James Wallis levels with you

Diana Jones Award 2013 shortlist

I administer the Diana Jones Award ‘for excellence in gaming’. This is its thirteenth year, and we’ve just released the shortlist for the 2013 award. I think it’s an outstanding collection of items, and since I don’t have access to the actual DJA website to update it right now, I’m throwing the press release up here so there’s a URL I can link back to.


The DIana Jones Award trophy30th May 2013


A card-game, an RPG, a book, a convention and a web series vie for hobby-gaming’s most exclusive trophy

From a list of nominations that included traditional board-games, card-games, miniatures games and role-playing games, as well as events, books about games and gaming, and for the first time a PhD thesis, the secretive committee of the Diana Jones Award has built a shortlist of five items that it believes best exemplify ‘excellence’ in the field of hobby-gaming.

The Diana Jones committee is proud to announce the shortlist for its annual Award for Excellence in Gaming:

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
Organised 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 this year’s award will be announced and the Diana Jones trophy will be presented at the annual Diana Jones Party, which will be held at the Cadillac Ranch, 39 West Jackson Place, Indianapolis, at 9pm on August 14th – the night before the Gen Con games convention opens to the public. All games-industry professionals are invited to attend.



The Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming was founded and first awarded in 2001. It is presented annually to the person, product, company, event or any other thing that has, in the opinion of its committee, best demonstrated the quality of ‘excellence’ in the world of hobby-gaming in the previous year. The winner of the Award receives the Diana Jones trophy.

The Diana Jones Committee is a mostly anonymous group of games-industry alumni and illuminati, known to include designers, publishers, cartoonists, consultants, and those content to rest on their laurels.

Past winners include industry figures such as Peter Adkison and Jordan Weisman, the role-playing games Nobilis, Sorcerer, and Fiasco, the board-games Dominion and Ticket to Ride, and the website BoardGameGeek. This is the thirteenth year of the Award.

More information is available at the Diana Jones Award website or at the Award’s Wikipedia page.


For more information you can contact a representative of the DJA committee directly:

Categorised as: Uncategorized


  1. Brian G says:

    If you thought Metatopia was good, come to DexCon in July.

    Brian G.
    Logistics Co-director
    Double Exposure

  2. Matt A says:

    TABLETOP!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wil Wheaton is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. […] som Once Upon a Time, Nobilis og The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, stifter av Diana Jones-prisen, har en imponerende merittliste som meddesigner og artikkelforfatter, og er i det hele tatt en […]

  4. Paul Owen says:

    Given the elegance of “Love Letter” and the sheer enthusiasm of “Table Top,” I’m going to have to look for Jon Peterson’s “Playing at the World” just for the company it keeps. Terrific nominees, all.

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