Grand Prix Metz last month, hosted by Channel Fireball, had another Judge Booth at the event and Jean-Francois and Gediminas were kind enough to share their experiences with us:
I had the chance to run a Judge Booth stand at the GP Metz (France) with François Grossi’s and Gediminas Usevičius’ help. I have to admit that was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.
I am an active member of this project for more than one year now and I am in charge of the Judge Booth translation into French (I would like to thank Matei for his help). And it is not boring. Because this project gave me the possibility to be really involved in it by managing a team, submitting new content, or suggesting improvements.
Anyway, it was the first time that I hosted it, I mean, used it in a dedicated stand. I already used it of course, especially at Prereleases in order to challenge players and find potential judge candidates. And that works anywhere! At a GP or at your local store, use that tool, and trust me, it is really cool.
Some curious players (around 50 players) came to the booth, and tried to challenge themselves with many “Can you win this turn?” puzzles, were able to evaluate their rules knowledge or just talked with us about the judge program, or asked me what I thought about a puzzle.
François lend us two tablets to run the software and thanks to that, we were able to challenge some people with the Judge Booth content. I realized that Judge Booth was very useful that day, and it is so rewarding to test people with questions that I wrote myself! It is also rewarding to know that this project contributes to build a bridge between Judges and Players: when I think about this, it helps me to keep in mind that the work I have done is not useless and I can continue it.
Unfortunately, I did not administer any L1 tests, but I got a few potential Judge candidates. And just for that, I think that was a success, and I hope some Judge Booths will be run in the future and I would be very glad to take part in these awesome booths.
At GP Metz we had one of the features that interests more and more people – Judge Booth. Due to logistical issues, we were not able to run it on Friday. But after the Main Event has started and going forward, quite a few people spared some time to check their rules knowledge as well as try to beat the ‘Can you win this turn?’ challenges.
Because it was my first Judge Booth (it must have been, because it was my first GP) I was puzzled by a challenge – try to explain complex interactions as simple as possible. Layers in this case did not help. And no, the answer ‘Because those are the rules’ is not good enough. But that is one of the things I loved about the Judge Booth – it revealed areas for improvement both for players as well as judges. On top all of this, Judge Booth does one more thing perfectly: giving the spark back to old judges (and no, I am not talking about an age but about those judges who loved to judge, but because of whatever reasons stopped doing that). And I did talk with a half a dozen judges, whose faces lighted up with every question. And these are the moments worth every sweat.