Writing Contest… The Aftermath

Lorna’s thoughts…

Three day deadline + more entries than expected = sleep deprivation!

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.

"Stung by nettles, stung by wasps, stung by a jellyfish despite living in the midlands..."

Mark’s thoughts…
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…

The Winner
“Eat Your Art Out”
by Dom Peppiatt

Runner Up
“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

Last five articles by GL News



  1. Ste says:

    Well done guys, I look forward to reading these. I especially wish to learn about the art of not punching your best friend in the throat as I’m afraid to say that punching friends in the throat is one of my more notable personality flaws!

  2. Edward Edward says:

    I still think it’s insane you managed to get through so many entries in that short space of time and pick a winner.
    Congratulations to all the winners :)

  3. Mr Swift says:

    Congratz to all the winners! And thank you to all the guys and girls at GL who hosted this awesome competition!

  4. Bob says:

    Can’t say i’m not sad I didn’t win :P, But clearly the standard of entries was extremely high. Congratuations to all the winners!

    Can’t wait until the next one now :P I see i’m gonna have to put some serious effort in.

    Thanks for the competition guys!


  5. Knikitta says:

    Well done to all who entered, Congratulations to those who won!

    Cyber hugs for Mark and Lorna, who we will probably not see now for a few days while they energise their batteries with Liquorice and Monster Munch and ridiculous amounts of much needed sleep.

  6. Adam R AdamR says:

    Congrats to all who simply took the time to enter

  7. Directing Chaos says:

    Well done Dom, Anthony, Alasdair, Andrew, Peter, Mik and Jo hats off to you all.

  8. Directing Chaos says:

    Do we get to read all the entrys?

  9. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    @Edward Actually the way we did it was to read the entries as they came in, although not necessarily on the actual DAY they came in, to see whether they were a legit contender or not… so by the time it came around to the last day we’d already got a short list pretty much sussed out. I say “short”, but it was certainlyl not as short as we’d expected! If we hadn’t done it that way, based on only a few hours per evening to read through the entries in bulk, it would easily have taken us a month to get through them.

    @DirectingChaos I don’t really think that’s a viable option to be honest, as it would mean that our writers would need to take a back seat and that would negate the purpose of the site entirely. What we’re considering, however, is to run a series of weekend features but right now we just need to get back to reality and prop our eyelids open for a few days to fight the mental fatigue. It was much more tiring than I imagined it would be. Fun, but tiring! :D

  10. Kat says:

    Congrats to the winners!

    *extra excited squeal for Jo*

  11. Edward Edward says:

    Still man, that is an insane amount of stuff to get through, let alone all the GL stuff you have to do anyway. I can’t say I’d be jealous of that job at all, crikey.

    Go energise your batteries good sire :)

  12. Directing Chaos says:

    Could they not be put in the forum somewhere so it doesn’t adversely effect the main site and the day to day articles for the main writers.

    Out of curiosity how many entry’s did you get in the end?

  13. Lee says:

    Awesome well done everybody who entered.

    also a shark with legs would win every time.

  14. Chris Toffer says:

    Congrats All!!!

  15. Stu Stu says:

    Congratulations Dom! Well done to all that took part also!

  16. FC360 says:

    wtg winners

  17. LVL54Spacemonkey says:

    Thanks for the runners up prize and well done to Dom for winning. Really am quite surprised by this.

  18. Dom DomPeppiatt says:

    Hey guys. Thank you all for the congratulations and support.
    I hope this’ll be the 1st of many articles I put up here and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
    Well done to all the other guys who entered and the runners-up. I can assure you I was pleasantly (and hugely) surprised when I read the email from Markuz. I am so grateful.
    Anyhoo, I’ll see you all round the forums and posts =)
    Thanks again!

  19. Samuel Samuel says:

    Congratulations to the winners and runners up. At this rate, Mark will be able to replace me with someone who can actually write… I’d best start looking for something else to occupy my time. Heh.

    Joking aside, looking forward to seeing these. Added diversity to the site can only be a good thing.

  20. Jace says:

    You do realise now though MarkuzR, as none of us have been up for review like this, all us regular writers are worried we’ll be usurped by this newly found cleverer breed contributors Can’t wait to read them though ;o)

  21. Jace says:

    See what I mean, I couldn’t even construct that comment properly!

    You do realise now though MarkuzR, as none of us have been up for review like this, all us regular writers are worried we’ll be usurped by this newly found cleverer breed of contributors. Can’t wait to read them though ;o)

  22. Rook says:

    I was there – watching as Markuz and Lorna read the submissions, hearing the odd line read out between fits of laughter, seeing one submission finished and another started. Then there was the elimination process; it was all fun and games to start while/whilst ( :D ) the shortlist was narrowed down to the final possibilities; laughter fell aside as the realisation set in that ONE winner had to be chosen from the final submissions.

    Silence fell over the room, Markuz and Lorna were surrounded by pages, decisions needed to be made but what to do, which to choose, how to pick… it was not an enviable task. Time passed. Eventually a winner and runner up were chosen and others listed as deserving of being mentioned.

    Congratulations to all the prize winners and thank you to everyone who entered.

    Special mention to both Markuz and Lorna for creating the compeition, having an awesome prize and extending the prizes to include other quality submissions. It’s over, try and relax, take a breather, find time to play some games before it comes around again next year. :)

  23. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GamingLives, GamingLives. GamingLives said: The writing contest is now over. Were you a winner? or one of the many runner ups? Find out in the aftermath http://gliv.es/fk3JTa [...]

  24. [...] could but, in the end, the choice was so great for the winning spot that we had to introduce additional placements to accommodate.  Those who entered the contest and went on to become a writer for GamingLives have [...]

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