Saturday, September 29, 2007

The NYTimes Archives on Board Games

The New York Times open its archives dating back to 1851 for public perusal. Most of the articles are freely available, although you occasionally run into articles that can't be accessed without payment.

Here are some first mentions of various games and topics, by date, with a brief note about the topic covering the subject.

Avalon Hill: April 12, 1969. Adult games are a serious business.

Axis and Allies: February 18, 1984. New toys and games. Article not accessible.

Backgammon: November 15, 1852. An article exhorting people to stop playing Backgammon and write letters to their mothers and sisters.

Baseball and Cricket: November 11, 1858. A recounting of work undergone in constructing "The Central Park", including grounds for these games.

Bridge: I can't access the articles, but both contract and duplicate bridge appear to get first mentions in 1927.

Chess: December 2, 1851. Comparing a clash between the Democrats and Whigs to moves on a chess-board.

Conversation Cards: December 7, 1903. A list of game helpful for studying languages, the list also includes two French and a German game.

Cribbage: December 25, 1852. Somewhat scandalous reflections on Christmas.

Dungeons and Dragons: September 8, 1979. First mention of the game is the infamous "student goes missing at MSU" report.

Fox and Geese: June 1, 1853. A rather humorous criticism of a supposed séance. Uses the game's name as an aspersion.

December 1, 1895. Game makers hope to produce the next "hit games for Christmas" that will be the next Lotto, Tiddledy Winks, Authors, Old Maid, Snap, or Go Bang. Reversi is one new game, as are new games based on boats, horses, football, baseball, American politics, and the new bicycle craze.

Kriegspiel: July 6, 1878. Introducing the war game as played in the German army.

Magic: the Gathering: August 14, 1994. 300 million cards already sold.

Mah-Jongg: September 3, 1922. Introducing the Chinese game to American audiences, with illustrations.

Mancala: November 28, 1897. About the African game and its diffusion in Africa.

Mansion of Happiness and Muggins. June 20, 1883. Spain's King and Queen played these all night, apparently.

Pachisi: December 29, 1878. About the Indian passion for the game. People used cloth boards which they rolled up to use as turbans.

Pictionary: September 21, 1986. An article on the game makers before the game is brought to market.

Pit: November 22, 1903. Introducing the game.

Scrabble: I'm not entirely sure, but I believe 1953 is the first mention.

Settlers of Catan: November 16, 2002. Only a passing mention in an article about religious board games. Sheesh.

Snakes and Ladders: I can't access the article, but apparently first mention is November 1936. "Chutes and Ladders" in December 1937. Since the game "Chutes and Ladders" wasn't released under that name until the 1940's, I'm curious to see what the article says.

Trivial Pursuit: January 17, 1983. Can Trivial Pursuit compete for attention against the likes of video games such as Pac-man?

Whist: October 9, 1851. Recounting of the Westchester Agricultural Fair.

Friday, September 28, 2007

From Chag to Shabbat in 82,800 Seconds

Digg's Registration
Gender Selection
While religious Jews in the U.S. struggle to make it through three days of chag and shabbat this weekend, followed by another three days next weekend - which means they're not reading this on Friday - us Israelis no sooner finish chag that we start our preparations for shabbat, having only most of a Friday in between the two.

A few things about my last week ...


On Tuesday I took a train to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, my first such experience on the Israeli Jerusalem/Tel Aviv line. Parking in Jerusalem is free, and the Jerusalem station is only 15 minutes from my apt in light traffic.

The train takes around an hour and a half to get to Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv, which is how long it takes in heavy traffic by car, and it costs 36 NIS, which is far less than I would pay in gas. The ride is smooth, the trains are new, the seats are comfortable, it's not crowded, and I can read or sleep. It's fairly close to perfect, assuming that I travel off-peak and don't need to go far from the TA train station when I get there.

Scooter and Boat

When I got to TA, my "boss" picked me up on his "toos-toos", or scooter. I'd ridden on the back of a motorcycle once about twenty years ago. I had to get onto the back of this thing, my crotch essentially in his butt, my hands on his waist, and my head in a piece of plastic that seemed more likely to twist my head out of its socket than protect me if I flew off and landed on it while driving. And that's more intimate I ever want to get with a co-worker.

The thought that immediately leaped to mind was how similar the experience was to being on a motor-boat. The exhaust of the scooter smelled like boat fuel, the shifting balance like waves, the wind in my face like that off the water, and when I got off it felt like I was returning to my land-legs. It was all so familiar; my family had a motor boat when I was little, and my wife's family has one in Georgian Bay.

The only thing missing was the seaweed and spray.

All the kids

My stepson Eitan just came back for a two week trip. He's here for two weeks and then goes back, hopefully taking the dog with him. Which means I'm now officially off dog-minding service.

There was a brief 20 seconds this afternoon when all four kids were together in the house at the same moment, which hasn't happened since last June. Then Ariella went out, Tal went off to her mom for the weekend, Eitan went out, and then Saarya went out to his mom for the weekend. Leaving me all alone again. Sniff.

They'll be buzzing in and out over the next few weeks.

Speaking of games for girls

Via Feministe:


Pitch your games to Hasbro, Mattel, and other companies at Chi-Tag

Mike Hirtle from Hasbro and Dave Okada from Mattel will meet with inventors one-on-one for 15 minutes each for 2 hours at the Chicago Toy and Game fair (Chi-Tag) this November 16 - 18, according to Mary Couzin of Discover Games. The meetings will be during the Ask the Expert panel on Saturday following the Inventor Forum.

Here's Chi-Tag's schedule, for those of you planning to be in the area:

Chi-Tag Awards
Best in Show Toy and Best in Show Game voted on by Fair attendees
Teacher’s Choice for Best in Show
Golden Game Award to teachers using games in the classroom and in the school. Co-sponsored by Jax Games.
Young Inventor Challenge Winner
WorldBee Geography Bee Winner

November 16th

Noon - 2 pm – Ask an Expert, free
Sign up for free 15 minute sessions with Tracy Dudkiewicz, Richard Gottlieb, Peggy Brown, Bob deGrace, Matt Nuccio, Matt Forbeck and more to come.

Richard Gottlieb, Author, Consultant, and Playthings Columnist
Tracy Dudkiewicz, President of TAP Marketing (PR and marketing)
Peggy Brown, Peggy Brown Consulting (packaging, colors, copy and development)
Bob deGrace, President of FRV Group (printer)
Matt Nuccio – Partner of Design Edge (graphics and design)
Matt Forneck - President of Full Moon Enterprises (veteran freelance author and game designer)

2 pm to 6 pm – Free Exhibitor Workshop
Knucklebones Lounge – Joe Jones, Publisher of Knucklebones, Moderator
Richard Gottlieb – topics from his latest book, Ambassador to Wal-Mart.
Tracy Dudkiewicz, President, TAP Marketing - What’s Your Marketing Mix? How to Use PR, Advertising and Promotion without Breaking the Bank!
Peggy Brown, Peggy Brown Consulting - Package Design, Trend Colors, Copywriting and Product Development.
Bob deGrace, President FRV Group – Printing, What You Need to Know.
FRV Group sponsoring snacks and refreshments.

6 pm - Exhibitor Pizza Eat-n-Greet

November 17th

9 am Star Wars Character Breakfast open to public
$25/adult and $15/child – Federation Toys is sponsor

7:30 am Inventor Forum, $45, free to exhibitors
7:30 am breakfast sponsored by DeLano

8:00 Forum – Hasbro and Mattel – What do they want?
Tim Walsh – moderator - Play Entrepreneur
Mike Hirtle – Global Head of Product Acquisition and Inventor Relations at Hasbro
Jeffrey Breslow – Co-Founder of BMT (Big Monster Toy)
Dave Okada – Vice President Inventor Relations at Mattel

9:45 break

10 am Forum – Self-Production and Licensing – What do you need to know?
Tim Walsh - moderator - Play Entrepreneur
Howard Jay Fleischer – President of RoyaltyPros Licensing
Richard Gottlieb - Author, Playthings Columnist and President of Richard Gottlieb and Associates
Arne Lauwers – President of Lauwers Games from Belgium

11:45 end

11 am HL Games Event - TBA

1 pm – 3 pm – Ask an Expert, free
Sign up for free 15 minute sessions with Mike Hirtle, Dave Okada, Tracy Dudkiewicz, Richard Gottlieb, Peggy Brown, Bob deGrace, Matt Nuccio, Matt Forbeck and more to come.

Speaker’s Luncheon – Lunch for all Speakers of Forums (all days)

12 pm Boy Scouts on Stage for Merit Badge

1 pm Giant Loteria Mix Game sponsored by Dulcelandia on Stage

1 pm – 6 pm - Games in Education Forum, Free with fair admission ticket
Science Fusion sponsoring refreshments and snacks

As an Approved Illinois CPDU Provider, this Forum will provide professional development seminars on how and why to use games in the curriculum. Professional educators, parent educators, administrators, and future educators are all invited to attend. Topics include but are not limited to:

- Why games are good for the brain
- How to evaluate games for their educational potential
- How others are integrating games into their educational programs
- How to differentiate instruction using games
- How games evolve to match developmental levels from early childhood to adulthood
- Practical exercise in evaluating and using games in the curriculum

Presenters include experts and educators from HL Games, High Content Games, Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and the National-Louis University Center for the Gifted. (This schedule is tentative and subject to change until finalized in September.)

4 pm – Young Inventor Forum – Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Young Inventors
Mike Hirtle – Global Head of Product Acquisition and Inventor Relations at Hasbro

10 am – 6 pm All Day Events, Free with Admission Ticket
Young Inventors’ Challenge
Game Club HQ
Kapla Tournaments – Relay Race, Tallest Tower and Tree Toppling

6 pm - Night at Essen, Free with General Admission Ticket
A Night at Essen features hot new games direct from the world famous Essen Game Fair sponsored by Rio Grande Games.

November 18th 2007

Reaching the Latino Market, $45, free to exhibitors

7:30 am breakfast

8:00 am Forum begins
Carina – Latino Radio and TV personality and author of Carina’s Annual Ten Best Toys and Games
Hector Fabregas - Univision
Sharmilla Fowler - Phoenix Multicultural

Marketing to Hispanics is different than marketing to the general population. They buy different and for different reasons depending on their level of acculturation. If you want to break into the fastest growing, largest and youngest market in the U.S. who adore their children, you should attend.

10 am How to Protect Your Idea, Free
James Michael Faier, MPP, MBA, JD
Registered Patent Attorney
Faier & Faier

Speaker’s Luncheon – Lunch for all Speakers of Forums (all days)

12:30 – 1:30 Radio Disney on Stage

1 pm – 3 pm – Ask an Expert, free
Sign up for free 15 minute sessions with Tracy Dudkiewicz, Richard Gottlieb, Peggy Brown, Bob deGrace, Matt Nuccio, Matt Forbeck and more to come.

2 – 4 pm WorldBee – Geography Challenge sponsored by American Express Travel
Students in grades 4 – 8 compete to win travel vouchers, games and other prizes in this geography based “Scholar’s Challenge.” Complete rules of participation and registration information forthcoming. Grand prize $1500 travel voucher from American Express Travel.

2 – 4 pm Retailer Roundtable covering large chains, independents and home-shopping
$25/person, free to exhibitors
Moderated by Tracy Dudkiewicz - President of TAP Marketing
Brandi Field - Buyer for Go! the Game Store and Calendar Club
Gordon B Lugauer - 'the' Board Game Barrister
Bob Circosta - The Billion Dollar Man
More panelists to be announced

5 pm Young Inventor Winner Announced on Stage

10 am – 6 pm All Day Events, Free with Admission Ticket
Young Inventors’ Challenge
Game Club HQ
Kapla Tournaments – Relay Race, Tallest Tower and Tree Toppling

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gaming at My Bros / Game News

Spent the first day of Sukkot at my brothers. When I wasn't creating stories to tell my niece, eating, sleeping, or davening, I was gaming.


Wed evening we played Magic: the Gathering, which I hadn't played in some time. We drew random cards, built decks, and battled for 2 out of 3 games. I built Black/White, splashing red for a Fireball, and heavy on the creatures. Ben built Black/Blue. Both of us had a lot of fliers.

The first game I drew rather poorly and lost. A late Pox evened the score a bit, but wasn't enough to save me. In the second game, we both had light land pulls, but I played the swampwalker I had swapped in from the sideboard. The third game was very close. Twice during the game, a series of spells or attacks cleared the entire creature space leaving us both with nothing but land out. It cam down to the wire, with me at the advantage, but Ben somehow managed to find a way to get through the last point to kill me right before I could kill him.

Some people complain about Magic because of the collectible aspect of the game or because in order to compete at fancy tournaments you have to buy the latest cards. What a bunch of bollocks. Ben and I had one of the finest gaming experiences ever Wed night with nothing but pulling random cards from his antiquated collection.

A couple of thousand Magic cards costs tens of dollars and provides an incredible, portable game play (both during the game and outside the game) and a replay value far and above just about any board or computer game.

Winner's Circle

I brought a few games with me that I thought my 7 year old niece could enjoy, and Winner's Circle, Knizia's horse racing board game, one of them. It manages to take a simple dice driven horse racing and betting game and turn it into something light and fun, with a nice balance of luck and thought, and decent player interaction. It's too light for my game group, though.

I didn't think Ben would like it, because dice don't tend to like him. Given that warning, however, he found it tolerable, especially since my niece enjoyed it enough to want to play a second time. Tal also joined in the second game, while I went to read.

The game I played was close, but I managed a close win.

The Menorah Game

I brought a copy of It's Alive to show them, but Tal prefers to play with the original theme and graphics, as does my niece. They played a few games. The only shame about the newer nicely published version is that the graphics are less appropriate for younger players. It's a favorite game of kids I know ages 7 and up.


Unlike my game group, Ben made the mistake of letting his religious gaming buddies read the unadulterated rules to Amun Re before playing it, and since then they won't try it. Religious problems with the theme. I solved that in my group by tweaking the theme somewhat.

Saarya agreed to play with Ben and me. I started with strong pyramids to their strong farmers, which is generally a disastrous way to start. I fully expected to lose, especially when Ben tied me at the end of the first era. Now I didn't even have a token lead to build on, and far less money than either of them, too.

My building certainly fell behind in the second era, but I managed to secure the provinces I needed to fulfill two bonus cards in my hand. One of the provinces I needed wasn't a problem, as it was the least desirable of those on offer; the others I got by the skin of my teeth.

Saarya ended up deciding the game by choosing which side of the river he wanted to secure best pyramids. He took the side in which he was competing with Ben, leaving me to gain the bonus on the other side. That was just enough to let me win by 3 points over both of them.

Surprised the heck out of me.

And by the way, this was the first time I noticed that in the second era you only choose among provinces that were also available during the first era. I had always simply drawn new provinces from all possible cards in the second era. I'm not entirely sure which is the better mechanic.

Game News

Mainstream media always compares new board games to Monopoly, even when the comparison is not exactly warranted. In this case, the Islamic game Heaven's Gate is called the Islamic version of Monopoly, even though it's clearly a trivia game, not a real estate game. And there are no dice.
It differs from Monopoly in that the players do not roll a die but instead pick the card on the box they arrive in. On these cards there are questions to answer such as "Who is an unbeliever?" or "Name the four sects." Those who gain 2,000 points at the end of the game earn the right to go to the Heaven.
Speaking of Monopoly, the usual crowing and complaining is going on in response to the final release of the UK's new Monopoly version, in which only some cities managed to get on the board at all, but the ones in the cheapest spaces are complaining anyway. Your fault for not cheating and hacking the contest like the other cities did, so shut up.

Scotland Yard, the old game of chasing Mr X around London, is going live via mobile devices, Ravesburger, and T-Mobile.

Cranium WOW is looking to set the world record for number of simultaneous players this Saturday night.

Another card game shooting. People, if you can't manage to avoid being violent during the game, don't be violent in the same location in which you're storing drugs and stolen police equipment. And if you can manage to avoid being violent during the game, maybe blabbing during a card game about a murder you committed at some other time is also not such a bright idea.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

3500+ Computer Game Industry Jobs

Who said it's hard to find employment in the game industry?

Since I'm doing game research anyway, here is a couple of job openings I've come across so far. This is hardly a comprehensive list. New positions are added, and existing ones filled, every day. This was assembled with a little copy and paste and some nip and tuck. Locations provided when possible.

Production Intern/Temp Project Worker - San Fransisco

AI Programmer - Senior California - Woodland Hills
Animation Software Engineer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Animator Wisconsin - Madison
Animator-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Associate Brand Manager California - Santa Monica
Associate Producer California - Woodland Hills
Associate Producer California - Santa Monica
Associate Producer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Associate Trade Marketing Manager California - Santa Monica
Build Process Engineer California - Woodland Hills
Character Artist California - Foster City
Concept Artist California - Novato
Contract Recruiter — Video Game Industry (San Francisco/San Jose, CA) California - San Francisco
Customer Service Representative California - Santa Monica
Customer Service Representative California - Sunnyvale
Customer Support Representative California - Santa Monica
Director Interactive Marketing Communications California - Santa Monica
Director Outsourcing California - Santa Monica
Director Organizational Development California - Santa Monica
Effects Artist Wisconsin - Madison
Environment Artist Wisconsin - Madison
Environment Artist - Call of Duty California - Santa Monica
Environmental Artist-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Executive Assistant I California - Santa Monica
Executive Producer California - Santa Monica
Executive Producer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Finance Manager, NA Publishing California - Santa Monica
Financial Analyst California - Santa Monica
Forecasting/Analysis Manager, RedOctane California - Santa Monica
Game Designer California - Encino
Game Designer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Game Programmer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Game Tester Minnesota - Eden Prairie
Gameplay Programmer Wisconsin - Madison
Goal Designer California - Woodland Hills
Graphics Software Engineer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Greenlight Financial Analyst California - Santa Monica
Junior Animator-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Junior Game Programmer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Junior Network Engineer - CT California - Santa Monica
Junior Sound Designer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Level Artist California - Woodland Hills
Level Artist California - Novato
Level Builder - Call of Duty California - Santa Monica
Level Designer California - Woodland Hills
Level Designer Wisconsin - Madison
Market Research Intern California - Santa Monica
Network Engineer - CT California - Santa Monica
Network Game Engineer California - Santa Monica
Network Software Engineer - Bond California - Santa Monica
Nintendo DS Programmer New York - Albany
Note Tracker California - Woodland Hills
Office Services Coordinator California - Santa Monica
Physics Software Engineer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Player Control Programmer California - Woodland Hills
Playstation3 Graphics Engineer California - Woodland Hills
Playstation3 Title Engineer California - Woodland Hills
Producer California - Woodland Hills
Producer - Bond California - Santa Monica
Producer - Call of Duty California - Santa Monica
Production Coordinator-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Production Tester California - Foster City
Production Tester (Temporary) - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Programmers California - Woodland Hills
Purchaser California - Santa Monica
Quality Assurance Tester California - Santa Monica
Scripter California - Encino
Scripter - Call of Duty/Bond California - Santa Monica
Senior Accountant - Studio Finance California - Santa Monica
Senior Animator California - Novato
Senior Animator - Call of Duty California - Santa Monica
Senior Character Artist California - Foster City
Senior Environment Artist California - Foster City
Senior Game Designer California - Novato
Senior Game Designer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Senior Graphics Engineer California - San Francisco
Senior Graphics Software Engineer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Senior Localization Project Manager California - Santa Monica
Senior Online Manager - CT California - Santa Monica
Senior Producer - CT United States
Senior Software Engineer California - Novato
Senior Software Engineer - Infinity Ward California - Encino
Senior UI Artist California - Foster City
Software Engineer - Infinity Ward California - Encino
Sound Designer California - Woodland Hills
Staffing Coordinator California - Santa Monica
Studio Recruiter - Santa Monica California - Santa Monica
Supply Chain Analyst California - Santa Monica
Technical Artist California - Woodland Hills
Technical Artist-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Technical Game Designer-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Texture Artist Wisconsin - Madison
Texture Artist-Vicarious Visions New York - Albany
Tools Software Engineer California - Woodland Hills
Tools Software Engineer - Treyarch California - Santa Monica
Treasury Manager California - Santa Monica
User Interface Designer/ Graphic Artist California - Woodland Hills
User Interface Programmer California - Woodland Hills
VFX Artist California - Encino
Web Designer California - Sunnyvale
Web Developer California - Sunnyvale

Beenox - Quebec, Canada
3D Animator
3d Artist
Associate Producer
Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Level Programmer
Port Programmer
Texture Artist

Atom - San Fransisco
Product Manager, Shockwave
Product Manager, AtomFilms
Product Director, Shockwave
Customer Support Technician
Game Producer, Shockwave Studio
Content Director, AddictingGames
Business and Strategy Analyst
Sales Services Executive

Biart - Russia (jobs are outsourced)
3D modeller
3D animator
2D animator
2D artist (sketches and art)
level designer
j2me programmer

Big Fish - Seattle
Job Openings
Business Development Manager
3D Game Developer
Java Game Programmer
Game Programmer
Ecommerce Developer
Senior Java Developer
Junior Java Developer
Client Game Developer
Mobile Game Developer
2D Artist
SDET - Online Community
SDET - My Big Fish Games
Contract Black Box Tester
Customer Support Contractor
Customer Support Lead
Customer Support Technical Manager
German Customer Support Contractor
Customer Support Trainer
Production DBA
Senior Linux Administrator
Search Marketing Coordinator
Search Engine Optimization Manager
Marketing Research Manager
Game Release Coordinator
Developer Relations Representative

Bunchball - Redwood City, CA
Vice President of Engineering
Senior Server Architect
Graphic Designer, Casual Games

Gamasutra's - listings
412 job listings

Games on Deck's - listings
4 listings

Designer CA-San Francisco
Senior Designer CA-San Francisco
Media Capture Assistant CA-San Francisco
Director, Software Engineering CA-San Francisco
Senior Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Senior Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Senior Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Senior Technical Producer CA-San Francisco
Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Software Engineer CA-San Francisco
Software Engineer - CNE BI CA-San Francisco
Search Engine Optimization Specialist CA-San Francisco
Associate Product Manager CA-San Francisco
Account Manager CA-San Francisco
Account Manager CA-San Francisco
Account Manager CA-San Francisco
Advertising Director IL-Chicago
Regional Sales Manager CA-Santa Monica
Regional Sales Manager IL-Chicago
VP, Sales CA-San Francisco

Web Content Developer Seattle
Web Application Developer Santa Monica, CA
Technical Support Representative - UK Manchester, UK
Technical Support Bellevue, WA
Systems Engineer Bellevue, WA
SQL Server Developer Bellevue, WA
Software Engineer II Santa Monica, CA
Software Engineer II Santa Monica, CA
SEO Manager Santa Monica, CA
Product Manager - Media Santa Monica, CA
PHP Programmer Santa Monica, CA
NOC Lead Bellevue, WA
Network Engineer Bellevue, WA
IP Lawyer Santa Monica, CA
Intern Santa Monica, CA
Facilities Intern (Unpaid Internship) Santa Monica, CA
Executive VP and General Counsel Santa Monica, CA

Digital Chocolate
San Mateo:
* Wireless Carrier Account Managers
* Game Engineer
* Mobile Game Tester
* Principle Engineer
* Senior Engineer
* Senior Brew Engineer
* System Architect
* WAP Server Engineer
* Game Engineer
* 3D Game Artist
* 2D Game Artist
* Senior Game Designer
* Game Programmer
* Lead Game Programmer
* Java Programmer
* Game Producer
* Wireless Carrier Account Managers

Pogo - Redwood Shores, CA
SW Engineer II
SW Engineer III
SW Engineer II (Austin, TX)
Development Director
Sr. Software Tester (Temporary Full Time)
Quality Assurance Project Lead
QA Manager
User Experience Producer
Associate Producer, Features

Electronic Arts
Producer Assoc I Global Online Studio - SDK BC - Burnaby
EA Mobile Montreal: Lead Programmer QC - Montreal
SW Engineer II - Global Online Studio Field Engineer BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer I BC - Burnaby
DD I BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer III Technical Director 15858 Development CA - Redwood City
Producer Singapore
EA Mobile Montreal - Recruteur Sr - Sr Recruiter QC - Montreal
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Lead technique Sr - Sr Technical Lead QC - Montreal
Concepteur de jeux - Game Designer QC - Montreal
Business Development Manager China - Shanghai
Gestionnaire de projets/Producteur associé QC - Montreal
EA Mobile Montreal - Senior Producer QC - Montreal
Senior Development Director QC - Montreal
Technical Artist BC - Burnaby
EA Mobile Montreal - Producteur - Producer QC - Montreal
EA Mobile Montreal - Art Director QC - Montreal
Associate Producer Midsession gaming development team BC - Burnaby
Community & Content Mgr BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer I BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer III BC - Burnaby
Lead Programmer QC - Montreal
EA Mobile Montreal - Artiste senior / Senior Artist QC - Montreal
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer III BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Product Mgr II BC - Vancouver
Executive Producer QC - Montreal
COO QC - Montreal
CG Supervisor BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer II User Interface Designer BC - Burnaby
Network Programmer QC - Montreal
Lead Game Designer QC - Montreal
Office Coordinator QC - Montreal
DD I BC - Burnaby
Technical Artist QC - Montreal
Software Engineer QC - Montreal
Art Director QC - Montreal
HR Director BC - Burnaby
Visual Effect Artist Sweden
Sr. Manager Studio Applications Canada - Burnaby
Application Technical Lead BC - Burnaby
EA Mobile Montreal - Testeur sur appel - On call tester QC - Montreal
IT Software License Management (SLM) CA - Redwood City
Producer I BC - Burnaby
DD I BC - Burnaby
PR Coord II BC - Vancouver
Desktop Support QC - Montreal
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Software Engineer II BC - Burnaby
Art Director BC - Burnaby
Character Animator BC - Burnaby
CG Supervisor BC - Burnaby
Motion Capture Specialist II BC - Burnaby
Concept Artist BC - Burnaby
Programmer III UK Guildford Criterion
Project Coordinator Romania - Bucharest
General Manager Romania - Bucharest
Oracle Supply Chain Analyst UK - Chertsey
Software Engineer III Sr Rendering Programmer Sweden
Producer Singapore
Videogames Tester - French 2 - 11 month contracts (Madrid) Spain
Network Engineer UK - Chertsey
Software Engineer II Senior AI programmer Sweden
Student Programmer Network programmer Sweden
Artist I 3D Artist Sweden
Videogames Tester - Russian 3 month contracts (Madrid) Spain
Senior Web Producer UK - Chertsey
Internship, open application Sweden
CRM Manager Switzerland - Geneva
European Procurement Director Switzerland - Geneva
Senior Procurement Manager UK - Chertsey
Systems Administrator UK - Chertsey
Business Development Manager China - Shanghai
Oracle Applications DBA UK - Chertsey
SOX Compliance Manager UK - Chertsey
Data Centre Manager UK - Chertsey
Sales Director UK - London
Service Operations Manager UK - Chertsey
Videogames Tester - Swedish 3 - 9 month contracts (Madrid) Spain
Web Applications Architect UK - Chertsey
Advertising Operations Specialist UK - Chertsey
Software Tester UK - Chertsey
Trade Marketing Manager Denmark
Sales Manager- Nordics Norway
Product Manager Finland
Publicist UK - Chertsey
Localisation Supervisor Netherlands - Amsterdam
Football Community Manager Germany
Business IT Online UK - Chertsey
General Manager Romania - Bucharest
HR Advisor Sweden
ECG Compliance Specialist Spain
Treasury Manager Switzerland - Geneva
Supply Planner Switzerland - Geneva
2D /User Interface Artist Sweden
HR Manager France
Supply Chain Co-ordinator Switzerland - Geneva
Intern - 3D Sweden
Junior Programmer Spain
Sr. Studio Tester Embedded QA Lead Sweden
Financial Planning & Analysis Intership 6 months contract (Intership) Spain
Flash / Action Script Developer Sweden
Online Marketing Manager UK - Chertsey
Football Community Manager France
Sales CoOrdinator Denmark
Visual Effect Artist Sweden
Designer 2 Germany
Senior Designer UK - Guildford
Sales Administrator Sales Finland
Submissions Coordinator 6 months contact Spain
Marketing Director UK - Guildford
Desktop Support Engineer Spain
Portugal Credit Controller Spain
Mastering Technician UK - PARKLANDS
Snr Product Manager - EA Sports Switzerland - Geneva
Snr Product Manager - Football Switzerland - Geneva
Marketing Manager - Football Switzerland - Geneva
IS&T Manager VA - Fairfax
Applications Security Engineer VA - Fairfax
Producer II Assoc CA - Redwood City
Animator CA - Redwood City
Producer Assoc I EA Salt Lake City
Audio Artist III EA Salt Lake City
Animator EA Salt Lake City
Visual Effect Artist Sweden
UI Designer EA Salt Lake City
Senior Manager, Income Tax Accounting CA - Redwood City
Director Marketing I CA - Los Angeles
Director Marketing I CA - Los Angeles
QA Auditor KY - Louisville
Systems Engineer VA - Fairfax
Director of IT Planning CA - Redwood City
Director of Business Unit Programs CA - Redwood City
Sr. Solution Architect CA - Redwood City
Category Manager Arkansas Sales
Administrative Assistant, Investor Relations CA - Redwood City
Director Marketing I CA - Los Angeles
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Ecommerce CA - Redwood City
Director of Applications Services CA - Redwood City
Distribution Coordinator CA - Los Angeles
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Project Manager III JAMDAT - India (Hyderabad)
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Ensemble Studios - Dallas, TX
Visual Effects Artist
Character Animator
Graphics Programmer
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Senior Programmers

Games's listings
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Gamedev's listing
54 job listings

Gamelab - NY, NY
Art Director
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GarageGames - Eugene, OR
Sr. Web Developer
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Assistant Video Editor Santa Monica
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Director of Development Santa Monica
Project Manager Santa Monica
Digital Media Publicist/Designer Santa Monica
Administrative Assistant/Office Manager New York
Administrator, Distribution, Central Region Chicago
PHP Web Developer Santa Monica
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Hothead Games
Producer - Vancouver, British Columbia

Europe Correspondent Open
Lead Web Designer Framingham MA
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Customer Service Representative Toronto Canada
Associate Editor San Francisco CA
Director, Business Development Framingham MA
Sr. Research Analyst, Vertical Markets Framingham MA
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Assistant Video Producer San Francisco CA
Online Edit Intern Framingham MA
Human Resources and Education Coordinator Framingham MA
Consulting Director, Telecom Framingham MA
Research Manager, Manufacturing Insights Framingham MA
Administrative Assistant San Francisco CA
Manager, Brokerage Services Framingham MA
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Content Development Specialist Framingham MA
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Sales Development Manager Framingham MA
Program Manager, PC Tracker San Mateo CA
Online Editor Framingham MA
Assistant Managing Editor Framingham MA
Marketing Intern Framingham MA
Client Services Manager Southborough MA
Web Designer San Francisco CA
US Correspondent, Boston Boston MA
Online Multimedia Producer Boston MA
National Online Sales Leader San Francisco CA
Assistant Editor San Francisco CA
Research Director, Healthcare Provider Framingham MA
Editor in Chief, San Francisco CA
Account Manager, New York NY
Research Analyst, Pricing Evaluation Service Framingham MA
Reporter East Coast
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Sr. Research Analyst, Global BPO Services: Market Opportunities by Key Business Processes Framingham MA
Product Marketing Specialist Framingham MA
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Brand Manager, LinuxWorld Framingham MA
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Online Regional Sales Manager San Francisco CA
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Research Director, Merchandising and Demand Chain - Global Retail Insights San Mateo CA
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Sales Coordinator San Francisco CA
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Research Director, Retail Store, Channel and Consumer Strategies - Global Retail Insights Framingham MA
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Fox (IGN) lists 397 jobs

iWin - San Francisco
Assistant Game Producers
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Business Systems Lead Engineer
Developer Relations Manager
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Marketing Manager
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Senior Product Manager
Program Manager
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K2 - Location?
Associate Producer
Community Liaison
Customer Support Lead
Database Engineer
Desktop Support Engineer
Director of Network and Systems
Fraud Specialist
German Customer Support
Jr. System Administrator
Marketing Coordinator
Operations Producer
Product Marketing Manager
Software Developer
Turkish Customer Support

Kongregate - San Francisco
Lead Unix Sysadmin
Web Developer
Entry-level QA Tester

Kynagon - Location?
a Technical Writer
Software Engineers
Developer Relation Engineers
a North American Sales Manager

C/C++ Software Engineer - Toronto, Canada
Web Developer - Toronto, Canada
Community Marketing Manager - Mountain View
Marketing Programs Manager - Mountain View
Director of Outbound Marketing - Mountain View
Senior Media Sales Professional - Mountain View
C++ Developer - Mountain View

Dutch Site Monitor anywhere in Europe and North America
German Site Monitor work from home
E-Mail Support
Site Monitor work from home position
Game Programmer
Jr. Linux Systems Administrator
Game Programmer (Singapore)

Club Penguin
Graphic Designer
Director of Finance and Accounting
Technical Support Representative
Multi Player Game Developer

CONTRACT - Technical Writer/Translator (Japanese language skills preferred) WA - Redmond Contract
CONTRACT - HR Assistant WA - Redmond Contract
CONTRACT - Account Administrator WA - Redmond Contract
CONTRACT - Administrative Assistant WA - Redmond Contract
Service Technician WA - Redmond Full-time
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Bilingual Admin Asst (Latin America) (English/Spanish) CA - Redwood City Full-time
Software Engineer or Senior Software Engineer WA - Redmond Full-time
CONTRACT - Industrial Maintenance Technician WA - North Bend Contract
Account Administrator WA - Redmond Full-time
Bilingual Administrative Assistant (English/Japanese) WA - Redmond Full-time
Network Security Analyst WA - Redmond Full-time
Embedded Software Engineer WA - Redmond Full-time
CONTRACT - Embedded Software Engineer WA - Redmond Contract
Manager, Sales & Marketing (Latin America) CA - Redwood City Full-time
Director & General Manager, Latin America CA - Redwood City Full-time
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Channel Marketing Analyst CA - Redwood City Full-time
Manager, Audio Visual Production WA - Redmond Full-time
Retail Representative - San Francisco North (Full-Time) CA - San Francisco Full-time
Web Application Analyst WA - Redmond Full-time
Licensing Manager, Nintendo Power Magazine NY - New York Full-time
Production Lead WA - North Bend Full-time
Manager, Supply Chain Services (NB Production) WA - North Bend Full-time
Art Director WA - Redmond Full-time
Senior Database Administrator WA - Redmond Full-time
Audio Visual Editor WA - Redmond Full-time
Administrative Assistant (Sales) CA - Redwood City Full-time
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Bilingual Office Assistant (English/Japanese) WA - Redmond Full-time
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CONTRACT - Call Center Lead WA - Redmond Contract
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Bilingual Product Specialist - Localization (English/Japanese) WA - Redmond Full-time
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Receptionist NY - New York Full-time
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Manager, Public Relations NY - New York Full-time
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Retail Representative - El Paso, TX (Part-Time) TX - El Paso Part-time
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Manager, Corporate Communications CA - Redwood City Full-time
Director or Sr. Director, Corporate Communications CA - Redwood City Full-time
CONTRACT - Facilitator, Product Guidelines Internal Support WA - Redmond Contract
VP, Corporate Affairs CA - Redwood City Full-time
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Manager, Advertising CA - Redwood City Full-time
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Director, Merchandising & NMI CA - Redwood City Full-time
Network Administrator Washington Full-time
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Associate Software Engineer or Software Engineer WA - Redmond Full-time
Localization Writer/Editor WA - Redmond Full-time
Senior Accounting Analyst WA - Redmond Full-time
Computer Operator I or II WA - Redmond Full-time
Computer Operations Specialist (Nights & Weekends) WA - Redmon

Advertising Sales Executive New York
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National Director, Online Advertising Sales New York
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Publishing Project Manager Seattle
Recruiter Specialist New York
Regional Sales Manager -Online Advertising Sales Chicago/Detroit
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Software Developer Seattle
System Analyst New York
Vice President, Advertising and Sponsorship Sales New York

PictoGame - Location?
Flash games developer
Flash games graphic designer
Web designer
Art Director

Playfirst - San Fransisco
Website Quality Assurance Engineer
VP / Director Of Web Site Product Management
Software Engineer - Together
Senior Software Engineer (Mac)
Games Designer
Producer - Game Designer

PlayGen - London, UK
Game Artist / Designer
Game Programmer

Leader Developer, Pro-G Media - London, UK

3D Games Artist - XSI Modeller Cambridge
3D Modeller (Junior) Cambridge
3D Modeller with Texturing Experience Cambridge
Associate Producer Cambridge
Browser Java Games Developer Cambridge
Game Content Developers Cambridge
Games Engine Developers Cambridge
Graphical User Interface (GUI) Designer Cambridge
Graphics Team Leader - 2D Design and Publishing Artist Cambridge
Graphics Team Leader - 3D Modeller Cambridge
Online Network Account Manager London
Player Support Performance Manager Cambridge
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Quality Assurance Game Tester Cambridge
Quality Assurance Game Tester - RuneScape Cambridge
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Software Engineer Cambridge
Software Engineer - Graduate Developer Cambridge
Technical Author Cambridge
Website/User Interface Designer Cambridge

Sandlot - Bothell, Washington
Game Programmer Intern (1003)
Director of Development (1004)
Web Developer/Project Manager (2005)

CGN - Location?
Game designers, developers & testers
Sales & Business Development
Marketing & PR
Technology Specialists
And more…

SoGamed - Location?
Counter-Strike Scene News Writers
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WC3 Demo Admins

ThumbPlay - NY, NY
Marketing Analyst
Director, Brand Marketing and PR
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SEO Strategist
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Inside Sales Support - San Francisco
Front-end Web Developer
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Effects Designer - Seattle, WA
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Director of IT Business Applications
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Animation Intern Carlsbad, CA, United States
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Senior Animation Programmer Carlsbad, CA, United States
Programmer Carlsbad, CA, United States
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Animator Sweden
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Game Designer Sweden
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Technology Programmer Sweden
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Community Representative Sweden
Animator x 2 Vancouver, BC
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QA Tester (Temporary Full-Time) x 2 (1 for 360/XBox, 1 for PS3) Vancouver, BC
Combat Gameplay Programmer Vancouver, BC
Front End Programmer Vancouver, BC
Gameplay / AI Programmer (2 Vacancies) Vancouver, BC
Graphics Programmer Vancouver, BC
PS3 Graphics Programmer Vancouver, BC
Technical Lead - Online Programming Vancouver, BC
Test Engineer Vancouver, BC
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Technical Designer - Birmingham
Level Designer
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PS3 Lead Engineer
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Blizzard - Irvine, CA
Lead 3D Character Artist - Next-Gen MMO
Lead 3D Environment Artist - Next-Gen MMO
Lead 3D Environment Artist
Lead 3D Character Artist
Lead 3D Character Artist
Senior 3D Character Artist
3D Background Artist
Senior 3D Environment Artist
Senior 3D Character Animator
3D Character/Weapons Artist
2D User Interface Artist
Environment Texture Artist
Cinematic FX Artist
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Cinematic Compositor/Lighter
Cinematic Modeler
Cinematic Matte Painter
Cinematic Tools Programmer
Renderman Programmer
Cinematic Technical Artist/Rigger
Customer Service Representative (Austin, Texas)
Technical Support Representative (Austin, Texas)
Billing and Account Services Representative (Austin, Texas)
Senior Game Designer
Game Balance Designer
Multiplayer Systems Designer
Tournament Systems Designer
Level Designer
Associate Disaster Recovery Specialist
Senior Oracle Database Administrator
Associate Database Administrator - MySQL
SAN Administrator
Unix System Administrator
Web Systems Administrator
Associate Brand Manager
Lead Mobile UI Designer
Lead Mobile Software Engineer
Web Software Engineer
Web Designer
Senior UI Designer
CRM Software Engineer
Database Programmer
Billing Programmer
Lead Engine Programmer
Senior Graphics Programmer Next-Gen MMO
Technical Director
Network Programmer
Senior Tools Programmer Next-Gen MMO
Tools Programmer
Senior Tools Programmer
Senior QA Tools Programmer
User Interface Programmer
Senior Programmer
Systems Programmer
Mac Software Engineer
Global Localization Manager
Foreign Language Game Tester
Associate .Net Developer
.Net Developer

East Coast Sales Planner/Account Manager
West Coast Ad Sales
Bookkeeper/Accounts Assistant

Account Manager(s) Online Advertising (3 pos.) Deutschland (Düsseldorf)
Advertising Sales Coordinator United Kingdom (London)
Advertising Sales Executive
Agency Sales Executive
Account Manager(s) Nederland (Eindhoven)
Sales Manager
European Commercial Manager
Chefs de Publicité On Line France (Paris)
Marketing Manager
Data Analyst
Internal Area Manager Nederland
Business development Manager France
Business Developer France
Graphic Designer Games
Level designer
Game developer
Graphic Designer Games Nederland
Graphiste Média France
Grafiker Designer Deutschland
Web Developer
(Junior) System Designer
Data Analyst
QA & Support medewerker
Quality Assurance medewerker

gPotato - North San Jose
Game Master
Web Programmer
Database Administrator

doof - Location?
Web Developer

technical/3D art
other game-related specialties

Community Operations Manager - Santa Monica, CA/USA
Norwegian speaking Site Producer - Copenhagen/Denmark
Swedish speaking Site Producer - Copenhagen/Denmark
Swedish Speaking Community Manager - Copenhagen/Denmark
Scrum Master/Project Manager (Product Development) - Helsinki/Finland
Senior Java Developer - Helsinki/Finland
Pääkirjanpitäjä - Helsinki/Finland
Habbo Hotel Moderator

Playstation related:
Senior PS3 Games Programmer Culver City, CA
Financial Analyst San Diego, CA
Human Resources Manager San Diego, CA
Finance Systems Analyst San Diego, CA
Senior Business Intelligence Engineer San Diego, CA
Senior ETL Engineer San Diego, CA
Public Relations Manager San Diego, CA
QA Tester San Diego, CA
Game Systems Programmer SWG Austin, TX
Sr Gameplay Programmer DCUO Austin, TX
Sr Programmer Pipeline/ Tools DCUO Austin, TX
Senior Animator DCUO Austin, TX
Gameplay Programmer DCUO Austin, TX
Sr Programmer Client DCUO Austin, TX
Sr Programmer Integration Specialist DCUO Austin, TX
Software Manager- Development Ops San Diego, CA
Senior Software Engineer- C++ San Diego, CA
Senior Java Developer- Platform San Diego, CA
Technical Game Designer DCUO Austin, TX
Lead Animator DCUO Austin, TX
User Interface Artist DCUO Austin, TX
Lead Artist- Denver Denver, CO
Sr. Graphics Programmer- Denver Denver, CO
Human Resources Generalist San Diego, CA
Business Intelligence Engineer San Diego, CA
Lead Programmer- Vanguard Carlsbad, CA
Software Engineer International Operations Ssan Diego, CA
Senior Software Engineer International Operations San Diego, CA
QA Engineer Temp San Diego, CA
QA Tester ( Bi LIngual Japanese) Temp San Diego, CA
Game Master Temp San Diego, CA
QA Game Testers- French and German San Diego, CA
Quality Assurance Lead- Localization San Diego, CA
QA Testers (French and German) Temp San Diego, CA
QA Tester (Temp) San Diego, CA
Program Manager- Technical Operations San Diego, CA
Environmental Artist- EQ San Diego, CA
Assistant Lead/Lead Gameplay Programmer- EQ San Diego, CA
Senior Gameplay Programmer- EQ San Diego, CA
Junior Gameplay Programmer- EQ San Diego, CA
Senior Remedy Developer San Diego, CA
Subject Matter Expert- CS San Diego, CA
Senior Software Engineer- R&D San Diego, CA
Software Support Engineer- Platform San Diego, CA
Media Producer DCUO Austin, TX
Art Outsourcing Manager- DCUO Austin, TX
Systems Operations Supervisor San Diego, CA
Systems Operator San Diego, CA
Senior Oracle DBA San Diego, CA
Senior Oracle Developer San Diego, CA
Project Manager- Platform San Diego, CA
Content Specialist San Diego, CA
Technical Recruiter San Diego, CA
Sr. Graphics Engineer- FreeRealms San Diego, CA
Game Designer- FreeRealms San Diego, CA
Sr. Game Designer- FreeRealms San Diego, CA
Programmer Planetside San Diego, CA
Gameplay Programmer- Vanguard Carlsbad, CA
Sr. Graphics Programmer- Vanguard Carlsbad, CA
Console Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
Flash Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
Gameplay Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
Sr. Server Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
Client UI Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
Infrastructure Programmer- The Agency Seattle, WA
And many more


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The following is a paid review for


Rummy Royal is a gaming site that offers a neat client to play online rummy: rummy, gin, kalooki, and oklahoma. The pressure is on to get you to play for money, but you can apparently play endlessly for free without any problems. A few annoying "helpful" Javascript elements on the site don't detract from the many good features of the site, including rules, history, and variations for different types of rummy, and live chat help that really works.

Site Template

The standard theme for online gaming sites, such as poker, is a green felt look with gold lettering and real looking bits scattered about, such as cards or coins.

This site, although not poker and technically not gambling, proves to be no exception.

A Word About Rummy Not Being Gambling

The site is repetitive and crystal clear in its assertion that rummy games are skill games and not luck games, and so therefore the site is not a gambling site. This means it is (should be) legal in the U.S., although still subject to several restrictive laws from several states since money can be earned and lost. The site actually provides links to the relevant laws for each state in which this applies.

Now I know a thing or two about card games, including poker and rummy, and I would say that the claim that the distinction between rummy as a skill game as opposed to poker is a bit of a stretch. Poker is about calculating odds while managing your tosses, and so is rummy. Good rummy players will win over worse rummy players, but the same is fairly true for poker, although perhaps with less ease.

The only real difference is the player interaction elements. Your choices about what to take or throw must include watching what your opponents take and throw, and you must decide whether and when to knock if you are able to.

Considering how much they would like to distinguish themselves from poker and its association with gambling, I find the choice to model the site, client, and fonts after poker sites to be a rather odd one.

But anyhoo....

Homepage and Navigation

The front page has a set of tiles that look straight out of Rummikub, which is an indication that within the client you can customize the look of your game as you play it to be either cards or tiles. Cool.

The site is well-layed out and easy to navigate.


In order to actually play, you need to install the client application, something that always scares the bejeezus out of me, especially from a gaming site. Since I didn't see any complaints about them on Google, and since I wasn't required to actually enter any credit card information to play, I bit the bullet and gave it a try.

Installation and Uninstallation

Installing and uninstalling the client was smooth. A check by a registry cleaner didn't detect any problems after the uninstall.

So nu, how was it?

The game was smooth, elegant, and professional, with exactly what I would want from a client and nothing more, and as promised didn't require any payment. Furthermore, the game play was incredibly addicting. I meant to only try out one hand, but ended up playing a few dozen at two different tables.

Even though we weren't playing for money, none of my opponents would respond to my attempts at chatting. Maybe they didn't speak English.

The client really shows the work put into it. It's a shame all of my online board gaming experiences can't be as nice.


One vital piece of information curiously unmentioned anywhere on the website, as near as I could tell, was the fact that the house takes 10% of all antes to the table. That means the pot is slightly less than the ante amount times the number of players.

Furthermore, the payout for victory is 75% of the pot. The remaining 25% of the pot is divided among all players in some proportional basis based on their scores when the round ends.

Since I didn't play for real money, I have no way of saying how difficult it is to actually retrieve your money from the site if you actually try to.

Back to the Site

There are only two annoying parts to the site, and they're not so bad. 1) the big Download Client button floats so that it always remains on screen. And 2) if you spend some time on the site, a little floating banner crosses the screen inviting you to call their live chat support.

The Hard Sell

If you're going to browse the site or play with the client, expect to see lots of ads promising you sign up bonuses, referral bonuses, basically anything to get you playing for real money. They even sent me a followup email offering an additional bonus.

There are promotions, tournaments, and payouts for becoming a site affiliate as well (even a whole separate sub-site devoted to the subject).

None of it was particularly annoying, like popup ads or dizzy animated banners would have been. So no real problems.

Game Rules

The site provides complete rules for the four rummy games you can play on the site: rummy, gin rummy, kalooki, and oklahoma. The rules are well done with illustrations.

The rules add a few interesting variations to my own experiences with Gin, including the ability to meld away single cards that add onto the melds of the guy who called Gin or knocked. This is interesting because it rewards you for not tossing out cards that you think your opponent needs.

I've only played Gin with two players, while the site accommodates up to 4. The luck factor increases with more players because you can't do anything about cards tossed out by some of your opponents. They also have some variations to the scoring that I'm used to.

Other game info

The site contains a short history of each of these four games, as well as a glossary of rummy-related terms used on the site. History is also provided for other rummy games not currently available with an invitation to mail them if you would like to see these games implemented.

Live Chat

In addition to the online support form and an extensive FAQ list, you can click Live Chat from most pages of the site and get a live support representative within a minute or so. Mine was friendly and helpful. Live chat is not available 24 hours a day, but email support is.

iTech Approval

Lastly, for those who know what this means, which I don't, the site has been "iTech labs random number audited", which appears to mean that an independent agency has determined that they're not cheating.


If you want to play Rummy online, and only Rummy online, the channel from Rummy Royal is quite nifty, regardless of whether you're playing for money or just for fun. Good support, a nice site, and no problems.


Monday, September 24, 2007

10 Frugal Tips for the Kitchen / Game News

These are very basic ideas. I'm interested in hearing what things you do in the kitchen to save money. Add a comment.

1. Ends of bread loaves are never wasted. I either a) make bread crumbs with seasoning, b) make croûtons with oil and seasoning, toasted at a low heat, or c) make French toast.

2. I use all parts of my lemons: the juice when called for, and the grated peel for cakes and salad dressing.

3. Speaking of which, I (usually) make my own salad dressing: oil, vinegar, seasonings such as oregano, basil, paprika, or hyssop, lemon peel, and garlic.

4. We drink only two things, other than coffee. Iced tea I make daily from two teabags and 2.5 tablespoons sugar. Makes two liters and even flavored infusions are cheaper and healthier than soft drinks. Or we drink water.

5. Chicken backs are made into chicken soup stock. Vegetable scraps are frozen and, when mass is achieved, made into vegetable soup stock.

6. I make pancakes from scratch. It's just as quick as mix.

7. Lots of great soups can be started with a few beans. Cook a pot of dried beans for 5 minutes, let cool, toss out the water, and freeze them. Toss handfuls into soups to start them. Having these around inspires me to make more soups from scratch.

8. I reuse my jars and containers for shelf and refrigerator storage. When I have too many, I recycle.

9. I buy dry items such as rice in bulk.

10. A single steak can make a stir fry for three people, and it always comes out good. Stir fries in general are cheap, voluminous, and tasty.

11. Ground meat goes furthest when stuffed into something such as peppers. And you can mix the meat with egg and bread crumbs first, as well as rice.

12. A complete frugal meal: lentil soup.

Game News

I saw in a couple of BGG posts news of the World Mind Sports games which will take place in China next year. According to this PDF information sheet, the number of players associated with Bridge, Chess, Checkers, and Go organizations numbers 500 million. Expand that to players not associated with organizations, and expand that to all board games, and I feel confident that the number of people who play board games is well over a billion people, probably over two billion. Just a guess, of course. Still, how would that compare to the number who play video games?

Big news: too much online gaming might wreck your GPA and social life.

The BBC does a little analysis about whether video game style can be traced to its location of origin.

Want to blog about video games? Someone's hiring.

Quirkat is a new player in the online video games market serving the Arab and Middle East community. The interview with the CEO is enlightening and promises some interesting strategy games.

A new dance takes its inspiration from the 5000 year old game of Ur.

Man in NJ sentenced to 13 years for killing his friend over a card game.

A gaming company called "Harbro" is soliciting ideas for card games. The potential worth of these games will be evaluated using the owner's "proprietary Merwyn Research system, a computer program that rates ideas on their probability of success."

As long as we're talking about contests, the Israeli consulate is running a contest for a video selling Israel. The winning video will be shown at Madison Square Garden during an upcoming NY Knicks - Maccabi Tel Aviv exhibition basketball game.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Rant About Israeli Banks

'The name of the song is called "HADDOCKS' EYES."'

'Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.

'No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. 'That's what the name is CALLED. The name really IS "THE AGED AGED MAN."'

'Then I ought to have said "That's what the SONG is called"?' Alice corrected herself.

'No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The SONG is called "WAYS AND MEANS": but that's only what it's CALLED, you know!'

'Well, what IS the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

'I was coming to that,' the Knight said. 'The song really IS "A-SITTING ON A GATE": and the tune's my own invention.'

Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass
There is no institution so difficult for ordinary morals to deal with than the Israeli bank. You may think the American DMV, airport security, or immigrations is a pain in your petard, but you ain't seen nothing like an Israeli bank.

On the positive side, we have at least passed the days when the clerk would literally light up and blow smoke in your face while chatting with her babysitter on the phone. Nowadays, she simply chats with her babysitter on the phone without the cigarette.

That means that she gets up from her desk, regardless of how many people are in line, or even if she is sitting with someone, and goes out for a ten minute smoking break. Only to come back and resume her conversation with the babysitter.

Israeli service people have a socialist mentality, which means that the service they give is irrelevant to their pay and they expect that they cannot be fired owing to a strong labor union. Some of the service industries have progressed, either through privatization or weakening union representation. But not the banks.

Bank employees seem to exude the attitude that since they're at their jobs, you're not missing work. Banking takes as long as it's going to take, and there's no sense in rushing it. You're expected to take all day at the bank, if that's what it takes, and it's just going to be longer if you yell.

An Israeli bank manager's attitude is based on three principles: 1) you're wasting my time, 2) if you can't prove it's our fault, it's your fault (corollary: if you can prove it's our fault, you have to prove why we should do something about it ... over the course of several months while we try to forget), and 3) it can't be done, no one else does it that way, and you don't want that anyway.

They're like hockey goalies deflecting any attempts at trying to accomplish what you came to do. No, it can't be done. No, it's impossible. No, she's not here today. Nu, why didn't you say you needed form 114x-aleph when you first came in?

Israeli banks operate under strange and arcane laws which change every month. The managers, let alone the clerks, don't know what forms and rules have changed each month, but they mock you if you don't know them, anyway.

Israeli banks charge fees for everything: depositing, withdrawing, checking your statement, having an ATM card, using your ATM card, losing your ATM card, finding your ATM card, and so on. There is no action so small that they won't charge you for it.

They also operate monopolies on their services. For instance, you have to get your checks through the bank. They charge you for the checks, and using or depositing the checks, and for checking what checks you used.

Banks give you interest only if you lock money away. You might think they give interest as follows: lock away X money for Y time, gain Z percent. Lock away X' for Y' time, gain Z' percent. Ha ha ha. No.

Locking away X money for Y time means opening a foogle-fuggle pakam account with this series of rules. Locking away X' for Y time means transferring to a froogle-fuggle pamam account which means an entirely different set of rules. Locking away X for Y' time means investing in a fockle-freckle papam account with yet a third set of rules. And so on. Each with its own set of paperwork, names, and hidden clauses.

Clerks sneer at you if don't know what you want before you ask for their help. They won't tell you if you have better options. When you find out you had a better option, they'll look you straight in the face and ask why you didn't ask for the frickle-fackle mapam type account if that's what you wanted? It's your fault for not telling me first.

I just opened a savings account for my daughter aged 14. We were promised at the desk as we were signing the forty-odd forms that there is absolutely no charge for depositing money in the account. I verified this. There is no charge for depositing money into the account? No, no, there is no charge for depositing money into the account.

I then went to deposit money into the account, which I had to do at the teller window, and was charged for depositing money into the account.

"But, ho," I said, "she just told me that there is no charge for depositing money into the account."

"There isn't," replied the teller. "This isn't a charge for depositing money into the account. It's a charge for recording that you deposited money into the account."

"But I wanted an account without charges for depositing money," I tremulously asserted.

"And I want a million shekels and a horse. Of course, you're going to be charged." *ring* *ring* "Quiet. Allo? How's she doing?"

When I went to complain at the desk, she said, yes, you have to sign that you accept a charge for recording money deposited into your account, but you won't really be charged for that. Anyway, you only asked me if you would be charged for depositing money into the account, you didn't ask me if you would be charged for recording the deposit. That's not my fault.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

How I Run My Game Group


I have standing advertisements in the major Israeli English newspapers' community columns (Jerusalem Post and Haaretz). These are free for advertising groups or events. The papers can be a bit difficult when I need to change information, like a phone number.

My blog and web page serve as advertising, as do my posts on BGG or the Hebrew Israeli boardgaming forums.

For special events, such as Games Days, I send notice to the Jerusalem Anglo mailing list, which has a large readership.

Word of mouth is the most effective.


My dining room table expands to seat 10 people, which is two simultaneous games, if the participants are not too loud.

For more people, of for more games, I have a small card table to put in the living room. For even more, which happens occasionally, two people can use the desk in the kitchen or bedroom.

On Games Day, Nadine brings her table. I have enough chairs or couches for everyone.


Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 11:30. Sometimes I get tired a little earlier and kick them out. Sometimes it goes later to 12:00.

Some of the players who are closer friends may drop in a little early, but I might be eating my dinner still. Others arrive generally between 6:30 and 7:15.


I supply tea, and sometimes iced tea, and rarely a snack. I request that all participants bring snacks. Which, after several years, they actually do. Snacks should be game friendly and not gross (like marshmallow toffees or whatnot). Usually it's wafers, cookies, or salties.

On game nights, if more than one is eating dinner, they order from a burger delivery place. The vegetarians always hope for pizza, but that only happens a few times a year. If only one wants to eat dinner, it's not enough to deliver. Sometimes I'll give the one person my own food, especially if they're particularly friendly with me already.

I do the after-cleanup.


Membership in my group means donating 100 NIS every once in a while for me to buy new games for the group. There is no per evening fee, other than a snack. Membership is not required.

Regular members vary in age from 9 to 45. We've occasionally had younger and older. Most members are between 20 and 45.

Most are Anglos, all speak English to some degree. Most are traditionally religious Jews (and right-wing, to boot), but some are left-wing, some are non-religious Jews, and we've had visiting Christians who played with us for up to a year.

Members range from people who knew almost nothing about even traditional board games to people coming from similar game groups in the U.S.


I supply most of the games. One of our recent members (about a year) has been slowly amassing a large collection of new games, and brings one or two of these each week, which we may get to. Rarely someone else will bring a game to play.

We tend to play a core group of games repeatedly, not only because we can't afford new games each week, but because we like to explore the games we have and already like. The core is large enough that we don't play the same games every week.

On Games Day we play the longer games that we sometimes avoid on regular game nights.

We often argue for up to ten minutes about what to play.

I can play multiple games most of the time, so I tend to play two-player games with latecomers while also playing another game, if we can't squeeze them into the current game or start over.

Games are usually: a light game until 7:15, one or two major games until 9:00 or 10:00 - if two groups, one may finish at 9:00 and the other at 10:00 or 10:30. If 9:00, another major game may follow. If 10:00, light games may follow, such as Bridge, Tichu, or It's Alive.

Favorite games: Puerto Rico, Bridge, Taj Mahal, Power Grid, Caylus, Cosmic Encounter, El Grande, Princes of Florence, It's Alive, Modern Art, Settlers of Catan, Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation, Lost Valley, Amun-Re, Tichu, Shadows Over Camelot, Zendo, San Juan, Yinsh, Geschenkt, By Hook or By Crook, Tigris and Euphrates, Children of Fire: the board game, For Sale.


Very friendly, to the point of too much advice given on some occasions. Moves are taken back. Players look for the best plays for other players.

People are often overly critical of new games and start complaining before the rules are even finished being explained. This is a problem I'm working to overcome.


Serious conflicts are almost non-existent.

Once we had some hashing out of war vs Euro-gaming attitudes toward game selection and acceptable coercion tactics within a game. Twice I had to exclude children who were too disruptive to attend game nights regularly; they're still welcome on Game Days.

Once we had a little conflict about religious symbols on a game board.

We've occasionally had some people who were louder or had less "game smarts" than others, but we've been tolerant about this. We've occasionally had some people which whom my wife had personality conflicts, but she tends to absent herself from the house on Wed evenings, anyway.

Session Reports

Sometimes very general, and sometimes very detailed, depending on my mood. Session reports are up on a separate blog. I still haven't transfered over all the old session reports from the club's web page.

Session reports started with the week that I gave the group it's name, The Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club, back in October, 2003.