The Diana Jones Award

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 Diana Jones Award 2010

The Winner | The Nominees | The Award Ceremony

The Nominees

20th July 2010, London: After much debate the shortlist for the tenth annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, covering the year 2009, has been announced.

The Diana Jones Award is given to whatever the Diana Jones Committee believes has best demonstrated ‘excellence in gaming’ in the previous year. This year the committee has shortlisted four potential winners. In alphabetical order, they are:


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A board-game by Eric Lang
Published by Fantasy Flight Games

In Eric Lang's Chaos In The Old World, players take the roles of four cruel and hateful gods, competing—and cooperating—to debase and destroy the human world. Lang takes the heart and flesh of the Warhammer cosmos and stretches it as tight as a drumhead across a boardgame that richly evokes the baroque insanity of its source material while remaining elegant and rational in design. Side elements feed game play rather than distracting from it, and each god fulfills its individual character while reinforcing the game's structure as a whole. The basic mechanics repeat and reveal themselves from new angles, channeling competition and fueling flavor as the game builds to its climax. Simultaneously rewarding planning and immersion, Chaos In The Old World masterfully bridges the board-game design gap between European architecture and American art.


A role-playing game by Danielle Lewon
Published by Cream Alien Games

With Kagematsu, creator published roleplaying games boldly continue their advance into uncharted territory. Set in Japan, the game flips genders on the players, casting men as village women whose efforts to romance the wandering ronin Kagematsu are judged by the woman playing him. The text is lucid and elegant. The game plays to a natural conclusion in four or five hours—resolving the fates of the women, Kagematsu, and the village—with no need to force things along to finish on schedule. And play is lush, anxious, and partakes of great dramatic energy from its tight mechanics and device of gender-reversal.


A role-playing game by Frederik Jensen
Published by Thoughtful Games

Montsegur 1244, by Frederik Jensen, uses actual history to frame a tightly focused game that explores faith, loyalty, and the bonds of kinship. Using the final, brutal siege in the Catholic crusade against the Cathar heresy as a backdrop, players take the roles of true believers trapped in the fortress of Montsegur. As the inevitable endgame draws closer, each player must decide—will their character abandon their faith and recant, or will they burn for what they believe? This single, simple choice drives the entire game. Montsegur1244 succeeds brilliantly in evoking the horror and pathos of the doomed Cathars, and combines the best of Nordic and North American roleplaying traditions. The game is carefully structured where it needs to be and completely freeform where it doesn’t. Elegant, simple mechanics support play that is often surprisingly emotional. The choices players are presented with are impossible to reconcile. The tangled web of family, love, duty and belief only amplify the difficulty of the decision each must eventually make.