The April 1st News

by Moritz Eggert

Transcript of our podcast from 24 April 2007

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After a long hiatus I will concentrate on Gaming News again.

So here we go:

German gaming is facing its first big crisis. After a long period of using names of real world places, cities, countries and regions (think of Puerto Rico, Goa, Santiago etc.) the world is slowly turning out to be not enough when it comes to gaming names. So Alea Ravensburger has started a competitive search for real world places that have not yet been made into a game. You can go to the Alea website to propose names that will then be made into a great game by a great German designer. It is important that the place to be used has a history of slavery or violation of human rights that will then be completely ignored in the game except the inclusion of some brown meeples that will then incite endless discussions on Boardgamegeek.

Arthaus Games, the designers of the successful and incredibly tasteful card game "Pimp - The Backhanding" - see a new trend in board gaming. "Live Action Role playing has revived the Role Playing scene", say Arthaus Games so "Live Action Board Gaming will do the same for the ailing board game scene". Arthaus Games are offering a live action board gaming version of "Pimp - the Back Handing". This will be a fully organized trip to Amsterdam.

Players will be booked into a seedy hotel in the absolute center of Amsterdam's fabled Red Light District. There they will be able to engage in real life versions of the activities offered in the game "Pimp - The Backhanding", which includes drug dealing and the organization of a ring of prostitutes while defending yourself against the violent attacks of other pimps. "This will be a board gaming experience unlike anything you've ever experienced" says one Tony Soprano, the CEO of Arthaus games, "we are making you an offer that you simply won't be able to refuse".

And the trend is growing. Already now some wargaming companies offer real time versions of their wargames on the Iraq war. "It's very simple", says Mark Simonitch from GMT games, "you just register through us and get booked on the trip of your lifetime, everything from boarding, food and entertainment will be taken care of by one of the most professional organisations in the world, the US military. Players are even contending for prize money, which is roughly the same as the monthly salary of a Navy grunt, and the best of them will be able to rise in rank and fame - if they survive the random terrorist attacks, that is".

After the success of the new edition of "Die Macher" Valley Games is already considering a successor game, which is tentatively named "Die Macherer". The game will focus on the voting system in the former republic of East Germany, and is especially designed to get new gamers into the "Die Macher" fan base. "You see" says Torben Sherwood from Valley Games, "voting in the former DDR was relatively simple, you either voted for the communist party, or you voted for a puppet party that belonged to the communist party. So the player playing the communist party will automatically win the game, regardless of what happens. By taking the stress of competing away from the other players, they are free to concentrate on what's most fun about the game, the beautiful mechanics". Another expansion with the title "Die Macherest" is already in the talks, this time concentrating on the obscure voting system of Liechtenstein, the smallest country in the world.

Steve Jackson Games has announced a new collectable card game. How is it going to compete in an already crowded market? We asked Steve Jackson himself "We're basing our game on the most popular card game of all time: Poker. This will ensure a fan base as big as the American population, everybody loves poker here! We will continue our policy of downsizing the components of every of our games so that they fit in every gamer's collection, which of course comes at a higher prize for production. To eliminate the hassle of collecting thousands of cards in huge binders, each of our expansion sets of "Poker - The Gathering" will concentrate on only one single number card with the ultimate goal of collecting the killer deck that contains all possible cards. The basic set will be one number "2" card, which comes in 4 distinctly different versions, each with a totally unique graphic design: we call them sizzling spades, dazzling diamonds, cool clubs and hearty hearts. Collect them all, you can only use one version of each card in your deck! Each single card expansion will cost only 12,99USD plus taxes and postage of course. We will continue with the expansion sets "3" and "4" until reaching the expert sets "Queen", "King" and "Ace" in late 2009. Each new set will greatly enhance the chances of winning without introducing any rules problems; Poker is already so elegant that it doesn't need any fancy special ability cards, so we simply resisted the urge to do so."

Finally there is some news from the League of Untouchable American Gamers that opposes the contamination of the market by the horrible plague of Euro games. After endlessly discussing what a true American game should be like there has been lots of internal strife which in the end resulted in a splinter group, the "Solitary Clan of pure-bred American Gamers" that only accepts games that have been designed by American designers without any European blood, that are completely produced in the US without use of Chinese or German sweat shops and which feature neither meeples, modular boards nor auctioning mechanics.

After finding, to their horror, that the biggest Ameritrash game of all time, "Risk", has actually been designed by a French film director, and that "Monopoly" is based on New York, which, as everybody knows, doesn't actually belong to the United States, they have turned to the one single game that really fits all their exclusive criteria.

The game is called "ojibje meke allongoda" which roughly translates to "throw stone in the air and try to grab as many stones as possible from the ground before catching falling stone" by Native American Designer Legend "He who talks with the rooster before dawn". There are already talks to make this the only American game that is allowed to be played on American soil while Eurogames of any sort will be confiscated at the border. Former Boardgamegeek personality Michael Barnes raves about the new game, saying "finally I'll be able to open my own game store again, concentrating on one really worthwhile game will give me so much more time to play, and I won't have to throw out customers again who inquire for these horrible Euro games. Instead I'll throw stones in the air. How much more theme do you want? Huh?"

With this interesting bit of news I leave you, dear fellow gamers.

May the dice roll where they may.

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2007, Westpark Gamers