Sunday, January 29, 2006

Five & Dime: How It All Started

The year was 1999... Prince (or, at that point, the Artist Formerly Known As Prince) was still telling to party like it was that chronological year. Y2K was the all the rage - many people were stockpiling water, food & medical supplies in preparation for The End of the World As We Know It (glancing R.E.M. reference). I, on the other hand, was stockpiling games.

And game statistics. You see, my practice of collecting "five & dime" gameplay lists began early that spring, as a post from Steve Zanini on the newsgroup set me off:

Anyone familiar with SUMO magazine, would also be familiar with the 5 & 10 list. This is a listing of the games you have played either 5 or more times or 10 or more times. Think this would be a good way to re-cap what you played frequently in 1998.

I found the posts that followed to be intriguing and compiled them to produce a "Most Played" list of 1998. Then I did it again the next year... and the next... and it slowly but surely took on a life of it's own.

From the miniscule number of gamers in 1998 (16) to the huge response this year (198!), the Five & Dime lists have snowballed into a very interesting way to track gaming trends, albeit only in the online community of "designer" game players & collectors.

Over the next week, I'm going to be releasing information about the 2005 Five & Dime lists here on the blog. If you want to play "catch-up" and see what the Five & Dime lists are all about, you can check them out at my gaming website, Game Central Station.

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