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7:38am on Friday, 7th June, 2019:



It was the Gotland Game Conference awards last night. I was on the jury to decide which games won in which categories, and over the days of the event had spent many hours looking at 28 games and discussing them with their designers and developers. One game in particular was, I felt, misunderstood, so when it came to the final jury meeting I was ready to argue its case.

All the importaant decisions were made in the first 30 minutes of the meeting.

The email I had telling me when the meeting started said it was at 2:30pm.

The email was wrong. The meeting started at 2pm. I arrived both on time and half an hour late.

I did get to vote for which game would get the best-in-show award, but not on which games made the shortlist for this award.

Normally, I'd present an award on the stage to a winning team, but having not participated in the discussion to decide the winners I felt too disconnected to volunteer. I was also a bit upset, to be honest: I'd invested a lot of time trying to understand the games and talking to those who had made them, and had even skipped lunch to make sure I could play (or watch being played) as many games as I could; one slip through an administrative crack meant that in the end I might as well not have bothered.

I suppose the students may have benefitted from our conversations, but as I'm only one juror among thirty-six I don't suppose my input was worth much, lost as it was among the voices of other, equally diligent jurors.


As usual, following the award show I didn't stay for the party but went to check on the students whose teams hadn't been successful. It's not only winners and nominees who worked their backsides off to create their games, after all.

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).