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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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To play or not to play: Some thoughts about the best in board games

By David Bowman

February 25, 2009 | People have asked, "Why do you play that game?" or, "Is that game fun?" These are such broad questions when they are asked to a person that has been playing board games, or any other type of game for an extended time.

Veteran gamers may respond with a simple, "Because I like it," or "Of course it's fun or else I wouldn't be playing it!" Looking at what players look for in a game will let one know what is fun for them, but what about the person next to them? The types of board games that will be discussed and what may make them fun will be strategy, role-playing, and action/adventure.

Strategy board games

Paul Owen, owner of Phoenix Games in Logan, said, "Chess comes to mind when I think of strategy, but only because it's been around forever!" Other games brought up were Risk and Axis & Allies.

For a strategy game to be successful it needs to have a learning curve and be challenging. Patrick Carroll, from the Google group, "Think about Games," (TaG) said, "Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) is a fantastic game and probably one of the best when it comes to strategy war games." In ASL the player has many small squads at his control and each member of a squad may have different equipment or abilities.

Carroll's personal opinions on games and some of his favorites are here.

Role-playing games

This may be the widest and most diverse genre of board games. There are games like Rune Bound where a player will game levels for her character and hopes to defeat the evil boss of the game. Other styles of role-playing board games are Arkham Horror, which is a survival horror variant, and Descent, another fantasy game but set underground.

Jacquelyn Smith ,21, has played various board games for more than 10 years and said, "Role-playing board games are by far my favorite, especially Rune Bound. I love how the game tells a story and that I get to kick the Evil Dragon Lord's butt!"

To see Carroll's opinion on why role-playing games may still be so popular check here.

Action/adventure games

These are much like the role-playing games except that they focus on immediate action instead of a developing story. Travis Emery ,24, said, "For an action/adventure style board game I personally enjoy Zombies!!!. It's a nice, fast game with cool pictures and great jokes."

The game Zombies!!! puts you in the situation of being one of the few survivors in a zombie outbreak.

Other games like Ninja vs Ninja and Killer Bunnies fit into this category. Fast games are the norm when it comes to an action board game. These will fit the niche for those who may not like to put a few hours into a game.

David Kidd has written an article on a rating system that matches players to games they may like. The rating system is called S.T.A.V.N. This system is more intended towards video games but it can be used on board games if you break down the game using the system. For an example chess would have a high strategy and tactic rating while Rune Bound will have a high artisan, visceral, and narrative rating.

Just by looking at these three different genres one can tell that it really is up to the individual when it comes to what style of game they may like.

Owen said, "There are so many different styles of each genre of board game that it makes it hard to say that everyone will like one game over the other. Each player needs to play around to find out which one is there to their liking."

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