Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How to Make a Gamer - A Work in Progress

It's always somewhat amusing to me to see how people react when they find out I like to play games. I'm sure they think I mean kid's games - at least until I explain what kind of games I'm talking about. I always use it as a way to see if I can get another person into playing some of these great games and further grow the hobby. Just today, I was at Fed Ex sending some appraisal files to the home office. The lady behind the counter and I always chat for a few minutes and I mentioned that I had gone to Tahoe over the weekend to spend time with the family. After being surprised that we didnt go skiing, she asked what we did all weekend. The conversation continued on like this...

"Well, we watched movies, went sledding, played a lot of games... just kind of hung out as a family."

"Games? You mean like Monopoly or Life?"

"Well, not exactly. I like a lot of Euro-games that you probably have not heard of, but you'd most likely enjoy if you had played one."

"What's a Euro-game? Do you have to speak another language or something? "

"No, a Euro-game is kind of an overall name that applies to the style of games that I play. Unlike a typical American game where you roll a die, move your token and do whatever it says on the space you land on, Euro-games offer you many choices each turn on what you can do and how you can work towards winning."

*Her eyes glaze over*
"That sounds complicated."
*Slight pause as she thinks about it*
Are they any fun?"

"They are a LOT more fun than your typical Monopoly or Life game. They just work a little differently. Usually the other players have something to do when it's not their turn. There is a lot more interaction and they are pretty easy to get into. I've converted most of my family and friends into fairly serious game players with them."


"Yep. They are really addicting - but in a good way. My sister and her husband started playing these a few years back when they would visit. Now she has a fairly large collection of favorites and is always letting me know of games she has seen and asks my opinion of them. Five years ago, you couldn't have forced her to play a game of Monopoly. My brother on the other hand, actively hated these games. He'd make comments as we'd play along the lines of Why are you wasting your time?' or That looks stupid!"

*Slight bemusement, but still a bit wary*
"So you didn't convert him I take it?"

*I laugh*
"No, he finally caved in and tried one after a few glasses of a good Merlot. Now he'll try almost anything and he actually went looking to buy a few for himself. He was really touched to get a game from me for Christmas."

*She cracks up at this, but definately was curious now*
"You're kidding. That's really cool."
*She thinks about it for a second and adds*
"My kids don't like playing games with me, I'm way too cutthroat with them - especially in Monopoly!"

*Both of us laugh*

"It's no fun to get eliminated in a game and have to wait for everyone else to finish. Maybe you should try one of my games."

"I'd have no idea what to do."

"Do you like playing Rummy?"

"The card game? Yeah, it's a lot of fun."

*Pulling out a pen to write some stuff down*
"Go to this store, and buy this game."

*Reading my note*
"Ticket to Ride? That's a game?"

"Yes, and a great one for you and the family. It's easy to learn and I'm sure you will enjoy it. It won't cost anymore than taking the family to a movie and you'll have the game to play again and again."

*Smiling brightly*
"Ok, thanks. I may just get this."

And I walked out. I don't know if she'll go get it or not. I hope so, but it might take a bit more persuasion. She was interested - especially after hearing that nobody gets eliminated during the game. I've decided to make her my next vict...errr... project.

We shall see.

I think this experience kinda sums up the way that most Americans feel about games. All they know is Monopoly or LIFE or some trivia game. The thought that there might be something else out there is intriguing. It's a tough nut to crack, but I have converted nearly everyone I know that had never heard of a Euro-game into a Boardgame geek.

Like me.
By the's a picture of the game I recommended... Ticket to Ride.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Do you invest in the Stock Market? Do you like Movies? Have I got a game for you!

I thought I'd start off by giving you a "free game".


It's something a little unusual and maybe calling it a game is a bit of a stretch, but the truth is, it's a lot of fun, it combines two of my favorite pastimes (Games & Movies) and it's addicting - which is always the sign of a good game.

I'm talking about the Hollywood Stock Exchange. It's a really odd combination of movies, movie stars and investing in the Stock Market. The premise is real similar to the actual Stock Exchange in Wall Street that you are most likely familiar with. You buy stocks in indivual movies or movie stars (actors and actresses) and hope that they go up in value instead of down. It's that simple.

(I'll leave out the part about the obsession with wondering how much "money" you've made and how you'll be checking it multiple times a day to see how well (or how poorly) you are doing!)

You simply need to click on the link at the right and sign up for a free account. Don't worry about spam or them selling your name or anything, like I said, I've been doing this for a looooong time and it's never been anything but fun. Pick a good username and be sure to change your password to something you'll remember right away as the one they give you will easily be forgotten.

Once you have an account, you'll get a gift of $2,000,000 to start investing with. You simply search for a movie title and when you find one you like you can purchase up to 50,000 shares of it.

Moviestocks come in a few catagories:

Concepts - Typically, they are drawn from whispers and rumors about a "new" project. These are pitches or ideas which are not in active development, and may not ever be turned into real movies.

Development - This is the second phase in the life of a Moviestock. Development begins once a project has attracted interest. Producers commission a script, talents are attached, and funds are being spent. There is no guarantee that the movie will be made simply because it has reached the development stage, but it definitely has a good chance.

Production - This is the third phase in the life of a film. Moviestocks that fall into this category are currently being filmed and has an excellent chance of reaching a theater near you.

Wrap - This is the fourth phase in the life of a Moviestock. Movies that have been "wrapped" have completed filming and post-production (effects, editing) is taking place. MovieStocks that are wrapped for three years without a release date will cash out at with a value of zero!

Release - This is the final phase in the life of a Moviestock. Movies in the release phase are currently in theaters. This is where traders put their money where their mouth is and find out what the buzz was about.

Of course, the earlier you buy a Moviestock, the cheaper it will be and the more potential profit you will earn. Then again, it could tank before it ever gets off the drawing board and then you are out of luck! (I've lost 1.7 million alone on the never to see the light of day sequel... Spaceballs 2!)

Moviestocks get put on "hold" the weekend of their release and all trading is suspended while the HSX (Hollywood Stock Exchange) awaits the Box Office returns late Sunday night. Moviestocks usually get adjusted to the rate of 2.8 times their box office take for the opening weekend.

For example, Basic Instinct 2 opened this past wekend and here are the numbers:

Basic Instinct 2 (BASC2) This is the HSX stock name.
Halted: H$19.73 (This was what it was selling for when the price was halted on Friday morning)
Weekend: $3.2M (This was the abyssmal weekend box office take)
Adjusted: H$8.96 (This was what the Moviestock adjusted to on Sunday night)

If you owned 50,000 shares on Friday, by Sunday you had lost H$ 538,500! (That H$ is HSX dollars by the way).

The fun is in trying to pick the winners and avoid the losers. Of course everyone owns shares of Spiderman 3 (currently being sold for H$203.16 per share, but not everyone can say they bought it for H$95.50 like I did!!)

The movie Starbonds work differently and there are other types of investments that you can make too. The HSX site is a real community as there are forums, reviews, discussions, market analysis tools, ect to help you get the most out of your time there. It really is a one of a kind website that will keep you ahead of your friends when it comes to hearing about the latest movies in the works in a real fun and interactive way.

Everyone starts with the same $2,000,000... the trick is to make it grow! (I'm currently at $343,000,000 and still going!).

Check it out, you'll have some fun.

Welcome to Nothing But Games!

*Turns on the Light*

Hey! There you are. Welcome to Nothing But Games. I'm Scott and I'll be the one babbling about just about every game related topic I can think of. If you aren't sure what to expect, don't worry, you aren't the only one - I'm new to this too. I'll do my best to keep you interested and coming back for more.
I see they've just about finished the painting and the rest of the decor in here, so I'm gonna come back after they've cleaned up and get things going. Hope to see ya back in here in a little bit!