Tuesday, February 5, 2013

JOTYA History: The STWAKOJ Award

by Crazy Ivan

I know, I know... you know.  But I still have to say it.  There are a few people reading this that might be really, really new to Myachi so I have to say it.

STWAKOJ is a Myachi acronym that means "Spread the Word and Keep On Jammin'".  It's been a part of the movement since at least 2005 when Myachi Man shortened the usual closing line of his email and we've used it internally ever since.  I guess it was late 06 when the phrase made it's way out into the Myachi community and it's been synonymous with Myachi ever since.

In 2008, it also became one of the categories we decided to honor each year in our Jammer of the Year Awards.  In fact, when we originally started kicking around the idea of a Jammer of the Year Award, we only planned on giving out one award each year and the criterion for that winner would have been the criterion that we use now to judge the STWAKOJ Award winner.

Ultimately, of course, we decided that there were too many factors involved in being a Myachi Maniac for any one award to properly weigh all of them so we split it into a few different categories.  Now, I've already explained how, in a sense, the Trickster Award is the most important in all of Myachi and how, in a sense, the Forum award is the most important in Myachi, but in truth, the STWAKOJ Award really is the most important.  Or at least, it awards the most important trait.

Take Myachi Man as your example.  If he exemplified the things that would win the Trickster Award, he would be phenomenal at the game (he is), he would have created hundreds of tricks (he has) and he would be a legend in the movement (he is).  But, of course, if he didn't also exemplify the things that would win the STWAKOJ Award, there wouldn't be any movement to be a legend of.

Myachi is built on STWAKOJ.  The whole empire is built on the idea that one fan of the game teaches his or her friends, they teach their friends, they teach their friends and so on.  It would take a long time for Maverick, Lucky, Bones, Hard Kore and I to teach the whole world to play, but if we spread the game like a (good version of a) virus, we can eventually conquer the whole world.

And of course, given the nature of the award, the voters have often favored people who spread the word across the US border.  In fact, only once in it's 5 year history did the prize go to somebody who lived in the US during the year of the award.  Once it went to an American who was living in China, twice it went to different Maniacs in the UK and last year it went to Switzerland.

Anybody's guess where it will land this year...

Monday, February 4, 2013

JOTYA History: The FORUM Award

by Crazy Ivan

You could make an argument that any of the 4 JOTYAs is the most coveted prize in all of Myachi, but the Forum award always seems to be the tightest race.  It often has the most heated battle for nominations and it almost always has the narrowest margin of victory.

It's not hard to see why.  Until 2 years ago, this ceremony was entirely conducted through the forum.  And even now that I've opened it up to the blog, the FB page, etc., the bulk of the discussion and voting goes on there.  Because of that, everyone has a horse in this race.

Keep in mind that not every Myachi Maniac is a cutting-edge freestyler or an international traveler.  A lot of the people on the forum probably don't feel like they're qualified to win the Trickster or STWAKOJ awards, but everyone is a contender for the Forum award.  This one is just about who does the most to make the forum a fun place to hang out.

And there are always a great pool of candidates.  Myachi has one of the oldest company-sponsored skill toy forums on the internet and we're pretty proud of the community that it has created over the years.  Sure, there have been some peaks and valleys, some slow times and some busy times, but in all we've created a community that has sparked at least several dozen lifelong friendships.

But forums are forums so once in a while interpersonal conflict arises and, like you find on any online forum, there are occasional spats, disagreements and downright fights.  That means that when STWAKOJ time comes around, a lot of people that might have partially burned bridges in the past suddenly get a little more political and try to smooth out old differences with potential voters.

The Forum Award is my personal favorite because I've seen the kind of community that it helps to foster.  The past winners are exemplars of the kind of people we want populating our forum, the kind of voices we want representing our movement online.  It's ultimately an award about friendship, and what could be more meaningful than that?