Excitement is mounting in anticipation of which game will win Spiel Des Jahres (Game of the Year) in 2010. Considered the Oscars of the gaming industry, this prestigious award has been running for over 30 years. Founded in 1978 by a group of leading games reviewers from German speaking countries, the award was designed to reward excellence in game design and promote board games as a fun, friendly and family oriented activity. A selection of previous winners include Dominion (2009), Zooloretto (2007), Alhambra (2003), Carcassonne (2001) and Settlers of Catan (1995). The winner will be selected and announced on June 28th 2010, from a pool of five nominees.
Spiel Des Jahres – what’s it all about?
Although the award is purely meritorious, a mere nomination can increase sales by up to 300% and winning can translate into sales of up to 500,000 units. One of the important aims of the award was to ensure German games proliferated and flourished and it has definitely succeeded. In the process, the Spiel des Jahres award has set high standards for game production around the world. Jurors are selected from a pool of independent and highly regarded games critics and reporters, with proven reviewing track records in a variety of media. There is also a special Children’s Game Committee, that’s responsible for choosing the Kinderspiel Des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year), which is announced shortly after the main award.
Spiel Des Jahres – special awards.
Each year, there’s also the chance that one or two special awards may be granted. Previous awards include Best Party Game for GiftTRAP in 2009, Best Complex Game for Agricola in 2008 and Best Fantasy Game for Shadows Over Camelot in 2006 to name just a few. Other special award categories have included Dexterity, Historical, Literary and even Beautiful!
Spiel Des Jahres – who wins and why?
So who wins and why? To be eligible for this sought after award, a game must have been released in Germany during the preceding 12 months and must satisfy a range of stringent criteria. Games must be:
• Original in concept and good value.
• Easy to understand and well structured with clear rules.
• Outstanding in presentation and layout, with superior design of game board, box and rules.
• Exceptional in functionality design and workmanship.
Spiel Des Jahres – send us your nominations predictions.
The names of the five finalists will be announced in less than a week. I have my own thoughts about which games might be on the nominations list, but I’d like to hear your ideas. Let me know who you think will make the cut for 2010!