The Diana Jones Award

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.

About the Diana Jones Award

What is the Diana Jones Award?

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.

Why is this award different?

The Diana Jones Award is decided on merit, not popularity or commercial success. You may never have heard of some of the nominees, but you can be certain that they are all outstanding in their fields. What is more, because the winner is chosen by a closed, anonymous committee, it is impossible for a manufacturer or publisher to stuff the ballot or interfere with the voting.

What is ‘Excellence in Gaming’?

The Diana Jones Award is designed to reward any combination of achievement, innovation, and anything that has benefited or advanced the hobby and industry as a whole; or which has had the greatest positive effect on games and gaming; or which, in the opinion of the judging committee, shows or exemplifies gaming at its best.

The precise interpretation of ‘excellence in gaming’ is left to the discretion of the individual judges, who approach the subject from many different backgrounds and perspectives. Innovation, artistic merit, commercial success, cultural significance, longevity and several other factors are all considered.

What is eligible for the award?

Anyone and anything within the games industry and hobby is eligible to win the Diana Jones award. That includes but is not restricted to: individuals, products, publications, publishers, distributors, retailers, clubs, organisations, conventions, events, trends, innovations and concepts. It is possible that the committee may decide not to give the award if in their opinion nothing in the previous year was sufficiently outstanding to qualify.

Who judges the award?

The Award is decided by a panel of people working in all areas and at all levels of the hobby-games business, who have all distinguished themselves in their field. It is up to each member of the judging committee to decide whether they will reveal their membership, but the full membership list will not be made public. Most of the members of the Diana Jones judging committee are anonymous, but Peter Adkison, Matt Forbeck, John Kovalic and James Wallis have all revealed their membership. New members are invited at the discretion of the existing members.

During the nominations round, a complete list of all the suggestions received is circulated to all the judges. They discuss the list in secret and cut it down to a shortlist of four to seven which is usually announced in late spring. After further deliberations, discussions and playtests, the final winner is chosen from this shortlist.

When is the award announced?

A shortlist of nominees is announced in the spring of each year, and after the committee’s final deliberations the winner of the Diana Jones award are revealed at a party at the Gen Con game convention, where the trophy is presented.

How many winners are there?

There is normally one winner each year. However, there has been a tie in the past, and the committee allows for that possibility in the future.

What does the winner receive?

The winner of the Diana Jones Award receives the Diana Jones trophy, which they may keep for a year before it passes to the next winner of the Award. They and the other nominees receive the right to use the Diana Jones Award logo for promotional purposes.

What is the Diana Jones Award trophy?

The Diana Jones trophy was originally created by the UK office of TSR Hobbies in the mid-1980s, to commemorate the expiration of that company's licence to publish the Indiana Jones Role-Playing Game and the subsequent destruction of all unsold copies of the game. It was liberated from TSR Hobbies by forces unnamed and subsequently came into the custody of a member of the Diana Jones committee.

The trophy is a four-sided pyramid made of Perspex, standing ten centimetres high and mounted on a wooden base. Sealed within the Perspex are the burnt remains of the last copy of the Indiana Jones RPG, including two still-recognizable cardboard ‘Nazi™’ figures, as recorded in gaming folklore.

The Diana Jones committee believes that a trophy that embodies the destruction of the last copy of one of the games industry’s most unloved and least-mourned products is a suitable symbol for the aims of the Diana Jones Award.

Who is Diana Jones?

Nobody. The only visible part of the Indiana Jones logo within the trophy has been burnt away so that it reads Diana Jones, and the award takes its name from that.

How do I contact the committee?

You can contact the judging committee by emailing