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Subject: The history of german-style games? rss

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Simon Andersen
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Valby
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Hi there

I'm doing a masters degree thesis on the german games genre. Literature on board games is scarce, but some work has been done on the classics (Chess, Go, Bacgammon etc., The Oxford History of Board Games for example). The last twenty to thirty years only seems to be covered by fragmented interviews and amature writings though (which can be of good quality and research), and primarely on the internet.

If anybody knows about articles, literature or sites that treat the evolution of the german-style games genre or more generally the history of themed board games, I would be very grateful to hear about it.

Equally interesting to me is data on how the genre has been selling over the years, who's been playing the games etc. Allthough the thesis has Denmark as its demographic focal point, the spread of german games in other countries could bring along some interesting perspectives.

Cheers

Simon Andersen, student at the University of Copenhagen.
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Norman Petry
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This interview with Moritz Eggert on Rick Heli's website may give you some useful insights:

http://www.spotlightongames.com/interview/eggert.html

A very interesting read, anyway!


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Ray
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The Games Journal has several good articles also:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/Archives.php?Sort=1

 
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W. Eric Martin
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I second the recommendation of The Games Journal, an excellent site with many fine historical articles. Bob Scherer-Hoock's article "Evolution of German Games" (http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GermanHistory2.shtml) will probably be perfect for you, and you'll find other gems by searching the archives.

Eric
Editor, http://www.BoardgameNews.com
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Niels B.
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Hi Simon,

maybe you could also ask in the forum of the www.spielbox.de, there you are likely to find many experts on the subject. Normally it shouldn't be a problem to write in English.

Another thing worth trying (speaking German could be helpful though), is the German Games Archive in Marburg, as they have a very academic and scientific approach to board games and a library with literature on the topic: www.deutsches-spiele-archiv.de

Best of luck!
 
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Simon Andersen
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Thanks a lot for the links guys, looks really promising.

If my thesis proves to be of any interest to the community, I will of course make it available somewhere on the net. How ever, it's more of a mapping of a new territory and an attempt to locate a few general agents or means by which these games create the unique, social experience that usually arise, rather than an addition of something truly new to the field (but mapping is what's needed to begin with - in Denmark anyway).

Cheers

 
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Mike Siggins
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Koldfoot wrote:
I think the main issue is that "German style games" have not been thought of as a distinct genre until about 1995. Of course you can trace roots beyond 1995.

Well I for one was thinking of them, and writing about them, as a distinct genre for at least seven years before that. But you are quite correct, there is little academic research or papers. It will be good to see something written.

 
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Uisge Beatha
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Mike is too modest to provide a link but his writing in Sumo, and in Games International before that,
was the way that I and many others were introduced to 'German Games'. While the later issues of Sumo
are, sadly, not on the web the early ones are and will give you some idea of pre-settlers interest in the
english speaking world - perhaps appropriately for your purposes the last web issue has what still stands
up as a perceptive and clear sighted review of Settlers http://www.gamecabinet.com/sumo/Sumo.html

There should also be some good material for you in Tom Vassel's series of 'Interviews by an Optimist' -
including the likes of Wolgang Kramer, who's been around since the start of the 'German Games' phenomenon
- http://www.thedicetower.com/thedicetower/index.php?page=inte...

As for Denmark, the person I would ask is Mik Svellov http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Great+Dane
his Brett & Board website led the field before BGG was ever thought of.

Good luck.
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