Blog and Updates
29 April A very enjoyable, if tiring, day on 24 April at Ipswich (see below). Game design students came up with lots of good ideas. Just before going, I heard from the directors of the UK Games Expo, an expanding Hobby Games Convention now in its 7th year, that they are launching a UK Games Hall of Fame to show the world the level of influence that Britain has on the world scene. An initial shortlist of ten was whittled down to five, which to my delight included me. The induction is to take place at a ceremony in Birmingham on 25 June, and the citation reads: "DAVID PARLETT'S writings on card and board games are essential readi ng for any scholar of the industry. No other writer has quite the grasp of how the mechanisms of play works, managing to express them in a way that all gamers can understand. His work, though deep, is accessible and offers incredible insight no matter what your level of interest. David's most famous books are undoubtedly the Oxford Guide to Card Games and the Oxford History of Board Games, both of which should be required reading for any aspiring designer. His addition to the Hall of Fame is only cemented by the fact he is also responsible for the multi-million selling Hare & Tortoise, winner of the first ever Spiel des Jahres [Game of the Year] in 1979 and still in print today."
18 April One of the many things that have prevented my updating this page for so long is that I've been preparing a talk, workshop and Powerpoint presentation to be given by invitation of the Games Design and Heritage department of the University of Suffolk at Ipswich on the 24th. Here's the flyer:
21 March Added picture on home page of ambiguous sign at the entrance of the Ashley Centre, Epsom, Surrey.
12 March Added a scene from Tu Quoque, a play said to date from 1599, to the article on Gleek in my historic card games section, with thanks to Michael Marcus for drawing it to my attention.
20 February Redesigned Incompleat Gamester pages, with a new logo. Am also getting ready to go to Tom Werneck's games inventors fair at München-Haar.
1 February Redesigned home page (now fixed width 900 pixels).
14 January Over the past few days I've added a number of entries to my collection of original card games. None is entirely new: it's just that I decided to go through my file of unfinished or unpolished games to see if I could get them to work properly. The relevant entries are Fosco, Multiplicity, Limbo, and Umbridge. There are still several others waiting to be improved. I must get out more. Though perhaps not in this weather.
10 January 2013. Today I was unexpectedly called up by Radio Wales to do a chat show telephone interview starting from Hasbro's announcement that they are proposing to "update" the little things you move around the Monopoly board. The chat ranged widely and to my delight I shortly afterwards received an email from a listener saying that she had just bought a copy of Hare & Tortoise on the strength of my description. (And also because I mentioned Carcassonne as being one of my favourite games).
8 January 2013. Made technical corrections to home page, having discovered, to my horror, that none of the boxed links at top left were working in Internet Explorer 9, a browser which I never use myself. No problems with Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or SeaMonkey, needless to say.
11 December 2012. Just finished reading Irving Finkel's latest whimsical tale entitled Miss Barbellion's Garden. I think it's his best since The Last Resort Library, though it's for an entirely different readership. On 9 December I attended a concert of British Music conducted by Martin Yates which included his completion of Moeran's beautiful but curiously structured Second Symphony.
16 November 2012. Since last updating I went to the Essen Games Fair, where I promptly caught a cold and chest infection which I still haven't entirely shaken off. (I'm currently on antibiotics.) I've just updated my Hare & Tortoise page by adding more images of pirated and promotional editions from Austria and Hungary.
7 October 2012. Added a new two-player card game called Romeo & Juliet to my collection of Original Card games.
5 October 2012. The home page of my Original Card Games section now arranges games by number of players and type of game, so the separate classified index posted on 20 September is no longer necessary.
20 September 2012. Added a new card game called Brummy.
10 September 2012. Oxford University Press have just published a study score of Vaughan Williams's Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra, edited by my brother Graham and originated on his "Sibelius" software.
30 August 2012. Added a new card game for three called Triathlon. (Well, athletics do seem to be in the air these days, especially in London.)
26 August 2012. I've spent most of this month seeing Hitchcock films at the National Film Theatre (where I've had the pleasure of meeting film buff MP Gerald Kaufman) and preparing an online catalogue of music by E J Moeran to match the one I've already done for Arnold Bax. The only prom I've been to was the one of Vaughan Williams's Fourth, Fifth and Sixth symphonies, back to back, superbly performed by the Scottish Symphony orchestra conducted by Andrew Manze. Then on the 18th there was the latest Hare & Tortoise championship at the 2012 Mind Sports Olympiad. Disappointingly, numbers were down this year, with only fourteen competitors. The gold was won by Michael Dixon (England), silver by David Jameson (Wales), bronze by James Heppel (England). Maybe many who took part last year had been in London for the Olympic Games and then gone away on holiday. My grandson, Alex "Rubik's" Plunkett, is still undergoing treatment for the leukaemia that was diagnosed earlier this year. Updates on his progress can be found by clicking on my Alex page.
4 August 2012. In between two Hitchcock films at the National Film Theatre last night (The 39 Steps and North by Northewst) I visited this wonderful display at the neighbouring Royal Festival Hall. The "aMAZEme" installation is a maze constructed of 250,000 books by Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo. Inspired by J L Borges, the maze forms the shape of that writer's fingerprint. It covers over 500 square metres, with sections standing up to 2.5 metres high. Oxfam lent some 150,000 used books to the project and 100,000 have been donated by publishing houses from around the UK. All will be given to Oxfam when the maze is dismantled to provide additional funds to help fight poverty around the world.
6 June 2012.
Echo Point Books have now published an updated revision of my former Penguin Book of Word Games and Guinness book of Word Games under the title The Book of Word Games. It is at present only available as an e-book, but will later become available by print-on-demand. I am also discussing with Echo Point Books the possibility of producing a substantially revised and updated edition of my Oxford History of Board Games.
3 May 2012. Added a History of Games & Puzzles magazine (1972-1981) expanded from the paper I presented to the 2012 Board Game Studies colloquium.