Matthew Baldwin (MeFi's Own* Defective Yeti*): " ...That’s why I come armed to every social engagement with board games, to help facilitate that whole human interaction thing that people thought was important before smartphones gave us an excuse to avoid eye contact with others. It’s also why I give games as gifts—and why, for more than a decade, I have been helping others do likewise. And so, my annual Good Gift Game guide, showcasing those board and card games from the last year or so that are easy to learn and teach, fun and engrossing to play, and that can be completed in 90 minutes or less." (additional notes & more games for the 2012 guide) [more inside]
My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player. Jon Finkel's winnings topped $300,000 from 1997-2008, during his most active Magic: The Gathering years. These days, jonnymagic00 heads out on the professional poker circuit instead. But loyal Magic fans still have his back.
Tabletop: Analog Game Design - A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years, we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
Minecraft mastermind Markus "Notch" Persson has officially announced his company's next project: a hybrid online board game/trading card system called Scrolls. Spearheaded by Mojang co-founder Jakob Porser (interview) and with backstory penned by Penny Arcade wordsmith Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, the game will consist of turn-based battles between collectible "scrolls," illustrated character cards strategically deployed on an abstract gaming grid. In an interesting inversion of the Minecraft model, the game itself will be free, while updates in the form of additional scroll packs will cost a nominal fee -- a business model gaming analyst Sean Maelstrom decries as "snake oil." Mojang, for their part, is unafraid and even eager to target an untested slice of the gaming market, and is angling to get their playable prototype of Scrolls ready for a possible Alpha release this summer.