Nominations Solicited for William Higinbotham Inhumanitarian of the Year

William Higginbotham

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

At last! The time has arrived – time for our first ever William Higinbotham Inhumanitarian of the Year Award. Send in your nominations, by email or in a blog comment!

“The Higgy” will be awarded on April 15 to the nominee who best exemplifies the criteria for the award, as laid out by Jay:

“The Higgy” will not identify the worst person in the world, just as “The Al” does not recognize the best.  Instead, “The Higgy” will highlight individuals whose arrogant delusions of shaping the world to meet their own will outweigh the positive qualities they possess.

That’s “The Al” as in the Al Copeland Humanitarian of the Year Award, which recently concluded its fifth year (including the inaugural award to Copeland himself) by honoring George P. Mitchell.

“Arrogant delusions of shaping the world” perfectly captures the spirit of our new award’s namesake. He invented the video game, which is just about the coolest thing I can imagine anyone putting on his tombstone; yet he lamented, in the words of Wikipedia, “that he would more likely be famous for his invention of a game than for his work on nuclear non-proliferation.” As I said when I first honored him by announcing that he would not be nominated for The Al:

We shall not tarnish the sterling silver of Al Copeland’s reputation by associating it with such filth. Copeland may have offended the delicate sensibilities of many with his penchant for fast cars and boats. He may have annoyed his neighbors to the point of filing lawsuits with his extraordinary Christmas decorations. He may have failed in some busienss ventures. More seriously, he may have had a turbulent family life.

But say this for Al Copeland – he never thought nuclear non-proliferation was more important than videogames.

That’s a stick in the eye to everything the Al Copeland award stands for.

And here is the final humiliation for Higinbotham – unlike Al Copeland, who was the first recipient of the Al Copeland Humanitarian of the Year Award, we are not going to give The Higgy to William Higinbotham. Paradoxically, he deserves it so much that he doesn’t deserve it.

Instead, we’re going to give it to someone nominated between now and April 15, right here on JPGB – maybe your nomination. So nominate early and often!

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