So... What SHOULD The Game Awards Look Like?

Pretty much every year the Game Awards roll around, I’m reminded of how weird the whole ritual is. It’s the epitome of many things wrong with the games industry; it’s hype-driven, full of sponsors, and has this weird confusion about what it’s actually doing.

But then I had to ask my self: …What do I want from the Game Awards?

First off: I actually really dislike the idea of award shows for art in the first place. It’s weird to treat all the art from one year on a linear scale, and that one of those pieces is the very best of the year, sorry!!! The whole idea also emphasizes the weird and ugly power structures underlying the industry.

But, as long as we have them… What do you think they should look like?

I don’t think there should be dozens of ads, for one. And it’s hard to ignore the tendency for the same games to keep coming up. (There was a moment where an announcer said, “Will Red Dead Redemption 2 or God of War win game of the year? Or will it be another game?” Which wow says a lot.) It’s pretty shitty that Keighly will just rattle off awards for the “less important” categories as if they’re pressed for time (despite having plenty of time for interviews and trailers). Also, needless to say, the streaming of event leads to some… unsavory commentary. A lot could be improved.

What would you like to see from a games award show? Or do you think the whole idea is a lost cause from the get-go?


It’s a lost cause and should be an awards night for industry folks that someone films, maybe. Or we could let the industry celebrate its achievements in a way that isn’t also intended to spruik the wares of the companies with the biggest pockets i.e. no ads, no main stage, no cameras, everyone gets boozed up and has a good time ignoring their twitter mentions.


Start by getting rid of the ‘content creator’ award, I think it’s a bad look. I know these Twitch streamers pull in a lot of viewers, but do they really belong in a show like this, for industry professionals? If you’re going to celebrate “influencers”, recognize the people that are actively changing games for the better, making it a more inclusive space.

I’d also suggest pairing down the AAA entries. Did AC Odyssey really need to be in the goty category, instead of, say, Into The Breach? But, I recognize this is a game culture problem, of which I am also to blame.

1 Like

Honestly I thought this year was… well, there were elements of it that were alright. They were very good with representation. Even if they had goobers like Ninja up on stage, Geoff being warm to guys like Boogie on Twitter, etc. they also had people like Lena Raine and SonicFox.

There were some cringeworthy moments this year, but I think there always will be. Almost every game presentation, no matter what it’s for, has a cringe moment or two. And the more you try to crack down on that, the more you also move away from giving guys like SonicFox the mic.

The real bummer, to me, is that there just wasn’t a lot of diversity in the nominees. There are hundreds of games coming out every month, but the categories were largely dominated by the same seven-ish games, with a clear “top three” that swept up. They kept harping on how 2018 was “the best year for games” but it sure didn’t look that way to me. It was to the point where my friends and I kept joking “I bet Red Dead 2 wins this,” and it eventually stopped being funny for how often it was true.

That maybe isn’t necessarily The Game Awards fault. Keighley makes it sound like nominees come from a panel of outside judges made up of the games press, and awards come from user votes.

But maybe parts of that need more work. I think it’s clear that in talking to the games press, they’re only going to suggest the biggest and most recent games. Gaming is expanding, and the Game Awards is failing to reflect that.

There needs to be better categories. Better criteria for picking what ends up in those categories. And yes, definitely get rid of the “Trending Gamer of the Year” or “Content Creator of the Year” or whatever you want to call it – this year may have been somehow even worse than past years, given the nominees were all just Fortnite streamers. Again, no breadth.

Now, obviously, Fortnite is the biggest game out there right now, so any “top 5” popular streamer is going to be streaming at least some of Fortnite, but also maybe we shouldn’t be patting people on the back for winning a popularity contest? Nominate people who advance the field and do something important instead of just celebrating the fact that one guy has really high numbers.


An Oscars statue holding a controller or with a VR headset on it.


It doesn’t mean anything to get this award. The games probably already sold plenty so the developers and publishers got theirs. It’d be one thing if the it was more like the academy, with the actual nominees and winners doing the voting. I’m not sure anything would be more exciting if it were that way, but now it’s just the same outlets that pick the same games for their own lists.

I liked what keydemographics said, just let the developers meet up, award each other, have fun. The three hour ad, we don’t need that.

any awards (or rating) system which doesn’t take budget into account is fake to me. i’m way more impressed when a one-person team with basically no budget puts together a coherent, full game than i am when a billion dollar budget makes the trees look super pretty.

class war


Isn’t what you want from the actual awards part of the show just the DICE awards or GDC awards?


Hear me out…MORE World Premiers


I honestly don’t mind the trailers. It’s better than TV advertising as a way to pay for the show’s production, tbh. Especially considering the representation of small games in the ads.

That said, axe all genre awards, axe wishy-washy categories like games for impact, add a couple dedicated system design awards, put the awards for the streamers, etc. before or after the main show, and treat all the awards given to actual games with respect.

Also, no audience vote, please.

1 Like

Yep, I doubt the “award” bit of the Game Award can be taken seriously.

1 Like

I think this thing needs to actually be an awards show, not an announcement vehicle. I caught the last little bit of the show last night, and I’m so surprised at how much they just toss aside or sweep under the rug. When Celeste won Indie Game of the Year, they just off-handedly also announced it won the Games For Impact award. There’s an irony there.

It was also kind of heartbreaking to see SWERY on Twitter (The Missing was also nominated for Games For Impact) being confused as to why his game, which got nominated, ostensibly an honour, wasn’t even mentioned. This thing can’t just celebrate the upcoming AAA and high-profile indies. Every award and game that gets nominated should get mentioned and celebrated even if its kind of bullshit. I don’t need to see more RAGE 2 ads. Let me see all the games that got nominated this year and reflect on them, because thats what this is supposed to actually be about.


Didn’t watch it this year but from previous years I got the feeling that they have a “run time” and if they go long they just sweep the “lesser” categories under the rug, which is just the worst, both in the act of doing it and the definition of some categories as less important. Obviously “games for impact” is trash category that is not explained at all and has no real meaning as a result, but still. Didn’t see the Swery stuff and that just sounds awful. Assholes.


It’s me and my friends talking shit about everything that got released this year and then we give everything to spelunky


I think it’s fine the way it is. If you want a quiet, no-hype awards show, there are plenty of those. I think it’s OK to just drop the cynicism for a few hours and celebrate this weird, bombastic industry in a weird, bombastic way.

That’s literally the DICE Awards.

1 Like

Y’all the general population votes make up like 10% of the decision for the winner, the majority of the decision goes to the same people who did the nominations.

Are we talking about the Boogie who somehow managed to both sides the Holocaust, or is this a different Boogie?

Anywho, I’d argue we don’t need the game awards at all because we already have other game award shows. We have a lot of game award shows. They just don’t get attention because they don’t advertise and don’t invite celebrities, but instead the actual people who make games.

The Game Awards is just a desperate attempt to seem important, along with a massive sellout parade of product placement for indulgences nobody ever asked for. It’s the MTV Movie awards of gaming awards, but somehow with even less self-respect.

Good? We can literally get rid off the game awards then.


I’d do away with the whole awards conceit altogether and have something like a Danny O’Dwyer NoClip documentary about the year in games. Like, a two hour rundown of the most notable games of the year with talking head interviews with developers and games writers. It would be instantly more watchable and more in the spirit of honoring games as a whole.

And as much as I like world premieres, maybe let’s drop the charade and just make a low key event specifically for that. Kinda hard to discuss 2018 when the new shiny is being shown as well.