The Diana Jones Award is an annual award created to publicly acknowledge excellence in gaming. The award was first made for the year 2000, and the first award ceremony was on August 4, 2001.
Ireland has a vigorous hobby-gaming community and a strong tradition of local conventions. These often climax with a charity auction that raises astonishing amounts of money for good causes, particularly given the size of the conventions. In 2005 Gaelcon’s auction made €31,000 (US$40,000)—that's US$80 per attendee—and the smaller Warpcon raised €12,000 (US$15,000), making its parent society the biggest charity fundraiser at University College Cork. This extraordinary spirit of generosity not only helps the needy but also publicises gaming to the wider community in a very positive way, making it less obscure and more approachable, which may explain why the Irish games scene is so full of life.
9th August 2006, Indianapolis: The Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming for 2006 has been won by Irish Game Convention Charity Auctions.
The winner was announced at a ceremony packed with games industry professionals, from designers to publishers and distributors, held at Jillian’s on South Meridian Street in Indianapolis on the evening of Wednesday 9th August, the day before the opening of Gen Con Indy.
A single auction at an Irish games convention can raise over US$40,000 for local charities. This extraordinary spirit of generosity has benefits beyond simply helping those in need: it works to publicise the gaming hobby and gamers generally to a much wider audience, informing them about the hobby and changing their preconceptions for the better. This is one reason why Ireland, a country with no native hobby-games industry and only a handful of games shops, has such a vibrant and exciting games scene.
These charity auctions are an excellent example of the positive effects that gaming can create. In a hobby that depends on community to survive and grow, they benefit both the community of gamers and the wider community beyond, and they deserve to be celebrated and emulated more widely. This is why, in the opinion of the Diana Jones committee, Irish Games Convention Charity Auctions are the worthy winner of this year's award.
Sadly no representatives of the Irish games-convention scene were present to receive the award in person. Instead the Diana Jones Trophy was accepted on their behalf by Malcolm Craig (Contested Ground Studios) and Gregor Hutton (Boxninja), both regulars at Irish conventions, who will take it to Ireland later this year.
Also nominated this year were the Gamechef game-design competition, the CCG Magic the Gathering 9th Edition, the card-game/ARG Perplex City, the RPG Spycraft 2nd Edition and the boardgame Twilight Struggle.