Origins Awards Interview: Jury Foreman C.A. Suleiman

The Origins Game Fair, held in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest conventions devoted to games in the continental United States. Run by the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the gaming convention is home to the Origin Awards. The Origins Awards are given for outstanding work in the industry. After the awards on June 2nd, Jury Foreman C.A. Suleiman provided a rundown of how the Awards work.

Can you give our readers some background on the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design?
Sure thing. The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design is the administrative arm of the Game Manufacturer’s Association (“GAMA”), which covers all arenas of the hobby games industry (roleplaying games, such as D&D and Vampire; board games, card games, miniatures games, and the like).

When did the Origins Awards start?
The Origins Awards were born in 1973, and are named for and conducted as a part of the Origins Game Fair, GAMA’s annual convention in Ohio, which has been running uninterrupted for decades, now. The Origins Award itself is commonly referred to as a Calliope, as the statuette is in the likeness of the Greek Muse of the same name. (Academy members and jurors frequently shorten this to “Callie.”)

What’s the process for nominations? How are the deliberations and voting process for the Awards handled?

Nominations in each category are decided upon by juries, who determine the top ten offerings of the year in those categories during a period of internal deliberation and comment. The juries then present those nominations to the attendees of the GAMA Trade Show, who narrow the nominees down to five. This slate of nominees is then carried to Origins, where attendees vote on each category’s final winner.

How did you become involved with the Origins Awards, and what are your duties related to them?
I’ve been indirectly involved in the awards for years, and have attended some thirteen or fourteen Origins shows in my time, but have been serving as a juror for three years now. As jurors, it’s our obligation to know our own field, of course, and to give all prospective nominees therein as thorough an evaluation as time will allow during our annual period of deliberation. Being jury foreman is a little like herding cats some years, but it’s a fun experience overall and I’m happy that I’ve gotten a chance to do it.
For more on the Academy, go to; and for more on Origins, see