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The 2011 Wilhelm Awards

Wilhelm Graphic


It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since the last Wilhelm Awards. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, and there are a lot of things and people which are, if not very, at least moderately deserving of a Wilhelm Award. This year we didn't actually have any formal nominations since the last awards, so all the winners are now for the first time being mentioned in association with this prestigious prize.

If you'd like to learn more about the Wilhelms, visit the Wilhelm Awards Page. There you can find out the explanation behind the name, listen to the actual Wilhelm scream, and see previous winners and nominees. But for now, on with the awards.

Most Enjoyable Game: We've all played Monopoly. Some of us have actually finished a game or two. Usually, though, Monopoly drags on for entirely too long as slowly but surely the rich and lucky get more rich, and everyone else slowly runs out of money and properties. That's after you've done all the setting up, counted out money, and of course fought about who gets to be the car, the dog, and the boot. What if you got rid of all that, and for that matter, got rid of the board as well? What if you could play a game of Monopoly in like 20 minutes? Well, you can't, but you could play Monopoly: Deal instead. It's a card game that features all the property locations from standard Monopoly, money value cards, and of course cards that allow you to steal money and property from other players. It's quick, fun, and a whole lot more enjoyable than standard Monopoly. Monopoly: Deal wins the Wilhelm for Most Enjoyable Game.

Craziest Use of Technology: It's not what you know. It's not who you know. It's not even what you know about who you know, it's what you can Photoshop to prove it. For example, did you know that Nicholas Cage once played Sitting Bull? And that he was an Oompa-Loompa? As well, he bears a striking resemblance to Roberto Luongo? Actually, none of this is true, but you wouldn't know from Nic Cage as Everyone. If you've ever wanted to see Nic Cage's face Photoshopped unto pretty much anything you can think of, or, more likely, you haven't, but think that sounds highly amusing, check it out. And marvel in the complete and utter misuse of photo editing software that earns Nic Cage as Everyone the Wilhelm for Craziest Use of Technology.

Next Big Thing: Peace in the Middle East is possible, and I have proof. What is this proof, you ask? It's Chromeo. Who or what is Chromeo, you ask now. They're an electrofunk duo from Montreal, and they describe themselves as the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership in the history of human culture. They put out some really catchy music, and I'm saying this as someone who doesn't generally listen to funk or electronica, much less the two put together. So if a Jewish guy and an Arab from Quebec can work together form a band playing an emerging hybrid musical style, and put out at this point three albums, surely Jews and Arabs can work together to solve their differences? Perhaps I'm being optimistic, but listening to Chromeo while writing this has got me enthused and jazzed up. Seriously, check them out, they're going to be a big deal. Otherwise they wouldn't get the Wilhelm for Next Big Thing.

Special Award for Incompetence and Failure: While it's tempting to just give this to the US Department of Homeland Security, it's one of the sub-agencies of DHS, the Transportation Security Administration, aka the TSA. Charged with keeping the travelling public safe, the TSA has basically turned into a 8 billion dollar security theatre operation. These are the people who don't want you travelling with more than 100 ml containers of liquids, and who think that snow globes and toner cartridges are serious threats. They're the folks who want you to take your shoes off when you go through security. And the particular reason for this award, they're the people, who, if you are going through security at almost any US airport, may touch your junk. That's assuming, of course, that you don't want to go through one of the backscatter scanners, which, of course, lets a TSA agent see a virtually nude image of you and any weapons you might be carrying. All this is supposed to keep the travelling public safe. Setting aside the fact that the TSA has frequently failed the covert tests it routinely undergoes, at what point does the travelling public decide that enough is enough, and that the cavalcade of unreasonable search and seizure has to come to an end? Until that happens, the Transportation Security Administration deserves this Special Wilhelm Award for Incompetence and Failure.

Did you win a Wilhelm Award this year? If you did, you can show off to your friends by posting the graphic below on your website. A link to this site would be most welcome in return.

Wilhelm Award Winner 2011


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