The Diana Jones Award is an annual award created to publicly acknowledge excellence in gaming. The award was first made for the year 2000, and the first award ceremony was on August 4, 2001.
The winner of the first annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Peter Adkison, founder of Wizards of the Coast.
As CEO of Wizards of the Coast (WotC), Peter Adkison led the company responsible for the most explosive growth in adventure-gaming ever, both in terms of sales and in public awareness, firstly with Magic the Gathering, then with the
Pokemon card-game, and in 2000 with the third edition of
Dungeons & Dragons. His commitment to quality and his personal involvement and enjoyment of gaming is shown in his role in the creation of D&D3e, from acquiring TSR Hobbies up to mapping out the intention and direction of the game’s third edition and taking a lead role on its design team, creating what has become the fastest-selling role-playing game in history. Adkison left Wizards of the Coast at the end of 2000, but keeps in contact with game-designers at the company and continues to play D&D in ongoing campaigns around the world.
Without Adkison’s involvement, gaming today would be very different, much smaller and much less interesting. He is an accomplished businessman but he is also a gamer, and much of the success of WotC has come from his continuing passion for games and his understanding of what makes them work. For all that, and for building a hugely successful business without losing sight of the enjoyment of play that made him start a games company in his basement in the first place, the Diana Jones committee is proud to give Peter Adkison its Award for Excellence in Gaming for the year 2000.