The Webby game is on again at The Escapist.

The Durham-based news and entertainment web site that is the self-proclaimed “mouthpiece for the gaming generation, is gunning for a fourth Webby Award. It’s among five finalists.

And founder, General Manager Alexander Macris is one excited exec, even if the competition looks to be as tough as the locust horde in “Gears of War.”

“We are exceptionally pleased to be nominated in the Best Games-Related Category for the fourth time!,” he tells WRALTechWire.

“Our last nomination was in 2011. Since then we’ve thought of much funner 5-word acceptance speeches we’d like to give.”

Those cryptic “thank yous” are a hallmark of the Webbys.

The 18th annual awards drew more than 12,000 entries from more than 60 countries, and of those 8 percent were named finalists so The Escapist already has prevailed over a host of rivals. Winners will be announced on April 29 with a panel of judges and some 1,000 Internet experts and professionals picking the winners. Fan voting will determine “People’s Choice” winners.

Think you have a chance to win, we asked?

The Escapist’s track record is pretty darn good.

“So far we’ve been privileged to win the Webby Award for the Best Games-Related Category each time we’ve been nominated as a finalist (in 2008, 2009, and 2011), and to win three People’s Voice Awards from the fans as well,” Macris says.

“But there’s no question that this year’s other finalists are also top notch websites, and the Judges have difficult choices ahead of them in selecting a winner from this field.

“I think all of the Finalists have a chance to win, and that for all of us it’s simply an honor to be nominated.”

The other finalists include:

  • Disney Interactive
  • Polygon
  • Museum of Mario
  • Twitch

Five Compelling Reasons

So why does Macris believe The Escapist is back in the running?

He cites five key reasons:

• “The strength of The Escapist’s team, led by Greg Tito, and featuring personalities such as Yahtzee Croshaw, Jim Sterling, Rob Rath, Andrea Rene, Lisa Foiles, and Bob Chipman

• “Our hard-hitting and insightful editorial. Rob Rath’s expose on anti-game Senator Yee, for instance, is simply brilliant. [Note: Leland Yee, a state senator in California, had tried to criminalize the sale of violent video games to children.]

• “Our focus on the culture of gaming and the experience of being a gamer

• “The exceptional credibility of our video game reviews. Whether it’s the in-house staff, the voice of Jim Sterling, or the antics of Zero Punctuation, gamers know they get real critiques from us.

• “The breadth of our coverage. The Escapist covers so much more than just the latest next-gen games. We cover indie games, classic games, tabletop games, PC games, and the whole cuisine of nerd taste – movies, tv, anime, comics, cosplay, weird science, etc.”

And what would winning mean personally to Macris and his team?

“I think it would be an important validation that high-quality content can succeed on the web.”

Winners will be determined by online voting through April 24.

So if you like The Escapist – vote!