Voting for the 2009 GenCon EN World RPG Awards — “the ENnies” — is now live, and will be open through July 31st.
I polled the gnomes about coming up with collective voting suggestions, but it’s like herding foul-mouthed, foul-smelling, perpetually drunk cats up in here sometimes. We can agree that Gnome Stew employs a white, deep red, and pale gray color scheme, but it’s pretty shaky after that.
So instead you get three suggestions from me. By way of qualifications, I should point out that I have impeccable taste: Grey Poupon, pinkie out when I sip my tea with milk, accent walls in my gnomish hovel, and only top-shelf liquor for my article writing sessions drinking binges. Like I said, impeccable.
For starters, vote. The ENnies matter because of their unique combination of peer review and community voting — and the nominees have worked their asses off to earn their nominations.
It only takes a couple of minutes, and you should do it.
The Mouse Guard RPG (reviewed right here on the Stew), by my friend Luke Crane, is nominated for Best Interior Art, Best Production Values, and Product of the Year, and it deserves to win in all three of those categories. I hope you’ll consider voting for it.
When you vote, make sure to vote in the Best Website category (you can vote in as many or as few categories as you like) — the category in which I and Gnome Stew have the most invested. Here are the nominees:
I can’t even begin to tell you how to vote — I don’t know Mad Brew Labs very well (though I like what I see), but the other four nominees are all friends of the Stew. I’ve corresponded with Monte Cook (Dungeon-A-Day), Wolfgang Baur (Kobold Quarterly), Dave Chalker (Critical Hits), and Micah Wedemeyer (Obsidian Portal) many times, and with some of them for years. They’re great folks who run great sites.
On top of that, these five websites each do quite different things, and they all do it well. I wish you luck in picking your favorite — I had a tough time myself!
Best Website Needs to be Split in Two
This is an oddball category this year, as it has been every year: Apart from quality, the nominated sites have almost nothing in common. Based on ENnies judge Jeramy Ware‘s comments, the category is intended to showcase a range of different types of sites.
The result is a bit like if the Oscars had a Best Picture category that was required to include a drama, a comedy, a thriller, an action flick, and a romance, with the Academy selecting one nominee from each genre — and considering student films (fan-produced websites, in the best sense) alongside Hollywood blockbusters (professional sites with big names or budgets).
The online RPG content creation/RPG support space (a long-winded way of saying “gaming websites”) has changed since a few years ago, when I first submitted Treasure Tables for the ENnies and really started paying attention to the space.
There’s money to be made in it now, both for sites that charge a fee and for sites that are supported by advertising, and the caliber of the talent involved has gone up. That’s not to say that excellent RPG sites haven’t existed for years — look at Roleplaying Tips (1999) and Yog-Sothoth.com (1998), to name just two — but the landscape is different than it used to be. RPG sites are also a much more integral part of the gaming community than they were when the ENnies began (how many gamers do you know who don’t go online for resources?).
Respectfully, Best Website should be two categories: Best Website, for sites that cost money, and Best Free Website — just like Best Free Product, for sites that don’t. (RPG blogs don’t need their own category — they fit fine in Best Free Website.)
Thanks for reading — now get your ass to the voting booth!
I’m off to vote– you can put down that saucer of hot tea now!
You say that like it’s a bad thing…
I totally agree about splitting up the Best Website category. I don’t know exactly how it should be split, but having Obsidian Portal competing against blogs just seems strange to me. There are several categories for the game systems themselves, instead of just “Best Print Resource” So why should web resources be any different?
It seems that focusing on the medium (website) is the wrong classification. Instead, focus on content and intended use. For instance, there should be a category for Best Blog, just like Best Podcast. Then, the other websites should be split into the other categories. In Obsidian Portal’s case, it seems that Best Aid or Accessory would be a good category. Perhaps a new category for “Best Digital/Electronic Aid” and toss in all the web apps, character generators, cartography tools, etc.
The web is big and diverse enough now that lumping all websites together just doesn’t work anymore.
I hope that the Ennie folks take note of this suggestion, as I was already complaining about the lumping of all these sites together.