Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Pink Pigtail Inn Awards of 2010 – The community

Welcome to the third part in the series of announcements of The Pink Pigtail Inn awards of 2010. This time we’re looking further into the categories that fall into the community area, except for those that concern the blogosphere. Those awards will be presented separately.

Let’s get started!

Biggest community controversy

Nominated: Gender politics, Real ID, The Ensidia 36-hour ban for a rogue using saronite bombs on the Lich King encounter, Continued failure to nerf [other class], Purchasable mounts (aka the Sparklepony Fiasco), women in WoW, GTFOOTF Vs. Markco's Blogging Carnival,

The blogging community talked a lot about gender politics during 2009, that's for sure. However there's a special category for blogging hot topics, where those nominations would fit better.

This leaves us with two strong candidates. Last year this category was named "Most juicy guild drama", and if the label had remained this way, we would have a clear winner in Ensidia. The banhammer hit them so hard that I don't think they ever fully recovered from it.

The other candidate of course is Real ID.

"I deleted my blog because of it, so did others", said Quiet Kjun.

Rhii says: "It actually got me to the forums to add my vote! I use Real ID, but I like to use it on my own terms and have the choice to opt out. Go Blizzard for backing down."

The winner is: The Battle of Real ID on the forums!

Motivation: Some of the commenters suggested that Real ID wasn't a worthy candidate, since there wasn't any controversy about it; everyone was at the same side. I would argue against though. Initially, before Blizzard decided to back off, they were on a clashing course with a huge and very vocal chunk of the community. I think the strong reactions took them a little by surprise. It didn't take them too long to back off from it though, and the community was just as quick to forgive and move on. However I think it was a bit of an eye-opener for many of us to fully begin to grasp where Blizzard was heading, trying to grasp their market share of the social media market, anxious to keep up with their time and not being left behind.

Some players embraced it. Others, old farts like me, are still not convinced that this change of direction is for the better. We want to let our fantasy world remain a fantasy, a different place where we secretly can go under cover and be someone else.

Most charming Blizzard employee

Nominated: “The GM who gave me a replacement dress after I picked a duplicate”, Zarhym and Bashiok (“They’re like the blue Koltira/Thassarian.”), Nethaera

If you asked all WoW players to name one Blizzard employee, I bet the vast majority couldn't come up with a single name. They play a cool game and as long as it works, they're happy. Who cares about the guy behind it? Not even Ghostrcrawler's fame reaches any further than to the most dedicated and nerdy WoW players who can't just stick to playing the game, but wants to read about it and think about it even as they're off line.

However, this list was made by and for such geeks, so let's see what we have in store this year. Ghostcrawler himself, previously rewarded, is out of the competition. But what about the rest? Well, for my own part I couldn't help being a little charmed by Chris Metzen's "Geek is" presentation at Blizzcon. Sure, it was very cheap and simple rhetoric, a neat little trick, but it did the job. Another one I have a good eye to is Russell Brower, who is head of the music production for the game. The podcast The Instance has had him in the show a couple of times, and he was every so charming in the interviews.

I also loved Bashiok for his reckless act of bravery when he stood up for Real ID, posting his name, and became a victim for the cruel revenge of the mob.


The winner is: Nethaera!

Motivation: Nethaera makes the forums to a better place with her presence. She doesn't just display maturity, balance and knowledge; she also comes out as a warm, caring and charming person who has earned a big respect in the community, without ever falling into the gender trap. She's awesome because she's awesome in herself, not because she happens to be a woman and a rare spawn.

If you want to see any more proof of Nethaera's qualities, I suggest that you go and check out Miss Medicina, who devoted an entire blogpost to a celebration of Nethaera.

Best podcast

Nominated: Obscurecast, Castaclysm, The Instance, Rawrcast, Blue Plz!, Ventchat, WoWphiles.

Of all the podcasts nominated I think WoWphiles has the most devoted fans. They were nominated multiple times, with declarations love such as this one:

"I've listened to several podcasts, one however, seems to stand above the rest. WoWPhiles. They have a group of the funniest, as well as insightful show hosts I have had the pleasure to listen to.Episode #50, for example, "Twas the Night Before Cataclysm" Awesome poetry work by Jason Zimmerman, and wonderful topic discussion on the recent shattering changes to our virtual world."
Some readers thought I should award Blue Plz! again, even if it won last year, just because it's that good.

But while I do enjoy the sarcasms of the Cynical Brit as much as anyone else, I think it's good to spread the love a little and give others the chance to get a moment in the spotlight.

I struggled quite a bit to make up my mind for a winner. Two podcasts in particular stood out to me as final candidates. The first one was The Instance, which is a lovely counterweight to all the whining and negativism in the community. It's a podcast that is made with a contagious smile.


The winner is: The Obscurecast !

Motivation: Gazimoff and Pewter have a wonderful banter and a dynamic that really works. As opposed to many other duo led Podcasts they manage to make the listener feel invited to the party. There aren't any inside jokes or bursts of uncalled for giggling. They have pleasant voices, interesting stuff to say, a good mixture of news coverage and timeless topics. Occasionally they have guests appearances, and they're always well chosen. Over the course of the year, the show has only gotten better. There's no doubt that Mana Obscurea is a rising star and a worthy winner of the title Best Podcast 2010.

Did I hear someone say I'm biased because it's from Europe and Gazimoff plays a mage like I do? Noooo, that surely couldn't be, how would that look? Shush.

The End
And that's all for this time. One more announcement remains, the one that covers the blogosphere. BRB!


Rhii said...

Yay! I always love your awards posts, and this year I am loving it especially much since a bunch of my votes have won!


Runzwithfire said...

Congrats Gaz, most definitely deserved - the Obscurecast is awesome.

Tam said...

Yay for the Obscurecast!! Definitely my favoutite podcast - in fact it's the only WoW podcast I have time to listen to. But this is really well deserved.

*gets out pompoms*

Bronte said...

This is a great series Larisa. Hurry up and put up the rest!

Nebula said...

Yay Obscurecast!!!!

Great awards--

Gazimoff said...

Thankyou very much for the award and for your kind words! It's great to know that people enjoy listening to the show as much as we enjoy putting it together. Fingers crossed we'll be back with a new season at the end of the month :)

WoWphiles said...

Grats Obscurecast!

And I just want to thank anyone who nominated WoWphiles for best podcast and say that yes, we have some amazing listeners and I invite the rest of you to come to our party too.

I promise to set out some good snacks. :)


Larísa said...

@Rhii: I'm glad you appreciate it!

: Indeed it is!

@Tam: If you only listen to one podcast, you've definitely made a good choice.

@Bronte: Last part is out now. Finally. Good lord, it took a lot of effort and it seems to get worse every year. But I'm glad you liked it!

@Nebula: yay!

: Good to hear you'll soon be back. We're all looking forward to it.

: Cheers! You've got a great podcast as well and it was very tempting to just bail out and split the award between several podcasts... But I didn't. However: I hope you'll be in the discussion next year as well! said...

Nice one Larisa!

Nice one Gaz & Pewter!