Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Edge Awards

I know, you were looking forward to another neigh opaque wall o' text on 'Farms and Fields'.  I know that because you are one sick, crazy bunch of logophiles.  My kind of people.  But no, there'll be no heavy lifting by the eyes, or brain-strain today.  No iPhones or Samsung IIIs will suffer an unsavory immersion because this post was too long to read at your desk, and you had to sneak off to read it during your bathroom break (No, really. It's happened).  For behold, Seismic Stan has declared a holiday on deep thinking.

In his most recent blog banter, Siesmic Stan has tapped the blogosphere to invent our own awards to recognize members New Eden's community for their contributions to the Eve zeitgeist:
"I would like to invite every participant to nominate their peers for whatever awards you think they deserve. Let's celebrate the best and the worst of us, the funniest or the most bizarre, the most heroic of the most tragic of the past year. They could be corpmates, adversaries, bloggers, podcasters, developers, journalists or inanimate objects. Go nuts."
Not as easy an assignment as you'd think at first blush. Many are deserving. And I do enjoy the company I keep in New Eden; from the callowest carebear to the bitterest vet to the hoariest interstellar pirate. Bro-hugs with appropriate back-slaps all around, folks.  Like Mr Javixx, I'd like to say you're all winners. 

But this is Eve, not Montessori school.  Not everybody gets a trophy.  For some to win, others have to suck vacuum. Not my rule. Just the law of the digital jungle. New Eden is a Hobbesean place, red in tooth and pixel. 

With that, and in the spirit of Hollywood's award season, I give you The Edge Awards.

Alliance Awards:

The Technetium Throne Award: Goonswarm Federation
"It is not a seat where a man can rest at ease. Ofttimes I wonder why my brothers wanted it so desperately."
    - George R. R. Martin
Credit where credit is due: The Goons have their collective nether-regions firmly parked on nullsec's Technetium Throne and none can say they didn't earn it.  Not only did their leadership lead the coup that unseated the high seat's prior Drone Russian occupants, they did so with a nuanced application of diplomatic maneuverings punctuated by brute force. All in all, a Machiavellian performance worthy of the great houses of Westeros.

Well played, gentlemen. Well played.

The Walking Dead Award: Against All Authorities
"What Hamlet suffers from is a lack of zombies....No need for iambic pentameter because they are grunting, groaning annihilators of humanity with no time for meter. You’re not asleep in the back of English class anymore, are you? This is what I’m talking about. Zombies.”
    - Libba Bray
Call it mental toughness. Call it 'Too dumb to die'. Call it zombification. Whatever. -A- have an annoying way of not knowing when they're beaten.  You can knock them down, shoot them execution-style, knife the body a dozen times, rub their collective face in the dirt and dog-shit, and walk away from their mangled corpse with their lunch money jingling in your pocket while you whistle tunes from 'Aida'. A week later -A- will be back, nailing the dismembered body of your beloved family pet to your front door.

-A- has been prematurely eulogized so often in the last few years you'd think they had a Summer home on the River Styx and rented jet-skis from Charon.  If this is their time to cross over to Hades, I'll break out the good stuff, toast their memory and ask if I can have their ticker and logo. However, until the boatman cashes in -A-'s silver coin, I'll keep the good stuff on the shelf and the pop-corn on stand-by. 

The Henry Higgins Award: Test Alliance, Please Ignore
"Pandemic Legion, you are to stay here for the next six months learning to behave beautifully, like a lady in a flower shop. If you work hard and do as you're told, you shall sleep in warm Deklein, have lots to eat, and money to buy bacon and go for rides in Supercapitals."
   - George Bernard Shaw (heavily paraphrased)
Who knew Pandemic Legion could be domesticated?  Under Test Alliance's careful tutelage, the Legion appears to have curbed their anarchistic tendencies, adapted to nullsec's new 'controlled PvP' doctrine, and behave in all manner civilized.  Props to HBC for teaching the toughest floozie in the nullsec gin-joint to walk and talk and dress like a proper lady.

Media Awards:

Best Blog:  Jester's Trek

Those of you who read Ripard Teg's blog know that he is a prolific writer, often putting up more posts in a day or two than I publish in a month. Mind, I make that an easy bar to get over.  Personally, I believe he keeps a platoon of middle-school composition teachers chained in his basement writing blog entries for him, and starves them if they don't produce.  But that's beside the point; my point being that Ripard Teg writes a lot. And he writes well on a surprisingly diverse set of topics; from player guides and ship fittings to game mechanic analysis and critiques of the the primary drivers to and impacts of changes to said mechanics. He also is known to opine on the effectiveness of CCP personnel and the elected members of the CSM, a body known to get a bit prickly when confronted with less-than-glowing reviews.

Regular readers will know I'm quick to snap Teg with a rolled-up newspaper when he goes astray, but he always stands up for his point of view and gives as good as he gets. And I'm every bit as quick to back him up when he suffers the slings and arrows of an outraged Eve media for speaking his mind.  Speaking truth to power is not for the faint of heart. 

Best New Blog: Diaries of a Space Noob

Diaries of a Space Noob began as two month long, day by day, diary of a former World of Warcraft player's early days in Eve Online from the beginning.  Those early Space Noob  diary entries were written from the perspective of a new player to a non-Eve audience and spoke eloquently the Eve new player experience with fresh eyes.  It is a portrait of the Eve community written from the point of view of an outsider.

Since those early days the 'Noob' soldiers on. He he still writes eloquently to the player experience and puts out an enjoyable and informative blog.  It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to know (or remember) what the Eve experience is for the first time visitor to New Eden.

Sail on, Noob.

The Four Feathers Award: Mynnna

Best Podcast: Crossing Zebras

Doing a podcast is easy.  Just record yourself and four or five buddies bloviating about Eve for four hours or so. Be sure to bring beer. Lots of beer. Four hours of bloviating is thirsty work and you're way more funny and charming after downing that first six pack. Drop in a little music here and there and post the resulting audio gold. See? It's not hard at all.

Unless, of course, your goal is a quality podcast.  A quality podcast is hard, exacting work before, during and after the recording session.  I respect people who put together quality podcasts and wish there were more of them. There are podcasters out there who behave as though they're yukking it up in corp TeamSpeak when they should be contributing to a quality product.

How much quality work do I expect for free? Quite a lot, actually. If you're doing it for love, learn to do it right.

Happily the lads over at Crossing Zebras stand as a good example of doing it right. The hosts, Xander and Jeg, have a good dynamic. They complement each others' on-air strengths and, I believe, have a much better audio presence together than either would have on their own.  The content they deliver is usually interesting and, a few hiccups aside, well paced and well edited.  I have the sense that they're keeping their audience in mind as they go; treating the listener as a silent third party to their conversations who they must include and keep interested.  The ability to do so is a rare gift.

Zebras is a relatively young podcast, and going back through their playlist gives the listener a sense of how their podcast has matured over time. It's an instructive journey for nascent or would-be podcasters. I think Zebras hasn't hit their peak yet and the best of their podcasts are yet to come.

The 'Fist of Doooooooom!' AwardPoetic Stanziel

Likely the most fearless and uncensored blogger in all New Eden.  Utterly unafraid to speak his mind and pulls no punches.  You may not think he's right, but you'll never doubt where he stands.  Stanz may swing wild at times, but he hits hard when he connects.

The 'Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean'  Award: Voices from the Void

On a hiatus since early December, Arydanika's Voices from the Void is, to my mind, the best planned and produced Eve podcast out there.  The back issues of 'V&V' are well worth a listen, particularly those featuring Seismic Stan as co-host, and Dani and Stan's song parody series. Dani singing Sansha Baby to the tune of Santa Baby is not to be missed.  The disappearance of Episode 33, AKA the Lost Podcast of Zin remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time.

Hurry back Dani.

No comments:

Post a Comment