Frequently Asked Questions about the Erin Awards (AIFAs)
Q: What the heck are the Erin Awards?
A: The Erin Awards are an annual tradition in the Adult Interactive Fiction (AIF) community. They acknowledge the best writing and game design of the year; winners receive an award graphic for each award won, and the awards are announced at an awards ceremony held at the ifMUD, then later in the AIF newsletter Inside Erin and on this webpage.
Q: Um, what's AIF?
A: AIF or "Adult Interactive Fiction" basically means erotic, text based games. Try AIFGames.com or the AIF Archive to find AIF games, community discussion, and other stuff.
Q: Who's Erin?
A: The Erins were named in 2002 during an poll at the AIF Archives. The clear winner was The Erins, followed by the Adult Interactive Fiction Awards in second (both were adopted). But what prompted the name "The Erins"? The poll for the name took place during a heated thread at the AGX started by Wotan-Anubis, explaining that he named his female lead in The Diary "Erin" because he wanted to contrast the twisted image of a girlfriend set by Chris Cole's "Erin" of The Gamma Gals. Since then the character "Erin" has become sort of a mascot for the AIF community; in 2005 the newly formed AIF newsletter was renamed "Inside Erin" and soon after a 3D comic strip was designed for the newsletter by ~3~, called "O Erin! Adventures in Fantasy", which was about Erin.
Q: How are the Erins decided?
A: I'm glad I'm pretending you asked me that! The Erins are decided each year by a public ballot, and everyone is encouraged to vote! The nominees on the ballot are chosen by a panel of 6 to 8 volunteer AIF enthusiasts, and then the ballot is released to the public. The voting period lasts around two to three weeks and then the awards ceremony is held. Everyone should vote, as we have terrible trouble trying to get people involved. We never get much more than a couple of dozen votes, even though it doesn't take very long and there are thousands of regular AIF fans. Get out there and vote - no excuses!
Q: What games are eligible and where can I get them?
A: Go to the the list of eligible games, and you'll find direct links to download all of the games eligible for nomination in this year's awards.
Q: Could you explain the rules in a bit more detail? What categories are up for consideration?
A: For a more detailed run-down of the rules, look here. To see a list and explanation of the categories, look here.