Before revealing its latest winners last week, the Simming Prize also announced significant structural changes to its leadership. Based on section 2.1 of the official Simming Prize handbook, three individuals were removed from their posts following this specific direction found within the handbook: “Trustees should remove trustees, staff, or judges who are not fulfilling their duty or who are violating the trust of the Simming Prize.” There were eight specific charges and three general charges levied against the former members:
- Failure to facilitate periodic replacement of Trustees
- Failure to ensure that the ranks of the Trustees reflect the breadth and diversity of the simming community
- Failure to ensure that the ranks of the Judges reflect the breadth and diversity of the simming community
- Failure to fill multiple vacant positions of Simming Prize Staff
- Failure to ensure a timely review of eligible nominations
- Failure to set a date at which time the nomination period will close and failure to ensure sufficient public notice is provided prior to closing date
- Attempting to award a Simming Prize to an entity that was awarded a Prize within the last three years
- Discussing a nominee outside of the e-mail list and failure to keep nominations confidential
- Published erroneous award citations for multiple Laureates
- Attempted to award Prizes to two entities for accomplishments that they had already been awarded Prizes for
- Generally run an opaque and insular program
The new body of trustees also announced multiple significant changes to how the Prize is run to increase transparency and to better allow the public at large to participate in nominating and judging for winners. Among these changes, nominations will be accepted at any time instead of during a specific time boxed window, the governing charter and names of all trustees will be publicly available at all times, and anyone in good standing within the simming and online role playing community may join in and serve as a judge.
The changes were mostly met with praise and many see them as making the Prize more accessible and more applicable to the broader community today. The recently introduced 2020 and 2021 winners also received high praise, with most observers commenting that they were all extremely well deserving and represent a large cross section of the current role playing world.
The Simming Prize dates back to the late 1990’s when it was created by the Simming League, an organization that was originally established on America Online, but later transitioned to the world wide web. The Simming Prize itself has also gone through its own changes, shifting through different sponsors and award categories over the years. Despite it all, the Prize endures and continues to be a shining light to all.