The 2013 Award

The WinnerThe NomineesThe Award Ceremony

The 2012 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming has been given to TableTop, a web series created by Wil Wheaton.

There was an unusually strong field to choose from this year, and the committee would like to thank the community for making our job harder by producing so very much excellence.

The Diana Jones Award committee is pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is TableTop, a web series created by Wil Wheaton and produced by Geek ‘n’ Sundry. The committee specifically recognizes the inestimable Wil Wheaton as the critical element in TableTop. Mr. Wheaton is not only executive producer, host, and co-creator, but this show would not be what it is without his genuine enthusiasm for tabletop games and the depth of his gaming “street cred” within the grass roots of the hobby gaming community.

TableTop is a web series in which each episode features a tabletop game that Wheaton explains how to play by showing us the game in action, often with the assistance of the game’s designer and participation of celebrities who enjoy games.

Some quotes from Diana Jones Award Committee members:

TableTop is well done, original, surprisingly successful, and has unilaterally helped our industry more than perhaps anything in the last 10 years.”

TableTop has brought a new energy and humour to the board-game field. Its blend of good humor and gameplay is pitch-perfect and has introduced a range of titles from modern classics to indie RPGs to thousands of new players. The games hobby could not want a better public face than Wil Wheaton.”

“…having been on the show, I was stunned by the crew’s professionalism, passion, and sheer hard work. Their love of gaming is real and palpable.”

“The impact TableTop has had on our industry cannot be overstated. At the moment, there simply is no greater advocate nor ambassador for gaming.”

TableTop‘s ability to get games in front of a huge audience will result in more people playing games, and an expansion of the group of people who identify as gamers.”

“In a world where cultural infrastructure is collapsing, TableTop brings star power, love for the form, and technical excellence to the task of building some more of it.”

It is the opinion of the Diana Jones Award Committee, that TableTop exemplifies excellence in gaming, and we are proud to award it our trophy for this year.

The shortlist for the 2013 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming has five entries. Listed alphabetically they are:

Dog Eat Dog, an RPG by Liam Burke, together with the Asocena supplement

Published by Liwanag Press

Dog Eat Dog is a game about colonialism that skilfully brings issues of violence and assimilation to the fore. A lightweight economy forces the native players to continually make agonizing decisions and the colonial player to be an utter dick. The Asocena supplement includes “setting hacks” that move the action from a player-created fictitious island to real-world settings – Italy under German occupation, for example – which shows off the game’s true potential as a tool for empathy and understanding.

Love Letter, a card game by Seiji Kanai

Published by AEG

A game like a fine watch mechanism: tiny, intricate and beautiful.

Metatopia, a games convention in Morristown, New Jersey

Organized by Double Exposure, Inc.

Metatopia is a sui generis experience, in which game designers pay the con to demo their games for alpha gamers (who pay less for tickets, as they’re the “attraction”) and/or experienced alpha designers. It’s half retreat, half academic conference, half workshop, half game convention.

Playing at the World, a book by Jon Peterson

Published by Unreason Press

A thorough, scholarly account of the history of hobby gaming in general and Dungeons & Dragons in particular. It convincingly traces the roots of D&D’s core mechanics all the way back to chess, its tropes through fantasy fiction and mythology, and its community back to the wargaming societies that formed at the turn of the last century. Peterson’s book is a must-read for anyone in the industry.

Tabletop, a web series created by Wil Wheaton

Produced by Geek ‘n’ Sundry

Tabletop has brought a new energy and humour to the board-game field: its blend of good humour and gameplay is pitch-perfect and has introduced a range of titles from modern classics to indie RPGs to thousands of new players. The games hobby could not want a better public face than Wil Wheaton.

The winner of the 2013 Diana Jones Award was announced on the evening of Wednesday 14th August, at the annual Diana Jones Award and Freelancer Party in Indianapolis, the unofficial start of the Gen Con 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. Wil Wheaton accepted the award for TableTop and made an enthusiastic and heartwarming speech, which you can watch below. Afterward, the celebration continued into the night.

Special thanks to the sponsors of this year’s Diana Jones Award ceremony:

Anthony GallelaAtlas GamesBattlefield PressCrowdfunding Project PartnersDriveThruRPG.comEden StudiosElfinwerksEvil Beagle GamesGameratiGaming PaperGen ConGenesis of Legend PublishingGoblinworksHostile Work EnvironmentHarsh RealitiesJanice SellersKickstarterLone Wolf DevelopmentMagpie GamesMatt ForbeckMatt James (Vorpal Games)Notting Hill GamesPaizoPaul TevisSteve Jackson GamesStorm Bunny StudiosThe Unspeakable OathTwin Suns Entertainment, and Zvezda.