A Cribbaholics Unanimous exclusive
By Joe Kane
Online game designer and San Diego resident Damien Blond is creating a revolution in online gaming; not because he has the most game designs (so far he’s focused on cribbage and its variations) or even the most subscribers to his site (yet) but rather because he has a vision of online gaming that is family friendly, diverse and FUN. It’s a vision of an online community gathering place that connects people through games rather than just another detached site where you kill time playing meaningless games against no one.
Blond recently quit his job as a programmer for a cell phone company in San Diego to pursue his dream of working full time on his latest project: eCribbage.com. The site currently offers King’s Cribbage, Traditional Cribbage and a fledgling version of Cribbage with muggins but is already becoming “the place to go” for online cribbage and its variations.
“I wanted to provide a place for cribbage fanatics to play any kind of cribbage they’re interested in, not just standard cribbage,” he said. “The goal is to make this the most comprehensive and complete online cribbage community on the Web, with a family-friendly online gaming community that instills a sense of camaraderie among users and with a gaming platform that makes it easy to integrate future cribbage variants.”
With eCribbage.com Blond has taken a major first step in achieving that goal. The site has been live for about a month and serves as the hub for the growing community of users, many of who regularly comment on how addicting the user-friendly environment is. Some players have even made voluntary donations to support the site, which is also supported by revenue from advertisers.
Blond says the reason the site is so different from other sites is simply because there is no place else that has what eCribbage offers, including:
- The largest range of cribbage variants! Nowhere else online can you play a game of traditional cribbage, then put jokers in there, play a game of Kings Cribbage, and then try to lose at losers cribbage, all from the same site.
- Friendliness of community; this is a family friendly site unlike other robotic sites with no communication among users.
- Dynamic updates of site, something new is happening every day.
- Triathlon type tournaments, where you need to be the best overall at 3 or 4 different games to win.
- Personalization, soon you will be able to personalize stats pages with avatars and goodies etc.
- Event/theme days i.e. July 4th, Disco night, etc.
From my own experience with the games at eCribbage one of the most valuable and satisfying things about the site is that if you have a question or a problem there is someone to ask for solutions and answers. Blond is almost always online and when he isn’t the hardcore group of users can answer many of the routine questions new players to the site will ask. In addition to the support, the fact that you can track your rating against other players over time makes it a lot of fun to interact online with people from all over the world. Mini rivalries and tournaments help to make eCribbage a place that is enjoyable to go to rather than just another place to be isolated.
As for the future of eCribbage.com, Blond says there are a couple of key dates to watch for:
1. August 9th is the next online Kings Cribbage tournament.
2. July 28th is the targeted release of the "Cribbage with Muggins" game.
Blond adds that he expects eCribbage will become the largest, most fun place to play any type of cribbage online. “I am envisioning a huge boom of growth to surpass ten thousand users in 2009,” he said.