Another’s Accolades Aren’t Your Competition

The ENnie Awards for 2014 are up today! Plenty of buzz about it on Twitter, nominees celebrating each other and fans celebrating us. But there’s another side to this, where people feel slighted for not being nominated. I know that I have in the past for stuff I’ve made or stuff that friends have made receiving no nominations for a given award (be it the ENnies, Origin Awards, Golden Geek, and so on), so I’m not speaking purely out of my ass as someone attached to a few nominees in this and past years.

When disappointment turned to irrational anger and irritation in the past, I had to develop a mantra to get it out of that.  I want to share it with you:

Appreciation isn’t a finite resource. When someone else’s work and effort is applauded, that doesn’t take away from your own accomplishments. If someone else wins an award or gains high praise, that does not diminish you.

That’s the same for if someone else’s Kickstarter does better than yours[1], or gets more votes on the RPGGeek “Best of RPGs Tournament.” That’s the same as not being on whatever Top X list of games, or not being as high as you would like, or not being on these as you would like.

This goes for things you’re fans of that don’t get the accolades you think they deserve. Instead of complaining that they’re “robbed,” be those accolades instead! Honestly, it was bittersweet went someone told me that “I got robbed for Mythender,” and it’s always awesome when I was told “I love your game.” And I’m not the only creator who has felt awkward or put in an awkward place because we had to respond to the “robbed” sentiment.

Creators, I ask you to respect your own accomplishments by being proud of them. Cherish the accolades you do get, and don’t resent those that you perceive you aren’t getting.

Friends of creators, I ask you to support the above by being purely positive. Don’t tear down another’s accomplishments in order to boost your friend’s spirits.

Fans, I ask you to spend some time today, and when you think about it, to thank those creators who have brought joy into your lives. Especially when you think that they don’t hear that enough and deserved some recognition that you think they didn’t get. Do so without tearing down others, and you make it easier for creators to appreciate the moment with you.

– Ryan

[1] Except maybe for those of us having one at the same time as Potato Salad. ;)


4 Responses to Another’s Accolades Aren’t Your Competition

  1. blackcoat says:

    Your “Play everything” poster is hanging over my shoulder as I type this. Wall space is important to me (it’s taking up valuable bookshelf space!), but I think that’s an important enough message to give to people that I think it absolutely should hang up.

  2. Jeramy Ware says:

    Back in 2010, the last time I was an ENnies judge myself, I wrote an article about this very thing on my blog. http://enniejudge.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-your-product-doesnt-suck.html

    There are a ton of great products out there this year, and there’s always room to be surprised that something great didn’t make it. Personally I feel like this almost always come down to casualties of the negotiation process that must happen between the judges to make the awards work. Everyone is fighting for something, and a lot of time those things that didn’t find a champion among the judges, no matter how good they are, fall through the cracks. There are just too many things to nominate, and not enough slots to put them in.

  3. Carl Klutzke says:

    Folks will be enjoying Backstory Cards long after the potato salad is gone.