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2008 Intelligent Gamer Awards Nominations
Moderators: Sleepy
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Sleepy
Mon Dec 15 2008, 12:23PM

Registered Member #1
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 02:27PM
Posts: 199
As the end of this year draws near, Intelligent Gamer would like to take some time to honor and draw attention to some of the year's greatest accomplishments in gaming. So, take a moment and nominate your favorite games and game websites for an Intelligent Gamer Award!

For the most part, we will be staying away from standard award categories like "Best Overall" or "Best Sports Game" because those are covered sufficiently by the mainstream awards. We want to focus on areas that we feel are important to intelligent gamers and that are not sufficiently covered by the mainstream awards. These categories are grouped into Web Awards, Gameplay-based Awards, and Presentation-based Awards. Note that you can feel free to make a nomination for a category that is not listed below and we will consider adding that category.

VIDEO GAME AWARDS

Web Awards
Best Blog for Intelligent Discussion of Video Games
Best Podcast for Intelligent Discussion of Video Games
Best Forums for Intelligent Discussion of Video Games
Best Website for Intelligent Reviews of Video Games

Gameplay-based Game Awards
Best Competitive Experience in a Video Game
Best Cooperative Experience in a Video Game
Best Video Game for a Mental Workout
Most Innovative Gameplay in a Video Game

Presentation-based Game Awards
Best Story in a Video Game
Most Thought Provoking Video Game
Best Video Game for Making People Laugh
Most Artistic Video Game
Best Original Score in a Video Game
Most Immersive Video Game

TABLETOP GAME AWARDS

Website Awards
Best Blog for Intelligent Discussion of Tabletop Games
Best Podcast for Intelligent Discussion of Tabletop Games
Best Forums for Intelligent Discussion of Tabletop Games
Best Website for Intelligent Reviews of Tabletop Games

Gameplay-based Game Awards
Best Competitive Experience in a Tabletop Game
Best Cooperative Experience in a Tabletop Game
Best Tabletop Game for a Mental Workout
Most Innovative Gameplay in a Tabletop Game (RPG)
Most Innovative Gameplay in a Tabletop Game (non-RPG)

Presentation-based Game Awards
Best Story in a Tabletop RPG
Most Thought Provoking Tabletop RPG
Best Tabletop Game for Making People Laugh
Best Presentation in a Tabletop Game

A few quick notes about some of the categories that may need some clarification:

Competitive/Cooperative Awards - Games nominated for these awards do not need to be exclusively competitive or cooperative.

Most Thought Provoking - These games may contain social commentary. They may discuss the meaning of our existence. They may make you want to change something about your life. No matter what, though, they have moved you into deep thought beyond just playing the game.

Most Artistic - Some games are just plain beautiful to look at regardless of how fun they are. This should not be confused with a "Best Graphics" award.

Best Original Score - Original Score means that Rock Band and similar game soundtracks are not eligible.

Most Immersive - This is a game with great atmosphere that really draws you into its world and setting.

Best Presentation in a Tabletop Game - For RPGs this includes the artwork and layout of the book(s). For other tabletop games this includes the artwork of all the various game components (board, cards, pieces, etc.)


Presentation should have minimal if any impact on Gameplay-based Awards. Gameplay should have minimal if any impact on Presentation-based Awards.

The Gameplay and Presentation-based Awards should be limited to games released in 2008.

Make a nomination by simply replying in this thread with the category and your nominee. Nominate as many times as you like. Make sure you still nominate even if the nominee has already nominated because only the nominees with the most nominations will earn a spot on the final voting sheet.

Also, if you would like, please attach a short blurb to your nomination explaining why you are nominating the game. This is not required, but I would like to use some of these blurbs when the winners are announced.

[ Edited Mon Dec 15 2008, 01:56PM ]
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MacilAtTheFront
Mon Dec 15 2008, 06:55PM
Registered Member #60
Joined: Fri May 30 2008, 05:16PM
Posts: 37
Best Blog for Intelligent Discussion of Video Games - Twenty Sided - Shamus is somewhat cranky on some issues (like DRM), but his posts both provide a good read and a great start for discussion. There is a real person behind his views, and that comes out in the writing, as opposed to the usual hyperbole-laden reviews elsewhere on the web.

Best Cooperative Experience in a Video Game - Left 4 Dead - I don't think there's anything that comes close to Left 4 Dead for this (or any) year in terms of a game that both forces you to and rewards you for playing well with others.

Most Innovative Gameplay in a Video Game - Goo Balls - Simple, physics-based gameplay that beats the pants off of what every other game out there uses physics for.
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Demiath
Wed Dec 17 2008, 04:24AM
Registered Member #13
Joined: Mon Aug 06 2007, 07:09AM
Posts: 17
Intelligent initiative with interesting and well-defined categories! My nominees would be;

Most Innovative Gameplay in a Video Game - "The World Ends With You"
One of the very few NDS games to fully utilize the system's double screen/touchscreen structure, "The World Ends With You" ingeniously breaks up the stale JRPG format with an unusual, engaging and frequently frantic combat system which requires the player to think anew and develop fresh neural pathways in order to handle a completely unique challenge.

Most Artistic Video Game - "Braid"
Jonathan Blow's groundbreaking puzzle platformer features refreshingly flat, lavishly detailed and drop-dead gorgeous graphics which made my jaw drop many inches below the level it reached while surveying the sprawling 3D landscapes of big budget releases such as, say, "Grand Theft Auto IV" or "Fallout 3" for the first time. Virtually every sprite in this game is a compressed expressionist masterpiece, and the hauntingly beautiful music is so carefully chosen that it comes as a complete surprise to learn that none of the tracks were originally written for the game. Equally praiseworthy is the masterful way in which the overall presentation is tied to the story progression and the gameplay mechanics, which ensures a seamless, consistently satisfying artistic experience.

Best Original Score in a Video Game - "World of Goo"
In the video gaming context, "World of Goo" single-handedly redefines the simple one minute loop by transforming it from terminally forgettable elevator muzak into a distilled core of auditory excellence. The music moves effortlessly between sweeping orchestral soundscapes, quirky jazz pieces and fat, glossy dance beats, and the quality of the instantly memorable melodies as well as the sheer variety of the compositions makes the audio design in many high-profile video games seem small-scale, unambitious and repetitive by comparison.

Most Immersive Video Game - "Grand Theft Auto IV"
From a purely artistic perspective, GTA IV's strict adherence to realism doesn't provide us with the most aesthetically pleasing and innovative game content of the year. That said, stepping out on the streets of Liberty City in the early evening hours as the setting autumnal sun bathes the magnificent Algonquin skyline in cold light and watching the steady stream of randomly generated yet unique pedestrians pass you by on the sidewalks is about as immersive an experience as you're going to get from a 2008 release.

Best Story in a Video Game - "Grand Theft Auto IV"
The GTA series may be best known for its' gratuitous violence but over time it has also developed into one of the more notable vehicles for sophisticated storytelling within the game industry. As in previous titles, the relentlessly satirical representation of urban decay in GTA IV is invariably suffused with a politically charged undertone, and the tormented Niko Bellic is without a doubt one of video gaming's most three-dimensional and believably human protagonists so far. Though many of the city's more notorious inhabitants are too outlandish to take seriously, the relationship between the Bellic brothers as well as the characters and internal dynamics of the McReary family have a compellingly authentic feel to them which ultimately make GTA's story and dialogue (alongside the immersive, painstakingly realized settings) far more memorable than its' actual gameplay.

[ Edited Wed Dec 17 2008, 05:15AM ]

Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't. (Hamlet, 2.2.200-1)
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Sleepy
Wed Dec 24 2008, 07:50PM

Registered Member #1
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 02:27PM
Posts: 199
I'm going to manually add in some nominations here from Luke Crane (who also happens to be the game designer for the Burning Wheel RPG). He wanted to provide some input for the RPG awards, but was having some trouble with the site's registration system (turned out my e-mail server needed to be rebooted). Anyway, here are his nominations:

Best Blog for Intelligent Discussion of RPGs
James Wallis' blog, In Spaace. This post alone deserves an award:
http://www.spaaace.com/cope/?p=155

Best Podcast for Intelligent Discussion of RPGs
Clyde deserves recognition for all his hard work:
http://theoryfromthecloset.com/

Best Website for Intelligent Reviews of RPGs
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/

Best Cooperative Experience in a RPG
Mouse Guard, by me.

Best RPG for a Mental Workout
Spione, by Ron Edwards

Most Innovative Gameplay in a RPG
Sweet Agatha, by Kevin Allen JR

Best Story in a Tabletop RPG
Sweet Agatha, by Kevin Allen JR. It is a story!

Most Thought Provoking Tabletop RPG
Spione, by Ron Edwards

Best RPG for Making People Laugh
Maid RPG, translated by Andy K and company

Best Presentation in a RPG
Mouse Guard, by me.
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Sleepy
Tue Jan 06 2009, 07:58AM

Registered Member #1
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 02:27PM
Posts: 199
I received a few more nominations via email from Greg Porter, game designer for Blacksburg Tactical Research Center (BTRC).

Best Story in a Tabletop RPG
Most Innovative Gameplay in a Tabletop Game (RPG)
WarpWorld and the adventure module Altar of Reason (by me)

I think it's good, anyway... Seriously, it has a unique backdrop and the campaign structure is set to progress from day 1 of a key historical event in the gameworld, all the way out to several hundred years later, the campaign hopping forward in exponential intervals and staying longer at each one. So, there is the chaos of day 1, and the generation-long final struggle at year 300 (with different characters), but you are not having to deal with all the time in between, only the important parts and how the PC's actions will shape the next historical segment. That is, the players are shaping the larger history that their PC's descendants (who will also be PC's) will be living in.

Best Presentation in a Tabletop Game
Solomon Kane (Pinnacle Entertainment). Absolutely beautiful. Enough said.

Most Innovative Gameplay in a Tabletop Game (RPG)
A Dirty World (Schröedinger's Cat Press). Cool mechanics. As a designer, I like the nuts & bolts of a system as much as the gameworld. I am more of a nuts & bolts type in terms of rules, but I do like A Dirty World.

Most Thought Provoking Tabletop RPG
Thou Art but a Warrior (Tasty Bacon Games). Like Grey Ranks, you know how the story ends, but it is how you get there that matters.
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