The Games Journal | A Magazine About Boardgames

Letters - June, 2003

Rick Thornquist: A big thanks and congratulations to Bob on his superb article Evolution of German Games 1980-1997 . I've always been curious as to the roots of our hobby, and Bob has done a fantastic job of researching and giving us a very detailed history. A fabulous article keep up the good work!

Dana More: This was the best article on German games I have ever read. Outstanding work. The only problem I see is that, after reading it, others may be reluctant to contribute articles, for fear of comparison! This should be required reading for anyone interested German-style gaming. Thanks Bob.

Larry Levy: Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Bob Scherer-Hoock's extraordinary article relating the people and events that led to the awareness of German gaming in North America. As someone who's always been fascinated with the history of modern gaming, finding all this information in one place was pure nirvana. There was obviously a tremendous amount of research and legwork that went into the article and it stands as far and away the most comprehensive and authoritative work on this neglected subject. Fantastic job, Bob-I am completely in awe!

Ron Hawaii: Any boardgame publisher should offer to their players the option of upgrading the board, the playing tokens and any other items in the game package. Take Chess for example, there are numerous sets available. In fact, probably what originally attracted a lot of players to the game of Chess was the game's men and queens, themselves, especially the carving on the knights. The quality of the game components should not be taken cheaply or the buyers be taken cheaply, either. Monopoly had great tokens to start off with. Not much could be improved over the original equipment except with the materials themselves. But this is rarely the case. Have you bought a box of Cracker Jack, lately? The prizes in the Cracker Jack—box or package—have really gone south. The option of upgrading to better components, allows publishers to observe the bottom line while offering their customers better bottle caps in the process. Whether upgraded boardgame components are manufactured in-house or through licensees as an ancillary product is largely dependent on the boardgame's popularity. Of course, there are collectors and a few boardgame players who consider their gaming more than just a hobby, perhaps enough people to support upgrading or even a deluxe market.

Keith Ammann: I disagree with Dave Shapiro's statement, "Camaraderie at the game table is totally absent when on-line." (See Ra, Mu and CPU) As a semi-regular on Brettspielwelt (Board Game World), I have a "watch list" of people with whom I play and chat regularly, whose personalities, preferences and skills I've gotten to know. Also, the system of belonging to different cities in the Board Game World encourages users to get to know—even, to a certain extent, befriend—their fellow citizens. Finally, being forced to learn some German to navigate the site has gotten me in touch with my own ethnic heritage (my father was born in Germany) and prompted me to learn the language more thoroughly. There are a couple of German BSW users who coach me on my German, and I do the same for their English. I am also doing my humble part to increase the amount of trash talk that takes place.

Mario T. Lanza: I can only say I was glad read that you'll be publishing an article on game design. I am regular reader/contributor at the Board Game Designer's Forum ( It is exciting to read about any point of view with regard to what makes a good game design be it from a successful game designer, a game designer hopeful, or an avid game player. I welcome all views. In fact, it's a topic that I think is so wide open that one article will only touch upon the tip of the iceberg. I wouldn't mind reading other articles that touch upon the intricacies of game design and opinions about different designs.

Simon Graham: A few friends and I are thinking of going over to Essen this year and I have been "tasked" with organizing it. Having scoured the net for several days, one key piece of information eludes me. Exactly where is the event held. i.e. In what building? Your help will be greatly appreciated.

GGA - Spiel is held every year at Messe Essen which is by the Gruga Park. This is of the "impossible to miss" category as the exhibition center is huge (there are two train stations that you can use) and the park is even larger. For more detailed information I highly recommend checking out Mik Svellov's Brett & Board:

You might also want to visit the official (English) site:

Good luck and have a great time!

Horizontal line

About | Link to Archives | Links | Search | Contributors | Home

All content © 2000-2006 the respective authors or The Games Journal unless otherwise noted.