2001 Editorial Contest Rules

This is the official rules page for the current RPGamer Editorials contest, providing evaluation criteria and a prize list as well. Failure to comply with these rules will result in disqualification from the contest.

1. All standard RPGamer editorial submission guidelines apply to this competition, with any rules stated here taking precedence over normal.
2. Absolutely no plagiarism. All sources must be referenced, and no other editorial can be used as a reference. Furthermore, no existing RPGamer editorials will be allowed as sources. Conclusive evidence of either, in the sole discretion of the judges, will immediately disqualify the entrant from competition.
3. Three entries per person will be accepted, and only one prize per person will be awarded. Only the first 3 entries will be considered for the contest; further submissions will be considered for normal publication within RPGamer Editorials.
4. Editorials previously sent to RPGamer will be ignored. Submitted editorials should be new material.
5. Submissions must be sent via e-mail in plain text or HTML format. HTML submissions must be created using the template provided.
6. Submissions will not be edited by the judges, with the exception of indicating spoilers left unmarked by the author. All submissions will otherwise be posted "as is."
7. Contestants may not make mention of personal information such as their e-mail address or name in the content of the editorial.
8. All entries must be submitted in an e-mail with "Competition Submission" as the subject. Any eds not marked as such will be considered for normal publication per normal non-contest standards.

RPGamer's decisions in all respects relative to the contest are final. By entering, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules. The Contest is offered by is not responsible for incomplete, illegible, or misdirected e-mail. By participating and winning a prize, the winner releases RPGamer and its employees and sponsors from any and all liability with respect to any prize. RPGamer reserves the right to cancel or modify the contest in cases of fraud or prize supply limits, as determined by RPGamer in its sole discretion. RPGamer reserves the right to disqualify any winner, as determined by RPGamer in its sole discretion.

The contest is open to all readers of, except employees of and their immediate families.

Contest begins Thursday, January 11, 2001 and continues until Midnight American PST, Thursday Feburary 15, 2001. All winners will be posted on the next Editorials update. Chances of winning depend upon the number of contest entries.

1st Prize: Any one RPG [within availablity, released in the United States] covered at RPGamer on PC, Playstation, Nintendo 64, GameBoy Color, or Dreamcast, and an opportunity to guest host Editorials or Q&A with Cheshire Catalyst.
2nd and 3rd Prizes : The Final Fantasy IX Art Book by Brady Games and a opportunity to get 15 mins of fame at Editorials.
4th and 5th Prizes : A Lunar and Lunar 2 pin, and a Lunar poster. [Prizes may be previewed at]

Marking Scheme:

This will be rated out of 20, with an increment of 0.5, and the marks will be allocated over six catergories, and can be deduced from penalties. The catergories are outlined below.

Spelling: 2 points
Basically, 0.5 points are docked for every spelling mistake made. (Although multiple misspellings of the same word will be docked no more than 1 point.) Submissions must be in English, but need not hold to the standards of American english. However, submissions in another English dialect, such as United Kingdom English, must be consistent with that dialect throughout. (For instance, if both "color" and "colour" are present, one will be considered a spelling error.)

Grammar: 2 points
Similarly to above, 0.5 points are docked for any grammatical mistakes. This aspect will be combed over with a fine brush, and everything counts. This score includes the proper use of punctuation, emphasis, word tenses, and the like.

Coherency: 4 points
This score reflects how well the editorial's points can understood by the reader. The less clear the essay (which is to say, the more questions or possible misunderstandings left in the reader's head after finishing it) the lower this mark will be. This section also includes non-standard abbreviations. If context makes it perfectly clear what you mean by "FF," then points docked will be minimal or nonexistant. However, even in such an obvious case it should be explained in the first use of the abbreviation. (Some things, such as "PS," will be even more in need of explanation. Phantasy Star? PlayStation? Planescape?)

Strength of arguments: 5 points
This is the most weighted aspect. An editorial is based on how well something is presented. If the editorial is read and no holes can be found at all to tear it apart, it would receive a 5 for this score. The more holes that can be found in a submission's arguments, the lower the score. For opinion-based editorials, this reflects how well the opinion is defended, and the facts used to support the argument. In either case, incorrect facts will be docked accordingly, depending on how much the editorial is based on said facts and how far they are from the truth. If the editorial cannot easily be covered by this score because it is a very subjective opinion, the few facts that the opinion is based on will be individually weighted more.

Presentation: 4 points
This a general outlook on how the editorial was executed. Did it feel right? Did it leave a nagging feeling that something was missing? Did it start well; did it conclude well? Did the arguments seem convincing? Did it feel that the writer was forcing out the words? If the submission is debative, could it possibly convince someone on the other side of an argument that they're not right? This mark would be an indication of the impression the submission leaves after being read.

Originality: 3 points
To an extent, this is a mark on the submission's content. Taking an angle on a topic that is rarely or never discussed would prove to be more interesting than running over a debate that has been done half a million times before. Taking a slightly different approach in the editorial's presentation will also increase this score. However, points will be deducted if the editorial does not adhere well to the style it's meant to follow. For example, if it's a personal letter to someone, it should be read like one and not like an essay; satirical articles and spoofs should be readily identifiable as such, and so forth.

Penalties that can be imposed:

  • Marking of spoilers: You are required to mention spoilers for games less than twelve months old before an editorial starts. [Be it in the title, a warning before the editorial starts, or in the first paragraph.] Failure to do so will result in a penalty ranging from -1 for a minor slipup [Such as a minor twist or implication] to -4 [Basically Walkthrough depth]. Very major spoilers of games twelve months to three years old may also warrant a penalty, depending on the age of the game and the degree of the spoiler; this will, however, be more lenient than for newer games.
  • There is an upper limit of 2000 words. [Use a word count on a processor] For every 100 words over this limit, there will be a 0.5 penalty on the final score.
  • Swearing is in all except in very rare cases [where it's necessary] will not be tolerated. 0.5 will be docked per unnecessary swear word.
  • Additional points may be docked in unexpected circumstances, for anything that detracts from the quality of the submission, but isn't mentioned here.
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