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Briefy >> Games People Play

Designer Di Hall and Editor Phyllis Stone
Designer Di Hall and Editor Phyllis Stone check out CSI: Miami, based on the popular TV show.
Photo by JEFFERY WASHINGTON/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Working at a newspaper isn’t all fun and games – unless you work at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where the newsroom has elevated game-playing to a major event.

Each fall, the features department rates hot new board games in time for December gift giving. “The rest of the newsroom is invited to come and play with us,” said Catherine Mallette, deputy features editor.

It’s become a tradition, with staff signing up for teams. No computer or video games are allowed.

Game day takes a few hours out of the workday and a pizza lunch is served. The winner on each team takes the game home, but everyone is required to fill out a form ranking the offerings.

The story is useful to readers, says Mallette, who admits that it’s not always easy to predict a winner. In 2004, the Sex and the City game won rave reviews. (The staffer coordinating the game served pink lemonade in martini glasses as a substitute for the TV characters’ signature Cosmopolitans.) But a hit TV series doesn’t guarantee a winner. This year Desperate Housewives: Mysteries of Wisteria Lane got an “F” for flop. One reviewer wrote: “At least no one died from boredom” – or had to be buried underneath the pool.

For information on coordinating a Game Day at your paper, e-mail

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