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Rules and Regulations

In order to be eligible for consideration in the 2005 Game Critics Awards, a game must be on display at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, CA, May 18-20, 2005. Games shown off-site and in private meeting rooms are eligible along with those shown publicly on the show floor.

Playable Format
In order to compete, a game be shown in playable format.  For the 2005 awards season, playable format is defined as the ability for the judge to manipulate a game in real-time while running on its native platform (i.e. "hands on" gameplay).  Games that are only demonstrated on videotape or through screenshots, concept art, rendered movies, pre-scripted (i.e. non-interactive) gameplay sequences, or developer-controlled theater demos are automatically disqualified from consideration in the major award categories.  Non-playable games are still eligible for Special Commendations in Graphics and Sound Design. 

For hardware, judges must be able to experience "hands-on gameplay" on final hardware or development kits in order for the system to be eligible for "Best of Show."  New hardware does not need "hands on gameplay" to be eligible in Best Hardware/Peripheral, since the focus of this category is technology, not necessarily gameplay.  New hardware must, however, be shown running in real-time in order for it to be eligible for Best Hardware/Peripheral.

Selection of Judges
The Judges for the 2005 Game Critics Awards are determined at the sole discretion of the Co-Chairmen of the Game Critics Award Committee.  The list of judges is formulated before the E3 show and made available to marketing and public relations representatives at major interactive entertainment software and hardware developers.

Judges are generally Editors in Chief of major North American media outlets that have consistently covered the videogame industry and have clearly shown an interest in critically evaluating interactive entertainment.  Each media outlet is allotted one slot on the judge panel.  Judges are encouraged, where appropriate, to solicit the opinions of colleagues at their respective media outlets when determining the nominees and winners.  Judges (and media outlets) for the awards are determined on a year-by-year basis.  The inclusion of a judge (or media outlet) during one year’s awards process does not necessarily guarantee that they will be included in future years.  Freelance writers can be included on the panel on a year-by-year basis, but only if they are empowered to act as the sole representative for a major North American media outlet.   If you would like to submit your media outlet for potential inclusion on the judge panel in future years, please e-mail the Co-Chairman. (E-mail addresses available on the About page).  The judge list for 2005 is now closed.

Category Selection and Definition
Before E3, the Game Critics Awards Co-Chairmen determine the list of categories that will be eligible for voting.  The Co-Chairmen have the final say as to which categories will be open for voting.  The inclusion of a category one year does not necessarily dictate that it will be included in future years.  In the event that there is a debate as to which category a game falls under, the Co-Chairmen have final say as to the category definition.

For 2005, the categories are as follows:

Best of Show
Best Original Game
Best PC Game
Best Console Game

Best Handheld Game

Best Peripheral / Hardware
Best Action Game
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Fighting Game
Best Role Playing Game
Best Racing Game
Best Simulation Game
Best Sports Game
Best Strategy Game
Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game
Best Online Multiplayer Game
Special Commendation for Graphics
Special Commendation for Sound

Nomination and Voting Process
After the E3 show, the Co-Chairmen declare a date when nominations are due.  Based on the category definitions, the Judges submit their top five choices in each category, which are then weighted based on ranking. (For example, the top choice receives five points, whereas the fifth choice receives one point).  These results are tabulated by two independent parties, then compared to ensure accuracy.  The nominees are then announced, with five nominees in each category. In the case of a tie for fifth place, all tying titles are nominated.  The judges are then asked to vote for their top choice among the five (or more) nominees in each category. 

These votes are tabulated by two independent parties, then compared to ensure accuracy.  The winners are announced at www.gamecriticsawards.com.  In the event of a tie for a winning slot, the weighted points from the nomination round are used to break the tie.  In the unlikely event that two games tie during the nomination process and during the final voting, both games are named winners in that category.

Questions
If you have further questions about the Game Critics Awards and its rules and regulations, please see the About page for contact information.