XYZZY Awards 2011: a temporary fix

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]Brand new to all this, trying to make my own game.]. I think we have three specimens of Matt W floating around in here.

Oh well.

I shall abandon this account, then, with its epic posting history and all the good reputation I have built up over my 6 (make that 7 now) posts that have – dare I say it – shaped this forum like none other. It is, unfortunately, not possible to change one’s nick. If such a feat should be deemed doable by a moderator without throwing the database into disarray, I humbly request a change.

I shall spend the next three years in deep lurker-mode while I contemplate and research possible new nicks. Three years seems appropriate given the fact that it took me about that long to come up with “Matt W” and sign up in the first place.

Do not miss me too much. Fare well, fellow interactive fictioneers.


Actually, this is a really good point. What if the first-round nomination process for XYZZYs was more involved? If you had to rank or score every game you’d played, that would add a slightly higher barrier of entry and, more importantly, help convey the idea that voters are supposed to carefully consider comparisons between a decent number of the eligible entrants.

Whoa, is there some story about SA LPers?

No; this is purely hypothetical. IF gets played on the SA forums with some frequency, and a number of current and former IF-community folks are Goons. I have no idea whether SA culture would make this possible or even likely, but it does represent a large, energetic community that has the potential to flood the XYZZYs for their own reasons.

IIRC, both David Whyld and David Welbourne have used variations on “davidw”, though at different locations.

And, after checking, KS was actually released in 2012. Will it be eligible for next year’s XYZZYs?

I don’t see any particular reason why it should be, when the great bulk of visual novels, hobbyist and commercial, are not.

The XYZZYs don’t attempt to include every CYOA published in the previous year. That would be a gigantic task. Rather, it includes such CYOA as falls within the general orbit of the IF world. What exactly that constitutes is a judgement call; the ChoiceScript games are in there largely because Choice of Games has a decent relationship with the IF world.

(So, if we thought that the ChoiceScript community were actually a bunch of evil awards-hijacking trolls, and that the IF community had zero interest in Choice of the Wotsit or ChoiceScript, the long-term solution would be very simple: don’t add ChoiceScript games to the list any more.)

Is the list really the final word on what game is eligible for the awards? I thought it was more of a guideline than a rule, hence the suggestion for voters to add games they’ve played.

No, it’s not. It’s difficult to catch every game in the world, and is likely to become increasingly so as IF inveigles itself into more and more obscure corners of the Internet. Similarly, things can get taken off the list if someone points out that they’re ineligible (usually because they were published in the wrong year.) But things don’t automatically go on the list just because someone suggested them – except in the Technological Development and Supplemental Materials categories, because we don’t compile a list for that.

So, yeah, if one or two people suggested that we put Katawa Shoujo on the list, I think that there’d be a bit of discussion among the organisers that would probably lead to us not adding it – not because I don’t think it’s a sophisticated bit of CYOA design, but because, in purely social terms, it’s a totally different thing. IF and VNs have overlapped somewhat in the past and could conceivably do so again and to a greater degree, but right now that’s not the case.