Final Thoughts

Besides the MacMole (Bob Kenyon), there were 3 contestants that made it nearly a full year through this contest. From challenge to challenge, and quiz to quiz, find out what this contest meant to each of them after it was all over.

3rd Place - Moe Bradley

Wow - hard to believe, but Bill did it again - got me involved in a Mac Guild contest that lasted almost a year! Challenges like MacMole and MacSurvivor are such a paradox for me - the people who were my teammates were also my opponents! This could have made game strategy a bit tricky, had I not decided from the very beginning of each game to play with only one goal in mind: to have fun! The prizes are great, but the game's the thing!

Lest I get too sappy from the get-go, I will freely confess that all was not fun - there were some times that I was totally confused, frustrated, and even tired of playing, but somehow Gamemaster Bill always pulled a mole out of his hat and came up with something that was amusing, or interesting to do. Some of the events required that I pull some late-nighters (many of the players are on the west coast, while I am on the east) - game nights which began at 9 p.m. for the fortunate began at midnight for me! Well, I don't sleep much anyway, so this gave me something to do with my spare time, since there are no longer reruns of American Gladiators to entertain me until the wee hours.

Will I do it again? Only time will tell. To be honest, I hadn't intended to do it again THIS time, but I am glad that I did. We have some terrific Mac enthusiasts affiliated with our Guild, and I am proud to be among 'em. Cheers to us, gents; may we all meet again in a future challenge.

2nd Place - Tom Leahey

The game was fun overall, with lots of interesting challenges and quizzes. MacMole provided me the opportunity to get to know a few of my fellow MacGuild'ers a bit better (and some much better - to the point I consider them more as distant friends now - like Moe and Jim). In some respects - the longer a player was in the contest, and the more I interacted with them, the better I got to know them. As you know, at times I found the contest frustrating or confusing - but at others it was very exciting and very enjoyable. Kudo's to Bill for the stamina and the creativity - they were the critical ingredients which held it together over a span of almost a year.

When I was joined-in at the beginning (through loss of another original player, due to some recent reviews I'd done) I never imagined a contest of that length or that required such involvement. My favorite challenge was the
Rescue, where I was a hostage. I still laugh thinking of the final rescue, played out over Hotline when I was weary from my Mardi Gras festivities (tactfully stated). I worked the most on the Website challenge, which was really quite a workload. And while I'm not the best 1st-person-shooter game player - I also enjoyed the final personal game challenge (where Bill developed custom Marathon games for each player). And kudos to Jim Melton - the final MacMole champion, who inadvertently let me end up tying him in the final quiz, but who won through the tie-breaker. As far as most bizarre questions/clues we were asked - I thought the best was the one about that "Thorpy" guy - we spent a lot of search engine time on that one. All in all, it was one heck of a contest. Great job!

1st Place - Jim Melton

Prior to my involvement in the Mac Mole contest, I thought of the Mac Guild as just a mailing list -- a really good mailing list where you can get just about any question about the Mac answered. Now I think of the Guild as a full-fledged user's group; a community of people united by their love of the Macintosh computer.

We are truly a community without borders. From my house in Colorado, I got to know Moe in Florida, Tom in Louisiana, and Bob and Bill in San Jose. These are all great people, and fun to work/play with.

I learned that there are a number of vendors who are very willing to send review copies of their software (and hardware) to users groups in exchange for our honest opinion. I was more successful than not in getting vendors to send software to the Guild. I also learned that it is easier to get software than to get reviewers.

The contest itself was a blast. Bill is truly a demented person to come up with such intricate challenges and adventures. The
kidnap adventure was at times extremely frustrating, but always challenging. I found myself eagerly checking my e-mail every day, anxious for any new clue as to the whereabouts of our hapless companions. At times, I wondered if the puzzle were, in fact, solvable, or if Bill was stringing us along to leave us in disappointment.

The most fun was the
final pursuit of the kidnapped teammates through the tunnels and pyramids of Egypt. The interaction was dynamic and intense; we all spent too many hours of what should have been sleep working to uncover treasures and rescuing poor Tom. Of course, Tom was suffering from both kidnapping AND Mardis Gras, so getting him out was more difficult than one might have expected. :-)

The prizes were almost incidental to the fun of playing and the thrill of winning -- almost! There were
GREAT prizes, just for playing a game! I'd like to encourage all the Guilders out there to participate in the next contest -- it should be a blast!