Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Progress Blog, John Worthington, APM Blog, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

Day One of the Board Game Studies 2009 Colloquium

Other people that I didn't know from India, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Israel, and other countries

The conference was allegedly scheduled to start at 9:00 with reception and signing in, and the first lecture to start at 9:45. Strangely, when I arrived at around 9:30, the introduction to the conference by Gadi Kfir had already taken place and the first lecture was underway. Until lunch break, all the sessions started and ended earlier than scheduled.

The Attendees

I will tell you about the people I know, or know of:


Gadi Kfir, the organizer of the conference, is an expert on Israeli board games in the early twentieth century.


Dr Irving Finkel is curator of ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets at the British Museum, and a leading expert on ancient board games such as Senet and UR. He has also written some books.

Dr Finkel is infamous for being quoted in Time Magazine last year as saying that the last momentous innovation in board game design was acquiring properties in Monopoly. I briefly asked him about this, and he says he's taken a whole lot of flak for it. In fact, that's not what he said; he was highly misquoted. He was talking about race games of a certain type, and he wasn't implying that he was speaking about all the way up to the present day. I could probably get this more clarified, if anybody wants.


David Parlett designer Hare and Tortoise and wrote some definitive compilation books on board, word, and card games, such as The Oxford Book of Board Games.


Piet Notebaert organizes a vast library of board games in Belgium and also wrote a book that I can't read that included quotes from me.

Gilad Yarnitsky is the organizer of the Modiin game group, has influenced many in Israel regarding Eurogames, and is trying to publish his first game Space Junk.

Helena Kling, director of the Educational Center for Games in Israel, with game activities and a large game library.

And around 15 other people that I didn't know from India, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Israel, and other countries.

The Sessions

1. Gadi Kfir, Opening Talk

It started early, and I came late, so I missed it.

2. Rafael Sirkis, Morphing Sudoku from Newspapers to Children Books to Wooden Playground Toy to Hand-held Product

I missed the earlier part of this session which was on the history of sudoku and similar games. The latter part was about various sudoku products that Rafael and his students have created. (See the wooden toy in the following image)

3. Alda Carvalho (and three other Portuguese researchers), Computer-Assisted Board Games



This was on how computers are useful in that they can automate some of the work in board games that people find repetitious or boring. It really was that basic, but even so still news to some of the attendees, I think. The Portuguese group appears to be very intelligent, but some of them struggle to make themselves understood in English.


4. Haim Shafir, Playing With Children



Haim Shafir, Israeli game designer and educator, creator of Taki and Halli GalliHaim talked about how children need adults to play with them honestly and without alternative motives. Since children are less able to separate the importance of winning a game from winning in life, they need games that they have an honest chance of winning; meanwhile, parents need games that won't bore them. He tries to fill this niche.

Then we all played Halli Galli.

5. Yehuda Berlinger, The Modern Eurogame Revolution

When I first suggested the topic, I understood that the attendees weren't too versed in Eurogames. Then I was told that some of them know Eurogames quite well. When I walked around in the morning, I understood that no, really the attendees are not too versed in Eurogames, with the exceptions of people like Piet who catalogs them (but doesn't play all of them) and David who helped invent them.

Out of nervousness, I spoke really quickly. Also, unlike any of the other presenters, I occasionally looked down to speak from my notes, during which some of the people in the back told me later that I spoke too softly. Other than that, I think the presentation went ok. Mine was also a pretty basic topic: what are Eurogames, why they are a movement: the concept that a new board game = new mechanics, what the new mechanics look like, and a bit of BGG statistics.

I fielded questions afterwards, and I'm happy to say I was able to answer them all.

A few people said I was informative. Some said I spoke alright. Piet said that it was nice to hear how an outsider to Europe sees the hobby. I'm pretty sure that what I said was hard to understand by some of the people. At least one still didn't understand what made a Eurogame different from any other board game after the session; I believe he was asking from a classification perspective. Some people indicated that Eurogames don't seem to be reaching or aimed for the masses, and I compared them to the wine industry, where good products trickle down to the lower markets eventually, as they are now doing in Hasbro and Mattel.

Irving said that someone else had lectured twice about Settlers of Catan (only) at previous colloquia; I looked, but didn't see a record of this anywhere. Apparently not all talks make it into the records. The guy from Poland said that he knew about them, but they were way too expensive to buy in Poland. T&E cost 60 EUR, which was half a month salary, and Amazon and eBay don't ship to Poland.

6. Jorge Nuno Silva, Games and Moral



This was the first session that was pretty much what I thought all the sessions would be like: a deep look at a medieval game using notes from manuscripts and a reconstruction of what the game would be like (a game about virtues and vices with a triple headed spinner).

7. Piotr Adamczyk, Board Games in Museum and Education



Piotr is probably the lone academic in Poland devoted to board game studies. He only recently started trying to organize a collection and interview elderly about their childhood games. He works in a museum, dressed as a Viking, and organizing classic and ancient game activities for kids and their parents in the museum and at other events around Poland.

He is doing some groundbreaking work, all alone right now. Impressive.

8. Prof Aviezeri Fraenkel, NIM Games to Chess



Prof Aviezeri Fraenkel is a world expert on game combinatorics such as NIM games. He demonstrated simple NIM games, how they are solved using binary numbers, and progressively worked his way up to complicated capture games. I understood it, but I think it went over a lot of people's heads.

We then played a capture game on a board similar to Checkers, but with cyclical and acyclical moving patterns.

Three more days to go, although I won't be able to attend the last 1.5 days.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yehuda Berlinger

Yehuda Berlinger has been programming since he was eight years old, and consulting about the Internet since he was twelve. He has worked professionally for more than fifteen years as a UNIX systems administrator, a web programmer, and a technical writer. His interests include social aspects of technology and board games. He is now 37 years old and lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife and four children. He blogs at http://jergames.blogspot.com.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...