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Back when we launched the Propaganda contest, we originally figured it'd be a cakewalk to judge. You might not know this, as it's a well-kept industry secret, but normally with giveaway tie-in contests for video games, you get about 10 entries. Seven of these are virulently racist. The other two are pornography. The last one, regardless of its quality, wins by default.
However, the recession must be a lot worse than we thought, because apparently all of you are unemployed and have nothing better to do than spend real hours drawing incredibly time-consuming art for virtual prizes. No joke: as of contest's end last night, we have in excess of 11,000 entriesand almost every one of them deserves to be framed on the wall of one of Gabe Newell's castles.
In fact, while we've managed to wade through your mountain of entries carefully enough to select a first, second and third place winner below, we're nowhere near through categorizing our many favorites, and we've got plenty more prizes to give away. So just because you don't see your entry below, don't assume you haven't won anything. (Still, with 11,000 entries, don't bet against it, either.)
Customized In-Game Item
50,000 War Points to Soldier
"GIVE 'EM THE BOOT" by J.Axer's Dapper Topper
With some entries, we loved the art but didn't care for the slogan. Others had an awesome look, but didn't capture the spirit of a propaganda poster. Still others had a killer propaganda slogan, but not a heck of a lot else. "Give 'Em the Boot Right in the Fruit," on the other hand, is a triple threat: It's funny, it looks great, and it makes us want to kick a Demoman in an extremely precise area (that the bean counters won't let us mention because they're all such huge extremely precise areas).
Slightly Less Impressive Customized In-Game Item
25,000 War Points to Demoman
"THAT BLUE DEVIL" by Amber's Rad As All Hell Item
We liked this one because it looked like art and made us feel smarter every time we saw it. It says something profound about evil. It exists, and it's bad. Hold on, we need some back-up here. Let's get Jeremy Bennett in here to explain why we like it: "I appreciate the strong composition, coupled with the limited Prussian blue palette, accented by the spot red. It's reserved, yet sophisticateda first-rate homage to period propaganda." We agree.
Less-Impressive-Than-the-First-Two Customized In-Game Item
10,000 War Points to Soldier
"DO THE RIGHT THING" by John Freeman
The majority of the entries we received were pretty lighthearted, and that's what we liked about them. This one we liked for the opposite reason: it isn't funny. It's just legitimately bad-ass. We don't need any artists to tell us what's great about this one. Look at that guyhe just killed twelve dudes. With a shovel. We didn't think there was any way to make that not funny, but John Freeman somehow did it, and for that he gets third prize.
The in-game prizes these lucky winners will receive are being custom-designed for them as we type. We'll be sure to release images of them soon. And don't forgetthere'll be more winners (and more prizes) after the update.