OK – I’ll admit to being a bit surprised that our group poll managed to correctly pick the 2012 Spiel des Jahres winner out of the nominees! Congratulations again to Donald X. Vaccarino and Queen Games for Kingdom Builder!
We also should pat ourselves on the back for correctly selecting the Kennerspiel this year, Village by Inka and Markus Brand and Eggertspiele.
Now that the awards have been given away, now we can take a step back and look at the results and try to figure out what it all means.
Past Winners of Spiel des Jahres:
- 2008 – Keltis
- 2009 – Dominion
- 2010 – Dixit
- 2011 – Qwirkle
- 2012 – Kingdom Builder
Past Winners of Kennerspiel des Jahres:
- 2011 – 7 Wonders
- 2012 – Village
Looking at these recent results, there are a number of questions which come to mind.
- What does the Spiel des Jahres award mean to me (as a “serious” gamer)?
- What is the significance of the Kennerspiel?
- Do the awards still interest me?
Here are my answers to the questions – I’ll be interested to see what others think about it. (Note to the reader – as I wanted to post this on the day of the award, there was not time to have the other OG writers add their thoughts in the body of the post)
1. The meaning of the SdJ is still unchanged for me – it is still the “Game of the Year” in Germany as awarded by a jury of German journalists. I’ve certainly not been a big fan of all of the award winners, but I can generally see the (German) mass-market appeal of the recent winners. Having been involved with Dominion, I can definitely attest to the fact that the award is a BIG DEAL over in Germany, and it is certainly not something that the public ignores, especially at Christmas-time. The award of the “Spiel des Jahres” certainly seems to have become its own brand, and its influence should not be ignord. Even if I don’t agree with the SdJ award in a particular year, there are other awards that I can look at – for instance, the DSP is an award voted on by other gamers. As such, I don’t get all hot and bothered if I don’t agree with the SdJ award in a particular year.
2. There may not be enough history behind this award to tell yet. I’ll admit that I was confused last year because I felt that Asara was at least as complicated, if not more complicated, than 7 Wonders. This year, the three games all seemed more complex than the SdJ nominees. Yet, I was surprised to hear (repeatedly) that some games didn’t make the list because they were TOO complicated?! I was hoping that this award would turn out to be like the SdJ for the hardcore gamer, but it seems to be staying towards the more complex range of the previous Spiel des Jahres winners. I’m certainly more likely to gravitate towards the KedJ nominees, but I don’t think that I am yet compelled to automatically play/own them.
3. Of course! I’ll still be quite interested in the award. For me, it’s like many of the award shows that happen around here. Even if I’m not overly interested, I’ll still watch the Grammys or Oscars just to see who the winners are. Admittedly, there isn’t really a red carpet to see your favorite stars on, but let’s face it, do I really want to see Donald is a thigh-high slit dress showing off his leg a la Angelina Jolie? Probably not! :)
Well, congratulations to all the winners! Now it’s time to get back to playing games – and starting to plan for Essen!
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor