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Because I Can


Oak Games tournament is already in the library here. Now we can explore tangents, themes.


For Caribbean, it looks like dominos would be the spine. For two or four players. All fours card game from Trinidad. Bunch of dudo, what you know as liar's dice, first morning. That's the one South American element. Mancala in there. Some ludi I suppose. Dominos for hero. Limited themed prizes, although lots of drinks. Drinkin' Dragons can be bent toward Caribbean - look at the themed characters. Sailboat mystery. Aqualin as a mystery game, and somebody out there is going to suggest Reef. Tobago begs to have a role. Some Caribbean music here and there.


I forgot how sweet that song was. You can dig up a louder version.


Blackeagles All Fours Tournament Canada

Watch how they make music from close to nothing. Also watch how they snap down their cards. They do that.

You can look at other clips ("All Fours tournament"), experience the situation. Like the All Fours After Party.


Africa and Middle East theme? I'm listening anyway.

What would just Africa be like? Mancala would obviously be the spine. Mancala is not exactly a game, but a family of similar games, not just two rows. Yoté and fanorona get a lot of respect at Oak Games. Did you know that Jenga comes from Africa? I tend to forget Dara, which functions like nine men's morris but has the same equipment (?) as yoté. Seega from Egypt. We'll bend the rules and include that African musicians game from Reiner Knizia.

Middle East would involve the ancient Royal Game of Ur. Backgammon. Have you seen one of those Syrian backgammon boards? Mancala. Carrom came from India but is played by at least Gulf Arabs. Alquerque/El Kirkat ~ comes from Egypt, but I don't know if it's played in the Middle East. I'm happy to bend the rules and include Through The Desert from Reiner Knizia. The Iraqi ring game mahabis doesn't quite belong at an Oak Games tournament.

From carrom to backgammon, the tabletop games enjoyed by every generation during Ramadan

Part of the story of chess was in the Middle East ("shah mat"). I always liked that the powerful queen was called a vizier (advisor) instead.

There are three arguments in favour of combining Africa with the Middle East. 1) It adds body, more games 2) Places like Egypt are in both Africa and the Middle East 3) Mancala is closely associated with Africa, but the Middle East has a strong claim to it.

Spacy science fiction theme? No. That's somebody else's project. Would tie in nicely with a books prize. And fantasy? Getting away from abstract games :-(  Did you know that Tak came from a fantasy novel?

Ocean theme? No, but worth mentioning. It would wind up being ocean and islands.

Why bother with themes? Well, reasons, which I can't necessarily explain. There's the whole prizes angle. It also has a way of pulling in games that I wouldn't normally bother with, like cards and dominos, Japanese Oink games. That adds colour. Having said that, a themeless event is good too. Sabotage, Camelot, some trivia.

Rat Race has opened the door to sports. This could be too much to ask for, even in a fantasy. Even Rat Race is shaky.

Shuttlecock is that badminton kicking game, with variants played now in a number of Asian countries

There is a Korean game where you underhand toss arrows into a container. Actually this might make a fabulous demonstration game.

Floor hockey.


Trivia is a rogue activity. We could make it part of the Canadian theme and chalk it up as a nod to Trivial Pursuit.


There is a long list of games. So how many games would a participant play?

We're talking games played for the team. Three game encounters per half day. One or so for the last morning. So thirteen game encounters. The number of types of games played by a participant would be, oh I don't know, ten. The number of games a participant could prepare for before the tournament is nine - note the last morning activities.

This is big. What about a scaled down version of an Oak Games tournament, closer to the original vision? Four teams of five or six, straightforward playing tabletop games for the team over one day. How would the schedule and players work? Stuff everyone into a café. The prizes situation would be different.

Say goodbye to games with larger player counts.

Language and Culture


Respite is pronounced respit, despite what I thought.


I pronounce epoch as eepock. I always thought it was pronounced like that.


I always thought the past tense of learn is learned. Not learnt.


We've been over the pronunciation of Kiev. What about chicken Kiev?

I've given up figuring it out. I did learn that we more or less should be spelling it (chicken) Kyiv.


Under curfew, Ukrainians mark midsummer with bonfire jumping at a festival with pagan roots

flowery folks


Cornwall accent

The Cornish accent is known for sounding like pirates.

So how do Corwall and West Country fit together?


Music, Film, and Television



This is Fellini's Casanova (1976), starring Donald Sutherland. You can poke around to see other clips from this film. Like Fellini's Dinner Party. Note the music in that scene.

Mr. Sutherland spoke French - family influence - and could converse in Italian.
Donald Sutherland on Fellini, Near-Death and the Haunting Allure of Venice

This article is a slog, but it's atmospheric, especially when you combine it with the film(s). That guy has been around.




The A.I. trailers will be in the library for a spell.