The Game Awards 2016 – Post Mortem

Now, I don’t want to start my first editorial by bashing the biggest (or the only) gaming award show there is, but it’s hard not to see this show as an offshoot of the Oscars. Never mind that the majority of the categories are voted on by a Jury, when letting consumers vote really wouldn’t be that complicated, the nominees can only be described as the games that scream from GameStop TV, as you walk into the store. Now, as an employee I often forgot the television was there; when you have a line of customers in front of you and are searching for a game, some more esoteric than others, the TV just fades into the background – if you even hear it at all. But the people that walk into the store notice it when they stand in line that is the one thing that can keep them company, besides the tiny screen in their pockets. And those publishers pay for their video games to show up on that screen, for the GameStop TV hosts to glow over them and contemplate how they’re going to be the biggest games of the year.

This year’s award show was GameStop TV, less flashy, and wish jokes and skits a lot less polished; instead of playing in every GameStop in the country, it was watched on Twitch by 93k viewers and an untold amount across all other platforms. It provided the gaming world with, not only a look at gaming’s future but the biggest budget and AAA titles released this year. There were genuine moments, giving Hideo Kojima an award he missed out on last year, the winners showing appreciation for voter’s consideration, but the presenters did not take the time to share even partially, why a game deserved to win what it did. Writers and bloggers like me are forced to speculate on why a game won its particular category. I think speculation and rumors exist enough in this industry as it is. Gaming is multi-million dollar industry, one us gamers pour hours of our lives into, and we can respect any game studio for a good game they create. But gamers are a passionate bunch, and although in the big scheme of things, who won may not be important in our daily lives, some of us feel we have the right to know why one game won over the one we put 200+ hours into this year.

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