The 2010 Award

The WinnerThe NomineesThe Award Ceremony

The 2010 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming has been given to BoardGameGeek.com, a website edited by Scott Alden and Derk Solko.

BoardGameGeek is a resource without peer for board and card gamers, the recognized authority of this online community.

If BoardGameGeek did nothing more than provide an exhaustive database of board and card game editions, designers, publishers, and translators it would be a heroic and valuable undertaking, but this is simply where it begins. Past being a first and best reference, the site hosts reviews, photos, strategy guides, variant rules, and session reports all created by the site’s members.

BoardGameGeek’s internal economy of thumbs and GeekGold effectively rewards those who make the site broader, deeper, and better, and as a result its community is smart, enthusiastic, and steadfast. The site and membership are together a seamless whole that exemplifies the best in modern Internet-based collaboration. Even better than some Wikipedia writ small, BoardGameGeek’s size is just exactly right, allowing its users’ passion for the hobby to shine into its every corner.

BoardGameGeek provides its data and resources free of charge, but like many of the best online resources, offers paid memberships that eliminate advertisements. This direct relationship between the site’s users and owners effectively aligns the motivations of all concerned with producing the best site, rather than satisfying the whims of transient sponsors to the annoyance of all.

In 2010, BoardGameGeek celebrates its tenth anniversary, adding longevity to the roll of its merits. Recently, BoardGameGeek’s creators have spun off additional sites devoted to other types of games, most notably roleplaying games. Time will tell whether the broadening of the ‘GeekDō’ umbrella will breed such fantastic communities in these other areas, but the initiative is more than welcome.

In one small corner of human endeavor, BoardGameGeek’s exhaustive knowledge base, devoted community, and collaborative bedrock exemplify the absolute best that the Internet has to offer society.

20th July 2010, London: After much debate the shortlist for the tenth annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, covering the year 2009, has been announced.

The Diana Jones Award is given to whatever the Diana Jones Committee believes has best demonstrated ‘excellence in gaming’ in the previous year. This year the committee has shortlisted four potential winners. In alphabetical order, they are:

BOARDGAMEGEEK

A website edited by Scott Alden and Derk Solko

BoardGameGeek is a resource without peer for players of board and card games. Its comprehensive database is a first and best reference for both staunch grognards and casual non-gamers, presenting not only reference data about games but also the reviews, opinions, expansions, photos, and session reports of its membership. The site’s internal economy effectively rewards those who continue to make the site broader, deeper, and stronger, and as a result its community is smart, enthusiastic, and steadfast. In 2010, BoardGameGeek celebrates its tenth anniversary, adding longevity to the roll of its merits. In one small corner of human endeavor, BoardGameGeek’s exhaustive knowledge base, devoted community, and collaborative bedrock exemplify the absolute best that the Internet has to offer society.

CHAOS IN THE OLD WORLD

A board-game by Eric Lang
Published by Fantasy Flight Games

In Eric Lang’s Chaos In The Old World, players take the roles of four cruel and hateful gods, competing—and cooperating—to debase and destroy the human world. Lang takes the heart and flesh of the Warhammer cosmos and stretches it as tight as a drumhead across a boardgame that richly evokes the baroque insanity of its source material while remaining elegant and rational in design. Side elements feed game play rather than distracting from it, and each god fulfills its individual character while reinforcing the game’s structure as a whole. The basic mechanics repeat and reveal themselves from new angles, channeling competition and fueling flavor as the game builds to its climax. Simultaneously rewarding planning and immersion, Chaos In The Old World masterfully bridges the board-game design gap between European architecture and American art.

KAGEMATSU

A role-playing game by Danielle Lewon
Published by Cream Alien Games

With Kagematsu, creator published roleplaying games boldly continue their advance into uncharted territory. Set in Japan, the game flips genders on the players, casting men as village women whose efforts to romance the wandering ronin Kagematsu are judged by the woman playing him. The text is lucid and elegant. The game plays to a natural conclusion in four or five hours—resolving the fates of the women, Kagematsu, and the village—with no need to force things along to finish on schedule. And play is lush, anxious, and partakes of great dramatic energy from its tight mechanics and device of gender-reversal.

MONTSEGUR 1244

A role-playing game by Frederik Jensen
Published by Thoughtful Games

Montsegur 1244, by Frederik Jensen, uses actual history to frame a tightly focused game that explores faith, loyalty, and the bonds of kinship. Using the final, brutal siege in the Catholic crusade against the Cathar heresy as a backdrop, players take the roles of true believers trapped in the fortress of Montsegur. As the inevitable endgame draws closer, each player must decide—will their character abandon their faith and recant, or will they burn for what they believe? This single, simple choice drives the entire game. Montsegur1244 succeeds brilliantly in evoking the horror and pathos of the doomed Cathars, and combines the best of Nordic and North American roleplaying traditions. The game is carefully structured where it needs to be and completely freeform where it doesn’t. Elegant, simple mechanics support play that is often surprisingly emotional. The choices players are presented with are impossible to reconcile. The tangled web of family, love, duty and belief only amplify the difficulty of the decision each must eventually make.

The winner of the 2010 Diana Jones Award was announced on the evening of Wednesday 4th August, at the annual Diana Jones Award and Freelancer Party in Indianapolis, the unofficial start of the Gen Con Indy games convention.

As one of the few publicly known members of the Diana Jones Award committee, Matt Forbeck revealed this year’s winners before the packed house. Derk Selko accepted the award and made a short acceptance speech on behalf of himself and Scott Alden. Afterward, the celebration continued into the night.

Many thanks to the sponsors of this year’s ceremony: Adamant Entertainment, Anthony Gallela, Conan Properties/Paradox Entertainment, Dwarven Forge, Eden Studios, ElfinWerks, Matt Forbeck, Gen Con, ProFantasy and Pelgrane Press, Ryan Macklin, Janice Sellers/Sellers Editorial Services, Super Genius Games, 10x10Toon.com, Paul Tevis, and War Pig Radio.