Teriyaki steak jam

There comes a point in every gamer’s life when he must admit he has too many games he hasn’t played in his collection.Well, not every gamer’s life. Take Tom Vasel for instance. Tabletop gaming evangelist and owner of The Dice Tower network, Tom collects games in the same manner Scrooge McDuck accumulates wealth. The wall of game boxes visible in the background of his Dice Tower videos is but a tiny fraction of his full collection, which is deep enough to swim in. Tom can often be found backstroking his way across a tide of Carcassonne: The River tiles, spitting out small streams of meeples while cackling to himself in glee. Who knows how many games stand unstirred on the bed of this incredible gaming ocean? Who knows how many games he owns whose interiors have never seen the light of day?

For the rest of us, even one unplayed game should be sign enough that we should slow down in our spending. These aren’t video games; most can’t be played in single player. Too often I’ve tried to do so, playing both sides of the table, switching persona when it comes to take my turn as player number two. I’ll guard my cards, peer across the board trying to read the poker face of the empty space seated opposite. What should be a pleasant gaming experience–two friends enjoying one another’s company–becomes a twisted journey into the psyche of a man at war with himself. As the game progresses I start accusing my other self of playing unfair, of cheating. I call him names. We come to blows. Everything ends when the light comes on and some passerby roused by strangulated screams finds me throttling myself over a Thunderstone box yelling: “You’re getting the light rule wrong on purpose, you bastard!

So Kickstarter is the last thing any of us needs in our lives. It’s an online funding system whereby creative people can have their projects funded by the great unwashed. If I had an idea to make say, steak jam, but couldn’t afford premises in which to cook vats of the stuff, I might go to the food section of Kickstarter, film a twee video explaining the concept behind steak jam (“It’s jam, but for men!”) and wait for the donations to roll in. People willing to sponsor my idea would receive gifts in return: a five dollar pledge might earn them my thanks; ten dollars might net them a badge or button to wear in the shape of Moo-licent, our happy-go-lucky mascot; for thirty bucks they might get a collector’s set of our steak jams in plain, peppered and teriyaki variety; and so on, all the way up to hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars, at which point the sponsor would pretty much be paying for both of us to go on holiday to Romania, to take a course on traditional Romanian butchery.

Board games designers have leapt upon Kickstarter with talons and fangs glistening. Best suited to high quality productions produced in limited quantities, Kickstarter’s the perfect place to fund tabletop games. It’s also a place that doesn’t sell games themselves, but rather, the promise of games. In the same way you and I and everyone we know keep buying games we might never play, thanks to Kickstarter we can now fund games that might never be made.

It’s all terribly appealing.

And while there’s no gambling involved (if the project doesn’t reach its goal, you’ll back every penny you donated) donating creates a strangely tense frisson that totally scratches the gambler’s itch. What if the game turns out to be rotten? For the most part these are first-time designers who’re using Kickstarter, ordinary people betting on their own ideas. Thanks to your donation you might end up buying a sponsored dinner with someone who made a game you absolutely despise. Just as likely, you might be spending it with the creator of your new all-time favourite game, a game that wouldn’t have existed if you hadn’t believed in it.

This year I’m trying not to look forward to games that aren’t out yet. Hype is an expensive habit; frankly I don’t have the cash to spend on games I know I’ll never play.

But I have funded a game via Kickstarter: Agents of S.M.E.R.S.H, a story-telling board game set in the glamorous world of ‘60s espionage. The creators hit their goal in early January and if production goes smoothly it should be shipping in March. It’s too early to discern whether it’ll be a good game or a $70 lemon–what sparse indicators we have show it could swing either way–but good or bad, I and hundreds of other backers had a distant hand in making it. In the smallest possible way, we’ve changed the course of gaming history.

And if nothing else, hey, at least Tom Vasel will have another game box through which to do the doggy paddle.

Author: Campfire Burning

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38 Comments

  1. I want Agents of SMERSH but the international shipping makes it crazy money for me in the UK. I’m very jealous. Even if you get the international deal that makes it as cheap as possible as long as you buy three and share them out.

    Another reason I hate Campfire Burning: I am now picturing Tom Vasel wearing no pants but with top hat and spats on his bare feet.

    I feel I have just lost us any chance of getting onto the Dice Tower Network. I’m very sorry.

  2. Another excellent piece, Campfire…

    I empathise with you on the solo play thing. I’d join a board game group but I’m just too shy/scared… :(

  3. *SLAP*

    GO TO A BOARD GAME CLUB!!!

    …why do I even bother, eh?

  4. btw, I know this person. I can slap him.

    Please post your comments, strangers.

  5. :slap: go to a board game club!

  6. Let’s try to open this up for comments…

    Anyone else I should ostracise today?

  7. Even though the thought of meeting strangers is terrifying I’ve just looked up the closest board gaming group. It’s a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender gaming group. I mean, I could go, but if I did it would confirm every suspicions my wife’s ever had about me.

  8. Not if you go as a transgender former lesbian women.

    You used to sound American before the hormones deepened your voice into some weird English accent.

  9. Just what the doctor orederd, thankity you!

  10. You mean I don’t have to pay for expert advice like this anmo?rey!

  11. The genius store caleld, they’re running out of you.

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  21. June 11, 2011 at 16:42Lately people are so scared of the end of the world. I would say if it’s ment to be you can’t change it. It’s unbelieveble that there are people who quiet there jobs, because they believe in these kind of things. Reply

  22. Nicole, I assume you read “Demon” by Tosca Lee? That was close enough. I don’t think Christians should start writing about such things as dismemberment, gore, and all the other things that come with “Horror” fiction.

  23. If you read, you can see he called for violence reduction, not gun control. We need to start looking at this as a mental health problem. Incidents like Aurora, and lesser outbursts like road rage, are on the increase. Don’t you think we should find out why?

  24. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find any person with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the net, somebody with somewhat originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!

  25. We really dont need bank accounts.Lets use cash only. That will reduce banks deposits and put them out of business.IF banks dont lend, than what are they there for?…..money laundering?or Goldman Sacks wannabes.?We need mega credit unions to compete with banks, and lend to worthy borrowers……COMPETITION COMPETITIONThe american way….

  26. tout ça on en reparlera en période de crise lourde mon petit pépère. Quand tu verras par désespoir les gens se jetter dedans. Et tu verras qu’il faudra à nouveau l’interdire. Les gens sont responsables… quand tout vas bien.

  27. Happy Birthday, Renee!Up until about 10 years ago, I was always thought to be quite a bit younger than my age. I think I now pretty much look my age, unfortunately. But I still feel so much younger. And you have nothing to worry about. Very well written, my friend.

  28. Your layouts are so inspiring. I love all the new ideas each month! Would also love the Tamron lens. Don’t have a DSLR yet….but what an inspiration to get one!!! Love taking pics…of everything! Thanks

  29. Vii megelÅ‘zött, de éppen ez a grimoire célja. SemmitÅ‘l sem irtózunk jobban, mint a “varázsolok 50 Mp-ból egy higanygÅ‘zlámpát és megvakítom UV-fénnyel”-típusú játékot. Legyen grimoire, amit a KM aztán átnézhet (tehát ezt ne a táborba hozd elÅ‘ször, hanem neki küldd el!) és adott esetben megvétózhat. Például a fentebb említett túlkomplikációs esetekben.

  30. Aaaahhhh, endlich – der dumme Fisch, der den Köder schnappt, um dem Angler zu beweisen, dass er schlauer ist.Dass dein Kommentar so ziemlich alles bestätigt, was hier über dich gesagt wurde, fällt dir nicht auf, oder?Ich schmeiß’ mich weg

  31. Bula MikeWhitey is known to have been found in almost all the world's oceans (except for the polar regions).Maybe, just like with Malta, the sharks just pass by Fiji to say hello.I am sure that you and your trusty camera will be there just in case he shows up in the arena.;-)

  32. I love books and I enjoyed Hunger Games too. Too bad the other two that followed didn't seem to match this first one's excitement. Have you read them too?

  33. Sunny – Glad that you’re back home and safe. Sorry to hear about your horrible day on a plane. Just think…things could have been worse. Samuel L. Jackson could have been fighting snakes on your plane. Time to count your blessings. 😉

  34. to continue using or playing with your toy. IDK. Unless someone else can give you a better idea.Hi everyone, I have a Tomy Sunshine Buddy that is a solar powered "bobble head" type toy. …no longer available so i cannot buy a replacement. I took the toy apart and it looked like all the

  35. It’s like you’re on a mission to save me time and money!

  36. * LOLz * SOoOo FLuffy like Clouds !! I can even imagine myself jump into these 2 BiG Clouds =p Hahahahhaha .. ok herm herm..come back to ur pancake , I must try your recipe with heavy cream too! Looks even better. Yeap you’re right!! They deflate very fast the moment u took out from the oven… Haha! What a cute German pancake..

  37. Hello i never head of this rankings until a friend enlightened me on it,i think it a must come welcoming news for all of us ,cuz it helps put the schools on their toes and preclude them from celebrating their past but strive to maintain and even attain greater heights in the future. It obvious the criteria for this rankings is unknown but it obvious all the above schools are deserving looking at their recent performances…………………..keep it up and let transparency be the key to rating this schools.

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