|Date(s):||2009 - 2015|
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In association with the Armer Gayms (and with full encouragement of derryere), the Pornathon is a team-based series of weekly challenges based on specific themes. It began as fic-only, but in 2013, art entries began to be allowed. In addition to the main challenge, bonus challenges are run during the week. These allow teams to earn participation points. The challenge also usually hosts a "nightclubbe" on Saturdays, after revealing the winners of a given round.
In June 2016, the mods announced that the fest would no longer be running after seven years, making 2015 the last round.
The theme of the Pornathon is the seven deadly sins. Teams are formed for each sin, each with a team leader who is also a mod of the community and is responsible for running a weekly challenge during the event. When players sign up, unless they're returning to a team they belonged to previously, they're divided up among these teams by the mods. Each team ideally has the same number of members. Teams are typically announced a few days before the first challenge begins.
During the challenge, players are given 3 tasks: to create an entry based on the main challenge of the week, to participate in the bonus challenge, and to vote for the previous week's main challenge entries. Members earn points for their teams by participating in each of these activities. Teams also earn points if their members poll the most votes in a challenge. Winners are typically announced on Friday night or Saturday.
Main challenges are usually broad prompts that can be taken in several different ways. There are also specific challenges, like the kink grab-bag and the Kink Me! Merlin challenge, which have been used in multiple years. Participants create a 500-750 word ficlet or the equivalent for art based on the prompt, then post them to special screened posts for mod collection. The mods then post the entries in batches with no names attached. Participants vote on the entries they like best, and the winners are revealed the following week.
As the challenge name indicates, works must contain porn. However, the interpretation of "porn" varies a lot, and mods are rarely strict.
The Pornathon is heavily focused on hanging out with other players, so each team has its own community, and many teams offer team-building, chats, and other activities not related to the challenge itself. The Pornathon also has hosted parties where players could interact cross-team. Players are encouraged to reply to each other's bonus challenge entries, comment on main challenge entries, and talk about the entries they like in the results posts for each week.
From 2009-2014, many changes were made to the structure of the Pornathon.
Length: In 2009, there were 10 challenges (11 weeks of play). In all subsequent years, there were 7 challenges (8 weeks of play).
Bonus challenges: These began in 2010. The very first bonus challenge was porny poetry.
Friending meme: This was done in 2009, but the post was subsequently lost due to accidental deletion. Later memes are still visible, such as the one from 2011.
Art: Beginning in 2013, pornathon expanded to allow art entries. These are voted on separately from the text entries.
Ships: Pornathon started as a solely Merlin/Arthur challenge. In 2010, the round 4 challenge was to write a ship other than Merlin/Arthur, including RPF (which would be forbidden in later years). This challenge received a great deal of comment, and beginning in 2011, the entire Pornathon was opened to any ship.
Nightclubbes: Nightclubbes were run from 2009 through the first challenge of 2013. They had steadily declined in attendance throughout 2012, and were discontinued in 2013 in favor of chatter on reveal posts.
Posting format: From 2009-2011, all challenge entries were made directly in the Summer Pornathon community. This led to the loss of 3 challenge posts when a mod deleted their journal, unaware of what would happen if they selected the option to delete their posts in communities.
In 2012, to improve accessibility for voting purposes, the Pornathon moved all entries to AO3 and split them into "warnings" and "non-warnings" versions. ("Warnings" versions also include pairings.)
Voting structure: In 2009-2010, entries were split into groups only because of the character limit on LJ posts. Participants were allowed to vote for their 3 favorite entries for the entire challenge, and first, second, and third place winners were given points.
Beginning in 2011, due to a dramatic increase in participants, challenge entries were split into random, equal blocks of 3 (groups A, B, and C), with participants asked to vote for their favorite 3 in each group. First and second place winners in each category were awarded points. Voters who voted in all 3 blocks received an extra participation point.
Final Team Standings
For 2009-2013, the Pornathon used a point system of gold and silver coins, where a gold coin was worth 10 silver. Team standings are based on a combination of participation points and individual team members winning challenge votes.
The wide range of points earned by teams each year was mostly an effect of the changing number of participants, though there were also more rounds in 2009 and more voting points awarded in 2011 and later.
TEAM ENVY - 23 GOLD PIECES + 9 SILVER PIECES
TEAM WRATH - 22 GOLD PIECES
TEAM GLUTTONY - 18 GOLD PIECES + 8 SILVER PIECES
TEAM SLOTH - 15 GOLD PIECES + 2 SILVER PIECES
TEAM GREED - 10 GOLD PIECES + 9 SILVER PIECES
TEAM LUST - 10 GOLD PIECES
TEAM PRIDE - 3 GOLD PIECES + 2 SILVER PIECES
teamgluttony: 27 gold coins, 6 silver coins.
teamenvy: 21 gold coins.
teampride: 15 gold coins.
team_sloth: 14 gold coins, 7 silver coins.
teamwrath: 13 gold coins, 7 silver coins.
teamgreed: 11 gold coins, 3 silver coins.
teamlust10: gold coins.
team_sloth: 50 gold, 7 silver
teamgluttony: 45 gold, 4 silver
teamlust: 41 gold, 3 silver, 1 copper
teampride: 38 gold, 4 silver
teamenvy: 38 gold, 2 silver, 3 copper
teamgreed: 32 gold, 1 silver, 7 copper
teamwrath: 24 gold, 3 silver
Note: "Copper" coins were percentage points awarded to teams whose members were ejected from the community or who never participated in a single challenge after signing up.
teamgluttony: 46 gold, 3 silver
teamgreed: 42 gold, 5 silver
teamlust: 40 gold, 2 silver
teamenvy: 39 gold, 3 silver
team_sloth: 33 gold, 5 silver
teampride: 29 gold, 1 silver
teamwrath: 28 gold, 6 silver
teamgluttony: 59 gold, 8 silver
teamlust: 55 gold, 2 silver
teamgreed: 49 gold, 5 silver
teamsloth: 46 gold, 5 silver
teamenvy: 43 gold, 6 silver
teamwrath: 38 gold, 5 silver
teampride: 37 gold, 4 silver
Summer Pornathon 2009
Sign-ups began May 22nd, 2009 and the pornathon started in June 2009.
Summer Pornathon 2011
Summer Pornothan 2011 team banners:
- MODS SIGN-UP, 18 April 2009. (Accessed 17 June 2010)
- ROUND FIVE: NOW WELCOMING ARTISTS!, posted June 14, 2013. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- !bonus challenge tag on Summer Pornathon. Accessed July 26. 2014.
- !ye olde gay nightclubbe, tag on Summerpornathon community. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- SUMMER PORNATHON FAQ "What kind of Merlin porn are we talking about? Any kind. You may interpret the challenges however you like, you just have to fit the word requirement, and you must include sexy porn. Or angsty porn or terrifying porn or disgusting porn or cracktastic porn. Softcore porn, hardcore porn. Any kind of porn, really, as long as there’s porn. We don't require your entry to be hardcore NC-17 explicit, but please include enough sexual content or sexual focus that your entry could qualify as erotica of some genre. Remember, PORN is the overarching challenge of the whole competition, but it is still yours to interpret. Nudity is a good start if you're stuck." Posted June 30, 2014. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- RESULTS AND STANDINGS., posted Aug. 21, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- SURPRISE! BONUS CHALLENGE!, posted June 29, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- MOD POST #2 WHILE YOU WAIT, posted June 9, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- CHALLENGE FOUR O_o "Time to go outside of your comfort zone a bit. Merlin and Arthur can't be together this week but they can certaintly be with others. Write any other pairing you want." Posted June 19, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- subjectless comment "RPF and Bradley/Colin is definitely allowed." Posted July 20, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2010.
- THE BRAND SPANKING NEW ACTUALLY-HELPFUL PORNATHON FAQ "Anyone who exists as a recognizable, named, speaking character from the BBC series Merlin may be involved in your sexy porn. OCs and crossover characters are not allowed as part of the main porn pairing unless the challenge states otherwise. In previous years we allowed Merlin/Arthur only due to our roots with the 2009 armer_gayms, but we have dropped that rule. You are still allowed to write only Merlin/Arthur if you like, or you could write using only other characters." Posted May 9, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- Challenge One: Image Prompts VOTING POST!, "Sorry for the tardiness of this post, but because we're trying to make the entries as accessible as possible this year, so as many people as possible get to vote, we'll be hosting the entries over at AO3. This means that we ran into some problems with our original coding, which ended up in a bit of troubleshooting. And here we are. The entries will be posted in one single story on AO3, as chapters. Chapters 1-3 will include the image prompts and the warnings, chapters 4-6 will not." Posted June 15, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- CHALLENGE ONE ENTRIES/VOTING POST, PART I "NOW. THE ENTRIES. WE HAD A TOTAL OF 41 OF THEM, WHICH IS JUST. WOW. GREAT JOB, YOU GUYS! THIS DOES MEAN, THOUGH, THAT I'M HAVING TO SPIT THE POST INTO MULTIPLE PARTS. I'LL LINK TO THE OTHER PARTS ON THE BOTTOM OF EACH POST TO MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR YOU NAVIGATION-WISE. AND FOR VOTING, BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE POLL FEATURE, I'M GOING TO LEAVE ALL COMMENTS ON THESE POSTS SCREENED. COMMENT WITH THE NUMBERS OF YOUR FAVORITE THREE ENTRIES, BUT DON'T WORRY ABOUT RANKING THEM -- JUST GIVE ME YOUR TOP THREE." Posted June 13, 2009. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- challenge 1: VOTING POST "2. For each group you vote on, you must vote for three entries. Three from Group A, three from Group B, etc. No more, no less!" "3. You may vote for as many groups as you can manage in a week. Participants earn 1 participation point for voting at all, and a second participation point (AND A SPECIAL SURPRISE) for voting on all three groups." Posted June 17, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- CHALLENGE TEN RESULTS :D, posted Aug. 23, 2009. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- THE FINAL RESULTS!!!, posted Aug. 13, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- Challenge 7 RESULTS!, posted Aug. 4, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2014.
- Final Challenge Results!, posted Aug. 18, 2013. Accessed July 26, 2014.