GamingLives is a magazine published on the web for gamers and written by gamers. Anyone can submit an article and, if it’s a good enough level (thoughtful, considered, fact and spell checked), then it will have some editing and be published. Sounds great except I’d never heard of them before. Kim found them and, knowing my love of writing about gaming, alerted me to their first ever writing contest. All the entries had to do was write an article about gaming, a look at gaming that gives as much detail about the writer themselves as it does about gaming. It was a challenge and one that I loved the sound of as my gaming articles are just that. I also loved the sound of the prizes. There would be one winner and one runner up. The runner up would get a £50 Amazon voucher (always a help) while the winner would get to choose between one of the following five prizes;
- Xbox 360 Console (250GB) with Kinect Sensor module and Kinect Adventures game.
- Playstation 3 Slim (320GB) and a £50 Amazon voucher.
- Black Wii Console with Wii Sports, Mario Kart, black Wii Wheel peripheral, Motion Plus and £150 Amazon voucher.
- Red DSi XL 25th Anniversary “New Super Mario Bros” Special Edition and £100 Amazon voucher.
- Acer Ferrari One 11.6″ HD LED Netbook ATI Radeon HD3200, AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD.
Some very good prizes there and I was torn between the PS3 for a new gaming experience, the Wii for trade in value and the Netbook for Kim if I won. I knew I had the quality of writing to get up there and at least get the runner up prize so I was happy to submit two pieces of writing to the competition, one newer article and one older one (Building A Better Sandbox which you’ve likely read here before).
So the deadline passed and it’s February 1st, lets see if I won shall we? The answer is complicated as I got this in my email.
First of all, thank you for entering the first Gaming Lives Annual Writing Contest! We had perhaps ten times as many entries as we’d expected, even with the amount of coverage we’d given it throughout January. All of the entries were whittled down to a final 50 articles, then down to 20… and the plan was to then drop it down to a final ten before deciding on the last two… the winner and the runner up. Unfortunately, or fortunately I suppose, the standard of writing and content was too great and it was becoming more difficult as we crossed each barrier, to the point where the judging panel ended up with the same seven articles and couldn’t eliminate any more.
A decision was therefore made to state a case for each of the final seven articles to decide on an ultimate winner, and a runner up, rather than doing so through a process of elimination. Unfortunately, your article was not the winner or the original runner up BUT the final seven articles were so good that we decided to offer another five runner up prizes of a £25 Amazon voucher each and you were in that top seven. Your “Sandbox” article was also in my top ten, as it happens, as I also really enjoyed reading it… so thank you for both articles, both great reads.
So a mixture of commiserations and congratulations are in order… commiserations that you weren’t our ultimate winner, but congratulations that your article was so good that we extended the number of runners up! I hope you’ll stick around the site and submit articles in the future but, if not, then please enjoy your voucher and be happy that your entry made it… not only to the top ten… but was one of seven that turned the entire contest upside down! We’d still love to feature your article on the site over the coming weeks, as long as you’re happy for us to do so.
So there we have it, my Building A Better Sandbox article made it into the top ten entries, my new gaming article (Evolving Character Creation) made it into the top seven and it earned a prize that didn’t even exist when the competition started. After reading the winning entry I’m not all that disappointed that I didn’t win the top prize as it’s a worthy winner. Seriously, if you’ve ever enjoyed any of my articles about gaming then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one as it’s the same sort of article with the same easy style of writing. And if you’re interested in how the competition was on those who had to pick a winner, read this (and just for fun, see how often my articles or obvious insanity is mentioned on that page).
At the end of the day I didn’t enter this to win a prize (although I’m grateful for what I did win), I entered this to compare my writing to other people’s and see how good it is. I may not have been ultimately picked but I gave them a good run for their money and had both of my entries make it into the top ten after all the whittling down of hundreds of entries was over. That’s as good a prize as I could have hoped for and I’m counting it as a win.
Now, someone give me a console so I can say that with more certainty.