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


I’m not sure that I care, honestly. Geoff is clearly a dude with no scruples so I don’t care about its success at the end of the day.


I agree with what a lot of you are saying, they should just drop the pretense of it being an awards show. Rebrand as “a celebration of the year in gaming and a look at what’s coming” or something. The only reason I watch is to see the premiers. Yeah, it’s basically a glorified ad, but they do a good job of highlighting smaller projects who wouldn’t get as much exposure otherwise.

Honestly it’s kind of surprising that the Oscars haven’t taken a page from Keighly. They’re just as capitalistic, they just have the luxury of being televised, so they can segregate the ads to the commercial breaks and maintain an air of prestige. All the news articles about the difficulties finding a host note that ratings have plummeted in recent years. They need to draw more eyes, and announcing that the new Avengers trailer will be on the show seems like a much more effective way to appeal to a bigger audience than “best popular film” or whatever they were going to try.


I mean … I don’t understand the question, because I don’t understand why anyone thinks this is an actual awards show???

I’ve only seen this twice (this year and last), and only because there were people streaming it who were willing to call out its nonsense (Waypoint last year, Waypoint community this year). Without commentary, it would be absolutely intolerable to watch, because it’s literally just 3 straight hours of the largest publishers in the industry reasserting their dominance through marketing spend. It’s no more an awards show than E3, or Playstation Experience, or a Nintendo Direct. It’s also extremely telling that the only interesting parts every year are when something goes off-script – like when, say, Rockstar walks out because they didn’t get Game of the Year, or when SonicFox and the Celeste team inject actual humanity into the proceedings.

tl;dr: It’s working as intended, and the only good use for it is as a springboard to talking about more worthwhile things.


Did that happen?


This was mentioned on the community stream last night:


I rewatched the stream to be sure, are we positive that wasn’t where Sony Santa Monica was sitting? It kinda seemed that way. Maybe I was looking in the wrong spot.


She was in the audience, so I’ll take her word for it that they left. Can’t really speak to the exact timing, but it wouldn’t make sense for Rockstar to leave before Game of the Year was announced since they were in the running. (Though that would also be hilarious.)


Ah, okay, I only heard about that before, I didn’t know it was apparently a first hand account.

Super fucking weird and disappointing all the same because I still think Rockstar made a good friggin game.


I’ve been thinking about this in the wake of the uproar over several major awards being given out during the commercial breaks at the Oscars, the layoffs at Activision, and the upcoming Crunchyroll Anime Awards - and part of the reason the Oscars were created was to give the film industry a sense of legitimacy that the people in the industry felt they lacked at a time when the industry was being clobbered by a series of high-profile scandals (like the Fatty Arbuckle mess), and it was intended to project a sense of glitz and glamor to the general public, combined with an effort to highlight and promote certain elements of film in order to promote the artistic elements of the medium. It was meant to say “This is Hollywood” and “This is Cinema”.

The thing is, while Gaming (as an artistic medium, an industry, as a fandom) has been in a position where it needs that legitimization, and has had (and still has) popular perceptions that it needs to push back on - but the Game Awards has never really taken steps to address any of the current perceptions it needs to push back on.

Gaming needs to push back against the promotion of toxic hyper aggressive masculinity, including the use of sexually demeaning insults. The Gaming Awards had Zachary Levi (the celebrity master of ceremonies they had as part of the whole legitimization thing) teabagged during a show.

Gaming needs to promote the idea that games are not a disposable commodity, and the people who make them matter. The Game Awards brushes over acceptance speeches in favor of reveal trailers.

Gaming needs to promote voices in fandom who are marginalized voices - people of color, GLBT people, and so on. Half the nominees for “Content Creator of the Year” last year were white dudes, and only one of the 4 was a woman, and the winner for Trending Gamer in 2017 was Dr. Disrespect, a streamer who takes on a character who embraces toxic masculinity.

So, what do I think Gaming as medium needs from a gaming award - to promote growth and to push back against toxic elements?

  • The awards categories need to be created with the mindset that the people who create games, from every aspect - from the “designer” of the game all the way to the artists, programmers, and voice actors matter. This would mean awards not only for “Best Game” in various genres and for voice acting, but also awards for visuals, sound design, story, and awards for new mechanics. These awards would be accepted by people on the teams responsible for those aspects - artists, sound designers, writers, and the coders who implement the mechanics.
  • Categories for members of the community should be based not on whether a particular member of the community is popular, but on the impact they have had on the perception of gaming, and for how they’ve taken steps to make the “gaming community” and the discourse around gaming better. So, Dr. Disrespect, Boogie, and Ninja would probably not be receiving nominations for this category, while Halfcoordinated, the staff of the Games Done Quick events, Anita Sarkeesian, and LoadingReadyRun (Desert Bus for Hope - along with the Talking Simulator streams) - for example - would.
  • As far as presentation goes - Gaming I don’t think needs the Glitz and Glamor of the oscars necessarily - both in the sense of neither making this suit-and-tie event - nor having the visual spectacle. The way the awards are presented should strike a balance between Oscar Formal and TGA casual. There should probably be some expectation of decorum beyond what there is now (no yelling out “Fuck the Oscars” during an interview).
  • Related, the last TGAs didn’t have the awards given out on the main stage - they were off to the side, with the main stage being dedicated to the reveal trailers. If you’re doing an award show, the focus should be the awards.
  • We should see acceptance speeches - not just for the big categories, but for all of them - it puts a face to the names we see in the credits.
  • Finally, the nominees for all the categories should be made by a panel of judges from people within the industry and the gaming press. Voting can be a mix of people’s choice voting and a panel of voters within the industry - but the important part is to have the list of nominees being selected by people with the ultimate goal of the awards in mind (celebrate diversity, promote the artistic merits of the medium, highlight the people behind the games, push back against toxicity).


Honestly, I think the DICE awards are basically what I’d want from an awards show tone-wise. It doesn’t have as much of the weird advertisement of the Game Awards and doesn’t interject too often with random celebrity guests that have nothing to do with games.


I agree. I think as a part of this the profile of the DICE Awards could probably be raised some. The awards ceremony was yesterday (2/13/2019), and I didn’t know until I Googled it just now, and I try to pay attention to video game news… It’s something that should be streamed on Twitch or YouTube, but it’s not - the archive isn’t even on the AIAS Youtube channel.