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Thursday, August 20, 1998

First, the New Stuff:

  • I made myself an Impeach Clinton button
  • Chapter 47 of the Empty City (in which Dave first meets the Martian Princess, at the Saturn Cafe)

After a long search, John has finally chosen a new name for the game once known as Arcana and more recently known as Anacra. The game shall henceforth be called Zarcana.

This weekend we went to Beatlefest, in Chicago, a gathering of some 10,000 or so Beatles fans. This was a very interesting market test for us, as well as a rather fascinating event in and of itself. We attended in part to participate, we being longtime Beatles fans (especially Gina, who joined us along with John), and partly for business reasons: We got a booth to demo and sell Aquarius in the dealer's room.

We were rather singular in the dealer's room, being the only vendors there who were not selling something specifically beatles related. We got a number of raised eyebrows about this, but we thought it would make for an excellent market test, so we didn't let the skepticism of others discourage us. But you know what? We did great! We sold twice as much as we did at Gen-Con in half the time, and we had a great time, too.

Our booth was much smaller than the ones we had at the big gaming conventions: 6x6 instead of 10x10. This meant our tie-dyed living room wasn't an option, and indeed any sort of gaming table for 5 is pretty crowded. But we made do with the more primitive technology in use at this event (most vendor's built up their booths using large white cardboard sheets the staff were selling for 7 bucks each). Another thing that was different was the hours... we're used to places with hours from 10-6, but at Beatlefest the dealer's room is open from noon to midnight.

Finding our market within the crowds at Beatlefest caused me to closely study the diverse blend of people who attended.. First and foremost were the collectors; there's an amazing volume of Beatles merchandise that is sought after and paid for handsomely by collectors, and something new like Aquarius simply wasn't of interest to them. However, many of them had children, and they loved our game. We sold many decks to the 9-17 crowd. You also had the music fans, who were more concerned with playing and singing Beatles songs than with learning something new, like a card game... but they too often had kids, who loved our game and played it throughout the weekend. Basically, it was the second generation of fans, the young hippies (however history will label them) who liked Aquarius the most... and they really really liked Aquarius. It was a great show.

Unfortunately, my camera broke during the trip, before I took a single photo of Gina.

Fresh thoughts in my brain this week:

  • Did I misread that or is there really a weather guy on CNN named Flip Spiceland? (As a guy with a funny name it's my birthright to laugh at others with funny names.)
  • Why was "Hey Bulldog" cut from Yellow Submarine? It's great!
  • British nurses define BUNDY as "But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet"



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