name (if they're not on BGG). Use your cat's name. There are plenty of ways to make sure the secret isn't spoiled when the package arrives.
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10. Board Game: Happy Days [Average Rating:4.55 Overall Rank:16722]
Jason Clague
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Have Fun.

Most importantly - have fun. Just like with the gift part of Secret Santa itself - the focus should be on the giving, not the receiving. Don't expect anything in return, and you won't be disappointed. Have fun by injecting a little chaos into someoone else's life. Have fun chuckling at your own cleverness as you send the email. Have fun laughing maniacally.

Just have fun!
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11. Board Game: Online: Internet Card Game [Average Rating:4.87 Overall Rank:16785]
Dave VanderArk
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Coopersville
Michigan
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Don't forget to expand your stalking beyond BGG. Do a little digging about your target's online presence. Last year I tracked down my target on Facebook, discovered projects done in grad school, and learned about volunteer activity in the community. This gave me inspiration for personalized gifts to include along with the game.
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