Kingmaker were formed in 1990 in Hull, England when schoolfriends Loz Hardy (guitar and vocals) and Myles Howell (bass) recruited ex-puppeteer John Andrew to play drums through a wanted ad.

They were signed to Chrysalis Records following the release of their debut E.P. The Celebtrated Working Man. Initially courted by the press as the next big thing they quickly fell out of favour as the Britpop movement took hold.

Musically they were a tight powerpop/rock trio characterised by the somewhat pretentious but always insightful lyrics of frontman Loz Hardy and driven on by the muscular, propulsive drumming of John Andrew. Evidence that they are deserving of a reappraisal in terms of their place in British '90s rock comes in the fact that, as well as great albums and singles, some of their best songs were released as b-sides such as Everything's Changed Since You've Been To London.

The band split in 1995 after the release of their third album, but following Loz's work on The Menace, the second album from ex-girlfriend Justine Frischmann's band Elastica, rumours have been flying of a reformation.

Eat Yourself Whole (1992) Chrysalis Records
Sleepwalking (1993) Chrysalis Records
To Hell With Humdrum (1993) Chrysalis Records
In the Best Possible Taste (1995) Chrysalis Records
'Bloodshot and Fancy Free' The Best and Rest of... (1997) Chrysalis Records

Actually, Kingmaker was the name for Richard, Earl of Warwick who was instrumental (appropriate given the first post on this node) in putting the first York on the throne, then working hard to get him OFF the throne because the king married the wrong girl. The result was that Henry VI was back as king and then was, truly "offed pretty quickly."

There is some of this on The Beauforts, those she-bastards and there will be more, believe it......

I Want That Game! The board version, of course--any idea where I can get it?

"Kingmaker" is an expression used in gaming in general (not necessarily computer games, it is in fact more common among players of board game) to describe the role of a player who, although he has no chance of winning anymore, is able to influence or even outright decidce which of the other players will win. Obviously, this can only occur when there are more than two players.

An typical example would be this: a Monopoly player who is losing but not yet bankrupt may trade properties to another player which that player needs to complete monopolies, not because the trades are in any way beneficial to the losing player, but simply because he wants to help the other player against a third (probably leading) player.

A potential for kingmaking is generally considered an undesirable quality in games because it is frustrating to lose a game you were winning by skill to someone holding a grudge. Worse yet, it can be used as a threat by spoilsports: "Attack me now, and I'll make sure you don't win, even if it means I lose everything!".

Of course this can be discouraged by social means, and in fact kingmaking can be seen as a somewhat positive aspect of the meta game that punishes excessively competitive behaviour and gloating. Nevertheless, game designers strive to avoid it, and reviewers rightfully consider a strong kingmaking potential a negative point.

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