The recent resurrection of the Badman Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award (aka the AIF Hall of Fame) was something of an experiment, so I thought it would be a good idea to look at the results and see what lessons can be learnt from them.
First and foremost, someone who’s put a lot of work into the AIF community, both in terms of making games and in organising community events and generally trying to hold things together received (belated) recognition for their efforts. Purple Dragon richly deserved such an award, so from that point of view the experiment was a success.
The other positive was that using Google Forms for the voting seemed to work well. The only real drawback is that it’s not possible to stop people from voting multiple times, but that’s not something that I would anticipate being much of an issue anyway.
That said, voter turnout was something of a disappointment. I don’t know how many votes previous awards got, but I was hoping to break fifty votes this time around. That didn’t happen, which I think is down to a number of factors. The most obvious is that anyone who’s discovered AIF in the post-Erins era would not be familiar with the lifetime achievement award. Likewise with the Erins being suspended, the AIF community lost a lot of its continuity and history. I suspect the result of that was that people either weren’t sure who to vote for and thus didn’t vote at all, or they looked at the award more in terms of who’d done the most in 2014. Palmer was the most obvious recipient of this, but he wasn’t the only first-time author to receive votes (Minterlint and Anna Nee Moss were the others, if you’re interested).
So while the number of votes cast was disappointing, I think there’s a case for not only doing this again next year but also adding additional categories (for example Game of the Year, Best New Author, and so on). Obviously, as it’s been five years since the Erins were last held, implementing those awards might be tricky. One way that occurs to me might be to have a separate vote for each year. A secondary question is when should the voting be held? The end of the year makes logical sense, but it’s also a time when a lot of people are on holiday or otherwise engaged and away from their computers.
So what do you think?
Should the Badman Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award be voted on again, in 2015?
Should other categories be added, making a sort of slimmed down Erins? If so, what categories?
And finally, when should the voting be held?