Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 Hide
56 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » BoardGameGeek Community » Geek of the Week

Subject: Geek of the Week #201 - Michael Becker rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: gotw [+] [View All]
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As my time in the spotlight as "Geek of the Week" has come to an end, it is my duty and honor to pass the baton along to another Geek. Funny how we take pride in being labeled a "Geek", and wear the title as a badge of honor! You can catch-up on the discussions from this past week at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/421164


There are two main rules when selecting a new "Geek of the Week":

1) I could not know them personally; and
2) The person had to be from a different country than me.

I further complicated matters by deciding to select someone who was not only active on the Geek, but was also a financial supporter of the endeavor. While many, many folks met these criteria, I have decided to select Michael Becker. I don't know him personally, but have enjoyed his comments and posts on the Geek. I was also impressed by his active support of the site, and his seeming wide range of tastes. He appears willing to play just about anything! My kind of gamer!

You can learn more about Michael by visiting his Profile page: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Michael%20Becker

Michael has written a detailed biography, which appears below. I do want to be the first, however, to officially congratulate him on two very important achievements this week:

1) Being named Geek of the Week; and
2) The birth of his new son, born YESTERDAY (Saturday, July 11th)!

While he is undoubtedly justifiably proud of both accomplishments, I urge him to consider #2 the more important of the two!

Congratulations, Michael, and have a fun week on the Geek and with your new baby!


Quote:
First of all I want to say how honoured I am to receive the baton from Greg. Greg has done so much for our hobby; his contributions of review and session reports and kindess are nothing short of inspiring. Many games in my collection are direct results of Greg's reviews. Like many, I was shocked that Greg hadn't been Geek of the Week earlier. I am very glad that oversight was fixed.

Phew... It has been a very long day for me. My girlfriend went into labour early Saturday morning and I am now a dad again. Hooray! One more little boy to game with!!! As our day has been busy and exhausting please excuse and grammatical errors...

OK folks - here is a novel of epic proportions...

I was born and raised in a small city called Medicine Hat, Alberta in Western Canada. I was fortunate to have two extremely amazing parents.

Since I was a child I fondly recall playing games. I was extremely fortunate that both sides of my family enjoyed gaming. My earliest recollections of games were playing checkers and crokinole with my dad, grandfather and great grandfather. I was about 6 when my great grandfather passed away but I still remember how amazing he was at crokinole. He would score 20 after 20. It was unreal.

Christmas Eve always had games. My family would participate in a huge doubles cribbage tournament. The cigarette smoke in that tiny home would easily give Essen attendees something to consider.

Christmas Day our family would gather at my dad's side. After supper everyone would play cards - Wist, Chase the Ace, 31, and others. The games were always played for money.

On my birthday I always received games from family and friends. I don't recall opening clothes to be honest. Early favorites were: I Vant to Bite Your Finger, Guess Who, Toothache, Peanut Panic, Payday, Mouse Trap and Lay an Egg.

When I turned five I received a table hockey (rod hockey) game. As I was already developing formidable hockey skills I was consumed. The game had a table stand and molded plastic figures (the norm for these tables were metal 2D players). Boston vs. Chicago (my mom's favorite team). Within days I had all of the neighbourhood kids at my place. We held tournament after tournament. By the time I hit high school I thought I was unbeatable.

In 1978 my father (a master carpenter) built a new home and it was a 4 story split. The sub basement was spacious. So he built an over-sized ping pong table for us. We would practice and play for hours on end. A friend recieved a dartboard for his birthday so I also needed one of those. I remember getting it as a gift the next year. Everybody knew what it was but me... I couldn't for the life of me figure out the obvious shape?

Gaming continued with my family playing Monopoly or some of the various children's games we had. A few years later my aunt introduced me to Othello. I was in love. As my sister and I were the oldest (and only grandchildren) I always played against adults. And I lost game after game after game. One day my grandfather told me to watch him carefully. He won of course. He asked me if I noticed how he took control of the board. I didn't understand. He then whispered to me it is all about the corners...

In the early 1980's video games were hot so my uncles had purchased Intellivision and Atari systems. I was blown away. Wow - the Intellivision had amazing graphics compared to the Atari system! The next year my parents purchased a Coleco-Vision system for me (wow Coleco-Vision graphics were even better!!). Every time I saved money we would head to the local Eaton's store to scan the wall of games behind the locked counter. Overtime I manged to collect a vast number of games. My favorites were Venture, Pitfall, Miner 2049'er, and Ken Huston's Blackjack and Poker. I played my Coleco-Vision religiously until high-school. Today most of those games have lost their luster. A few years ago I bought a used Atari system with about 200 games. Since then the only other video game system I have owned is a Nin Wii.

Around this time I also was fortunate enough to receive a full kit remote controlled car - a Marui Galaxy. Years earlier my mom had purchased a massive HO scale slot-car track for my dad's birthday. It barely fit on our oversize ping pong table. Again, the kids were always at my place racing or doing something similar. It formed a lifetime love of auto racing for me.

Due to my hockey ability (I was playing AAA i.e. top tier) I was a very popular kid in grade school. For some reason I lost my confidence in myself in Junior High. I was reclusive. In grade seven I met someone by chance in the library. He asked me what I was doing for lunch? I was likely looking for a book on Magic tricks, Remote Controlled Car Racing, or model trains. He said his name was Jeff and he lived pretty close to the school. We walked to his house and he turned on his Commodore 64. A few minutes later we were playing a Bard's Tale. Jeff and Ryan were busy slaying monsters. I couldn't keep up. Jeff asked me if I had ever role-played before? I said no what is that. He said meet me in the library tomorrow. That afternoon I played my first game of AD&D. I was completely hooked. I would hang out at the toy shop reading the AD&D handbooks. Finally, somehow I convinced my parents to let me buy the Oriental Adventure book. Around this time D&D had a bad r!
ep to say the least. I spent hours building worlds, creating dungeons and scenarios and traps. My mind went wild. I had never been overly creative before. I was finally free.

Jeff didn't stop there - he introduced me to Axis and Allies, Risk, Dungeon, Shogun (MB GM series), and later Talisman. My life was never the same after that.

The next year at Christmas I received more GM series games. Another friend had introduced me to Stratego. I loved it. I played my uncle over and over the next night.

My Junior High and High school years were mostly spent playing RPG's, Axis and Allies, and Talisman. We played Talisman religiously week after week. It became an obsession. We made up our own rules and I had all the expansions (even the hard to find Dragon expansion).

Girls and hockey also consumed much of my time in those years. After breaking my wrist twice in hockey I decided to quit. It was one of the few times I ever saw my dad cry. And rightly so. Playing competitive hockey for so many years cost my parents a small fortune. But I no longer loved the game. I hated the politics behind it. Instead my physical leisure activity was occupied by snowboarding (which had just started taking off) and tennis.

In my first year of college I met my future wife. We had expanded our RPG's among others to Shadowrun, Role-Master, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Top Secret, Marvel Superheroes,and Vampire: The Masquerade. We were still playing Talisman a lot. I also had started collecting comics. My favorite was GI Joe.

One day after visiting the local game store Jeff picked up this game which had been sitting on the shelf for years. It was the West End version of Cosmic Encounter. I picked up A House Divided by GDW. Both games became obsessions. We now had other alternatives for RPG's and Talisman.

Jeff and I bought computers in our first year of College. I bought a 486 DX. It was definitely necessary because I was going to go into engineering??? Instead it became the perfect computer gaming platform. We played hours and hours of Red Baron, Warlords, Speedball, Out of This World, and later X-Wing.

Colette and I hit it off almost immediately. Over time, however, she became a bit annoyed at how much time I spent with friends playing games. But she tolerated it. While playing tennis for the Alberta Summer Games I stumbled on a game store. That day I purchased Blood Bowl and Minion Hunter. I didn't want to play tennis anymore - it was raining anyways... I wanted to play Blood Bowl. Colette respectfully declined.

In 1994 Jeff and I attended a game convention in Calgary. While we were busy playing Blood Bowl and Star Fleet Battles everyone everywhere was playing this new card game. Looks lame I said. It is just a fad said Jeff. Little did we know it was later to become our latest obsession - Magic: The Gathering.

When we finally got hooked on Magic we became addicts. We had missed the boat on Alpha, Beta and the Uncommon sets. But Revised was now readily available. We would buy cards and put them into huge stacks. The games were completely random without much skill. One day Jeff decided to cull his deck. He wanted to trade all of my dual lands for some nasty creatures. I said what on earth do I need these dual lands for - I have lots of land. And he soon started winning every game. We finally got the bigger picture. The meta-game had started. And Magic was a multi-daily occurrence - at school, at home, anywhere.

As studies continued I had always wanted to bring more people together to play games. Jeff had told me about this club he belonged to years earlier and how much fun they had. I decided to start my own club. I spoke to the local game store and they agreed to put up some advertisements. Before the first meeting came to pass I received a call from a man named Dennis. He definitely had an odd accent. He was wondering if the games club would be big enough to let him play Space Marine and Warhammer Fantasy Battle? I had heard of WFB of course, but what was Space Marine? A few days later I was at his home. Dennis was from England and was now part of the Canadian military. His status as a soldier would allow him to bring over Games Workshop figures for next to no shipping. He had a massive display of painted models. And thus, another gaming obsession and a long lasting friendship began.

My games club started out strong. Our first meeting had over 20 people. Word of mouth spread and soon we were averaging close to 50+ people a night. Not bad for a city of 45,000 I thought. Most of us played Magic, but other played board games and RPG's as well. The club moved venues a few times, but attendance stayed steady. We setup a 1.00 fee for attendance every Tuesday night. After paying for our facility rental, which I manged to negotiate to $10.00 / night, we had lots of left over cash. Soon we were holding Magic tournaments with major cards as prizes. We had a Blood Bowl league with 20 + active members. And later we would even have a bingo night with copies of Space Marine and other big box games as prizes.

A short while later I proposed to Colette. Shortly after she decided she was going to further pursue her studies in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The success of my gaming club had me switch out of Engineering into Business. I started employment with the local hobby store to import GW games and models. I started talks with the game store to buy it. Colette's decision to move threw me a curve-ball. Should I stay and pursue a dream or move to help my future wife?

I moved.

As soon as I moved to Regina I hit the local game stores. I found friends through gaming almost immediately. I was mostly playing Warhammer and Magic at that time.

At one store I met an older worker named Jim Pulles. He was close to my father's age but had an undeniable passion for games.

A while later I was playing Settlers of Catan, Manhattan, and Detroit-Cleveland Grand-Prix. I needed to learn more about these new games. I started logging onto use-net accounts and was spending most of my free time learning about the "new German games". I found sites like Ken Tidwell's Game Cabinet, Frank Branham's Gaming Dumpster, Peter Sarrett's The Game Report Online, Greg's Westbank Gamer's and Kulkmann's Gamebox. I was also on rec.games.board following the flame heavy discussion.

Soon I was not only playing the German games I was buying them. Colette and I eventually got married and moved into a house. I started working for CIBC as a telephone banking rep. I am still employed with CIBC as an Analyst.

In 2002 Colette and I split. We were expecting a little boy just before we parted ways. As I felt I had been betrayed I rebelled. I had a midlife crisis. I started buying stuff on Ebay. Not just any stuff - games. My collection of around 150 titles grew to over 1000 in a matter of two years. I was spending money 10 times faster than I was earning it. I subscribed to The Game Report, then Counter magazine and then Knucklebones (RIP). I have done a small amount of writing for the first two.

I have never been able to attend many game conventions. I always try to make it out for Calgary's Fallcon in September. If possible I try to run an event. Eventually I decided I needed to sell some games to cover debts. Fallcon organizers eventually had to put a numerical limit per individual sales. I like to call it the Becker rule. One year close to half of the 500+ games were mine... BTW, they manged to auction all of them in about 2 hrs. Amazing.

I travelled to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada two years to participate in the Settlers of Catan championship which was sponsored by Canadian retailer Jogo (RIP). The year of my second attendance was just after my break-up. I traveled alone by car. When I arrived, I noticed a bunch of the Fallcon organizers had made their way there from Calgary. They offered me a room so I didn't have to stay alone. They invited me to have lunch with them. Amazing kindness indeed!

Over the last few years I spent much of my free time reading about games and Christianity and seeking new relationships. We all have our vices, I guess. My contributions to BGG have waxed and waned over the years. I believe I was one of the first 30 users to create accounts. Today I find I just don't have as much time as I once did.

Two years ago I lost my father suddenly to a heart attack. He died on November 21, 2007. IMO, he was the most amazing father ever. He never went to church with us so I wasn't truly ever sure what he believed in. In the end his kindness to others was what truly mattered! Over 700 people attended his funeral.

Since then, time has provided perspective. It has been over six years since my son, Zachary, was born. He is my absolute joy. I love doing anything and everything with him.

Also, I have found a beautiful woman, named Carmen, who I have been dating for the past three years. She loves playing games with me and has tried everything from Magic, to Warhammer, to party games and the latest Euros.

Today we had another boy named, Kiryn. She is completely exhausted... and after writing this novel so am I. I feel like it is my game autobiography.

I should also note Carmen has two little girls named, Serenity and Daytona, from a past relationship. Although I always wanted only one child I am happy with my situation.

Life can be a blessing no matter what gets thrown your way. Like that song says, "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got." (or something like that)...

-Michael


Let me start things rolling with a few questions:

1) Are you ready to change diapers again? Where is the weirdest place you have ever changed a diaper?

2) When are you going to marry that girl?

3) Tell us a bit more about your current game group. How often do y'all meet, and, on average, how many folks attend each session?

4) Does Carmen also enjoy and play games?

Have fun, Michael!
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Hawaii
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CONGRATS!!!

Fantastic, a geek athlete. They're rare around here.

1. How much do you miss hockey? Do you ever play these days or skate without playing?

2. Do you still play darts? If so, what is your favorite game?

3. What about other "pub sports" such as billiards and shuffleboard?

4. How many times do you have to play a game before you'll rate it?

5. Do you think the K&I expansion improves El Grande?

6. Why is Tahuantinsuyu so good? I own it but haven't been able to play it yet. It's very much under the radar.

Have a great week and congrats on the new baby!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean
United States
Mechanicsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
I don't want happiness by halves, nor is half of sorrow what I want. Yet there's a pillow I would share, where gently pressed against a cheek like a helpless star, a falling star, a ring glimmers on the finger of a hand.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Double congrats!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Congratulations!

Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Pour Away,Mein Host
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael, Congrats on the new baby!

Oh... and on being GOTW, too!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Again, thank you Greg for nominating me for this honor.

I am home for a few hours before going back to the hospital. Hopefully I can answer everyone's questions.

1) Are you ready to change diapers again? Where is the weirdest place you have ever changed a diaper?

With my son, Zachary, changing diapers went just fine. I guess most people just grow in certain ways once your first child arrives. The smell, the mess, the potential for a water fountain didn't bother me at all. Although I never thought I would be changing diapers again here I am. And it is something that just has to be done so I will do it without a fuss.

The wierdest place I ever changed a diaper... hmmmm... nothing too out of the ordinary - probably the front seat of my truck. Also, most mens washrooms don't have diaper change tables. You sometimes have to get creative when you are in a public restaurant or mall. I am kind of a neat freak when it comes to washroom cleanliness so I usually put a few wads of paper towel on the floor or counter. And things get really tough if there are only air dry facilities...

2) When are you going to marry that girl?

I know, I know. :-) Carmen and I have had some ups and downs over the course of our relationship. I do want to get remarried someday but we are both comfortable with our situation. We do not currently live together but our homes are two blocks away from each other. It is definitely not optimal at times but sometimes it works good. I trust that God will lead us down the correct path when it comes time to bite the bullet.

3) Tell us a bit more about your current game group. How often do y'all meet, and, on average, how many folks attend each session?

My current game group started shortly after I moved to Regina. We were meeting upstairs in the local game store, called Mind Games Books and Hobbies. We met every Thursday night and sometimes on the weekends. The local organization also had monthly meetups at a hall. As time went by the manager of the store who I was friends with became more and more negative. He would sometimes yell at the patrons (who were his friends). His wife and him would be yelling at each other in the store. I was no longer comfortable meeting there. So I made some phone calls and we decided to move the club to the local German Harmony Society. Over 10 years later we still meet there every Thursday. It has been an amazing run.

Our group usually has from 10 - 30 in attendance on Thursday night. The formal organization has meetings the last Saturday every month at a school. They can have from 20 to 80 people in attendance. I also attend some home based groups, and meet-ups at a local church.

Most of the members of the group are friends. Some have become extremely close to me. We get together for events outside gaming. It is nice to be able to find that.

Many of the members in my group have large game collections. I would say we have over 5000 titles between us all. It is quite staggering really.

4) Does Carmen also enjoy and play games?

I am really lucky when it comes to Carmen. Her girls like games and my son loves games. Carmen and I play lots of games together in our spare time. In the hospital today we have been playing lots of a game called Metaforms (it isn't in the geek database yet). It is more of a solitaire puzzle game where you try to place shapes on a grid. Each puzzle builds on information you learn from previous puzzles. It is very clever. Some other games she currently enjoys: Stone Age, Split Second, Kahuna, Magic: The Gathering. She will usually try anything at least once and doesn't complain even if she doesn't really grok it. A few weeks ago we tried Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. The next day she wanted to put the kids to bed early so we could try it again.




6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some more questions - here it goes:

1. How much do you miss hockey? Do you ever play these days or skate without playing?

I don't miss competitive hockey at all. This year I finally started watching the NHL playoffs again. The bug was back. I do, however, love to play a few hockey games during playoff time if I can. My favorite would be Slapshot. Over the past few months a friend started a rec night for any players at any age at a local tennis court. They have been getting around 20 people each night from as young as 5 to as old as 60. It is nice to play hockey in this way.

The thing that bothers me the most about pro hockey is the length of the season. It has to be the longest season of any pro sport. And the playoffs go on and on and on and on. I wish the first round had the best of three, second round best of three, semi finals the best of five and finals the best of seven. My son might start playing next year. I finally got on skates twice this year. It felt comfortable. Perhaps I will start playing in a beer league again soon.

I also detest the salaries many pro players earn. Same for movie and TV stars. I think these type of occupations should have a cap in the low 100K range tops. The funny thing is if I had made it to the NHL I would probably have a different opinion on this...

2. Do you still play darts? If so, what is your favorite game?

I love darts and still play on an irregular basis. Around the world is the game I would have played most in my life. I love cricket. We played it a lot in college. A few days ago I learned a new game called prisoner. It is great for large groups. Everyone has three darts to begin. It is like around the world, but if your dart ends up between the bull and the triple line it is locked. The next player to hit that number between the triple and double line gets the dart. In the game I played I had nine darts and others were getting knocked out fast. I got lucky though.

3. What about other "pub sports" such as billiards and shuffleboard?

When I was a child my great uncle owned a billiard hall. My dad and his friends were there lots during high school. I remember many Saturdays we would go get our hair cut and then head down to the hall. I would play pinball on a stool because I was too short to see the lane. My dad would play pool. My uncle Rick was an amazing pool player. He went to Vegas more than once to try his luck at the World eight or nine ball championships. He died six months before my dad at age 51 (way too young). Our local German club has a shuffleboard table. We like to play that from time to time mostly doubles.

4. How many times do you have to play a game before you'll rate it?

I admit to having rated a game on a single play. I never rate a game without trying it. Rating a game on a single play is dangerous. Sometimes circumstance can cause an initial poor reaction. But you play it again at a different time, place or with different people and there is a complete turnaround.

5. Do you think the K&I expansion improves El Grande?

No, I actually do not enjoy the expansion. I am assuming it is the one where you pick your own cards before starting the game. It slows the setup down too much in my group. Also, I only select cards which score locations and that seems to have worked well for me.

El Grande is one of the few games that left me with no sleep the night after playing it. I turned the game in my mind at least 50 times. I should have did this or I could have done that. The last few games I have played have led to a very early leader. It seems sometimes it is very difficult to reign the leader when everyone wants to do their own thing. That has been a bit frustrating. But it is part of the game so I accept it.

6. Why is Tahuantinsuyu so good? I own it but haven't been able to play it yet. It's very much under the radar.

I have never played it... I hope I haven't rated it yet.. haha... Some others have tried it and enjoyed it so maybe it will come out again sometime.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats on the baby and the GOTW honor!

Manual or automatic?

Smooth or crunchy?

Indoor or outdoor (ice hockey)?

Favorite Canadian musical act: Neil Young, Rush, Arcade Fire, or Celine Dion? Note - there are three potential correct answers here and one very, very wrong one.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
One of the Original Twelve
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats, I've been to your continent!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats, Michael!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Got two game tables and a microphone
United States
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congratulations.

My questions: why Groo? Any Groo games catch your fancy?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you so much for the congratulations everyone. The baby and mom are doing great.

Manual or automatic?

My first vehicle was a Chevy S-10 manual. I loved that little truck so let's go manual. However, with the kids automatic is just easier. BTW, are F1 cars a hybrid now? I want one of those transmissions!!

Smooth or crunchy?

I like multigrain bread with seeds. Smooth would defeat the process. Carmen doesn't like chunky so guess what we buy?

Indoor or outdoor (ice hockey)?

I would like to say I learned to skate in -30 degree celsius weather walking two miles uphill both ways just to get to the skating rink. Unfortunately I was born in the mid 70's so that just wasn't the case. Indoor hockey is the way to go. Besides the boards on most outdoor rinks aren't glassed or fenced so flipping the puck over the boards can make puck retrieval difficult.

Favorite Canadian musical act: Neil Young, Rush, Arcade Fire, or Celine Dion? Note - there are three potential correct answers here and one very, very wrong one.

Canada has some amazing artists. The fact that Canadian radio has a quota for Canadian content is great in my opinion. It ensures little known acts get exposure. We can always watch the most popular stuff on the tv stations. One of my favorite songs is Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash... I am not sure if Neil Young participated in that song though. I like most music - everything from Classic Rock to Metal to Country and Chant. By far the Canadian artist I have the most albums is Bryan Adams. I do like Rush - I think they are musical genius. BTW, I love the South Park episode with Celine Dione - when the Riders play the Riders (only Canada could have less than 12 teams in a league with the same name). I also like Heart and I love Gordon Lightfoot. I remember in Grade eight we went on a field trip to Calgary. Everyone on the bus had went downtown to A&B Sound to buy music. Most people bought the latest popular music. I bought Gordon Lightfoot's Greatest Hits. People just looked at me like I was a loser. Unfortunately I have never heard Arcade Fire yet.

Congrats, I've been to your continent! Hey guess what - I have been to yours as well!!! Sweet / dude!!

Thanks - I agree Canada has some of the most beautiful places in the world. My favorite Canadian city is Victoria, BC. It is on Vancouver Island close to Seattle, WA.

My questions: why Groo? Any Groo games catch your fancy?

On a road trip one weekend we were buying snacks and munchies. I was looking through the comics and I stumbled across this funny looking character with two swords and a dog. I couldn't put it down. Sergio Aragonés is extremely talented. I loved the marginals he had in Mad Magazine as well. I believe the team of Sergio, Mark Evanier, Stan Sakai and Tom Luth are some of the best people in the comic industry. The best part of the Groo Marvel/Epic run was trying to find the hidden message. It usually read "This is the hidden message." Hilarious. Someday I hope to collect the entire print run starting with the episode of him in Destroyer Duck.

I really wish someone would do a Groo movie. It would probably be extremely difficult to pull off but if done right what fun. All of the characters in the comic are clever. And I love his doggie Rufferto!

Although I own the Groo card game I don't play it very often. It is ok to play once every few years or so.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Foulke
United States
Bethel Park
PA
flag msg tools
Welcome to Friedey's!
badge
You want fries with that?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats, and I'm quite thrilled that one of my musical heroes is GOTW!

1) When is your next album coming out?
2) What's it like to perform with Steely Dan? Jaco Pastorius?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Way too funny Andy!

Unfortunately, Becker rhymes with a lot of stuff... replace the B in my last name with a P and you can start to imagine the nicknames I received during my school days.

The best of the lot would have been:
Black and
D (replace)
P (replace)
Wr (replace)

Other nicknames I have had: Bekz, Sweep, Michael the motorcycle, Mike the Spike... None of those were really that great imo...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gschloesser wrote:


There are two main rules when selecting a new "Geek of the Week":

1) I could not know them personally; and
2) The person had to be from a different country than me.

I further complicated matters by deciding to select someone who was not only active on the Geek, but was also a financial supporter of the endeavor. While many, many folks met these criteria, I have decided to select Michael Becker. I don't know him personally, but have enjoyed his comments and posts on the Geek. I was also impressed by his active support of the site, and his seeming wide range of tastes. He appears willing to play just about anything! My kind of gamer!



Well the second guideline is continent

I think it has something to do with europe and the states in the USA.
sitcoms and southpark taught me that Canada is a continent world of its own.


So Greg congratulations on your choice.
Besides Michael's contributions he alsohas a great collection and many questions can be asked just looking at it. He fills in the game comments too so I immediately added him as a geekbuddy.


Michael these are very busy times for you.
Congratulations with the newborn. The little one is in for a big ride.

Great story you wrote there. It feels now that I almost know you personally. I don't have to tell you how fortunate you are. I can read it in your story between the lines.

I have a Hilinski crokinole board sitting in customs for almost a week now. I yearn for it now even more. Why are they so slow releasing it. I'm getting worried here.

Tell me something about Rod Hockey.

Why is it so good?
Who enjoys this game?
When you play it do you play ust one game or are you unable to put it away?

If I were to import it should I get some spare parts (replacement parts) as well.
http://www.tablehockey.net/

You refer to Titan in your gamecomment about Die Macher

So I gather from that that you have played Titan more than the three logged plays.

I have only had one game of Titan face to face. There was a woman playing too. So there are at least three I know of now . But that is besides the point.

My main problem is that unlike in die macher the first couple of rounds there is little to do and it can take a long time before it is your turn again.
I really think the mustering and movement is brialliant but time moves slowly since it takes a while before you are able to act again.
After eliminating a couple of players it picks up pace. But still some fights take a considerable amount of time and only the outcome matters when you are not fighting in that one.

We also knew which players where going to be eliminated. It is just a matter of time.
am I missing there something?

I'm still thinking of acquiring a copy because I want to show the ingeniousity of it to my friends.

enjoy your week in the spotlight and getting to know your son.


edit: 2 is the lie.








2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bonaparte
United States
DesMoines
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congratulations Michael, both on the son and the award. I have two questions:

What is one thing you hope your son learns during his life?

How do you hope your son will describe you as a father and man when he is grown?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Darden
United States
Lake Saint Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gratz!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler McLaughlin
Canada
Medicine Hat
Alberta
flag msg tools
Talk
badge
Words
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice work Mike.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan How
United Kingdom
Bromley
Kent
flag msg tools
badge
Do you know about Counter magazine? Geekmail me for more details
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael,

First of all congrtaulations in matching Greg's criteria to be GoTW! And secondly in being another Counter contributor to the enobled list!

I see from your top games that you love Ninety-Nine,which is an extremely clever card game. What other games do you enjoy for three players?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
flag msg tools
Be sure to taste your words, before you spit them out.
badge
If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Congratulations Michael! thumbsup

What is your most and least favorite game mechanic? Why ?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats Mike!! From one GOTW to another.

Your autobiography hasn't gotten any shorter since you were our Club Member of the Month back in 2006. If anyone is interested, you can read it here:
http://www.reginagamers.com/newsletters/Issue211.pdf

Mike has one of the most eclectic game collections of anyone I know. He invariably attempts, with some success, to get our local club members into games that seem to come from the Twilight Zone. If a player is spotted with a basket strapped to his head or an electronic timer is buzzing, you can bet that Mike is right nearby. (Electronic Whack-a-Mole at the New Year's Party 2 years ago?... Mike's.)

Although Mike and I have varying tastes (e.g.-I much prefer El Grande with the K&I Expansion), when playing a game Mike is very competitive.. and if the game is a favourite of his, you'll be hard pressed to win.

Here's my question:

If you could play any game with anyone from history (live, dead, or fictional), what game would it be, who would be playing, and why?

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...and don't forget your two truths and a lie.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This totally freaked me out for a minute.

Congratualtions from one Michael Becker to another.
10 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Becker
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey everyone - I'm back - it was a very long night... I have a baby that will cry if our presence isn't felt.

I have a Hilinski crokinole board sitting in customs for almost a week now. I yearn for it now even more. Why are they so slow releasing it. I'm getting worried here.


I have a theory that some people in customs love to play games. I hope they polish it again before repacking it!! (jj)

Tell me something about Rod Hockey.

Why is it so good?
Who enjoys this game?
When you play it do you play ust one game or are you unable to put it away?


Rod hockey is so good because of many reasons:

1) it is a true real time dexterity challenge
2) there are no dead spots on the board
3) a skilled player can score from almost any angle or position
4) it is fast, exciting and fun.

I think anyone who enjoys dexterity games, hockey, or similar games like foosball would really like it.

We usually play best of three or first person to ten goals. I know this is a high scoring hockey game but it works good. When I was a kid we would play 3 timed 20 minute periods just like the pros.

You refer to Titan in your game comment about Die Macher

There must be a ghost on my profile. My comments always seem to get dropped or truncated... I will have to review that again when I have a few minutes.

I think Titan is a game which improves with more play. My absolute favorite way to play it is two player. It is a smashing good head to head game. With lots of players there are a bunch of optional rules which can be found on the net or in publications which will automatically solve the battles for you (although Titan purists would say a skilled player can win against a superior enemy). I have lots of friends who can play a game in two hours... They are speed demons.

What is one thing you hope your son learns during his life?

I hope my son(s) learn the importance of treating people with kindness and respect. We don't need everyone to like us (that would be impossible), but even those who dislike us we need to treat well. Life is all about our relationships with people. If we treat people poorly I think we are not living the way we should be. Many of my best friendships came from people who I was unsure of at first but over time as I got to know them I was glad we didn't judge each other based on our first meeting.

When I was at my dad's funeral I tried my best to say hi to everyone who attended. One man came up to me and I asked him how he knew my dad. He said I didn't know your dad Michael, but my brother did and he couldn't be here. So I am here for my brother. Your father was truly an amazing individual.

How do you hope your son will describe you as a father and man when he is grown?

I hope my family and people who know me describe me as a gentle person. Someone who would drop what they are doing to help anyone anytime. I hope they describe me as a man of integrity and respect. I hope they describe me as a person who was wise and slow to anger. In some aspects of my life I have a long way to go on these...

I see from your top games that you love Ninety-Nine,which is an extremely clever card game. What other games do you enjoy for three players?

Thanks Alan. Counter magazine is my favorite print reading material. I think you all do wonderful jobs describing the latest games and the discussion is amazing.

I have only played Ninety-nine a handful of times. My good friend Neal H loves cards (his work-mates seem to get in a game or two every lunch). Everything about the game is clever. Being only able to bid with cards from your hand is wonderful. It is one of the best trick taking games I have played.

With my son and family we play War, Go Fish, and Memory with cards.

Other three player card games would be as follows: Cribbage, Flaschenteufel, Coloretto, Wyatt Earp, Kaiser, Wizard and San Juan.

I know I once played a three player bridge variant with my friend Weng. I can't for the life of me remember the name of it though. It was tough but very fun.

I really enjoy card games. I think they are the best game invention bar none. My experience with Magic tricks has taught me that the number of cards in a deck (52) is an amazing number. Many principles are created based on the interactions of four suits of 13 cards.

What is your most and least favorite game mechanic? Why ?

My least favorite game mechanic would have to be negotiation combined with an auction. In these types of games the bids in my experience the bids are always the same - early in the game an established price becomes the norm. Later in the game the price might go up a bit. But for the most part there isn't a lot of volatility.

Two games, for some reason which fit this mechanic I really do enjoy. Lowenherz (which after a three player game only one point seperated all of us) and I'm the Boss. Others, like Chinatown and Traders of Genoa I like, but for some reason I find my caveat above is true when I play them.

My favourite game mechanic would most likely be limited action points. I like the angst that is involved when you have many choices which are all viable, but you can only choose one or a handful of them. I love movies where the storyline leaves you on the edge of your seat. I find games which provide internal tension give me the same kind of rush.
6 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE EATEN BY A
badge
ɥɔʇıןƃ ʎʇıןɐǝɹ
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Multi-grats!

What's the worst game you love to play? (It's known to be bad, you know it's bad, but you just can't help yourself...)

Enjoy your sleepless week!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.