Saturday, June 09, 2007

Games Australia Announcement

We are away at the Australian Games Expo in Albury this weekend. (I did an interview on ABC radio about it earlier in the week as well as some (unrecorded) regional breakfast radio). I will login with photos if I can find any internet access (unlikely, as I will probably leave even my new pink notebook pc at home).

One of the highlights of the Expo this year will be the announcement of GamesAustralia, offering a new, independent, credible award for boardgames in Australia. We're delighted to be part of this new organisation and look forward to announcing our first winners in 2008.

Here's the text:


GamesAustralia today announced the establishment of a new award for quality board games. The inaugural winners of the awards will be announced in June, 2008.

The Game of the Year award will be awarded to the best new game available on the australian market that is suitable for families. Local/Australian Game of the Year will be awarded to the best new game with australian creative content. Children's Game of the Year will be awarded to the best new game for under 8 year old children.

Research shows that families that work well and produce happy, resilient children spend time doing things together. More and more families are looking for an interactive alternative to solitary computer games. The many wonderful new board games appearing in the specialist market in the "new golden age" of the boardgame offer social interaction as well as intellectual stimulation. Every year brings more exciting board games that challenge children's higher order and strategic thinking skills, expose them to new themes and ideas, and offer countless opportunities for negotiation and discussion. And the best thing is, they're fun!

GamesAustralia aims to stimulate the growth and raise the profile of boardgaming in Australia by establishing and promoting awards that recognise and reward excellent new local and international boardgames.

The GamesAustralia awards fill an important niche. Although there are recognised independent international awards such as the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award from Germany, these awards do not reflect the games' availability and suitability for the Australian market. The Australian Game of the Year award will help to raise the profile of creative Australians internationally as well as at home, while the set of awards will offer a relevant, independent and highly credible overview of the best games available to Australians today.

The members of GamesAustralia have come together to create a credible award that is independent of game publishers or retailers. The Committee includes teachers, journalists, parents, academics and business people united by a passion to foster positive engagement of families and friends around the games table.

Like most things, board games have developed a lot over the last century. While we may be familiar with music and films made after the 1950s, this is generally not true for board games: did you know Monopoly is more than 70 years old? The "Hollywood" for modern board games is Germany where family gaming is very popular, and a wide range of these games are now available in English. They are easy to learn and play, and typically last less than an hour.


Expect to hear more from and about GamesAustralia over the coming months.

1 comment:

Gerald McD said...

Melissa --

What a fantastic interview! You were so cool, so sharp, so calm, so informative. Nice pitch for family gaming. Good interviewer, too -- obviously a gamer of some ilk. Thanks for sharing this neat audio. Good luck in the Catan competition!

-- Gerald