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Welcome to the second annual Stan's Atari Excellence Awards! I am very excited to be back again for a second year of giving credit where credit is due, in the form of little plastic cartridges! 2003 has been an incredible year for Atari, particularly the old VCS. We've seen all kinds of fascinating advancements in Homebrews, Hacks, Programming Technology, Hardware, and just about everywhere else!
This year I have five awards to give out, some of them new, some of them you will recognize from last year. So before we begin, let's go over the rules and criteria for the 2003 Stan Awards. This year's awards include Homebrew of the Year, Hack of the Year, Event of the Year, Atari Achievement Award, and the Player's Choice Award. The rules are simple and much the same as last year.
The winners for the Homebrew of the Year award are selected from all of the 2600 homebrew games with a release date during the year of the award (i.e. 2002). Games eligible for the award must be publicly distributed or released or have a ROM image publicly posted for general use.
There is a simple reason for this stipulation, I must be able to play the game if I am to consider it for an award. Since I am not made of money, games I cannot afford to buy and play at home are played via emulator, thus the necessity of a ROM release. I will accept free copies or demo copies of games to play, but let's be realistic. Selection of a winner is based on how fun the game is to play, innovations in game development, graphics and sound, presentation and packaging, among other minor criteria.
The winners for the Hack of the Year award are selected from all of the graphic and/or functional 2600 hacks released during the year of the award (i.e. 2002). Hacks eligible for the award must be publicly distributed via ROM image or cartridge form for general use. As per the regulation for Homebrew of the Year, I must be able to play the hack for it to be considered. For the sake of definition, a graphic hack is any hack that alters the appearance, visual or auditory, of an existing programmed game. A functional hack is any hack that alters the game play or operation of an existing programmed game. Both hacks are included in consideration for the Hack of the Year Award. Selection of the winner is based on quality of the hack, improvements or alterations of game play, presentation (when applicable), and other minor criteria.
The winner(s) of the Atari Achievement Award are selected from the whole of the "Classic Gaming Community" and include individuals, businesses, developers, and other affiliated personnel. Selection for the award is based on the quantity and quality of contributions by the winner to the "community" during the year of the award (i.e. 2002). Winners are eligible for multiple awards in consecutive years.
The winner(s) of the Event of the Year Award are selected from any number of various events throughout the 2003 calendar year. These events can be anything from contests and giveaways, to conventions and swap meets. Basically this award is for any organized function that promotes or spreads the love of the Atari.
The winner of the Player's Choice Award is selected via an open poll of any and all who play Atari Video Game Systems. The Award is open to anything developed for any of the Atari systems (2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar, any of the computers, etc) and includes software, hardware, technology, prototype releases, hacks, etc. Players were given open voting and the voting ran from Dec.15 2003 until Jan.1 2004. Once collected, the votes are tallied and the development with the most votes earns the award. In the event of a tie, I, Stan, hold the tie-breaking vote. Details of the voting process can be found in the AtariAge Forums here.
Ok, now that we have the rules under our belts, it's the moment you have all been waiting for! Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present to you, the 2003 Stan's Atari Excellence Awards!
And so that puts a wrap on another great year in classic gaming! I would like to thank anyone and everyone who makes this such a great hobby. From the homebrewers who work so hard for so little pay, to the rabid fans who hang on their every BIN, you all contribute to an atmospheric blend of fun and nostalgia that keeps us all young, if not in age, at least at heart. A big thanks for Albert Yarusso, Dale Crum, Atari Age, and all those involved in getting these awards produced! I hope to see you all back here again next year for more kudos where they belong in the form of little plastic carts. Thank you and goodnight.