I'm entirely in favour of the librarian role of an expert panel, and self-selected volunteers of two or more years standing in the community would certainly be qualified to sort the games by theme(s).
Rating by "experts"....
Since this is going ahead anyway I will refrain from questioning the decision itself and limit my curiosity to the details of the new system. Will there be transparency (i.e. evaluation for each component of the game: story, graphics, interface, music, etc.)? Will there be an overall rating or ranking, and how will the component criteria be weighted? Will there be room for dissenting opinions, such as in a judicial panels (the American/Canadian supreme courts can have a divided opinion 5-4 or 7-2, for example, with dissenters publishing their opinions). Who will watch the watchers (or evaluate the evaluators....)? How will a panel drawn from a comparatively small pool of candidates - many of whom know each other - remain impartial when evaluating projects that their acquaintances and friends have produced? Won't there at least be the temptation to rank such a game just a little better than maybe it deserves? Are there procedures in place for declaring conflict of interest? Will the specific criteria used to evaluate the games be published so that game makers eager for a better rating can conform to the systemic values, and game makers who seek to make a revolutionary name for themselves can do the exact opposite? Will experimental material that is initially ranked poorly be re-evaluated in hindsight? As this is a community of learners who generally improve over time, can "bad" games not simply be categorized as "training" or "early work" so that they will be seen for what they really are? Will the panel be able to "farm out" their evaluation powers where they are not qualified to make an evaluation, such as in a foreign language game or a game that caters to a unique cultural context (in the interests of being fair). Since "Newbies" are the source of this community's future, shouldn't one seat on the panel be open to them as a group so we can take advantage of their fresh perspective (and make them feel that their opinions are valid)? Same thing for sub-18 year olds: don't they have the most time to commit to a project like this anyway?
I don't mean to be an agitator, but this thread was unlocked to promote discussion on the subject.