David Parlett's

Blog & Updates

(No, it's not a firm of solicitors.)

27 May 2022 The XXIVth Colloquium of the International Board Games Studies Association too place last week - the first in-person gathering since 2020. It was a real pleasure to renew old friends and acquaintances after such a long gap, a pleasure compounded by its location in the beautiful Friesian city of Leeuwarden. For those of us getting on in years (I celebrated my 83rd birthday in the middle of the week) it might well be the last Colloquium I will be fit enough to attend - the XXVth in the series will be held next year at Ephesus, to whose inhabitants the apostle Paul addressed his famous epistle. In addition to all the old faces there was a new contingent of young games scholars whose work bodes well for the continued existence of the Board Game Studies Colloquium.

24 April 2022 I was delighted to be invited to an Open Day at Gibsons Games last week. After 102 years of existence Gibsons is the oldest British games company still in business and I'm proud that two of my games remain on its books. It was a pleasure to meet so many British games inventors and designers with whom I was not previously acquainted, not to mention the young and lively team that runs the company so ethically, sustainably and imaginatively.

24 March 2022 We still haven't finished clearing my late brother's flat, but the end is almost in sight. I have at last been able to get back to some work on the games front, especially on my Word games pages, partly inspired by my recent study of the Wordle phenomenon. I've also registered for the 24th Board Games Study Colloquium, to be held at Leeuwarden in Frisia. My friend Frances and I will be going by train as part of our contribution towards saving the planet (by not flying).

17 March 2022 Much to my surprise, I've invented another card game. Whether or not it works remains to be seen, as I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find a fourth player, not to mention a third and a second. Let me know if you get a chance to try it out. It's called Arm's Length.

1 March 2022 St David's Day! - and it's now three years since I last revisited y coedydd lle treuliais fy ieuanc flynyddoedd. This year I do hope to get to Porthkerry Park, Ogmore-by-Sea, and Rhayader, if only for an hour or two (each). Meanwhile, I've just uploaded a revised version of my How to win Wordle page.

26 February 2022 I've now revised and completed my Wordle article and posted it under the title How to win Wordle.

12 February 2022 About the only thing I've been doing on the games front is falling victim to the craze for Wordle, which is right up my street (see my word game pages. Whether it's a game of chance or of skill depends very much on each individual target word, but I normally expect to get it in three to four moves. I've taken some time off from clearing my brother's flat to write an essay on my approach to solving it

Glad to report that Hare & Tortoise is (are?) stirring again. Gibsons Games is talking about a reprint, and Broadway Games is preparing new Chinese and Japanese editions for later this year.

1 January 2022 As you will see from the entries below, 2021 has not been great for my games activities. But over the Christmas and New Year period I've temporarily paused from clearing my late brother's dwelling and contents and have been able to work up a few formerly back-burner ideas on the card games front. On Boxing Day I uploaded King Priam, yet another variation on a theme of prime numbers, and today I've added Sockjaw, just to keep my hand in. I hope during the course of 2022 to improve the look of my website, if I can still remember how to do HTML.

It's been a pleasing year for publicity and recognition. Covid restrictions prevented me from attending an exhibition at the Musée Français de la Carte at Issy-les-Moulineux, Paris, at which half a dozen of my original card games were prominently featured, and an appreciative thread about my original card games appeared on BoardGameGeek. Even more pleasingly, there was an enthusiastic review of Katarenga on BGG, which ended 'A fabulously easy game to pick up, and a joy to master'. That's a line I must make more use of in publicity!

25 December Celebrated Christmas by adding another Original Card Game - for details see Dupe.

15 December The Graham Parlett house clearance team has made further progress in disposing of contents though not yet of any of the furniture. My hope is that we can get the flat on the market before the anniversary of my brother's death at the end of May. I have at least been able to think about games again and even managed to invent a new card game last week, though it needs improvement before being added to my web pages at Original Card Games. I was too busy to get away for the 10th 'Dau' festival of games at Barcelona in November, but haven't given up all hope of getting there again some time. My games business is being hampered by ongoing Covid restrictions that prevent me from networking satisfactorily.

21 October This job goes on an on, but at least we're in sight of sustainably disposing of Graham's 1500 books, and several people are interested in adopting a large quantity of printed scores and sheet music. Meanwhile, I grabbed a few spare moments recently in which to work on an unpublished game that I collaborated on with the late Eric Solomon. I even managed to get down to the Quaker meeting at Lewes (lovely town!) to talk about the Nontheist Friends Network.

1 September Dealing with my late brother Graham's estate has been occupying most of my time during August. Some of the friends to whom he left certain books and antiquities have now collected them, together with one of the bookcases, but this has not made a significant dent in the collection. And how am I going to get rid of some 5000 CDs and an equal number of DVDs? Few people need them these days with everything they may want to watch or listen to permanently on tap online. It seems such a shame to throw them away. Same goes for his multiplicity of framed pictures and artworks. Many of them I'd like to have myself, but I just haven't got the room.

7 August At last I've managed to scrape together a few hours in which to make some improvements to my website. In particular, I've changed the overall appearance of my Katarenga pages which I think now benefit from reversion to a sans-serif font ('Bahnschrift'). However, too much of my time is still being taken up by domestic problems and general 'life admin'.

11 June I'm still unable to work on the games front since the death of my beloved brother Graham on 30 May (see also https://www.parlettpages.uk/graham/). As his immediate next of kin I'll be involved in consequent administrative matters for some time to come.

23 May I've been unable to work on the games front for a few weeks now because of my brother Graham's ill health. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in January and within a few months has gone downhill so rapidly that he can no longer look after himself and is currently being cared for in St George's hospital. I'm visiting his flat regularly to respond to his post and emails, and our younger brother Andrew and I will be seeking power of attorney so we can cope with his affairs. Eventually he will need to go into a specialist care home and we will have to see about selling his flat.

3 May This time last year I didn't think I'd ever manage to invent another card game. This time this year I find I've already invented seven more in the past couple of months! Latest ones are Go for it!, Paved with Gold, and Dividend, in addition to the four mentioned below. I also have two old ones on the stocks that need some improvement before I get round to uploading them, and will be experimenting with something new today. I never cease to be amazed at how much imaginative material is contained in the humble pack of 52 cards.

21 April Repaired some broken links to card games mentioned below (5 April), with thanks to Michael Amundsen for pointing them out. I've also added a new one called Same Difference.

5 April Inspired by references to my card games on BoardGameGeek and by the enthusiasm with which Diethart Bischof and Gwenael Beuchet have been translating some of them into German and French, respectively, I've got back to inventing, or at least polishing up, some more Original Card Games, including Copyright, Crescendo and Equator, all of which, I have to admit, are variations on variations of some of my others. But at least it keeps me out of mischief.

15 March At last I've been able to do some work on my games website. In particular, I've added French and German translations of some of my Original Card Games, the German thanks to my old friend Diethart Bischof, whom I first met (and played Skat with, rather badly) when I went to Nürnberg in 1981 shortly after the inaugural Game of the Year Award. Diethart and his group have played nearly all my games over the years and he remains one of my best publicists. The French translations are by courtesy of Gwenael Beuchet, of the Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, who are planning to hold an event featuring five of my best card games later in the year.

24 February Where does the time all go? Well in my case a lot of it is taken up with Quaker work (admin), and the roofing problem is still causing us grief. However, I'm starting the process of posting some of my original card games in French and German (thanks, respectively, to Gwenael Beuchet and Diethart Bischof). Interestingly, both languages have problems distinguishing between couleur/Farbe meaning suit and couleur/Farbe meaning colour - i.e. red/black. More anon, if I can get some time to myself. And I'm not even using any of it up on going out museums, art galleries and restaurants.

21 January To my delight, someone I'm not acquainted with (John Owen) has posted an appreciative thread about my original card games on BoardGameGeek. (Thanks, John!) It includes comments by others on several of the individual games and I've now posted them on their respective pages. P.S. Our bedroom roof is still leaking...

3 January As soon as Brexit happened all my eu domains became inoperative. Great nuisance, though I had already registered several alternative domains and email addresses. If you were accustomed to games@parlett.eu please now replace it with david@parlettgames.uk. Glad to say that on the uk address I had received the following message from Gwenael Beuchet of the Musée Français de la Carte at Issy-les-Moulineux (see also Wikipedia. He writes: "Times are sad; the museum is still closed but we still do believe that we could open in a few weeks and we go on to prepare enjoying events... Among them there is the Ludissyme festival (27-28 of March) where people will be invited to discover the five of your favourite games we have talked about."

1 January 2021 As far as I'm concerned it's just another date on the calendar. Glad I slept through last night's idiotic 'celebrations'. I'll spend today finishing off my 2019-20 tax return and updating all my pages from 2020 to 2021. What larks!

Link to previous blog and updates (2019-2020).