The nominations for this year’s Origins Awards are out. Once again the system’s been changed: this year, instead of nominees, there are ‘semi-finalists’, ten to a category.
Gratifyingly,Â inÂ theÂ non-fictionÂ publicationÂ groupÂ IÂ haveÂ piecesÂ inÂ threeÂ ofÂ theÂ semi-finalists: 40 Years of Gen Con (Atlas Games); Hobby Games: the 100 Best (GreenÂ Ronin); and Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (the MIT Press).
IÂ knowÂ thisÂ isÂ a veryÂ self-aggrandisingÂ post, but now Humphrey Lyttelton’s dead there’s a shortage of good trumpet-blowers around.
I bang on about awards perhaps too much on this blog, but itâ€™s not often Iâ€™m up for one. Or at least the excellent Second Person (ed. Harrigan and Wardrip-Fruin, MIT Press 2007), a book to which I contributed two pieces, is up for the Best Book gong in the Game Developer Frontline awards.
As the name suggests these are awarded by Game Developer magazine, and are a real set of industry shout-outs. No â€˜Game of the Yearâ€™ here: instead the six categories are Engine, Book, Middleware, Programming/Production, Art and Audio. This means the people voting on the awards will be professionals who actually know something about the field, not the usual crew of twelve-year-olds who really like Halo and donâ€™t see why itâ€™s not eligible for best puzzle game, or the usual crew of industry old hands who really like their EA pensions and donâ€™t see why EA isnâ€™t eligible for best newcomer. In short, itâ€™s an award that means something.
Meanwhile, if youâ€™re looking for a Christmas present for a gaming mate who thinks hard about games and tends towards narrativism rather than ludology, you could do a lot worse than Second Person. And no, Iâ€™m not gettingÂ any royalties.