The 2001 Award

The WinnerThe NomineesThe Award Ceremony
The winner of the first annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Peter Adkison, founder of Wizards of the Coast.

As CEO of Wizards of the Coast (WotC), Peter Adkison led the company responsible for the most explosive growth in adventure-gaming ever, both in terms of sales and in public awareness, firstly with Magic the Gathering, then with the Pokemon card-game, and in 2000 with the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. His commitment to quality and his personal involvement and enjoyment of gaming is shown in his role in the creation of D&D3e, from acquiring TSR Hobbies up to mapping out the intention and direction of the game’s third edition and taking a lead role on its design team, creating what has become the fastest-selling role-playing game in history. Adkison left Wizards of the Coast at the end of 2000, but keeps in contact with game-designers at the company and continues to play D&D in ongoing campaigns around the world.

Without Adkison’s involvement, gaming today would be very different, much smaller and much less interesting. He is an accomplished businessman but he is also a gamer, and much of the success of WotC has come from his continuing passion for games and his understanding of what makes them work. For all that, and for building a hugely successful business without losing sight of the enjoyment of play that made him start a games company in his basement in the first place, the Diana Jones committee is proud to give Peter Adkison its Award for Excellence in Gaming for the year 2000.

The shortlist for the Diana Jones Award for the year 2000 included:

PETER ADKISON

As founder and CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Adkison has been responsible for changing the face of adventure-gaming and bringing it to its greatest-ever level of public prominence. He has also been tireless in striving to make his company’s products as good as possible, whether in his efforts to make the giant toy-company Hasbro appreciate and accommodate the special needs of the adventure-games industry, or in the way he took charge of the team responsible for revising D&D3e. Without Adkison’s influence over the last eight years, gaming would be very different, much smaller and much less interesting.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS THIRD EDITION

Published by Wizards of the Coast

Any revision to Dungeons & Dragons has to combine two different designs in a single game: it must have the richness and complexity to satisfy the game’s existing fans, but as the pre-eminent portal into the role-playing hobby it must also remain approachable and accessible to new players. The critical acclaim and sales of the D&D3e rulebooks show that the team behind this latest edition have succeeded on all levels, producing an update of the market-leading game fit for the 21st century. Even without considering the impact of the D20/OGL initiative, D&D3e has opened up new markets and new possibilities for the games hobby’s best-known brand.

MAGE KNIGHT

Published by Wizkids

The idea of a collectible miniatures game has been tried before, but by combining a complex game with simple and easily understood mechanics, and adding visually attractive miniatures that are ready for use out of the box, the design team at WizKids has proven that it is possible to breathe fresh life into the oldest of hobby-gaming genres. By building many of the game’s mechanics and monitoring activities into the miniatures themselves, they have given the game—and by extension miniatures-gaming as a whole—an ease of use that other manufacturers cannot ignore.

WIZARD’S ATTIC

Providing warehousing, consolidation, shipping and sales services to small and mid-level games companies, Wizard’s Attic has changed the games industry in two important ways. As a ‘one-stop shop’ it has made many previously hard-to-find games available to a much wider market; and it has taken a huge administrative burden off the shoulders of many manufacturers, letting them get on with designing and making games. While 2000 was not its most prominent year, the company continued to grow and offered new services to its clients and customers, reinforcing its position at the heart of a large segment of the gaming hobby.

The 2000 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming was presented to Peter Adkison, former CEO of Wizards of the Coast Inc., on 10th August 2001, during the Gen Con convention in Milwaukee. The occasion was a party thrown by Matt Forbeck, who allowed the DJA committee to intrude on his event. The presentation of the trophy was made by James Wallis and Matt Forbeck with many members of the DJA committee in the audience.

Above: The announcement of the winner. Befitting an award that is chosen by a mostly anonymous panel, two shadowy figures are just distinguishable in the gloom (Forbeck on the left; Wallis on the right) but the rest of those present, including Peter Adkison himself, are shrouded in darkness and mystery. (Photograph by Hal Mangold)

The announcement of the winner. Befitting an award that is chosen by a mostly anonymous panel, two shadowy figures are just distinguishable in the gloom (Forbeck on the left; Wallis on the right) but the rest of those present, including Peter Adkison himself, are shrouded in darkness and mystery. (Photograph by Hal Mangold)

Above: Peter Adkison with the extraordinary Diana Jones trophy. (Photograph by Jonathan Tweet)

Peter Adkison with the extraordinary Diana Jones trophy. (Photograph by Jonathan Tweet)