The Game Awards 2017

I haven’t really blogged about video games as much as I have wanted but The Game Awards did stream last night and I have some thoughts on it so why not write a post.

I have a very conflicted relationship with The Game Awards in general. On one hand, I strongly believe that video games deserve an annual awards show. On the other hand, The Game Awards is so blatantly financed by various sponsors in and out of the video game industry that it frankly lacks the gravitas that, say the Oscars or Emmys have.

All the big reveals are exciting but I can’t help but think The Game Awards is too fixated on them to retain audience’s attention. It’s evident that they take up way too much time than they should when Geoff Keighley has to mentions some of the wins in a handful of sentences. At the same time though, those reveals do get you pumped. In the case of this year’s edition, Hideo Kojima’s latest trailer for Death Stranding look fascinating and Bayonetta 3 was also an exciting announcement for me. I can’t deny that it’s a big draw and it does work but half the time, it does make me forget that The Game Awards is an award ceremony. 

To be fair, a lot of the wins this year were actually very well-deserved. As blatantly commercial as The Game Awards is, it does feel more celebratory of video games as a medium and an art form with each new rendition. Aside from a few duds, this is perhaps one of the most hyper-competitive pool of nominations the ceremony has ever had. Frankly, it’s hard to fully disagree with Nier: Automata winning Best Score/Music or Cuphead earning Best Art Direction. I certainly think The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild deserves the Game of the Year (I love that game to death) but plenty of other gamers could certainly make compelling arguments with the other nominees in that category. I also really admire the Industry Icon award that was given to Carol Shaw, one of the first female game designers in history. That’s certainly something to be celebrated.

Other than that….there was no Schick Hydrobot this year so that’s something. I kind of wish it returned if only to keep the meme alive but frankly the Game Awards is better off with out. There was also that bizarre but undeniably passionate tangent from Josef Fares from Hazelight. I don’t know if EA really wants him defending their godawful track record this year and I’m not sure if I truly believe his claim that he was severely jetlagged. Geoff Keighley even looked thrown off by Fares. Still, it was a hilarious couple of minutes, one that I’m sure the internet will revel in while it’s still fresh in their memories.

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