Why the Origins Awards Still Matter

Eclipse Phase: Sunward is up for the Origins Award for Best RPG Supplement this weekend at the Origins game fair. We're up against some stiff competition this year. And yet based on some posts I've read in various online gaming communities over the last few years, there are probably people out there asking, "So what?"

There's a perception that because the Origins game fair has declined in attendance since its heyday, the awards presented there are somehow less momentous than others in the gaming community. And then there's the fact that some important publishers in the industry have skipped submitting their products in recent years.

I'm not personally obsessed with winning awards. I write because I love doing it. However, for better or worse, awards are a boon to us in terms of keeping the business end going. So here's why I think Origins still matters:

  1. GAMA's role in nominations. GAMA remains the primary industry group for hobby games, despite some publishers not participating in it. GAMA's role in the awards give the nominations a particular flavor. They're comparable in some ways to the World Fantasy Awards in the science fiction community. Fans get to participate in the voting, but the nominations are driven by people who've been publishing games themselves. This is neither better nor worse than the entirely fan driven process of the ENnies -- but it's different, and that makes it interesting.
  2. New players have entered the arena! Some of the nominations this year went to exciting new contenders. Others went to established companies who didn't have games in the field last year. Either way, Sunward is in a run for its money.
  3. The history of the Origins awards provides a benchmark for present day efforts. It really meant a lot coming home with a few ENnies last year. The competition was fierce, and the fan community takes the ENnies very seriously. But the Origins Awards have some history on their sides. Winning Best RPG last year put EP on a list that includes greats like Call of Cthulhu (1981) and Paranoia (1984). That doesn't mean EP has the stature of CoC -- but it does mean we're looking at some big shoes, and the gaming community is encouraging us to fill them.

So if you're at Origins this year, please vote (preferably for us!), and if you have friends who are there, encourage them to vote as well. If you think our efforts have been worth it, let the rest of the gaming community know.

Thanks again for all of your support the last few years!

I doubt this post is likely to generate much controversy, but just to be clear, these are my own views, not those of Posthuman Studios. –Jack Graham