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Gaming’s Nobel Prize, the Diana Jones Award, selects Gen Con, Gloomhaven and Terraforming Mars among 2017 nominees

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The Diana Jones Award, arguably gaming’s most coveted trophy akin to the Nobel Prize, has revealed its shortlist for 2017.

Created back in the ‘80s by the UK staff of publisher TSR Hobbies – the name comes from the burnt remains of the final copy of the poorly-received Indiana Jones RPG encased inside the Perspex pyramid – the Diana Jones has been handed out to people, games, events and companies that represent ‘excellence in gaming’ since 2001.

In the words of its creators: “The Diana Jones Award is designed to reward any combination of achievement, innovation, and anything that has benefited or advanced the hobby and industry as a whole; or which has had the greatest positive effect on games and gaming; or which, in the opinion of the judging committee, shows or exemplifies gaming at its best.”

The prize itself is voted for by a largely secret panel of judges from across the industry, all of whom are experts and celebrated figures in the tabletop world. Among those to have revealed their membership are Wizards of the Coast founder and first Diana Jones recipient Peter Adkison; Munchkin artist John Kovalic; roleplaying author Matt Forbeck; and designer, publisher, consultant and TTG contributor James Wallis.

The six nominees for 2017’s Diana Jones are:

  • The Beast, a single-player erotic card game by Aleksandra Sontowska and Kamil Węgrzynowicz that involves players keeping a secret diary recording their sexual encounters with a monster.
  • End of the Line, a live-action roleplaying game set in White Wolf’s One World of Darkness by Bjarke Pedersen, Juhana Pettersson and Martin Elricsson that first took place in an abandoned mental asylum in Helsinki for six hours last year.
  • Gen Con, the massive games convention held every August in North America, which was originally established by Dungeons & Dragons co-founder Gary Gygax in 1968.
  • Gloomhaven, Isaac Childres’ ambitious game that combines elements of roleplaying adventures, Euro game mechanics and permanent legacy elements over nearly 100 unique scenarios.
  • The Romance Trilogy, a series of RPGs by Emily Care Boss that focus on love and relationships, comprising a two-player RPG based around first dates, a smaller-group RPG concerning a love triangle and a LARP that encourages players’ characters to explore love outside of their existing relationships.
  • Terraforming Mars, the expansive game by Jacob Fryxelius that aims to simulate humankind’s future colonisation of the Red Planet in a board game form as players balance developing projects, gathering resources and ultimately making the planet habitable.

The winner of the 2017 Diana Jones – following last year’s recipient Eric Lang – will be announced on August 16th at the beginning of the 50th Gen Con.

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