Monday, October 31, 2005

Entering Radio Silence

If you've ever seen Apollo 13, you might remember that for a few minutes as they left space & entered Earth's atmosphere, the astronauts were out of contact with the NASA. Well, the same thing's about to happen here at The One Hundred.

Due to an out-of-town conference during which I won't have access to my computer, I'll go "radio silent" by early afternoon on Monday the 31st. In other words, no blog posts after lunch time on Monday... or at any time on Tuesday.

Then, Wednesday evening (the 2nd), when I return home, I'll begin publishing The One Hundred. Over the next 16-17 days, you'll get to count down with your hosts, Stephen & Mark, The One Hundred Top Games of All Time.

Don't change that channel...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Why Not The Geek

I've received a couple of questions about why I've chosen not to post The One Hundred to the Geek. (For those of you uninitiated the arcane language of gamerdom, that's the website, Board Game Geek.) While the Geek is a fabulous resource for information - it "took over" the role of being boardgaming's "go-to" website from The Game Cabinet & The Gaming Dumpster back in 2000 - it's not a great place for to release this kind of information.

"Why not?" you ask. (Or, if you don't, someone else does.)
  1. It's noisy in there. Posting this as a Geeklist or a series of forum postings would mean that The One Hundred would quickly be lost in the noise of "10 Games I Want From Essen" and "Why People Who Think Settlers iz Kool R Stoopid".
  2. I'm a bit of a control freak. If comments get out of hand on a blog, I can slap the cyber hammer down and be done with it. If they get out of hand on the Geek, they just get out of hand.
  3. I like not seeing comments yet still having them there. People are welcome, nay, encouraged to comment on The One Hundred... but the blog structure keeps those comments on a second, linked page - rather than tagged directly below each entry. So, you can just enjoy the content - or dig into the conversation... your choice. Choice is good!
There's probably other reasons, but I can't articulate them right now. It's important to note (again) that I think the Geek rocks... Derk & Aldie have done a spectactular job creating & maintaining the site. It's just not the best choice for something Stephen & I want people to enjoy... heck, pay attention to!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Clarity is the Soul of Something

This morning, I sent out this announcement:

Nearly a year ago, Stephen Glenn asked a crew of 65 hardcore gamers about their favorite games. After much delay, the results of "The Official & Completely Authoritative 100 Best Games of All Time Ever Without Question" are about to be published at

The One Hundred

Think of it as an online VH1 special, only without the cheesy 80's celebrity hosting... well, unless you count Stephen & I as children of the 80's and/or cheesy.

The countdown begins next Wednesday (11/3)!

Many of you were confused by the announcement, which contained unusual English words, like "about to be published" and "begins next Wednesday". Evidently, I set my Clarity Level on "inscrutable" before typing.

Let's try again, shall we?

The One Hundred now has an official blogsite - which will be filled in over the next month with the results of Snoop's hard work. I will be updating it almost every day, so you'll want to check back and/or put us in your RSS feeder. The actual list will start going public on Wednesday, November 3rd. (I'd call it D-Day, but as many times as we've tried to put this thing into print form, it's probably up to Q-Day or P-Day by now.)

How I (Stephen) Tabulated the Results

I began by asking a select group of hardcore gamers (mostly Eurogamers) to send me a list of their fifteen favorite games, listed in order. 65 gamers replied.

At first, I thought I would simply assign each vote a simple value based on its place in any indvidual list. First place in any given list would receive 15 points and fifteenth place in any given list would receive one point. I soon realized that this gave first place games too much weight. A game that received first place from one voter, yet showed up in no other list would fare better than a game that showed up at the bottom of 14 other lists. That would not do.

After a little tweaking & twonking on my spreadsheet (with the help of Chris Lohroff) I decided to give first place votes (in any given list) 29 points and last place votes (in any given list) 15 points. Since placement was arbitrary in many cases (based on comments/complaints I received) this seemed fair. A game that showed up on the bottom of two lists would receive one more point than a game that showed up at the top of one list. Maybe not perfect, but that's what I settled on.

You may also notice that some similar games are combined as one entry and others are not. For example, Power Grid & Funkenschlag were combined and considered as one game, whereas Memoir '44 & Battle Cry were designated as separate games and placed individually. All such cases were decided by a majority of the voters, not by myself alone.

I hope this list will inspire debate and discussion. Although no such list can eve be considered definitive (Mark: the title at the top of the page is sarcastic), it is my personal opinion that this particular list does an admirable job of showcasing excellence in our hobby. You will agree or disagree. And that is the point.

The Introduction

Stephen Glenn:
In the waning months of 2004, I asked a group of dedicated, hardcore gamers to send me a list of their top 15 games of all time. I specifically asked them to list games that they most enjoyed playing -- not necessarily games that they felt deserved special honor or recognition. I also requested that they list the games in order (from most favorite to least favorite).

Based on their responses and my calculations, here is the Official & Authoritative 100 Best Games of All Time Ever Without Question. You can view the list in its entirety [Mark: well, once it's all published you can - I'll come back & stick a link right here] or you can work your way backwards from 100 to 1, just like those irrestible VH1 specials.

It should be noted that the list has a decided Euro-slant. This should not be surprising, considering the participants. If you asked a group of wargamers or RPGers the same question, you'd get a much different list. Beyond that, the list should speak for itself. I hope you enjoy it and that it sparks much conversation & pleasant debate.

Mark Jackson:
I came up with the name. Yep, that's pretty much all I did.

Oh, yeah - and I attempted to host it on my website... until by some random act of chaos, I am no longer able to update my website due to the dying gasps of my aging iMac. Sigh.

You may or may not find VH1 specials irresistible... but we do both hope this will be fun for you to read and/or argue with. A number of the participants took time to write comments on the games - some in great detail - and what they have to say is interesting even when I think some of them are full of hot air.


It's About Time!

Yeah, yeah... we've been talking about this for-freakin'-ever... and now it's finally here. You can blame Stephen "Snoop" Glenn for part of it (just how long DOES it take to compile the dang comments?), but me, Mark "Fluff Daddy" Jackson for most of the delay (yes, for a guy who runs a couple of websites & a couple of blogs, I'm functionally computer illiterate.)

Anyway, it's here. Enjoy.