Well, it has been a while, hasn't it? I just picked up this update to work on it a bit more and realized it had been seven months since I started it! Time flies, whether you are having fun or not.
Lots has happened in the gaming world since then. German companies have started making American games. American companies have started making German games. Everyone has decided they have to have a Reiner game in their stable or they just can't face themselves in the mirror in the morning.
The most alarming trend out of all of these changes has been the shift in emphasis to what the German's once referred to as the "professional" gamer. Games targetted at professionals require five or six plays just to properly find your footing (remember back when 10+ plays was the gauge of a truly great game?). A lack of humor or even surprise is also a characteristic of these interesting attempts at entertainment. What's that? You forgot that the principal point here was entertainment? Well, ummm, it shows.
Other changes were of a more personal, or, at least, personnel, nature. Mike Siggins has largely retired from game reviewing and, to a large extent, from gaming. The founder of Sumo, that venerable English gaming rag, was pivotal in introducing the English speaking world to the German gaming scene and he will be missed. Happily, at least in this context, I have a large pile of Mike's writing that has never seen print. I'll be rolling it out over the next few months, if all goes as planned.
And, of course, Counter, a games magazine written by many of the old Sumo regulars, carries on the Siggins tradition in fine fashion and, indeed, makes it their own. Selected reviews from Counter can be read at the FunAgain web site and subscriptions to the full beast can be had from many of the larger game shops on the Web.
And Web sites devoted to board games have been popping up all over the world! There's a stunning array of commentary and news to be had. Good stuff!
And, despite the long period of inactivity, folks continue to flock to the Cabinet. In fact, Britannica.com (which hosts the esteemed Encyclopaedia Britannica), gave us an Internet Guide Award a few months ago. I was curious as to the quality of gaming content on their site so I did a quick search on dominoes. Low and behold there was a link claiming to offer rules and history of the game! But, of course, it was a link back to the Cabinet!
Which is fair enough. Back when I was writing the history of dominoes page, I consulted their encyclopaedia as my principal source. I'm sure there's a lesson about circular reinforcement of misinformation in there somewhere...
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell