The 2013 ENnies nominations have been announced and voting is now open. I caught up with my fellow CAR-PGa member W. J. Walton; his website, The Escapist, is nominated for a Best Website ENnie. Voting begins on Monday, July 22 and runs to Wednesday, July 31. The ceremony itself will be on Friday, August 16, in the Union Station Grand Hall at 8 pm with the cocktail reception beginning at 6:30 pm.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your site.
W. J. Walton (WJW): The Escapist was founded in 1995 (it will turn 18 years old this December) as a site devoted to debunking the myths and misconceptions surrounding the roleplaying hobby. Since then, the focus has expanded to general RPG advocacy – improving the quality of the hobby, explaining the benefits, bringing in new players and young people, helping gamers find other gamers, encouraging gamers and publishers to get involved in their community, and much more.
MT: Why should voters vote for your site?
WJW: I’d like to think that my site provides a specific service to the roleplaying community that none other has – providing the information and tools to help the hobby thrive among this generation and those to come. There are many wonderful sites that focus on the games themselves – rule support, tips and suggestions, and so on. My site focuses on the gamers – how to make sure that they are informed, how to get them together, how to get them interested and engaged in the hobby so that it will give them more enjoyment, and how to demonstrate to everyone that this is a fantastic pasttime that is entertaining, educational, and enriching.
MT: How do you feel about the state of the gaming industry today?
WJW: From my perspective, it’s very good – we have more opportunities than ever before for people to connect with each other, find gaming groups, stores, and conventions, and even publish their own games and supplements. There are so many different flavors of RPGs available now that there is something to appeal to every taste. RPGs are becoming more and more a part of our culture to the point that we’re seeing references in movies and television shows more frequently, and we are less frequently the punchline of the joke. The satanic and suicide scares are almost extinct, and when they do occur, most people regard them as ridiculous (just as they were all along).
MT: What’s next for your company?
WJW: I have always been making this up as I go. Every now and then a new idea for a project or feature will strike me, and I’ll add it to the site on the spot. There’s no real rhyme or reason. So expect more of the same!
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
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