2021 was an odd year (unintentional dad joke). As we left 2020, we had high hopes for a return to pre-COVID normalcy. The majority of those hopes were not realized, and we were left redefining our expectations again. In the MTG community, we did what we could to bridge the gap between what we wanted and what we were allowed to have. Some of us returned to our local game stores with modified gameplay. Some of us adjusted our focus to online games. Some of us found new friends and lost touch with old friends. And some of us discovered the beauty of collaboration.
As we look forward to 2022 and the MTG Content Creator Awards, we turn our eyes to what we can do to improve the overall awards as well as the processes we use to find their recipients. We’ll do a quick recap of the changes that were made in the first 3 years, then we’ll show you our proposed changes for 2022.
Year 1 (2018) we began with 11 awards. Year 2 and 3 (2019 and 2020) we added 7 additional awards. Process changes through the first three years included implementation of a code of conduct, a strict vetting process, and a higher degree of communication with the content creator community.
We received a lot of feedback regarding the communities who were represented within the current categories and found that we could identify subcategories that better represented these groups. We also found that some of the language used to describe each award detracted from its purpose. To better explain this, let’s look at the proposed categories for the 2021/2022 season. You will notice that we’ve removed the “Best” title and replaced it with “Excellence in”. Additionally, we’ve identified new art, writing, and video subcategories that helped differentiate between markedly different types of content.
Nominations will be open to the public, but self-nomination will be the preferred method. This will give the nominee a chance to showcase their best work for consideration. We are also considering having a committee determine the top nominees and possibly the winners of certain categories that require specialized consideration such as Art and Writing. Keep in mind, these changes are just proposals. No final decisions have been made.
Proposed Year 4 MTGCCA Awards (24 Total Awards)
Excellence in Art (5 Awards)
The following items fall under the ‘Excellence in Art’ category.
- MTG Market Art (1 Award)-Wizards of the Coast commissioned art.
- MTG Fan Art (4 Awards)– Fan art is artwork created by fans of Magic: the Gathering and derived from different aspects of the game to include card alters, proxies, costumes, photographs, sculptures, and other modes that are designed to pay homage to Magic: the Gathering. MTG Fan Art refers to artworks that are neither created nor commissioned or endorsed by the creators of Magic: the Gathering.
a. Original or Modified : For each category (Original or Modified), there are the following subcategories. Originality is the aspect of created or invented works as being new or novel. An original work is one not received from others nor one copied from the work of others. It is a work created with a unique style and substance. In the case of original MTG art, a work will be considered original even if it is based on the work of others as long as the complete composition of the work is original in its concept. Modified art is an alteration of a completed art piece, commonly called an Alter. There are 4 total categories (1. Original Painting, Drawing or Illustration, 2. Modified Painting, Drawing or Illustration, 3. Original Digital Art, and 4. Modified Digital Art).
i. Painting, Drawing or Illustration– Painting is art created by applying pigment to a two-dimensional surface. Oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, tempera, ink, encaustic, fresco, spray paint, etc. applied on canvas, canvas board, paper, or any flat surface. Drawing & Illustration is art that is composed of marks made with a manual or mechanical instrument on a two-dimensional surface. Drawings include all renderings made by an instrument on a surface and may include formal, realistic, and/or abstract imagery. Illustrations are works that graphically depict a concept or subject.
ii. Digital Art– Computer-generated artwork OR artwork captured digitally and heavily collaged or manipulated to produce a new image. The production of digital art relies heavily upon computer software.
Excellence in Video (5 Awards)
- Short Form Video– (1 Award) Short videos…like tiktok or short YT videos.
- Long Form Video– (1 Award) Well-edited longer videos.
- Video-based Channel– (3 Awards) A video based channel isn’t a regurgitation of a stream or podcast. It is a channel that makes edited videos enough so to be considered a significant body of work. Divided into 3 categories based on audience size.
Excellence in Writing (3 Awards)
- Short Non-Fiction or Fiction– (1 Award) This includes memoirs, personal essays, technical writing, manuals, news writing, fan fiction and training content published in the competition year.
- Long Non-Fiction or Fiction– (1 Award) A Magic: the Gathering related book, novel or novelette published in the competition year.
- Overall Excellence in Writing (1 Award)
All other Awards (11 Awards)
- Excellence in Podcasting (3 Awards)-Platform agnostic. A podcast is either a talk show or a news based show that is primarily audio. Duplicating a podcast onto multiple platforms does not change it from being a podcast. This is separate from a personality who does multiple modes of creation. (Divide into 3 groups of audience size)
- Excellence in Streaming (3 Awards)-Gameplay only. No podcasts or talk shows. Just gameplay. Does not translate into reposted streams. (Divide into 3 groups of audience size). The focus is to award streamers who show talent in performing to a live audience.
- Excellence in Website Design (1 Award)- Websites can either be utility sites, collaborative or gallery. Grading will consist of overall design as it contributes to its purpose.
- MTG Newcomer of the Year (1 Award)- New content creators.
- MTG Content Creator of the Year (1 Award)- This is for a content creator who excels at their overall content for the competition year.
- Storyteller Award (1 Award)- For excellence in lore retelling, reenactment or creative interpretation.
- The People’s Choice Award (1 Award)- Open to audience vote.
With an increase in the overall number of awards, the cost of running the show has increased as well. With that, I have created a Patreon page for those who wish to contribute. All proceeds go directly into purchasing and shipping awards and running the processes of the show. We’d really like to hear what you think. There is a poll and a feedback link below.