I was really tempted to participate but I read the rules, here is my take of it :
Eligibility, Entries great, Cancellation of Events : I completely agree, it's quite normal
Rights & Ownership : ( in "Entries" : right to modify why you said it's yours ? / so you could also change it to be different from the author's idea , no ?)
Moderation : (what are the rules of modderation ? will you explain why some are rejected ?)
Prizes : "The Ultimate Winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and a publicity/liability release.*** By accepting the prize, winner agrees to the use of his/her name, photo and/or likeness in any promotion/advertising activities related to this contest without further compensation, except where prohibited.*** By accepting a prize, winner agrees to release the contest sponsors and its agencies from any and all liability for injuries and/or damages of any kind sustained in connection with the contest, including any 3rd party infringement claim on the entry." are you joking ? it clearly abusive because it's an all inclusive in your face "your an idiot to accept but thanks"
Judging : the Critical Judging : is it with some transparency/explication to the submitter?
Notification & Late Entries : understandable but not really tolerant in my opinion because again no reserve
Rules Modifications : again : "are you joking ?" without an op-out for the submitter ? (well you submitted something and we change the rules : any submitter must pay 250 $ to submit : we are worth it ... ( I know over-reaction but something less revolting could be done anyway !)
Law and Venue : LOL !!! nothing more to be said !
with all this any submitter is either naive, desperate /with a real-low income, or a fan of a magnitude that could be dangerous for her/him !
"we tried to cover as many of our bases there as we could." clearly ! in an over abusive way with the final (to be sure to be abusive) : " This Contest is void where prohibited by law."
another exemple : an idea could be so good you would "steal" it legally and create a whole game OR sale it to another party! is it normal for you ? and not even have to use one of the "finalists" so ne retribution for the work !
all this was a clear reminder that your not doing it for the player but for the money of the player (and only for it, it seems !) ... sad, really really sad.
The thing that is the most maddenig is I really like what you are doing : GC,SOAS in particular.
ps : please don't moderate it out; I really would what for this post to do some "Rules Modifications" for me and (I hope lots) of other interested potential submitter to participate
EDIT: "fan with a magnitude" to "fan of a magnitude"