Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Rest in peace, Sid Sackson

I've been feeling a bit down for the last six or eight hours since I found out that the great board game designer Sid Sackson died on November 6th. This information comes from The Great Games of Sid Sackson, the best Sid tribute site and highly reliable. Sid was 82 years old and had been known to be in poor health for some time. (It was announced two or three months ago that his private collection of games and game books would be going up for auction - there was some speculation that this was to raise money to pay for his care.)

We are informed that "For 25 years, Sid has insisted that he wanted no funeral and that there be no eulogies." No eulogy, not least because I never knew the man, but it's time to pay tribute to his work once more. My favourite Sid games were Acquire, a game of share dealing and hotel chain management which has almost constantly remained in print since its first publication forty years ago, Can't Stop, a dice game of luck and probability which might best be compared to "Pass The Pigs" with interesting decisions and Kohle, Kies and Knete, a freeform trading and negotiation game which reliably generates more laughs and good-natured fun than just about any other board game I know. His most famous book is A Gamut Of Games; if you like reading books which sets of rules for original games then AGOG is fairly widely regarded as the most interesting one in the field.

Debates will go on as to just how great he was as board game designers go, but it's hard to dispute he's at least "great" and probably "one of the greatest ever". His games deserve wider recognition and a fuller tribute, but I don't feel like writing one tonight.

The tribute on the front page of the Funagain Games online store web site is a little close to the mark - it relies on the fact that one of the seven companies in the latest edition of Acquire was named after him, and it shows the markers of the other six companies without the seventh - but somehow very fitting.

Rest in peace.

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