Jezz on! Karen Hagarman's Jezzball Story

From: karenh1@san.rr.comHi !
Date: Saturday, 14 Nov. 1998

Hi, I'm Karen, and I'd like to add my name to your list. I can't believe there are people out there even more obsessed than I am! Finally, I don't have to EXPLAIN. My high score is now 12,454,763 (as of 1-18-99). I’ve been jezzing for maybe 6 months. I can’t seem toKaren Hagarman and her Brother keep my hands off the game. I promised myself Top 20 honors, but I’ve got a game going all the time. My highest Level 1 bonus is 18477 (each second faster gives 1 point). My highest bonus is 401,000 (27 lives left as level 47…this was enroute to my #16 spot).....My best runs are when I imagine a huge JezzBall tournament, full of jezz-heads all competing for highest score. It steadies my nerves, and helps avoid spasmodic kamikaze clicking (you all know what I mean). I once captured the last 18 balls with only one life left, such was my chilling precision! (not to mention astounding good fortune).

I was introduced to JezzBall by a friend who claimed to have played hundreds of hours, never to get past level 8. Bill (my boyfriend - nay, my religion) is an old hand at sussing pooter games, and he zeroed in on the optimal channel width, i.e. 2 squares. Then you could pinch the balls (so to speak) and stop them, using only one square per ball. I'm proud to say that I was the one who discovered the Holy Grail of creating channels without using up any lives at all. I always begin my channels in the upper right corner, placing the vertical arrow near the lower right-hand corner, clicking, then reversing the arrow direction and starting a channel towards the right-hand edge of the grid. I've gotten away with doing this as high as level 10 without getting burned for a life. Never 10 levels in a row, though.

Bill discovered that you can create a channel by clicking ON a ball, getting a line in one direction and losing no lives. He's created some funky patterns on the grid.

When I'm pondering something deeply (the nature of love, the nature of synchronicity, my eccentric friend who won 34 million and became a monster...), I'm able to nail those suckers down one after another. I don't lose my head.

Who am I? Graduated Dartmouth College in '77 with a BA in English. Never made any money with that degree, though, much to Mommy's dismay. I work in the ticketing department of a travel discounter and wonder what I'm going to be when I grow up. Stay up way past the hour of the wolf, playing jezzball and wrestling personal demons in the wee hours. Wonder if I'll ever begin the writing career that is my only salvation. 3 am stuff. Gifts that life has granted me: the opportunity to live abroad and reflect upon American culture from another perspective, an interest in language's, the ability to hang wallpaper seamlessly, and the privilege of knowing true love.


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