Should I blog about XYZZY on

tl;dr: I’m polling the community to ask whether I should post about XYZZY to the blog.

Why Am I Running This Poll?

I’m sure most of y’all remember the controversy around last year’s XYZZY. If you don’t, here’s a recap. … allot-box/

This year the XYZZY rules have been updated:

If possible, I’d like to blog about XYZZY in a fair way that won’t break the competition. But I fear that it may not be possible to do so, and I’d like to get feedback from the community on whether I should post about XYZZY in that venue at all.

The Proposed Blog Post

Here’s what I’m considering posting. Your feedback is welcome on the exact wording.

I think this post is pretty fair, but I’m more than willing to make additional changes to make it even fairer. But I suspect that it might not matter what I say in the blog post, because…

Some ChoiceScript Fans Will Vote Tactically No Matter What I Say

Last year, I blogged about Introcomp 2012 on after asking Jacqueline, the organizer, to review my post. Here’s what we came up with:

I think that post is really fair, almost as fair as I could be; I explicitly asked people not to vote for a particular author or to just vote for the ChoiceScript games.

But despite my careful wording, some people went ahead and voted tactically anyway, either by rating just one ChoiceScript game a 10 and “Not Rated” to all others, or worse, giving 10 to just one ChoiceScript game and rating 1 to all others.

Disqualifying Votes Can Help to Protect the Competition

In Introcomp 2012, Jacqueline was able to flag and reject obviously suspicious posts. Similarly, in an email conversation with maga, he’s made it clear that XYZZY will technically be able to handle and disqualify a large bloc of biased voters if it comes to that.

But at the end of the day, a ChoiceScript game won Introcomp 2012. In my opinion, Resonance deserved its victory, but I can’t disregard the possibility that Resonance might not have won if I hadn’t posted about it.

If I knew for sure 99% of readers would vote in bad faith, then indeed I certainly wouldn’t blog it. But I naively think (hope?) that our readers are better than that; that this is a problem of a few bad apples who can be easily blocked.

I Want People to Know about XYZZY and Interactive Fiction

I started Choice of Games because I care about interactive fiction. It seems crazy to me that the best way to help the interactive fiction community is to keep it a secret from our players.

The Choice of Games readership is now at least twice as large as it was last year. In an ideal world, that ought to mean that it’s a great venue to tell people about XYZZY. In practice, I’m afraid that our voices will just drown out everyone else’s.

At this point, I just don’t know what to do. I’m voting “Yes” on this post’s poll, but I’m willing to just cancel the whole thing if that’s what the community thinks I should do.

What do you think?

It seems pretty fair to me. I don’t think you have a malign agenda here. If there’s a flood like last year there’s already precedent for dealing with that.

Looks good to me!

In the voting stage does the XYZZY site give links to where the entrants can be played online? That might help voters play more in each category?

We meant to do this, and DavidW had a draft version going; it didn’t happen because personal reasons intervened and we were wanting to get the thing out of the door. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to get into a final state, though.

That said, there are hundreds of eligible games in the first round, and picking something award-worthy from them at random is highly unlikely, even if you have lots of free time and monumental endurance. I think that any solution that involves getting voters to play more games during the first round of voting is only going to marginally effective, at best.

Yeah I meant in the second stage. I don’t know if there is clear terminology, but I’d call the first the nomination stage and the second the voting stage [emote];)[/emote]

Yeah it’s probably more important to be blogged about than it is to try to shore up the integrity of voting over the internet. I mean, that’s a real windmill, innit? However I really know nothing about the history of this issue and I don’t want to read all those threads. I voted for ‘blog it’ just on general principle.

I don’t know about

To me this sounds like you’re saying this was a deliberate, orchestrated event. Maybe it was, but I just assumed what happened was that a bunch of people found a link saying, “hey, if you like Zombie Exodus, go and vote for it in this competation that you would not otherwise know about”.

OK, from our point of view maybe that’s a “bloc vote”, but I just feel like maybe it’s a slightly harsh way to describe what happened. And I don’t see that the IF community will gain much from offending the ChoiceScript crowd.

Or maybe this is me not being a native English speaker and responding differently to “vote in a bloc”.

There are now 8 “yes” votes and 3 “no” votes on the poll, including my “yes” vote. (Interesting that the “no” votes didn’t post any replies, though I hope I did a fair job of representing the arguments against blogging.)

I’m doing the post; let’s see what happens.