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Tuesday, December 22th, 2009

Archives Games

The Network Prank

Tirade's Choice

How a Board Game Can Make You Cry

"Just won 2 hands of fluxx in a row! Next to my child being born, the greatest moment in my life!" -- tweet by mickzilla

Rash wrote a new page about his favorite -- and least favorite -- holiday music. Also, his regular round-up of links and commentary includes the Definitive Top 20 Worst Christmas Songs Ever, Twenty Pieces of Music That Changed the World, the Auschwitz sign, Why the Phantom Menace sucks, why the second and third films of His Dark Materials were scrapped, Surprisingly Colorful Jellyfish, "Up in the Air," the Most Unfairly Overlooked Movies Of The Decade, Ten Brands That Will Disappear In 2010, the inside story of Northwest 188, the RashPod, Dubai's Improbable Tale, A Short History of Shaving, Wataru Itou's Castle On the Ocean, the Power of Consumption, the 'Herbivore' Boys of Japan, the Turkey Drop, the National Day of Listening, Villareal's Multiverse, Ten states that face looming budget disasters, the Ten Happiest States, and the Ten Saddest states.

Happy Holidays / Back from Europe

Holiday Greetings from snowbound Looney Labs! We're still digging out from the biggest snowstorm our city has seen in many years... we got almost two feet of snow! The timing was rather unfortunate, since it caused lots of party cancellations and interfered with shopping and holiday prep, but big snows like this are uncommon for us and are therefore always exciting. Alison made the biggest snow pyramid ever!

It's particularly unusual for us to get a big snowstorm before the official start of winter... a white Christmas is a real rarity in the Washington DC area. That's why it's rather marvelous that our holiday gift mailing this year was an oversized postcard featuring this beautiful winterized version of the Aquarius landscape we've long been using in Looney Labs marketing. (Curiously enough, the image was both suggested and created by our old friend Skip Soneson... did he somehow know the blizzard would happen?) Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Jolly Solstice, Rockin' Kwanzaa, and Fabulous Festivus! Here's hoping your holiday season is filled with joy, snowy or not!

Our annual gift this year, announced on the postcard (along with a valuable coupon code for purchases from is my newest Treehouse game, Nothing Beats a Large. (If you've been following this site for awhile, you'll recognize this as the final form of something I've been working on for over a year, known by the codename Secret Project RPP.) All it takes to play Nothing Beats a Large is a Treehouse set and set of easily-scrounged goal cards, so we're releasing this game in a downloadable PDF. I hope you enjoy it!

A lot has happened in the last Whenever. Most notably, for me anyway, is that I've recently returned from an exciting trip to Europe. I spent a week in Amsterdam in between weekends in Rotterdam and London, and obviously, I had a great time! (Mostly I just hung out in coffeeshops, talking to people and playing games, but that's what I consider to be a great time.) I've written about my experiences in the coffeeshops of Rotterdam and Amsterdam on another page, which I've posted over at Fully-Baked-Ideas.

As for London, it rained the whole time I was there, but I had a jolly good time in spite of it. I timed my visit to London around a gaming convention called DragonMeet. Since this was my vacation, I wasn't interested in working the show in any official capacity... I was just there because I knew it would be a good opportunity to find fans who'd be keen to play my games with me.

In particular, I was there at the request of Jennifer Waddington, arguably the most dedicated Looney Labs fan in all of Great Britain. Jennifer has been running Looney Labs gaming events at cons all over England for as long as I can remember, and I know we've got many fans who learned from Jennifer at her demos. So when she pointed out that DragonMeet was happening at the perfect time for me to incorporate into my itinerary, I decided to drop in. And I had a splendid time, playing and in particularly playtesting my games with Jennifer and her "warren" of British fans of our games.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good photo of the scene at DragonMeet. But afterwards I tagged along with some of the gamers I'd just met to a local pub, where we played Aquarius and a few rounds of Treehouse, and here's a photo of that. On the left is a lovely young lady named Alice-Amanda who provided me with crash space in her group house's spare room. (Thanks again Alice-Amanda!)

I spent my final day in London hanging out with Petra (who just happened to also be vacationing in London that day) and Liza (who's now been living in London longer than the time she lived here, growing up in the DC area). We had a fine time dining and shopping and looking at things in London, and I'm told the unrelenting rain just made the experience more authentic.

Anyway, it was a great trip, but like all such adventures, it's great to get home again, particularly when there's some much going on back here. Since returning I've been busily trying to get caught up, finish up work like the new card layouts for the new version of EcoFluxx, and prepare for Xmas.

AndyYikes, that's soon! Well, that's all for now. Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading, Happy Holidays, and have a great Whenever!

Thought Residue
I always enjoy sampling the different types of candy you find in faraway lands, and I really enjoyed the new treat I discovered on this trip: Mars Planets. This mixture of multi-sized milk chocolate spheres features 3 types of inner cores: Soft, Crispy, and Chewy. I'm really hoping Mars decides to bring their Planets to America, but unfortunately, all the reviews I'm reading online are from candy snobs who didn't relish them as much as I did, so who knows.

One change I noticed since my last visit to Amsterdam is that a lot of new "wok-style" take-out restaurants have opened around the city. I can see why these wok places have become so popular: you choose your basis (noodles or rice), your favorite mix-ins (meats and veggies), and your choice of sauce, and they cook it up before your eyes. Yum! Just another thing about Amsterdam I'd like to see take root back here...
"Here is the sort of thing that a portion of my brain ponders, as I work - Is a reanimated corpse of a man that had Alzheimer's less intelligent than a regular zombie? Is Reagan really the dead ex-POTUS that we would want in charge? Does it matter which conceptual framework of zombies we use as a benchmark? Would Gerald Ford be more clumsy than other zombies? Would FDR be able to walk again?" -- Amy Lindsey, on her Facebook page, responding to the Onion's story, "Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP"

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