The yearly GotY frenzy is nonsense and exhausting and I hate it


#1

I am not gonna tell people how to live their lives but a) there’s too many and b) rankings are for sports and the military and not a fuckin’ incredibly broad range of cultural outputs with different objectives like games or movies or albums. Can you have a favourite? Sure. Can you have a second favourite? I guess? Can you numerically order 10 games like this meaningfully? I mean maybe but also I don’t believe you, and I certainly don’t believe that it’s a format that should be as prevalent and standard as it is.

I will fight anyone who disagrees, shortly after I post this thread and never check it again because I am very scared of defending any opinion I air publicly.

edit: to clarify i got no problem with like. yearly roundups and discussion and such. i just hate putting in numbers and qualifying things as “the best” when it feels at best useless and at worst like introducing an uncomfortable and unnecessary competitive aspect to things which are already heavily designed to increase their metacritic score or whatever


#2

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you hate this practice?


#3

I think end of year lists can be good for informing people of things they may have been unfamiliar with (moreso with music given they can provide links you can check out), but the whole ranking obsession is a bit of a rubbish one, as proven by that borderline satirical Polygon “all-time” list from not long ago


#4

Honestly? Same. I understand why this is such a popular thing and I get that there ARE people who enjoy listening to fucking. Fourty five hours of people arguing over why Destiny 2 is the number three game instead of number 2 or whatever but god is GOTY exhausting for me.


#5

Strong response gets 4 out of a possible 5 Brentum Bonuses


#6

Until you get rid of that LUDICROUS half-Bonus system, I just can’t take it seriously.


#7

I guess my feeling is that rankings suck, but “lists of things I liked” are cool, and often can lead to discovering games I wasn’t familiar with, ala Giant Bomb’s year-end guest lists. But GOTY lists in general have a tendency to turn into lists of the same 4-5 things (which are typically AAA) that most people have already heard of, which is not that helpful.


#8

I am extremely happy when I see unranked lists (with the only point of contention being things listed as making it and maybe a few runners up that are clearly marked as just failing to reach that level but being worthy of discussion). Another must of this: not having the number be fixed. Some years, maybe only 5 games make it, other years might swell to 12 - manageable numbers to write a short thing about but also enough space to really note some exceptional things.

Currently finishing off my list for this year and have continued with a nice flourish I enjoy: making up fake awards for each game on the list. That is an extremely good way of introducing each pick.


#9

I agree with this but I think GOTY stuff in general is just an opportunity to reflect and open up meaningful discussion on the merits of games people are passionate about. Lists are meaningless and I don’t like them, but I think the debates and chats that surround them at different sites are often more nuanced and in-depth than a lot of the coverage from earlier in the year. I’m cool with the whole thing.


#10

end of the year is good for ez bake oven content but the real question is why can’t we have ez bake oven content all year round


#11

I don’t like to play new games for the most part which means GOTY season is the bane of my life. I didn’t get to Nier in time so it got completely spoiled for me because of how twitter went. Near everyone on my twitter feed is really sad and stressed in december trying to “fit in” too many games. It’s not a healthy way to approach video games or anything and I think it ends up harming the space.

Not to say that all end of year conversations are bad across the board, far from it, but I do think it’s one of the ways that games spaces have internalised capitalist values in some nakedly harmful ways and it’d be good to examine it. We don’t exist to produce content, we don’t exist to always look forward, and I wish Newness wasn’t such a driving factor in video games.


#12

The wildest thing to me is the super strict stuff, where like… the GB crew will argue to the death, for hours about which 2 of 3 super similarly fitting titles will end up making it onto runner up spots, instead of just being like “Hey, there’s three super closer runner ups here.”

I do generally like people sharing what they enjoyed though. It’s something a ton of people tend to just… not do? Gives solid recognition and a nod to people who do/make good stuff.

It’s also nice getting some lists of stuff to check out in the future, as someone who rarely plays current games, and is generally a generation or so behind in what I’m buying/playing.


#13

this more or less perfectly captures what i am too tired and not smart enough to articulate right now, thank you


#14

thank you to you, hideo kojima. i loved your earlier funnier work


#15

i’ve never made a joke in my life


#16

Truly, we regret our words and deeds.


#17

End-of-year reflection is a good idea, and I think it could be better if it wasn’t so focused on producing a list. “Is this game better than that one” is just not interesting to me compared to, like, “let me tell you about some times video games made me tear up this year,” or “here’s some new design ideas I thought were really cool.” The topic drives the discussion, and plain best-list-making just leads to people fighting to get their favorites a spot.


#18

i really like mark brown’s now annual tradition of "here’s a mechanic from a game this year that i thought was new and unique"


#19

I enjoy end of the year reflections, taking stock of what happened and then having a discussion about them can be very beneficial to thinking about games (etc.) in a more nuanced way. I also think many publications choose to do this because it drives traffic and people seems to like it. Some websites do a great job of round ups with many differing opinions and non seem conclusive, while others don’t.


#20

I feel like a lot of GOTY discussion loses nuance, personally. Because it nearly always devolves into trying to rank completely different experiences as better than each other and it’s just. Nonsense. There’s no way to decide whether something like “What remains of Edith Finch” is better than like, “Destiny 2” or “Breath of the Wild” all of those games are trying to do COMPLETELY different things and trying to numerically rank them produces nothing meaningful imo.