Hi All,
   Yes, despite the subject line, this is a gaming-related post.
I've recently become interested in the concept of so-called German-style board games, of which one of the most famous and well-regarded is Puerto Rico. Broadly speaking, it's an economic simulation of sorts, with players taking on the role of colonial administrators on the island of Puerto Rico during the 16th century or so. Essentially, you're supposed to try and gain more victory points than other players by doing things like building specific buildings, colonizing and putting various sorts of plantations to work for you producing coffee, corn, etc. and shipping that back to the Old World or trading it. (The actual rules are somewhat complex, and difficult to describe, but here's a link to a podcast which does a pretty good job of it:
http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=80
(You can just download the audio, it's easy to follow.)
Why do I mention this on the Audyssey list? Well, there are computer versions of this game, and the boards and equipment the game comes with aren't actually necesary for playing them. The versions I've found include a very friendly text-based Zcode conversion for all you IF lovers out there--sadly this hasn't got AI, you're playing against yourself for the most part, though it's still fun. There's a Windows version which is also accessible, but has a "random" AI: when they say random, they mean it. I've won easily and I'm no good yet. Finally, and best for us, there's a very accessible web/email-based version which I've just joined. (In fact, this guy's web site has tons of other board games available for email-based play.) If anybody's interested, it's at:
http://www.fwtwr.com.
Anyhow, I have no idea who will be interested in this sort of game. It's a little different from most of the action/adventure stuff out there, but I personally find it fun and entertaining.
Anyhow, enjoy.
Best,
Zack.


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