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Subject: Geek of the Week #63 - Gwen Dons (Gwen) rss

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Richard Pardoe
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All fun things come to an end and it is time I pass along the sceptor to the new Geek of the Week --> meeple Gwen Dons (Gwen) meeple

Gwen is another active participant in GeekChat. Gwen usually signs on in her morning, which would be late in the evening US West Coast time. I normally don't chat in during the day, but the few times I have popped in, Gwen was there, chatting with everyone there.

Her profile is: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/gwen

And her own introduction

Gwen wrote:
My husband , the 2 kids (8 & 9 years old) and I are living in a very small village in the Flemish part of Belgium, where we try to combine our jobs, the raising of the kids and the housekeeping to the best of our abilities.

But for the last 2 years gaming has never been an issue in our household. We only played kids games and I didn’t long for anything else to play. Till that unlucky day almost 2 years ago, when my husband saw an ad for ‘Ticket to Ride’ in the newspaper and thought that would make a nice X-mas gift for the kids.
‘Ticket to Ride’ was bought as X-mas gift that year, dad never liked it very much, but mom and the kids were sold right away. To make things even worse, the game box also contained an access code to play TtR online. So even when the kids were asleep mom was able to play and get her fix. This situation lasted for about a year. No other games but TtR were played, either face-to-face with the kids or online with other adults.

Then one day, about a year ago, one of the people who regularly played TtR online with me told me about the existence of BoardGameGeek.com. He told me I really should take a look there, because there are a lot more games in the world besides TtR. Thanks very much for this Brandon (BGG user bwalsh5669).

The day I registered at BGG, a new world has opened to me …

The only disadvantage of this whole thing is that dad never got infected by the gaming-virus. He seems to have a lifelong immunity for it. Each time I get home with a new game, the kids are eager to open the box and to start playing with it. Dad’s only reaction to this is ‘what do we need an other game for, we already have plenty of them’.

For the time being, the kids are my only gaming partners. This reflects rather well in our collection, as you won’t find ‘gamer games’ in it. The kids are getting old enough now to start playing real games, but they still have a limited attention span. They find it hard to stay seated for more than an hour, so I have to keep that in mind when I’m looking for new games. Other important issues are language independence (or availability in Dutch), as the kids are not yet able to read foreign languages, and being playable with 2-3 players in a decent way.


Gwen's first contribution to this thread is her two truths and one lie:

Gwen wrote:
• 2 weeks before graduation I got hit by a car, riding home on my bike
• 2 weeks before our marriage I totalled a company car
• 2 weeks after obtaining my driving license, I had the right flank of our car dented by missing the entrance to the garage.


So let's get the ball rolling....

(1) Digging into your profile, I see you have collected 378.33 from GeekMod. That is a lot of stuff viewed. When do you find the time to review it all?

(2) Having seen a wide, wide variety of images, session reports, reviews...what are your guidelines for acceptance/rejection? I know GeekMod is a group vote, but having your views on the overall quality of submissions would be interesting.

(3) Final GeekMod question. What does it take for you to reward more than 1 for a session report? More or less than 3 for a review?

(4) In your bio, you describe online TtR plays. I know we have played other games online also. What games have you played online? And which do you enjoy the most?

(5) Now that your eyes have opened to the world of games, will they play a role in your gift giving/receiving this holiday season?

(6) Have always wanted to ask...you greet people with Hoi in chat. What is the meaning behind that?

Should be a nice warmup for you. Enjoy your week.

Anyone else have questions for Gwen?

Regards,

Rich

 
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David Seddon
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Nice to see you on, Gwen. It's very much deserved. You might be the first GotW from the wonderful country of Belgium.

More questions later, but for now.

What are your favourite places in Belgium and why?

What have been the funniest moments in the word-association game so far?
 
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Tom Verdonck
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Hoi Gwen

Congratulations with becoming Geek of the Week !
I had a quick look at the list of people with a GotW microbadge and indeed you seem to be the first Belgian in this hall of fame.
Very cool and much deserved cool

Dikke proficiat !!!
 
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Gwen
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Thanks for your confidence Rich. I hope I won't disappoint you here.

RPardoe wrote:
(1) Digging into your profile, I see you have collected 378.33 from GeekMod. That is a lot of stuff viewed. When do you find the time to review it all?


I usually find the time to go over the images at lunch time.The reviews and session reports I read at lunch time or in the evening, when the kids are asleep.

Quote:
(2) Having seen a wide, wide variety of images, session reports, reviews...what are your guidelines for acceptance/rejection? I know GeekMod is a group vote, but having your views on the overall quality of submissions would be interesting.


I can't talk for the other "modders", but here is how I look at submissions :
- For images
(*) first of all they have to meet the BGG-directions ('size' seems to be one that is often overlooked);
(*) I always feel very sorry for games without any image, so I'm kind of lenient when an image is submitted for an image-less game (I don't mind a little blurriness or some glare in these cases);
(*) each game should be allowed to have at least one image of the game in play and of people playing that game, but I don't see why BGG should have 10 or more images of the same game, when the only difference is that other people are playing it;
(*) as for images with cats, dogs, babies, girls, ... holding games, I usually vote to decline them for being irrelevant.

-For reviews and session reports :
(*) I want to get feeling with a game when I read reviews, so I want to get a description of the box contence, the quality of the different items and an overview of the rules and, if any, their flaws;
(*) session reports should allow me to follow the game as it went along, I'm not interested in reading "X, Y and Z got together for a game, X ended up first and Z last, and we all had a great time".

Quote:
(3) Final GeekMod question. What does it take for you to reward more than 1 for a session report? More or less than 3 for a review?


For session reports I usually reward more than 1 if they both meet the criteria I've already mentionned and give me a good time reading them (that can be because they are written in some kind of story line or because the way they are written explains me more about the game in question).

For reviews, if they don't meet my personal criteria, I'll vote to decline them. Rewarding more or less than 3 has to do with the readableness of the review. If the review is built up logically and easy to follow along, I'll reward more than 3 . If I have to make too much efforts to find everything , I'll reward less than 3 .


Quote:
(4) In your bio, you describe online TtR plays. I know we have played other games online also. What games have you played online? And which do you enjoy the most?


The ones I can think of right now are Ticket to Ride (all the versions that are available online), Gang of Four, Blokus, Carcassonne, Ingenious, Trans America, War of 1812, Reef Encounter, Clans, 6 Nimmt,In the Shadow of the Emperor.

I like playing online a lot, because it is my only chance to play with other adults, but of those listed I think I like Reef Encounter the most. Ticket to Ride (with nearly 6000 online games) and Gang of Four (with a little over 2000) are the ones that get played most often.

Quote:
(5) Now that your eyes have opened to the world of games, will they play a role in your gift giving/receiving this holiday season?


They sure will play a role in giving. The kids will find a game under the X-mas tree. But I won't be getting any myself (we have enough of them already ...).

Quote:
(6) Have always wanted to ask...you greet people with Hoi in chat. What is the meaning behind that?


"Hoi" is very common in the Netherlands and some parts of Belgium, it's just our way of saying "hi". No special reason behind it, I just like using it because everybody else is using "hi".



Gwen
 
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Stephan Rasmussen
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Hi there Gwen
You are always nice and helpful when you are on the geek chat and does indeed deserve very much to be geek of the week (only on BGG is that meant as a positive).Here are my questions:

1) Have you lost all hope in bringing your husband into gaming or have you considered trying other kinds of games like wargames or things not as strictly eurogames as Ticket to Ride?

2) How come belgian fries are called french fries?

3) What is the best/worst part about Belgium?

4) Which Ticket to Ride version do you prefer and why?

5) What is the next game genre you consider for your kids?
 
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Ann De Haes
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Hi Gwen

Congratulations on becoming geek of the week! You really deserve it. I look forward to reading what you thing to be the best/worst part of Belgium.

I have only one question at this time:

1a. What is your favorite music while playing games.
1b. What is your favorite music station while playing games.

Nen dikke proficiat!
 
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Sandy G.
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GWEN! How nice to see you as Geek of the Week! Gwen is always very friendly in chat..and she plays a mean game of Reef Encounter!

I'll say that you totaling the company car is a lie.

Here are some questions:

1. What is your favorite game to play with your kids?
2. What is the last movie you saw?
3. What is the last book you read?

 
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Nello Cozzolino
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hi there ...
2 questions

is there any national (flemish-fiammingo-belgium) card game ?
if there is...--> do you play with a special deck or..????

kind regards
Nello
 
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Halloween Jack
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gwen wrote:
I like playing online a lot, because it is my only chance to play with other adults


Really ?

Never thought about visiting a gaming club once in a while ? There are plenty in Belgium.
 
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Gwen
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Hoi David,

Admiral Fisher wrote:
What are your favourite places in Belgium and why?


I'm someone who usually feels ill at ease in big crowds and busy places, so that has a big influence on what I can call my favourite places.

The coast is my number one favourite. I grew up in a little village just south of Ostend and the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves and the endlessness of the water are still attracting me. We rarely go during the summer (big crowds), but walking along the beach on a winter afternoon is one of the little things that can make me feel very happy.

Another favourite place of mine is the region between the city of Ypres (Ieper) and the border with France. When I was a kid I spent a lot of summervacations on a farm of relatives in a village called Dranouter. Going back there brings always back good memories.
That region is hilly and very thinly populated, which allows for very wide sights. So there too I can experience that feeling of endlessness I like so much.

And I want to name at least one city too, and that will be the city where I work, Mechelen. My liking of it has nothing to do with working there, but has everthing to do with the fact that Mechelen offers all the benefits of a big city, without being one. It is a nice little city that has been very important in our history a couple of centuries ago. Many of the buildings from that era have been renovated and are still in use and you hardly find blocks of flats in the centre. And very important, my FLGS is located there !


Quote:
What have been the funniest moments in the word-association game so far?


That game lets me laugh almost every day, but as I always try to answer the first thing that comes to my mind, a couple of months ago I HAD to answer "Knight Rider". Most of the others had the same idea, but were too embarrassed to answer that, so everybody was kind of waiting for someone else to eat that hot potatoe.

And another one I still remember dates from the time that BGG went down quite often. Someone had given "Time Bandits" (the movie), but Time Bandits is also a Dutch band with Alides Hidding as lead singer. So I gave his name as next word. Should not really come as a surprise that the next answer became "Aldie is hiding".

Gwen
 
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David Seddon
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Good answers. My family often holiday in Belgium. We've been 4 times in the last 6 years. 3 times to De Haan and once to Mol. De Haan is one of my fav places anywhere. It's really pretty and civilised. The area around Ypres is greatly interesting.

I honestly feel that Belgium has the most attractive towns and cities in Europe outside of Italy. I am not surprised that you mention Mechelen. 5 years ago, we wnet on a day's drive. We first visited Leuven, then Mechelen and lastly Liere. I loved the ambienece of Mechelen and it is a hidden gem of a place that (maybe thankfully) tourists don't bother with much. There were some beautiful roads and buildings, and I loved hearing the carillion bells. I know that Mechelen is the centre for carillions and we have one where I live in Loughborough - there are not that mnay in England. The master and student carillionaire go to study in Mechelen. Taking time with a good beer, whilst listening to the bells is one of the best things about Belgium.

I have many favourite places in Belgium, but the kids' favourite place is Plopsaland!
 
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When you evaluate images in Geekmod, do you browse through all of the existing images to look for images that are duplicates or too similar? Do you have any limit for the amount of existing images that makes you skip it instead?

P.S. I recommend trying Lost Cities and Verflixxt on Brettspielwelt if you haven't already.
 
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Ageeth Knol
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gwen wrote:
And very important, my FLGS is located there !


Ooooh, you must tell me where it is (please). I went to school in Mechelen and grew up close to Mechelen. Quite a travel to work there from Aalter!

I will become an auntie soon, and my sister still lives in Mechelen
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Tom,

LordT wrote:
you seem to be the first Belgian in this hall of fame.
Very cool and much deserved cool

Dikke proficiat !!!


Not really my own merit, but it looks like it is going to be fun.

Bedankt !

Gwen
 
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Andreas Resch
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Congratulations Gwen!

I hope you enjoy this week and I'm curious about the thing you have to tell.

Take care ... Andreas.
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Stephan !

Stradk wrote:
Hi there Gwen
You are always nice and helpful when you are on the geek chat and does indeed deserve very much to be geek of the week (only on BGG is that meant as a positive).


Thanks blush

Quote:
1) Have you lost all hope in bringing your husband into gaming or have you considered trying other kinds of games like wargames or things not as strictly eurogames as Ticket to Ride?


Well I did try several types of games on him. He seems to have a slight preference for abstract strategy games. Hive, Chess and Blokus are games he is willing to play every once in a while. I have some games from the Gipf project too, but I haven't tried them on him yet.

It might sound weird, but he also agrees to playing Monopoly with our daughter a couple of times a year.

Other then that, he really is not interested in games. We sometimes succeed in convincing him to join us in a game. But after a while he is getting so bored with it , that it takes away the fun for us too.

Quote:
2) How come belgian fries are called french fries?


The story goes that this is something going back to WWI. At that time a lot of soldiers from English speaking countries arrived here and got in contact with our fries. Due to the fact that at that time the language mainly used in the Belgian army was French, the people living in the region between Diksmuide and Ypres used to speak a lot of French too.

So the foreign soldiers started to talk about "French" fries and took that appellation back home with them after the war.


Quote:
3) What is the best/worst part about Belgium?


I do not want this to become a political discussion in any way, but what worries me the most here right now is that the extreme right party is still gaining in each election. The other parties don't really seem to have a solution to stop that. Belgian politics certainly do qualify for the "worst part" nomination.

The best part about Belgium is more difficult to answer. What I certainly do like here is that most of us are still able to choose for "work to live" instead of "live to work".

Quote:
4) Which Ticket to Ride version do you prefer and why?


The version I like worst is Europe. The use of the tunnels doesn't bother me very much, but I don't like the stations. I think they make it too easy for players who didn't secure their routes fast enough.

Playing online, I prefer the original USA map for 2 players. That map allows to play a really cutthroat style. Something I can't do playing on the board with the kids (the trains would become planes).

Playing with 3-5 players would be hard to choose between USA and Märklin. We don't own Märklin, but that's only because I don't want to buy two games that are very similar. If I yet had to buy a TtR game, it would be Märklin. If not for anything else, then most certainly for the look of the cards.


Quote:
5) What is the next game genre you consider for your kids?


My son is showing an increasing interest towards games with a war theme. So I'll have to see what can be done for that (I'd like to get Battlelore under the X-mas tree for him).

A thing I would like to get started on with them is auction games. Not sure if it will work already, but time will learn.

Gwen
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Ann

7ofAnn wrote:
Congratulations on becoming geek of the week! You really deserve it. I look forward to reading what you thing to be the best/worst part of Belgium.


Thanks! And you can read about the best/worst part in my previous answer.

Quote:
1a. What is your favorite music while playing games.
1b. What is your favorite music station while playing games.


For your first question, when playing online I often have a CD of Hooverphonic, Zita Swoon, U2 or Dire Straits playing. But depending on my mood, the music choice can vary a lot.

When playing with the kids, the radio is usually tuned on Studio Brussel.

Gwen
 
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Robert Wesley
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hoi Gwen GRATZ! on becoming the "Weekly-Geekly-Speakly-Freakly"-(and sorry about being so 'late' to the "party" here), while with you as a relatively 'New' "Geek", then what about this ALL appeals to YOU the most? Besides being able to "chat US up" during 'work', I mean? In fact, could you further explain just WHAT it "is", that YOU 'do' at your "place of business" as well? also, do you have any freshly brewed coffee handy? as I could use some just about now eh?
cool
 
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Ann De Haes
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MaGeeth wrote:
gwen wrote:
And very important, my FLGS is located there !


Ooooh, you must tell me where it is (please). I went to school in Mechelen and grew up close to Mechelen. Quite a travel to work there from Aalter!

I will become an auntie soon, and my sister still lives in Mechelen


Uhm, this was me, didn't notice I was not logged in...
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Sandy

puella wrote:
..and she plays a mean game of Reef Encounter! cry


Quote:
1. What is your favorite game to play with your kids?


I always let them pick what we will play. Shear Panic, Mr. Jack and Hey, that's my Fish are their favs for the time being. But that is likely to be due to the fact that these are the latest acquisitions.

They are very fond of playing Masons, The Downfall of Pompeii, Trans America and, of course, Ticket to Ride when we are with three. Thomas likes playing M44 and Hive a lot when it's just the two of us.

Quote:
2. What is the last movie you saw?


Well I haven't been watching TV (or video or DVD) for almost three years now. The last time we went to see a movie in the cinema was for our daughter's birthday. So she got to pick the movie, her choice was "Cars". We took some of her friends there too, and we all had a great time.


Quote:
3. What is the last book you read?


Right now I'm reading "Sehschlachten", a German crime story by Bernhard Jaumann (one of the finds during our summervacation).

When I'm finished with that one , I will start on "The lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold.

Gwen

 
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Gwen
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Hoi Nello

nello wrote:
is there any national (flemish-fiammingo-belgium) card game ?
if there is...--> do you play with a special deck or..????



I'm not sure if we have cardgames that are strictly Belgian. We do have a lot of popular cardgames that are played with a standard deck of cards, but I think that most of these also get played in the Netherlands or even in France. The ones that come to my mind right now are Manillen, Klaverjassen, Wiezen, Zwartepieten, ...

These games are very often played in pubs by elderly people on Sunday mornings.

Gwen
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Jack

gnomehome wrote:
gwen wrote:
I like playing online a lot, because it is my only chance to play with other adults


Really ?

Never thought about visiting a gaming club once in a while ? There are plenty in Belgium.


Yes, I know there are plenty of gaming clubs around here. Some of them are even not that far away for me. And my husband has told me it's fine with him if I join one, once the kids are more independent. So there is hoping for better times in 2 to 3 years !

Gwen
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Ageeth

MaGeeth wrote:
gwen wrote:
And very important, my FLGS is located there !


Ooooh, you must tell me where it is (please). I went to school in Mechelen and grew up close to Mechelen. Quite a travel to work there from Aalter!

I will become an auntie soon, and my sister still lives in Mechelen


My FLGS is (will I get a discount for this Luc ?)"De Spelfanaat" and you can find them in the Keizerstraat 14 in Mechelen.

About the travel to work, yes it is quite a distance. I leave home at 7am to start working at 8.45 am.

Have a lot of fun with your nephew or niece !

Gwen
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Burzum

Burzum wrote:
When you evaluate images in Geekmod, do you browse through all of the existing images to look for images that are duplicates or too similar? Do you have any limit for the amount of existing images that makes you skip it instead?


If I find any that are very similar or duplicates on the first couple of pages, I don't browse any further. But if necessary, I browse them all.

Skipping is something I only do when I have doubts about an image being submitted for the right game. In these cases I prefer to let other people, with a better knowledge of the game in question, decide.

Quote:
P.S. I recommend trying Lost Cities and Verflixxt on Brettspielwelt if you haven't already.


Thanks, I'll try to find some geeks that want to teach me those !

Gwen
 
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Hoi Andreas

Gonzaga wrote:
Congratulations Gwen!

I hope you enjoy this week and I'm curious about the thing you have to tell.

Take care ... Andreas.


Thanks very much ! I'm having a great time with this already.

See you tomorrow,

Gwen

 
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