XYZZY Awards 2011: a temporary fix

I’ve been speaking to the other organisers of the XYZZY Awards, and we’re ready to make a definitive announcement. (You’ve probably already gathered the general drift of it, but we thought it was important to make things clear.)

This year, and this year only, we’re going to split out the ballots of the ChoiceScript community, taking them out of consideration for the regular awards. We’ll be presenting a special award for the games of the ChoiceScript community at the ceremony, but the XYZZYs will otherwise be business as usual. Voting remains open.

We realise that this is an imperfect solution, but we think that it’s the best one available to us, and acceptable to all parties involved. We ask you to be understanding and civil about all this, and appreciate that you’ve been mostly doing so already.

This does not represent the long-term answer; we’ll get down to working that out once this year’s awards are done. (Until then, please continue bouncing around ideas.)

How do you know which votes are from ChoiceScript people and which aren’t?

I gather that ChoiceScript people voted for all ChoiceScript games, as a ticket. So people who voted for ChoiceScript games, and only ChoiceScript games, will be split out.

I’m not 100% sure I love this solution, but if there is a problem with it, I don’t think that problem is in splitting out people who voted for ChoiceScript as a ticket! As was identified in the original thread about this stuff, the main issue here with regard to being fair to the candidates is how to handle the two communities’ separate familiarity levels with the games (IF people not being familiar with the ChoiceScript games, ChoiceScript people not being familiar with the IF games). The parser-based people voted within the set of parser-based games, and the ChoiceScript people voted within the set of ChoiceScript based games, according to maga almost exclusively. That means that this year, the XYZZYs were essentially two different awards events being held on the same set of polls - no overlap. And I can’t really blame the parser-focused crew who runs the XYZZYs for wanting to focus their attentions on the parser-focused awards event, not the ChoiceScript awards event.

Sounds very reasonable.

Flourish pretty much has it, except for one minor detail:

The parser-based people voted for plenty of games that weren’t parser-based, but were released within the parser-based orbit. Thus, there were some nomination votes for The Matter of the Monster because it was released by an author familiar to the community, and nomination votes for all the CYOA-likes entered in IF Comp.

The rather obvious message from this is that the best way to get attention for your CYOA from the IF community is to submit it to the comp. (Though this, of course, would limit how you could release it elsewhere.)

Making sure I understand…

Does this mean that you will be posting a “new” batch of finalists, with the ChoiceScript community contenders removed into a new category? Or does it mean that the existing list is valid, but ChoiceScript results will be split off from this point moving forward?

The latter. The existing list is valid, and we won’t be making any midstream changes to the site, so you should go ahead and vote as normal.

I agree that this is the right temporary fix.

Am I the only one thinking this is a bit of a cop out? It just smacks of unfairness when a game which certain people feel doesn’t deserve to win any XYZZY awards looks set to do so, and then a sudden change of the rules is implemented during the voting period. If the game in question was by a well-respected member of the IF community, would this still have happened?

What next? If a ChoiceScript game, or some other kind of CYOA game, gets top place in the IFComp this year, will a new rule be introduced to make them ineligible?

David, this procedure has nothing at all to do with whether or not a certain game deserves to win a XYZZY Award. As I indicated in the other thread, it also has nothing to do with CYOA verses parser based stuff. What happened is simply that a dedicated fan base has voted in a competition where voting was meant (by an implicit social contract) to be based on careful consideration of at least a serious number of the eligible games. Where community expectations clash so clearly, the results would become meaningless, and maga’s temporary solution seems as good as any.

In fact, if I understand maga correctly, a ChoiceScript game could still win the best game XYZZY: it is not the game that is moved towards another category, it is the votes of the ChoiceScript community (which will, I guess, be identified by the fact that they voted for ChoiceScript games exclusively). If the IF community votes en masse for a ChoiceScript game, it could still end up being Best Game.

(About IF Comp: this couldn’t happen in IF Comp, because (a) it is about marks, not about number of votes; (b) you have to play at least 5 games for your vote to count. I don’t think anyone would have a problem with a CYOA game winning IF Comp.)

It IS a cop out. But:

It IS NOT a CYOA vs. traditional IF affair. It is NOT about NAMES (so: yes, I suppose if you, David, was the author of the CYOA in this case, things would have gone the same length).
Fact is about HOW votes have been gathered. Crowdsourcing vs. “I’ve played most of the games and I vote for…”.
A new kind of problem, never seen before, which deserved a peculiar act on behalf of the organizers.

I’m not a big fan of “laws made during emergencies” cause that’s how Hitler got to the power… but I can tell the difference, in this case.

EDIT: Victor was faster then me. Sorry for repeating.

Just be glad Katawa Shoujou wasn’t up for nomination.

From what I’ve heard, I could see it legitimately sweeping the nominations if it were eligible. Except that Don’t Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story would probably deserve them more.

My list of Potential Invasions of Doom has been steadily racking up larger and larger candidates, from Caltrops to Zarfian Kickstarterites to Something Awful LPers, and so on. In terms of total griefing potential, though, I think Anonymous trumps MuggleNet.

(Also, hey, they completed it.)

You are right. Anonymous > Mugglenet > Zarfian kickstarterites > CYOA players. I think. Probably. Maybe.

Anyway, Anonymous are scarier because they’d actually automate voting and not give one single crap about it.

And now I am radically off-topic.

I would suggest sticking a rule in there about crowd-sourcing (“Do not ask for votes directly or indirectly”), though there’s a lot of grey area in that as well: where does legitimate publicity end and turn into a problem? But I don’t think you’re going to solve this by rules alone - at the end of the day, it all depends on the honesty and integrity of the voters. And, as Victor has observed, on whether or not they even realise they might be doing something wrong.

There is no way that a dedicated goup of people/community can’t overrun/cheat the system; tough rules might even encourage cheating. There appear to be only two choices: throw out all games from different communities where there’s not much overlap (which is really legitimate, it being akin to limiting an award to movies from a certain country) or explain the intention of the award up front and hope that people will play nice (while reserving the right to throw out “renegade votes”).


While I would suggest one of you two change nick cause you’re making my head spin [emote]:P[/emote]

[size=50]I believe the one with the small “w” and the space is the philosopher who helped me out with Kerkerkruip, while the one with the big “W” and no space is the author of Aotearoa. emote:)[/emote] How to remember this… hm… let’s say that by winning an IF Comp and 7 XYZZYs, the big-W-Matt has made it big in the IF world? Big/big, get it? emote8-)[/emote] emote:?[/emote][/size]
The above information is WRONG, as maga pointed out.

matt w = Matt Weiner, the philosopher.
mwigdahl = Matt Wigdahl, the author of Aotearoa.
MattW = some other guy whom I know nothing about.

As someone writing IF almost entirely* for communities with nearly-zero overlap with this one, the first one would make me a little sad. I feel like enough of an outsider as it is [emote]:)[/emote]

(Besides, now that there’s a “Best Supplemental Materials” category, I am effing in).


  • Microgames and SpeedIFs notwithstanding.

See [url]]. I think we have three specimens of Matt W floating around in here.