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Subject: Geek of the Week #361 - cafeine (Sylvain Dufour) rss

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Jason Beck
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Felix alearum famis! Et posse impares sumus erimus en tui semper favoris.
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It is my honor to pass the Geek of the Week torch to:

Daleks stole my lunch box
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He is a former Video Game Geek of the Week, but over on this side of the geek-house he has uploaded a tremendous amount of "stuff"- files, images, and such. These kinds of things are tangible contributions to our community that help to make it the wonderful resource that it is. It can be easy to overlook the people who are helping to do the "grunt work" of helping to make available all the information on BGG- and so!, in his own words:

cafeine wrote:
Oh wow, Geek of the week blush

Many thanks to Jason for picking me up! I know I can't deliver interesting, well-written walls of text like he does, but I'll give it my best shot.

My gaming bio:

It started with the usual games children of my generation were exposed to: Monopoly, card games, Checkers, Clue, as well as Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH titles like Scotland Yard, Labyrinth or Le Gang des Traction-Avant. What changed it all for me was my father's collection of Jeux & Stratégie issues. He bought it mainly for the puzzles and abstract games articles, but the magazine was a treasure trove for a nerdy, introverted kid: game rules, in-depth reviews, variants and articles about RPGs, boardgames, videogames, math puzzles, labyrinths, paragraph-based adventures, BASIC program listings, AND a free boardgame every issue! Jeux & Stratégie kickstarted my life-long interest in all things game-related, including game design (as I didn't dare to cut up the boardgame pieces, I used the maps with homemade pieces and rules designed for solo play).

The place where my parents lived was a cultural wasteland (the nearest gamestore was 80 kms away, which is a lot in France, especially at a time when FLGS were commonplace) but I managed to find a few other interested kids and we had somewhat regular gaming sessions, we mainly played Dungeons & Dragons (first Basic Dungeons & Dragons, then Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition)), what you'd call ameritrash today (HeroQuest, Space Crusade,Blood Bowl), a few wargames (Cry Havoc, Squad Leader) and Diplomacy. Around these times I got a subscription to Casus Belli, which was to RPGs what J&S was to general gaming. I also played a lot on the family Amstrad CPC computer, even wrote a few crappy BASIC games. Fast-forward to university, I moved to a less desolate place, met a lot of other gamers and started a regular gaming group. Though we were primarily a RPG group (Call of Cthulhu, In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Kult), we played plenty of other games, from Tarot to seven-player Civilization to wargames. I also spent many sleepless nights wandering the Fallout (1997) wasteland or exploring the Von Braun corridors in System Shock 2. It went on for several years, then real life messed things up, I moved to another city and got busy with other things (music and gigs and art and other boring stuff). Since then most of my gaming has been on the computer or solo, though I have friends who enjoy abstract and party games and who've become interested in coop games.

That's my gaming-related history so far. Some other random things:

- even though I'm attracted to games with strong theme and/or narrative elements, I enjoy all sorts of games as long as it engages at least a part of my brain.
- I think gaming is a sadly undervalued part of the human experience, and as such has plenty of unexplored potential, especially in regards to learning about and exploring social and historical issues (see Jason's last blog post about discussing gender and sexuality during the creation of a RPG world for an example of what I mean).
- One of my pet peeves is the lack of originality in game themes. Enough with the zombie games, you know you can be more creative than that!
- Math trades are awesome, you should try them!


And now:

Poll
Which one isn't true?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
I have worked as a nude model for painting school.
18.2% 29
I once won two first-turn victories in a Trivial Pursuit game at a party and was never invited again.
34.6% 55
When I was 11, I unknowingly invented a game with rules identical to Risk without ever having played the game.
47.2% 75
Voters 159
This poll is now closed.   159 answers
Poll created by Colonial One
Closes: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:00 am


Finally, some questions to start out your week:

1. Are there any particular themes that you would like to see be better represented in board games?

2. What do you find is the biggest difference between video games and board games (aside from the purely technical)?

3. As gaming continues to proliferate ever-more-widely out into society via things like smart phones, iPads, and the like, what do you think is going to be the biggest challenge for "our" community moving forward?

4. Is there somewhere in the world you'd like to travel to but haven't gotten the chance yet?

5. Any board games you would like to see turned into video games (and vice versa)?

6. If you could make a change to BGG to "improve" a facet of its operation, what would it be, and why?

7. This one isn't a question. Have a great week!
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Congratulations Sylvain!

I see I have asked you my traditional questions, so a new slate of questions hot off the presses is hereby delivered for your answering.

1) AOL or MSN?
2) Firewall or moat?
3) Beginning or end?
4) Sony or JVC?
5) Toyota or Ford?
6) Donut or muffin?
7) Baked or fried?
8) Simple or complex?
9) Banana or orange?
10) Pimple or boil?
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Jason Beck
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MOAR QUESTIONS for you:

I. On a clear (or rainy) autumn (or spring) day (or evening), an enormous alien spacecraft appears around Earth. The aliens look bizarre (or surprisingly normal). They announce to the world that they are from the [untranslatable], a galactic organization dedicated to maintaining peace and order in what we call the Milky Way. They have decided that humanity is too young, too immature, too fickle, too dangerous, and generally too unpredictable to be let loose on the galaxy.

They have, therefore, chosen at random one human being to present to them the best case for not obliterating Earth. That individual is you! Your "case" must be presented to them in the form of a singular piece of "art", though the medium does not matter (or does it?). That is, you may choose a book, or an essay, or a painting, or a sculpture, or a building, or a movie, or a piece of music, and so on. What do you choose?

II. As (I), above, but the aliens insist that you present a board game to justify humanity's existence. You may only choose one board game. Which one do you choose?

III. As (I), above, but the aliens are not here on behalf of any organizations and they are not here to destroy the world. Instead, the aliens announce that they are incredibly bored, and that their leader has decreed that, should an human be able to supply them with a diversion that keeps them entertained for at least a solid Earth hour, they will share with us their medical science and research, which they have determined will allow us (humans, as a species) to unlock clinical immortality.

The aliens also announce that they are unfamiliar with the medium that we call "board games", and have therefore insisted that you fulfill this requirement with one of those. You have one hour to decide. You may choose a game of any level of complexity. Do you:

a) Choose a board game that you think will keep these over-indulged aliens entertained for at least an hour? If so, which one do you choose?

b) Post a thread on BGG asking for input and then, after as much time as you can spare in consultation, select a game for the aliens? If so, which one do you think you would choose after discussing it with BGG?

c) Insist to the aliens that this kind of decision has serious philosophical and social implications and that you do not think it is right for this decision to be made solely by you, and will they allow you to delegate this responsibility to a more representative body of humanity?

d) Deliberately sabotage the process by choosing a game you know they will not enjoy, or a game that is too short and will not fit the requirements, because mortality is one of the things that defines our humanity, and is it even possible to predict what will happen to society if we lose this fundamental piece of our existence- and besides, how would we feed a population that simply never died but continued to reproduce, since it's not like they're giving us any *other* technology, and wouldn't we just end up like these jerks anyway?, that is- lazy, indolent, and searching the galaxy for some form of amusement to distract us from the meaningless of our infinite and infinitely-mundane life?

e) Some other option.

Explain your choice (or not).
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Congrats! Enjoy your week and have fun!
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Ludovic Roy
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Félicitations Sylvain! C'est ta semaine, profites-en!
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Brian Foster
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Congratulations and have a wonderful and Geek-filled week!
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Congrats and enjoy your week
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Congratulations Sylvain!
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One of the nicest people on BGG.

Excellent choice.
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Hoopy congratulations cafeine, enjoy your week

Regards

Gnome
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Congratulations! Enjoy your week!
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CONGRATULATIONS Sylvain!

Very eclectic selection of games, genres, and styles. We're not going to pin you down into a single gamer category.

Now for a few questions. Step through here, take the comfy chair - the one there under the light. Don't mind the straps...

d10-1 Video games, RPGs, board games, wargames - why so much variety?
d10-2 What is it about a game that holds your interest the most?
d10-2A Will you have a different answer next year?
d10-3 Casus Belli, Jeux & Strategie, Vae Victis: Nearly half your games are magazine editions. Is this your primary source of new game acquisitions?
d10-4 What is the appeal of magazine games to you?
d10-5 Your Designer page list a single credit, for Ost !. Surely there are more projects to which you've contributed. Can you tell us about some of them?
d10-6 What do you enjoy about game design - what motivates you to design?
d10-7 Is there anything special that you are working on right now?
d10-8 Who are some of the designers you most admire?
d10-9 Thank you for your answers, is there anything you'd like to add?

Enjoy your week in the sun.
Cheers!
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Congratulations!!!
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Congratulations!

My usual questions:
- So do you still play RPG's?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Have you ever visited the VGG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
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Congratulations!

Hope you have a great week!
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Félicitations, Sylvain! On a besoin de GotW qui parlent français!
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I've seen thumbs from you over in RSP but it seems you only lurk. What sort of topics there most make you want to post something? (You'll have to come to RSP to tell us what you'd say.)

Question:
Favorite Francophone author who 1. isn't from France itself and 2. who isn't translated to English?
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Congratulations, Sylvain! Have a fantastic geek week!
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Oh wow, plenty of questions already!

Colonial One wrote:

1. Are there any particular themes that you would like to see be better represented in board games?


Not one in particular, but I'd like to see more mature subjects explored in board games (mature in the "this is a game about losing a loved one" sense, not in the "more oversized boobies, more realistic blood splatters" sense). It's happening in video games so it should definitely be doable using cardboard and wood.

Colonial One wrote:
2. What do you find is the biggest difference between video games and board games (aside from the purely technical)?


I don't see that much difference, in the end they have the same function, implementing a game "world" with its specific set of rules and objectives with which the player(s) interact. What changes is that computer games come with a built-in referee, which is a good and a bad thing (you can't take back your move unless the programmer explicitly made provisions for it for example).

Colonial One wrote:
3. As gaming continues to proliferate ever-more-widely out into society via things like smart phones, iPads, and the like, what do you think is going to be the biggest challenge for "our" community moving forward?


You mean apart from electromagnetic waves-induced cancer ?
Mindless commercialism and elitism are the usual issues when something becomes more mainstream. They are already here in the videogame scene, but I'm not sure boardgaming will ever reach that level of popularity.

Colonial One wrote:
4. Is there somewhere in the world you'd like to travel to but haven't gotten the chance yet?


Plenty of places, basically everywhere I haven't been yet, which is like 99.99% of the planet's land mass. Bonus points if it's hotter and it rains less than where I live (which shouldn't be difficult). The main problem being that I hate travelling.

Colonial One wrote:
5. Any board games you would like to see turned into video games (and vice versa)?


Chainsaw Warrior (heavily thematic, but sadly lacking in the gameplay department) would make a kick-ass visual novel. Vice versa, I have been working on a board game version of a "bullet hell" type shoot'em up, it's barely in the prototyping stage but it looks promising.

Oh, and I'd love to see an adventure board game set in the Fallout universe.

Colonial One wrote:
6. If you could make a change to BGG to "improve" a facet of its operation, what would it be, and why?


The marketplace could certainly be improved, but they are working on it.

Colonial One wrote:
7. This one isn't a question. Have a great week!


Thanks, I hope yours was great!
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frumpish wrote:
Congratulations Sylvain!


Thanks!

frumpish wrote:
I see I have asked you my traditional questions, so a new slate of questions hot off the presses is hereby delivered for your answering.


frumpish wrote:
1) AOL or MSN?

Jabber (open protocols and all that)
frumpish wrote:
2) Firewall or moat?

Firewall for zombies, moat for gworls.
frumpish wrote:
3) Beginning or end?

Beginning. It gets boring near the end.
frumpish wrote:
4) Sony or JVC?

Whichever one can run a minecraft server.
frumpish wrote:
5) Toyota or Ford?

I don't know. Can they run a minecraft server?
frumpish wrote:
6) Donut or muffin?

Donut. I blame David Lynch for that.
frumpish wrote:
7) Baked or fried?

Baked.
frumpish wrote:
8) Simple or complex?

Simple.
frumpish wrote:
9) Banana or orange?

Banana.
frumpish wrote:
10) Pimple or boil?

pustule!

Banana Pustule would be a great band name.
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Colonial One wrote:
MOAR QUESTIONS for you:

I. On a clear (or rainy) autumn (or spring) day (or evening), an enormous alien spacecraft appears around Earth. The aliens look bizarre (or surprisingly normal). They announce to the world that they are from the [untranslatable], a galactic organization dedicated to maintaining peace and order in what we call the Milky Way. They have decided that humanity is too young, too immature, too fickle, too dangerous, and generally too unpredictable to be let loose on the galaxy.

They have, therefore, chosen at random one human being to present to them the best case for not obliterating Earth. That individual is you! Your "case" must be presented to them in the form of a singular piece of "art", though the medium does not matter (or does it?). That is, you may choose a book, or an essay, or a painting, or a sculpture, or a building, or a movie, or a piece of music, and so on. What do you choose?


Tough one! Maybe Picasso's Guernica. It represents the worst of mankind, but also its ability to face mistakes and learn from them, or something like that. I'm a terrible art critic

Colonial One wrote:
II. As (I), above, but the aliens insist that you present a board game to justify humanity's existence. You may only choose one board game. Which one do you choose?


Go. If they find it too primitive and simple, three-dimensional Go. And if it's still too simple, throw in an extra dimension or three.

Colonial One wrote:
III. As (I), above, but the aliens are not here on behalf of any organizations and they are not here to destroy the world. Instead, the aliens announce that they are incredibly bored, and that their leader has decreed that, should an human be able to supply them with a diversion that keeps them entertained for at least a solid Earth hour, they will share with us their medical science and research, which they have determined will allow us (humans, as a species) to unlock clinical immortality.

The aliens also announce that they are unfamiliar with the medium that we call "board games", and have therefore insisted that you fulfill this requirement with one of those. You have one hour to decide. You may choose a game of any level of complexity. Do you:

a) Choose a board game that you think will keep these over-indulged aliens entertained for at least an hour? If so, which one do you choose?

b) Post a thread on BGG asking for input and then, after as much time as you can spare in consultation, select a game for the aliens? If so, which one do you think you would choose after discussing it with BGG?

c) Insist to the aliens that this kind of decision has serious philosophical and social implications and that you do not think it is right for this decision to be made solely by you, and will they allow you to delegate this responsibility to a more representative body of humanity?

d) Deliberately sabotage the process by choosing a game you know they will not enjoy, or a game that is too short and will not fit the requirements, because mortality is one of the things that defines our humanity, and is it even possible to predict what will happen to society if we lose this fundamental piece of our existence- and besides, how would we feed a population that simply never died but continued to reproduce, since it's not like they're giving us any *other* technology, and wouldn't we just end up like these jerks anyway?, that is- lazy, indolent, and searching the galaxy for some form of amusement to distract us from the meaningless of our infinite and infinitely-mundane life?

e) Some other option.

Explain your choice (or not).



(e) give them the complete ASL rulebook, and while they're busy learning the rules, steal their spaceship, stash it someplace safe and start an international reverse-engineering effort, mankind gets both immortality AND space travel - and the universe is in a lot of trouble.

That last question reminded me of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series of books, which are quite good (and he has an interesting viewpoint on your option d).
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nadgamgee wrote:
Congrats! Enjoy your week and have fun!


Thanks, will do!
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Luds wrote:
Félicitations Sylvain! C'est ta semaine, profites-en!


Merci, j'y compte bien
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bboppr wrote:
Congratulations and have a wonderful and Geek-filled week!

Thanks! geek-filled weeks are the best weeks
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Kattvippa wrote:
Congrats and enjoy your week


paljon kiitoksia!

(Is this right? I don't really trust google translate)
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