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Subject: Geek of the Week #65 - Gilad Yarnitzky (ycyclop) rss

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Douglas S
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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! it's time to introduce you to the new Geek of the Week :
Gilad Yarnitzky (ycyclop)



Gilad has played all genres of games during his lifetime as you will read in his biography below. He is very active in trying to make boardgaming more popular in his home country of Israel. He does this by teaching, importing and playing as many games as he can.

His profile : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/ycyclop

Gilad's biography in his own words :

Gilad wrote:
The first game that got my attention was Kriegspiel, when I was in the third grade. We were living in the states during my father's sabbatical, and my older brother's friend showed us this game. I really couldn’t understand everything but it looked so different from anything I had ever seen before. This game showed me that there are other types of games out there, and I returned to it two years later and really enjoyed it. From then on I played many AH games such as Diplomacy, Squad Leader, Civilization and more.

Seeing how much I enjoy playing and developing games, my friend and I opened a game company around 15 years ago. We were the first (and last) PBM here is Israel. We also developed several games and sold the rights for one of them to be a computer game while retaining the rights for it to be made into a boardgame. We did make a bit of money during that time, but not enough to keep the company running and so it was closed after two and half years.
Next came my Euro games period. I encountered games that did not need several hours of learning rules, nor several days to play a full game. I was hooked and started a small collection.

I have always thought boardgaming to be a great social activity (a funny remark from a shy guy), even playing long war games. However, it was very hard to expose other people to them. The Euro games changed all this. After having enough experience with them and owning many of them, I started a forum and a website that was aimed at exposing these games to the Israeli population. There were many wonderful websites and forums in English, but nothing in Hebrew at the time. (Now there are several). After a while I started some gaming nights and events at a FLGS and at any convention that had anything to do with games (RPG conventions, Fantasy conventions etc.)

During the last 3 years, I’ve being doing activities such as teaching and exposing more then 200 people to boardgaming, and I've probably taught the rules to several hundreds of games. Sometimes I get tired of doing this, but I strongly believe that people today are too isolated due to all the technology around them. One of the best ways of changing this is to continue with what I'm doing and investing my time (and money) in boardgames in order to show that there is a different way!


He also provided his two truths and one lie :

Gilad wrote:
Two truths and a lie
1: When I was in the army in officers training I was ordered not to drink in one of the exercises which cause me to dehydrate and was hospitalized.
2: When we had the game company, we joined forces with a graphical company that had connections there, and participated in a game design auction that Hasbero published among some of its affiliates (the graphical company was the affiliate), we reached the finals with one or two other games and then the managers there decided to shift direction and canceled the auction.
3: I love sport cars. Whenever I travel I try to rent one for a short period of time (there are places where you can rent sport cars by the hour, very nice cars!) had the chance to drive some very exotic cars this way.


Some questions for Gilad to get the thread started :

1. Do you think boardgames have an educational value?

2. Have you taught games to any children in a school environment?

3. Can you expound more on where/when you teach games?

4. How old (or young) are you?


Gilad, have a great time being GEEK OF THE WEEK!!
 
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James Fehr
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Hey there Gilad! Congratulations on being Geek of the Week!

A few questions for you:
1) How long have you been living in Israel? Have you done much traveling overseas?
2) I see you like woodworking. What kind of woodworking do you like to do? Is this your profession (what you do for work)?
3) How much did you enjoy the game design process as you were creating "Rooster Coop" and "Space junkyard"? Are you working on any other games right now?
4) Have you ever met Yehuda Berlinger in person (the other Geek of the Week from Israel)?
5) What do you think your chances are of ever finding a game you would rate a 10?

Enjoy your week in the spotlight Gilad!
 
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Needle
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Congrats Gilad-a gentleman and very knowledgable gamer.

How are your game nights going at the moment?
 
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Robert Wesley
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GRATZ! Gilad and my question is HAVE you managed to attend any particular "event" recently, then what was this and how did YOU enjoy yourself during that? Got any photos of this as well?
cool
 
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Sandy G.
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GILAD! What a wonderful choice for geek of the week! Questions are to follow.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Gilad -

Congrats on GOTW. I look forward to reading your responses to the various questions this week.

 
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Carcass One
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Congrats Gilad! Can I ask where you get your games from as Israel is a bit away from Europe and the US as well.
 
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Douglas S
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and Gilad's fashionably late also!
 
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Yehuda Berlinger
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Hi, Gilad.

When are you coming round, again?

Yehuda

P.S. Yes, I've met Gilad face to face on a number of occasions.
 
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Andreas Resch
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Hi Gilad ...

... Congratulations for being Geek of the Week. I hope you'll get some more attention for your projects in Israel now.

Take care ... Andreas.
 
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Gwen
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Hoi Gilad, congrats on being Geek of the Week !

I'm looking forward to give your space game a try with the kids.

Gwen
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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Thank you for every one for their warm congratulations on becoming GotW.
As Murphy predicted, my computer crashed and I was not able to answer so far. I had to install several things on an older computer so I can connect the internet and start answering.

So thanks again and answers will follow O-)
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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First of all thank you very much for picking me as GotW.

Duglis wrote:

1. Do you think boardgames have an educational value?

I’m sure board games have an educational value. This is one of the reasons I work hard on promoting the games and trying to introduce them to as many people as possible.
There are several aspects of educational values in gaming
1: The need for exercising your mind and not going numb as a couch potato. I think this is number one, especially with kids now days.
2: As a social game you can teach kids how to present an argument. Today (well, at least here in Israel) kids feel the need to shout in order to prove their point. In trading you have to convince your fellow gamer why they should exchange goods with you. How to present your idea and reasoning is a good educational value.
3: Many games have several mechanisms interlocking together. Teaching the kids the games, while letting them learn the strategies and mechanisms, makes them learn and how things work together.
4: Finding the hidden information: Unlike chess, most of the games do not have perfect information systems. Based on missing data, the players have to learn what the other player’s strategies are. This is much more similar to real life, then perfect information games.
I think these points are the major issues.

Duglis wrote:

2. Have you taught games to any children in a school environment?

I did teach a few sessions in a school environment. One case was of 16 kids at the age of ~14 were taught how to play “New England” and they really liked it. I also did a few shorter session where I didn’t really teach, but explained how these games are different then most of the known games, in order to create some curiosity.
Duglis wrote:

3. Can you expound more on where/when you teach games?

I mostly teach at three places
1: My home. In the past, we had a session every month or so where I posted in my forum about “open house” gaming night. We had an average of more then 10 people arrive, many are first timers or have very little experience in Euro gaming
2: Gaming nights at the game shop. Also once a month. Average attendance is ~15 people
3: Conventions. Mostly role play and fantasy. These events where sometimes a failure because of the poor organization. I don’t think I’ll attend another one of those unless something change

Duglis wrote:

4. How old (or young) are you?

I'm 38 yeasr young O-)
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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fehrmeister wrote:
Hey there Gilad! Congratulations on being Geek of the Week!

Thank you very much

fehrmeister wrote:
A few questions for you:
1) How long have you been living in Israel? Have you done much traveling overseas?

I am an Israeli, born here, but I lived a few years in the states, on sabbatical my dad had
We try to go on many vacations abroad as possible, so I did travel around the world a bit. Being to the USA several times (~10), Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Cyprus, Spain. I think that’s all the states I visited.

fehrmeister wrote:
2) I see you like woodworking. What kind of woodworking do you like to do? Is this your profession (what you do for work)?

I do like woodworking but I’m not working on it now. Sometimes have a period where I really enjoy working and sometimes not. Now I’m in the “not” period. I usually do small toys and intersia.
I’m a Mechanical Eng. by education, but in the last 15 years worked as a programmer. Lately I got really tired of it so I did my M.Sc in Medical Eng. Tried to start my own company but did not find the investors (long story) so now I’m taking a break and working from home again as a programmer, but part time job only

fehrmeister wrote:
3) How much did you enjoy the game design process as you were creating "Rooster Coop" and "Space junkyard"? Are you working on any other games right now?

Designing a game is a real treat for me. Trying to figure the mechanics of things, how to make everything work together, how to balance everything. If I could only make a living out of it…
I’m currently working on several games. Whenever I’m stuck in one game I’ll move to the next while thinking how to solve the problems. I think I finally solved my design problem of my latest game and I hope it will go into test play next month.

fehrmeister wrote:
4) Have you ever met Yehuda Berlinger in person (the other Geek of the Week from Israel)?

Yes, on several occasions. At his place and mine. Always had a good time when playing games with him.
fehrmeister wrote:
5) What do you think your chances are of ever finding a game you would rate a 10?

No! I don’t think I’ll every find a game that is a 10. a “10” is defined as “Always wanting to play the game and don’t think it will never change”. I did not encounter a game that I will always want to play. Even if there is a game I really like and play it several times in a row, I’ll prefer trying something else, then playing it for the 10th time. So there will always be a time where I will not want to play a specific game.
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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nnf1 wrote:
Congrats Gilad-a gentleman and very knowledgable gamer.

Thank you. I’m not knowledgeable as I wish I was, but I’m working on it

nnf1 wrote:
How are your game nights going at the moment?

Gaming nights at my place are great; I stopped posting a global invitation since I don’t really want to crowd the place. Last time ~10 people came when I sent an invitation to a part of my mailing list. It reached the stage where I sometimes simply invite 2-5 people only for a quite gaming night.
Gaming nights at the store is a different issue. Last time (4 days ago) only 7 people came! But one time we had 35 people. So you can never know.
 
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GROGnads wrote:
GRATZ!gilad and my question is HAVE you managed to attend any particular "event" recently, then what was this and how did YOU enjoy yourself during that? Got any photos of this as well?
cool


I did not attend any event in the last year. The only event that happened here that I did not help to organize (that include Euro games) was because I was on vacation. There is an upcoming event in 2 weeks, but I’ll be there teaching games as always, not playing at all.
Sometimes I do get tired from these and do not enjoy myself. And no photos at all
 
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puella wrote:
GILAD! What a wonderful choice for geek of the week! Questions are to follow.

Thanks Sandy, Can't wait for your questions O-)
 
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offwater wrote:
Congrats Gilad!

Thank you.
[q="offwater"]Can I ask where you get your games from as Israel is a There are several places where I get my games from
1: Simply order from online stores in the States and in Germany.
2: When traveling I try to buy 2-3 games. Last trip we returned with 5 games
3: Game shop and game importer here in Israel, which sometimes sell me at a small discount when I buy a large number of games to introduce in my gaming nights
4: Once I bought from eBay. Probably last time I’ll do it.
 
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Gonzaga wrote:
Congratulations for being Geek of the Week. I hope you'll get some more attention for your projects in Israel now.

Thank you and I do hope it will have some impact.
 
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gwen wrote:
Hoi Gilad, congrats on being Geek of the Week !

Thank you, fair Gwen O-)

gwen wrote:
I'm looking forward to give your space game a try with the kids.

I'm looking forward for the files to be approved so everyone can print and play my game, and enjoy it.
 
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Douglas S
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ycyclop wrote:
Thank you very much for picking me as GotW.


You're welcome. You deserve it! Thanks for the fascinating answers. I have a much better understanding for what you do now regarding education. I quite admire your dedication and passion about boardgaming. Have a great week!


-Douglas

 
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Yehuda Berlinger
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Gilad,

Your avatar?

Yehuda
 
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Nadine W
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Mazal Tov Gilad! Hope to see you again soon in Jerusalem
 
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Douglas S
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ycyclop wrote:

Unlike chess, most of the games do not have perfect information systems. Based on missing data, the players have to learn what the other player’s strategies are. This is much more similar to real life, then perfect information games.


This is a great observation. I had not thought about it, especially vis-a-vis education!

-Doug

 
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Elke M
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Congratulations! kiss
 
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