The 2020 Award:
The winner of the 2020 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Black Excellence in Gaming.
The year 2020 is a special one for the Diana Jones Award in many ways. It’s the 20th year the illustrious award “for excellence in gaming” has been presented, and it happens at a historic time of global pandemic and civil protest.
With that in mind, the Diana Jones Award committee has decided to do something different this year. For our community to continue to grow and improve, we must do better to mend the rifts that pull us apart in our industry and the world at large. Thus, rather than announce a shortlist and a winner, we choose to award the concept of Black Excellence in Gaming. We want to recognize the often-overlooked Black professionals throughout tabletop gaming’s history, up to and including the present day. This is overdue, deserving of the spotlight, and is but one small step.
We have given the award to broad concepts in the past in much this same way. This year, to recognize specific people and highlight their achievements, the committee has selected over two dozen professionals in the games industry as honorees who are representative of Black Excellence in Gaming. Each of these deserving individuals has space held for them on our website, if they wish to be listed there. The committee congratulates them all, and thanks each of them for their contributions to the industry in the face of systemic racism.
The committee would also like to announce the Diana Jones Emerging Designer Award for next year. The new award is intended to amplify the voices of up-and-coming designers. As part of the process, we pledge to make a special effort to seek out qualified and deserving members of marginalized groups as a component of each cohort of candidates.
The Emerging Designer Award includes a free badge and hotel room at Gen Con, and the opportunity to be showcased as a promising designer at the event. This new program will begin with the resumption of Gen Con’s normal schedule, and we’ll release more details as that time draws closer.
We hope this year’s Diana Jones Award and the new Emerging Designer Award will help move our community toward becoming more diverse and inclusive. At the same time, we know this is just the start. Fortunately, our action is part of a wave of such efforts, including those by the Babble-On Equity Project, the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, and Dissident Whispers, among others. We applaud them all.
Black lives have always mattered, and we pledge to be a better ally going forward.