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November 20, 2007
A Very Special Kind of Geek

I used to be an invenerate wargamer and collector of games, but those days are past, so I've lately been preparing a number of old and long-since disused wargames — most published in the 1970s and 1980s, of course — for sale on eBay. Part of the preparation process is a careful examination of each item I'm putting up for sale, and this evening I ran across something truly horrifying.

Anyone familiar with the name Avalon Hill will surely remember the game Kingmaker, which was a fairly lightweight and rather fun recreation of the English Wars of the Roses in the 15th Century. Originally published in '76, it remained a strong product and even made the transition into the PC game era, when many far more complex (and, I would argue, far better) games did not or could not.

Unfortunately for posterity, the box art shows some teens of the era enjoying the game, thus preserving a record of the fashions of the day.

Click for larger... if you dare face the horror.

Now, far be it for me to criticize the styles of the day. Lord knows, I was forced to wear a pale blue leisure suit at least once, and my prom tux shirts had more ruffles than Frito-Lay.

I have sincere doubts that very many board game geeks (or anyone dressed like those pictured) would ever be a political power player — a kingmaker — in real life. Sure, they probably went on to major in Poli-Sci in college (mine was History), but odds are that they spent the majority of their school years avoiding wedgies and building up a storehouse of tales to tell their therapists in the '90s.

Then again, have you ever seen those pictures of Hillary! in the '70s?

Saints preserve us.

Posted by Russ at 10:05 AM, November 20, 2007 in Geekery

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Besides the hairstyles and the sweater vest, I LOVE how they have a real live girl in the photo. As IF any girls ever played these war games. Everybody knows these games were only played (obsessively) by nerdy guys in basements and rec rooms. Evidence of this is the way the two boys are looking intently at the girl, instead of the game. Take a good look boys, because that's probably as close as you're gonna get to a girl until bell bottoms go out of style.

Posted by: Cara at November 20, 2007 02:07 PM

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