Letter from the Editor
(February, 1996)

Tim Trant has come through with a crop of good racing material this month. Tim has designed a new track for Formule De and supplies a translation for DTM, that infamous game in a tube from the last Essen Spiel.

The big news in the gaming world is the potential merger of Hasbro and Mattel. This would create a giant owning 40% of the world's toy market. It would certainly sound the death knell for what little competition remains in the mainstream American games market.

Wizards of the Coast have been trawling the Bay Area and toying with a leap onto the Net. After abondoning board and roleplaying games, it seems like they are looking for their next move.

This months trip report will be brief. Jos and I lead a crew down to Baja California Sur, Mexico to visit the gray whales during calving season. Many mothers and calves were spotted, inordinate amounts of shrimp, fish, and lobster were consumed, and a good time was had by all.

Along the way we played a lot of Uno and Sticheln while sitting around in airports, bars, and restaurants. I had forgotten how mindless (but still fun!) Uno is. Sticheln is great but it took us three or four games (and they are not short) before we really had a feel for what we should be doing.

When we returned, I immediately plunged into Cinequest, the San Jose film festival. It turned into a marathon week - 25 hours of films, 20 hours of consulting, and two days in Seattle visiting (cue organ music) the Evil Empire.

The Latin American films stole the show at the festival. I highly recommend both "Jonah and the Pink Whale" and "Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You're Going." They are both bitter sweet love stories with beautiful photography. The first is erotic and comic. The second is fantastic with a science fiction tinge and dwells on the big issues of life: love, death, the soul, intelligence, and why all the nice movie houses are closing down.

The last question seemed particularly relevant as the festival was hosted by a massive new United Artists theater in downtown San Jose. This beast is three stories tall with nice, big theaters and a snack bar on each floor. It dwarfs the old Camera theaters that for years were the only life in downtown San Jose. One hopes they will survive with competition this fierce.

On the job front, I have settled on a life as a Godless consultant. Which means that we will have two ronin in the house now and the dogs see no peace in sight. Stay tuned for a couple of months and I will let you know about my first project. I think you'll like it.

Take care,

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell