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Photo: Jaroslav Olsa jr.
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PH faced Czech Republic in a spygame

In celebration of “International Table Top Month” in Manila, an exhibition match between Team Manila and Team Czech Embassy was held earlier this month. It was an occasion where the audience was able to witness a live competition, displaying excellent and clever use of wit, between spymasters in a globally-successful Czech board game famously known as Codenames.

Created by board game publisher, Czech Games Edition in 2015, Codenames tests players’ insight and intellect in “contacting the right agents” through one-word clues. Two designated spymasters know the secret identities of the twenty-five agents, while their teammates know the agents only by their Codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. This mind-boggling game of word association, deduction and team play is popular all around the world since its release and has found its way to the hearts of Filipino gamers. In recognition of this, Czech Games Edition teamed up with a Philippine company, Gaming Library, to promote
Codenames: Philippine Edition, a localized version, infused with the colorful and quirky aspects of the Filipino culture.

Prolific Czech board games genius, Vlaada Chvátil, was the author of Codenames. In 2016, it won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year), the most prestigious game award worldwide. Since then, it has reached 17th place in ranking of games of all time in BoardGameGeek, an online forum and database for board gaming that holds reviews, images and videos for over 84,000 different tabletop games, including European-style board games, wargames, and card games. In near three years, Codenames has seen more than 30+ language and national editions. Among them is the Philippine edition along with the Japanese, Korean and most recently, Indonesian version.



The exciting promotional gaming event ended with Team Manila claiming victory over Team Czech Embassy, spearheaded by no less than Jaroslav Olša, jr., Czech Ambassador to the Philippines.  “We are pleased to have a role in strengthening the relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic, and we’re doing it the best way we know how – through gaming,” said Gaming Library’s Chief, Meeple Hans Kenner Fernandez.  “We hope that this will help shape the perspective of Filipinos, Czechs, and the rest of the gaming community on tabletop gaming. More than tools for entertainment, board games can be a platform to understand the intricacies and gain appreciation of different cultures.”