The overlap between review and judging criteria

I’ve been actively reviewing for RPGnet for a little over four years now and in that time I’ve thought long and hard about what makes a great game.  Ultimately I’ve come to realize that a lot of different criteria come together to create a fun time at the table, and I’ve been talking about those very criteria in my column CW Reviews at RPGnet.  In the most recent article I went into detail laying out what I see as the critical considerations that any new reviewer should have in mind when they first start reviewing.  Since these very criteria have so much overlap with what I’m thinking about as a judge, please feel free to take a look to better understand what I’m thinking about with each of these products.

The big difference between RPG reviewing and what the ENnies judges are doing is that here we have to make decisions for specific categories.  What’s more, to a lesser degree we also have to pick a winner in that we’ll be working together to create a list of nominees for each category.  Because of this each judge has to have category specific criteria, and needs to be evaluating the products with an eye towards working together to create a consensus of who the nominees are.  We’re each going about this in a unique way, and I’ve found the discussions behind the scenes to be quite interesting.

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