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Ten Years of Spotlight On Games

RANDOM MUSINGS on the fin-de-millénaire games scene . . .

17 October 2007 . . . As we swing into Essen Spiel (check out this site's photojournal) time once again, I'd like to take a moment to celebrate a little as this site has now reached its first decade of existence.

It's come a long way in that time. You can catch an early glimpse of it at the "Wayback Machine", although the site wasn't captured until 1999.

When I was starting out, I had an entire file drawer of notes on various games. There were variants, summaries, charts, errata – all sorts of things I had created for various games. As more and more game players came to the Internet and started asking questions, such as on the USENET group (later, I would dig these out and send them along. It didn't take too many duplicate sendings to make me realize this was going to be too inefficient a method. Thus the creation of the website came about – to share these things with anyone who might want them, whenever they wanted them.

I started doing reviews at first, but it seemed that not that many really wanted to read an entire review. What folks really wanted was a general impression, quickly delivered. What did you like? What didn't you like? Who will like this? This seemed to happen frequently enough that rather than possibly leave things out, I thought I would just try to write it all down as capsule reviews so that readers could help themselves. Not to mention just keeping it all straight for myself.

Over the years I've watched many other of what Stuart Dagger calls the "one man and his views" sites pop up. While some have continued, many others have either calcified or dropped away entirely. This is not surprising. I would never have suspected myself that I would still be writing for it more than ten years later, nor that I would have written 1001 capsule reviews (now actually well over 1200 in number).

If there's been any secret to keeping going, I think it's been not forcing myself to live with any schedule. I don't feel I have to present a new "issue" of information once a month, say, or even quarterly. Instead, I write when I feel I have something to say or contribute. So far this has turned out to be fairly often.

In 2000 I was forced to leave my ISP anyway (because they were sold) and so acquired the domain, because I thought that shining a light on how to play games, which games are good (and which not) and even a little on the gaming industry, was both fun and interesting. I'm happy to say that this remains both my joy and my goal even today.

So I'd like to thank all the readers who have stopped by to visit the site over its past ten years. May we enjoy many more together!

Happy gaming!
Rick Heli


by Rick Heli