2018 Judge Applicant – Hooper

Online Nicknames

Hooper; Mononymous; OgreHooper

Introduction and Platform

Hello, I’m Hooper. The first oddity about me is that that is my full legal name: just Hooper. I’m what’s known as a mononymous individual. No it’s not a gimmick. It’s just my name.

I am a member of OGREs: The Organization of Gamers & Roleplaying Enthusiasts, Inc. We’re a loose-knit grouping of over 40 chapters across three continents. We strive to promote positive analog and tabletop gaming. I intend to utilize my fellow OGREs as we judge items for their conciseness and closeness to stated goal, giving equal footing to all regardless of their budget.

When not gaming, I’m a father of three including one on the spectrum and I am the former President and now-Treasurer of TAPS, sponsors of the annual OMG!con in Kentucky every June.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

I believe that though we can find fun and pass time with modern video games, the feeling of being around a table and with friends in their company is something intangible that elevates the game to something much more visceral. From family board game night, to one-off casual card nights, to the exhaustive years-long campaigns that role-playing games make possible, it’s that sense of community and belonging and friendship that I believe we can never thank the games themselves enough for.

The ENnies requires a major commitment of time and energy. What resources do you have that will help you discharge these responsibilities? Will your gaming group or other individuals be assisting you? Does your family support you?

I am a two-time ENnies judge and very familiar with the responsibilities. As before, I will utilize the resources at my disposal: a network of gamers in chapters regionally, and over 600 employees at my “mundane” job that I manage that include a large pool of players themselves.  My children game with me with age appropriate games and my friends help make sure that every entry will get devoted time to it, not just a glance through. Everything submitted gets playtested and multiple people’s feedback.

Judging requires a great deal of critical thinking skills, communication with other judges, deadline management, organization, and storage space for the product received. What interests, experience, and skills do you bring that will make you a more effective judge?
On top of being a former two-time ENnies judge, I also run a successful convention called OMG!con every year that sees thousands descend on Kentucky. During the day I work in healthcare as a member of upper management and oversee currently 100+ employees and am over the onboarding of nearly 600 more. I am adept at time management, delegation, and communication and my home sits on several secluded safe acres with it’s own lighthouse (even though we are nowhere near any body of water….), so there is plenty of space to store and game.

What styles and genres of RPGs do you enjoy most? Are there any styles or genres that you do not enjoy? Which games best exemplify what you like? Do you consider yourself a particular system’s, publisher’s, or genre’s “fanboy/fangirl”?
I tend to play a lot of new items often, always wanting to try things out. However I find myself often reverting back to the tried and true D&D or Mutants & Masterminds, as well as a lot of tabletop classic World of Darkness. Less a genre, but my favorite is anything that lends itself to creative longterm storytelling; the best games I’ve personally been in tend to end up lasting years and meeting weekly. I have playtested often for the Kentucky-based Hex Games and I do find their more relaxed humorous tone fun to counter my more longterm campaigning.

What games have you played in the past year? List up to 10 RPGs you have played the most. Which ones, if any, have you loved or hated?

In the past calendar year I have played Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and 5.0, Mutants & Mastermins 3.0, All Stars, Numenera, Leviathans, d20 Modern, American Artifacts, and Hobomancer.

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
The stated goal and the final products closeness to it, the cohesiveness of it as a standalone as well as (if appropriate) it’s ability to blend with other products in the line if supplemental; the consistency of vocabulary and art and formatting; and if the media fits the written word’s setting.

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?

Once again I am lucky enough to be at the communication hub of a large network of gamers and can utilize them as in past times as a judge to gather insight and get access to materials or core items I may not personally have so that I can more accurately judge an item within proper context.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?

I feel like what should never change is the fan voting nature of the final, which keeps the awards true to the pulse of tabletop gaming. I would love to see a continued push to see more participation by family friendly releases as well as card and board games.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
I would be Medicare & Monsters, an RPG set in a large call center where dragons are imagined to help kill the monotony of the job.

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