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Subject: Geek of the Week #188 - "joebelanger" rss

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"GAME OVER, MAN. GAME OVER!"
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Hi all!
I enjoyed my week in the spotlight, but now it´s time to leave the hot seat for the next GOTW...
While I´m sure it´s the games that made us check out this "BGG" thing in the first place, the reasons why we come back and keep hanging out are many and varied...
For me, one of the most important reasons, is that this is actually a quite funny place... if you know where to look!
This week´s GOTW is one of the guys who contribute to the fun of it all...
But time for me to stop the talking, and get on with the doing, or as he himself might put it:

If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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Quote:
Kit Up

Now we weren’t poor, but we certainly weren’t rich. Therefore, our past-times were usually low-initial cost and high repeat value: games. I was fortunate to be born into a family of regular game players. By the time I was five, I had played all the American standards for kids. One of my earliest memories is when I was about five when my family went back East to Massachusetts for a Christmas reunion with my Dad’s family. One night, the kids were sent down stairs to the rumpus room to entertain ourselves, while the grown-ups played games. I went upstairs for some reason and ended up sitting in on their game. They were playing Clue. Clue was a milestone for me. Up until then, the games I had played were linear (Uncle Wiggily, Candyland, Mousetrap, Chutes and Ladders). In Clue, you could move wherever you wanted, and you had to use your head a bit to figure out the mystery. This was more than the games I was playing. The game, as it were, was afoot.


Initial Intelligence

From then on I was playing games with more and more interesting choices to be made and certainly more interesting themes. My mother is a mystery junkie, so we played just about every mystery game we could find. The best among them was Orient Express. What a fun game and the theme is so spot-on to the game play. My family also played a lot of word and trivia games.

In the mid-80s, I was a regular babysitter for the A--- family. Like any good babysitter, over time, I snooped through all their stuff. When going through one of Mr. A---’s closets I found the mother lode: my first glimpse at a serious collection. The closet was top to bottom jam-packed with board games. These were not just your usual mass-market games (although those were present); he had nearly all of the Gamemaster Series, a ton of bookshelf games and war games. I knew enough not to touch the games. I stopped fast forwarding through all of his beta tape movies for the boobie-scenes for a while and put aside a good amount of time to just sit and look at the boxes. What dreams lay in store for the player of these games?!

I really pined for the Gamemaster Series. I would walk the aisles of Service Merchandise, looking up at the copies of Broadsides and Boarding Parties and dream of grand battles and adventure. In a box.


Frontal Assault

When I was in sixth-grade I would wait at the bus stop with my bestest, old friend Nate Pomeroy; he introduced me to Powers & Perils and Champions RPGs. Powers & Perils was some D&D knockoff, and he would tell me, way more than I wanted to hear, about the game. I really liked the artwork and it all sounded very interesting. At that point, my brother and I were already inventing our own RPGs. We were big fans of James Bond so they were all spy themed. So to find out there existed published RPGs was great.

Looking for the authentic D&D experience, I asked for the “Red Box” for my 12th birthday. I worked the solo quest in the player book ragged. My brother, friends and I played D&D pretty heavily for the next three years until a school trip took me to Disneyland, and I came across WEG’s Star Wars: The Role Playing Game. I found my game. I was an uber Star Wars nerd. This was such a perfect fit.

I was now in high school and the zoning for our school district changed. Most of our friends went to a different high school than where Nate and I ended up. New school, new friends, new games. To make a long story a little less long, we met Mark and an old friend, Adam, was back at our school. Mark introduced us to Space: 1889. Adam was HEAVY into Car Wars. Nate moved onto Shadowrun and Teenagers from Outer Space, and I was dabbling with TORG and GBI. This was the most RPG-heavy time in my life.

I still made time for board games, and the board games that I played a lot in high school were: Star Warriors, Assault on Hoth, Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat Simulator, Car Wars, Sky Galleons from Mars, Star Wars Miniature Battles and Risk. We started attending conventions around this time. Vegas had some short-lived notorious conventions that were freaking awesome and a little scary.


Retreating action

In spite of the distractions of perfume and gasoline, I still managed to game quite a lot. I really tried to keep each world separate to little avail. I remember girlfriends hunting me down and finding me at my friend’s house; then, I would rush out to keep them from coming in and finding our re-creation of the Death Star trench run at the Battle of Yavin. I remember ditching out of a gaming session because my girlfriend’s parents weren’t home (an obvious choice). However, the constant harassing messages from my gaming friends, left on my girl’s answering machine, was saltpeter to our fun.

After high school, we dipped a little into The World of Darkness. HeroQuest just came out and so did Battle Masters. Just as we were on the verge of a golden age, Nate and I both served missions for our church. He went to Brazil and I went to Japan. While I was in Japan, I picked up a wicked Hearts habit. Two years straight, nothing but Hearts. Nate and I missed the birth of CCGs; something we are both VERY thankful for.


Regrouping

We came back to a minor run at Jyhad, Star Trek and Star Wars CCGs. We attempted to get the RPGs going again, but it proved to be untenable. Each of us had a serious and non-gaming girlfriend, job, and/or school. Additionally, a number of our friends had turned into beatniks while we were gone. They seemed to just want to hang out in coffee shops or LARP. Blech. Two things I am proud to own: no LARP experience and my dignity. Taking a less time-consuming tack at gaming, we did play a lot of RoboRally and Cheapass games during this time.

This turned into my gaming Dark Age. I got engaged. She was beautiful, had an impeccable sense of style, great taste in music and was utterly and completely shallow, and I was in deep smit. She knew nothing of my gaming lifestyle and when I decided to let her into my world, she left me behind with a cartoony dust cloud and a ZING!! graphic. Honestly, I shouldn't pin it all on the gaming thing. In my (jilted) opinion, she was a bit whacked in the head.


Final Push to Victory

Fortunately, I met a wonderful girl that was my complete match. We loved and enjoyed things the same way. During our first year of marriage, we didn’t have cable, so we spent time (during refractory periods) watching each other’s movie collections and finding fun games to play.

Thus began my gaming renaissance.

We’ve been married over ten years and four kids now. We’ve moved from Vegas to Huntington Beach, CA and now to Austin, TX. Having a home now and the space to let my gaming legs stretch again has been great. My oldest son Ethan is my new best gaming friend. He has an affinity for remembering rules, but needs to work on tactical thinking. He’s getting better.

My wife, Erin, is a formidable opponent at the table. She has always been able to clean my clock at just about every game, yet she is always a sport. There’s nothing like setting up a solo game of Arkham Horror and hearing her ask to join in. Thanks sweetie!

I’ve met other gamers here. Chapel, Ed and Susan, Jeff Jones, Jon and Hamzy are my new RPG homies. I had a game group that met every Tuesday night at my house for three years. Most of the members moved away and it became something other than what it was when it started, so I killed it. For all of my heavy board gaming needs I look to my friends Jim Brooks (moving soon, &*^*# dog!), Brady, Jose and Darillian. To my fellow Austinites, thank you for taking me in.

I have great friends from BGG that I look forward to playing with at the cons I attend. You rock; especially my Close Action ol’ salts.

Thanks for reading this long (I usually try not to be overly wordy), and thanks, Jesper, for this opportunity.

As long as I can remember, I have gamed. As long as I can imagine, I will.



Two truths and a lie
1.) I gunned a motorcycle off a cliff. I survived by landing in a tree and getting impaled on a branch. The motorcycle didn’t make it.
2.) While in Japan, I nicked a yakuza’s car with my bike pedal. When he got out of the car to complain, I kicked the door as he was getting out and hurt his head pretty bad with the door. I had to relocate.
3.) There exists the term “The Belanger Maneuver”. It is derived from a month of: three girls, me, a lot of juggling and a nervous breakdown.


A few questions to get you started Joe:

1) Did you buy some interestingly outlandish games in Japan?
2) That you still play?
3) That are among your favourites?
4) Favourite Heroscape terrain hex colour?
5) Why so anti-LARP?


I´m guessing number 2 is the lie.
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Daniel Danzer
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CONGRATS x 2 speak louder!
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Robert Wesley
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GRATZ! Joey thumbsupmeeple
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Joebelanger hadn't been Geek of the Week? With 14,953 thumbs? Whaddaya know?

Congrats Joe! A good choice, jt!

Question: who is the best fielding shortstop under 5'9 to ever play for the Baltimore Orioles?
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Congratulations, Joey.

Thoroughly deserved. Well spotted, Jesper!


Jim
Est. 1949

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Congrats, Joe!
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Solid!

So, Bill Gates dies, and unbeknownst to you, has left you the bulk of his fortune for your enduring contributions to Internet culture. You now have so much money that you can swim around in it, Uncle Scrooge style. Of course, your first project is the completion of a bitchin' GameCave, with living quarters for guests. You now have the time and funds to game as much as you want. List the board games and RPGs that you would most want to play in this ideal situation.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Good on Ya - that is great , Heroscapers as GW's makes me oh so very happy.


So how old is Ethan? ( if you don't mind me asking )

What is his favorite game to play with you?

What is your favorite game to play with Ethan?

Do you have any games you usually win against your wife?

If you could get 3 games right now, what would they be? ( yes out of print, hard to find, only 1 made in the whole world )

What RPG are you playing these days?

Austin huh - don't they have a great music scene?


Scape On'
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Leo Zappa
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WOW! FINALLY! Talk about "overdue"! Congrats, Joey, on being named GOTW! If I think of a question or two, I'll post 'em later, but enjoy your week in the limelight (or geeklight, as it were)!

thumbsupthumbsup
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Congrats JB! Hope to see you at BGG.con this year.

Rod
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If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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jtspecial wrote:

A few questions to get you started Joe:

1) Did you buy some interestingly outlandish games in Japan?
2) That you still play?
3) That are among your favourites?
4) Favourite Heroscape terrain hex colour?
5) Why so anti-LARP?


I´m guessing number 2 is the lie.


1.) Actually, only video games... blush
2.) No
3.) No
4.) Probably tan, because there seems to be so few of it.
5.) I guess it's because I was out of country during its heyday. Also, that great game convention in Vegas was killed because of LARPers. The game convention was sharing the space with some sort of old person convention. The vampire LARPers assaulted a few old folks. That closed A LOT of doors to game conventions in Las Vegas.
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wifwendell wrote:

Question: who is the best fielding shortstop under 5'9 to ever play for the Baltimore Orioles?


Mark Belanger! My fake dad.
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Mike Jones
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Favorite Tex Mex Dish?
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JoshBot wrote:
Solid!

So, Bill Gates dies, and unbeknownst to you, has left you the bulk of his fortune for your enduring contributions to Internet culture. You now have so much money that you can swim around in it, Uncle Scrooge style. Of course, your first project is the completion of a bitchin' GameCave, with living quarters for guests. You now have the time and funds to game as much as you want. List the board games and RPGs that you would most want to play in this ideal situation.


See, if I had that much money, I'd want to go for broke (not literally, in this case) with these games. Make 'em epic.

Board games
Descent (get the pieces painted and 3D terrain)
Sky Galleons of Mars (pay Scott diBartolo more money than he'd ask for to fashion some Etherflyers and Steamships together)
Arkham Horror (finally play with all sets and eight players)
Car Wars (3D arena and cars; with ramps and all sorts of cool features)

RPGs
d6 Star Wars (this time I'd play with zombie crossover I've been working on)
TORG (I'd love to have given this a little more love. Plus, I had everything for the game and foolishly gave it away before leaving for TX)
Shadowrun (Such a great setting!)
Space: 1889 (Any game that has a skill of Fisticuffs is aces in my book!)
Godlike (Great system, great setting.)

For me, the best part of the gaming experience is the people. So, with that much money I could afford to fly people out to play. Any takers?
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The Gith wholeheartedly approve this selection of GOTW!

Congrats Joe. Its a long overdue honor!

Enjoy your week in the spotlight.

I'm guessing #2 is the lie.
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Hendal wrote:
Good on Ya - that is great , Heroscapers as GW's makes me oh so very happy.


So how old is Ethan? ( if you don't mind me asking )

What is his favorite game to play with you?

What is your favorite game to play with Ethan?

Do you have any games you usually win against your wife?

If you could get 3 games right now, what would they be? ( yes out of print, hard to find, only 1 made in the whole world )

What RPG are you playing these days?

Austin huh - don't they have a great music scene?


Scape On'


Ethan is 10 and we've been playing together since just before he could read. We played Memoir '44 back then and he would pick a card. I would explain his options. It took a while to play, but he loved it. I would always pick the side that was less likely to win and sometimes he would beat me.

Ethan's current faves are Descent and Age of Conan. He's more cult of the new than I am.

The game that I nearly always win against my wife is Phase 10. I love Rummy games and get extremely lucky at times. I love playing Phase 10 against my wife and her mother because they get so bent out of shape during the game. It's a lot of fun to watch. However, I have VERY rarely won a game of Samurai Swords, Ticket to Ride, Power Grid, Agricola or Jambo when playing with my wife.

Any three games? Broadsides and Boarding Parties, Assault on Hoth and Temple of the Beastmen.

RPGs? I am playing D&D 4e with Chapel DM'ing. I am so glad to be playing in this game. I haven't played an RPG for nearly twenty years. Once I started DMing, no one would let me play anymore. It's great being on the player's side of things. I'd love to get into a Shadowrun game or a d6 Star Wars game.

Austin's great music scene? We really took advantage of this our first year here. We really need to get back out there and enjoy the great perk of where we live.

Thank you!
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Guantanamo wrote:
Favorite Tex Mex Dish?

Chuy's has a chimichanga that is to die for (and eat enough of them and you probably will...) Top that chimichanga with their creamy jalapeno sauce and you are set for a night of sweet, sweet indigestion. Mmmm...
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Joey B. One of the best game geeks I've ever met. I miss the RTL campaign already....


If you ever make it to GenCon Indy, make sure you drop me a line...
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Congratulations Joey. Well deserved!
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Great choice!

Question. Why are Wizards so lame and Bards so bad ass?
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Good choice, Jesper!

Joe, I can't believe you haven't been GotW yet.

My questions begin with the best interview Qs ever, from Bernard Pivot, the French intellectual:

1. What is your favourite word?
2. What is your least favourite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? (or, what's your favourite drug?)
4. Whom would you put on a new currency bill?
5. What sound or noise do you love?
6. What sound or noise do you hate?
7. What is your favourite curse word?
8. What profession would you not like to do?
9. If reincarnation exists, in the form of which plant, tree, or animal would you like to return?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

To which I'll add:

11. Living in Austin must mean fantastic music stories. Please share with us your best.

12. What led you to select Domaine as the bes game of the year?

13. What are the best & worst of living in Vegas, Huntington Beach, and Austin, respectively?

14. If you were required to move to a 4th (new) location, anywhere in the world, where would you pick?

15. Where were you in Japan? What was the best food you ate there? Did the locals claim that the nation's prettiest women were from there?




Oh yah: #2 is the lie. After all, you're alive to type here.
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What you have you done???



Heh.



Congrats Joe!



So - let's see:

* What is your favorite BGG meme?
* What is your least favorite BGG meme?
* Is your old account now jealous of your new account's rise to prominence?
* Texas? What's up with that?
* What new or upcoming games are on your event horizon?
* What's up with the recent outbreak of zombie fear on face book?
* Did you get your tooth fixed yet? - First fake tooth? pffft, not a hockey player eh?
* Are you really a heart breaker? kiss

Congrats man... enjoy being harassed all week
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Congratulations Joey! This seriously could not have happened to a nicer guy.

Questions:
1. Which of your four kids have real potential of becoming real game geeks?
2. Aren't you afraid that water tower is going to fall on you?

Again, good on you. First Chapel, now you. I'm glad to see Austin geeks are finally getting their comeuppance.

Also... nice job of keeping this secret. Five hours of Descent with a bunch of BGGers yesterday and not a peep.
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Congrats Joe! Good choice!
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WAY TO GO, JOE!!!

Congratulations!
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