Writing Contest… The Aftermath
by GL News
And just as soon as it began, it is over. When we first bandied about the idea of a writing contest, here at GLHQ, we never thought it would turn out to be as successful as it has been. Within days, the first entries were pouring in, and the steady stream never once stopped, not even up until minutes before the Midnight deadline on the 28th January.
What surprised us the most was how diverse the entries were, how we would be affected by them, and from how many walks of life, their writers would come. Many were literally ‘gaming lives’ and histories, taking us through the good, bad, and the ugly of the games that made you who you are today, that gave you the happiest, saddest, and most memorable moments, while others tackled subjects ranging from game violence, social behaviour, and games as art. Others talked about the parents or siblings who got them into gaming, how sandboxes can be improved, and the state of the FPS genre, while we heard of bedroom door traumas, Nintendo obsessions, and exploding Mega Drives (we laughed our explosion-free faces off at that, sorry).
The pieces, whether witty, funny, or poignant all made for days of great reading, even while sobbing into our Werthers Originals because some whippersnapper called the seventies ancient. There was stuff we agreed with, things we disagreed with, things that brought on tears of laughter or moments of pause through sadness or nostalgia. So many times, we stabbed at a line from someone’s article, with a cry of ‘I bloody did that!’ or ‘I loved that game’ or ‘that jammy cow, I never had one of those.’ Or even: ‘my dad was like that too’. We’ve laughed, choked, cried, and annoyed one another reading pieces out constantly as we slowly – painfully slowly – whittled down our final shortlist.
What did we learn? That we share our hobby with some diverse, wonderful, interesting characters and, for this brief moment, it was great getting to know you. You are glorious lunatics, considered geniuses, closet comedians, fresh-air phobics, and above all… gamers who have chosen to share their thoughts, histories, opinions, and gaming lives with us, which is really what we’re all about. You were also bastards enough to make this process excruciatingly hard and one of the most difficult decisions that ever swallowed our time (even more than the debate about who would win between a Velociraptor and a shark with legs). Thank you, each and every one of you.
When we first decided to run an annual writing contest, we weren’t really sure what to expect. It would either fail miserably and we’d be left with only one entrant who would naturally win by default, or we’d be inundated with entries and find ourselves jumping from conundrum to conundrum, selecting one over another and second guessing until finally eliminating more and more to come to a conclusive winner.
Thankfully, the latter was the case. To say that reading through the myriad of entries has been difficult would be an understatement, on so many levels. There are those which had us crying with laughter, to the point where any attempt to read aloud any excerpts went beyond futility to downright absurdity. There were also tears of sadness at times, from reading such poignancy that none of us could ever have expected. Whether happy or sad, serious or rant, every article had its own reason for inclusion and it made the elimination process akin to completing Fallout: New Vegas on hardcore setting whilst blindfolded and with only the BB Gun as a means of protection.
From all of the entries submitted we selected a top fifty as our starting point, with a view to reducing it down to twenty-five by a process of elimination, then ten… and finally to one outright winner… but we couldn’t. To that end, we’ve been forced to mix things up considerably because the final SEVEN articles couldn’t be eliminated any further and, ultimately, we had to instead scrap the idea of ending up with a single winner and simply argued the case for each of the final seven until a definitive winner was reached based on individual merit.
As is always the case with the gaming industry, where entire forums can come to war over an 8/10 review score that the majority believe should have been 10/10, we expect that there will be those who question the choice of winner and runner up. Ultimately, however, we believe that the correct decision has been made and ask that you show support for our winner and all of our runners up, as well as every single writer who put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and poured out their thoughts that we may read them. Thank you to everyone who entered, and who helped us to realise that this was a good idea after all!
And so, without any foitha ado…
“Eat Your Art Out”
by Dom Peppiatt
“My Mother Vs Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo” or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Accept That Adults Like To Game Too”
by Anthony Smith
The following five articles also deserve honourable mentions as they were very close to being selected as either winner or runner up, and the reason that we reached a legitimate stalemate with the final seven submissions… and so we have decided that each of the writers will win a £25 Amazon Voucher. In alphabetical order by surname…
“Karting And The Art Of Not Punching Your Best Friend In The Throat”
by Alasdair Beer
“Fresh Air Sucks”
by Andrew Boulton
“Gaming: The Doorway To A New Age”
by Peter Doveston
“Evolving Character Creation”
by Mik Furie
“Gaming: Not Just For Gamers”
by Jo Rowan
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