198: And the Winner Is ...

And the Winner Is ...

Unlike those of film and television, videogame awards shows can seem pretty out of touch with both the industry they recognize and the consumers they represent. But that may all be about to change. Alice Bonasio speaks with three winners of 2009 Video Game BAFTAs about what their awards mean to them and to the industry at large.

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It would be interesting to see if in future award categories differ between games that are either amazing at gameplay or story and games that do both well. A game that features spectacular gameplay yet lacks story can still be a fantastic game and the same is true in reverse.

Next we'll be seeing a section for "Best voice-acting performance". That could certinally help with some games in terms of encouraging them to take it seriously.

Isn't one hurdle to printing these nominations and awards on the game box that the game's box is already finalized and the game on shelves by the time the awards roll around and few if any games ever get a second issuing (unlike movies which tend to pop up in new form severy few years)? Other media have their successes stay around forever in various editions but games tend to disappear into oblivion (unless they're made by Nintendo, then you'll get more rereleases than you can handle).

gameboxes can be updated and they frequently have text stating they won some game of the year award from some magazine. i wasnt a fan of spore but little big planet made me laugh when i played the demo.

I can't believe that nobody acknowledged the prestige and glitz associated with being a Spike TV VGA winner.

I hope that this trend of aspiration in gaming towards film doesn't continue. There are too many fundamental differences between the mediums for a blind "progression" to be "successful", even if we wanted it to be so.

As Labyrinth touched on, the issue of story in games in an interesting one, but it's by no means integral to all games. When I read what Rahimi said it shocked me. If for nothing else than the fact that some games already do tell, and have told, 'stories that are "as compelling, insightful and influential as any film, TV show, painting, album or novel"'.

And on top of this, going back to the idea of games and film being fundamentally different, reviewing and critiquing games can never be created or received in the same way as the equivalent in film; the base reason for this existing in the person's active role in gaming, and the person's passive role in film watching. While people may pick up on different things in a film, they are ultimately given the same object to analyse and appreciate, after two hours they're done. With a game, people may play it for different periods of time - for hours, days, months (both non-stop and as part of a person's life) - they may complete it or be distracted by other aspects of the game; each experience is different, and more because of the person than the game.

I'm pretty sure that I had more to say, but hunger has overtaken it and my food is now cooked. I hope that my point is relatively clear.

I just hope the awards circuit comes out of this with its own Oscars & Cannes eg. Ceremonies for stroking the egos of the (West & Japan) establishment & awards for seeking out the genuine shining stars in the game world (or for games as art fags to fap over whichever works for u :D )

"Rahimi believes that "the next big change in goalposts will come when most of the games nominated will not only need to have great gameplay, but will also move people emotionally in the same way that great films, novels and paintings do now." Only after games are able to tell stories that are "as compelling, insightful and influential as any film, TV show, painting, album or novel," he says, will these awards have the prestige of those of other media."

BioShock and Fallout 3 have an emotional impact on me, sorry if you missed these games Rahimi.

We do have A list celebrities for video games, it's just that they tend to be the characters themselves.

randommaster:
We do have A list celebrities for video games, it's just that they tend to be the characters themselves.

The people who do the voice-acting for those characters or the lead designers of a game are really the ones who deserve to be spotlighted, though. Devs just need to get themselves out more - right now, there are only a few notable "stars" in the games industry (Dave Jaffe, Hideo Kojima, Pete Molyneux, etc.), and we need them to become more visible.

With that kind of visibility, people can put a face to a game (the way someone looks at a Spielberg production and expects one type of film, and looks at a Micheal Bay film and expects something completely different) and I think that could inspire some more diversity, some more style (something sorely lacking in modern games).

And I also agree that there are much too many game awards shows. Keep it simple - the BAFTAs and GDC are really all that we need, I think.

Xelanath:
I hope that this trend of aspiration in gaming towards film doesn't continue. There are too many fundamental differences between the mediums for a blind "progression" to be "successful", even if we wanted it to be so.

As Labyrinth touched on, the issue of story in games in an interesting one, but it's by no means integral to all games. When I read what Rahimi said it shocked me. If for nothing else than the fact that some games already do tell, and have told, 'stories that are "as compelling, insightful and influential as any film, TV show, painting, album or novel"'.

And on top of this, going back to the idea of games and film being fundamentally different, reviewing and critiquing games can never be created or received in the same way as the equivalent in film; the base reason for this existing in the person's active role in gaming, and the person's passive role in film watching. While people may pick up on different things in a film, they are ultimately given the same object to analyse and appreciate, after two hours they're done. With a game, people may play it for different periods of time - for hours, days, months (both non-stop and as part of a person's life) - they may complete it or be distracted by other aspects of the game; each experience is different, and more because of the person than the game.

I'm pretty sure that I had more to say, but hunger has overtaken it and my food is now cooked. I hope that my point is relatively clear.

Clear as a bell, you said everything I wanted to say in fact... now enjoy your meal. :D

Zenfar:
"Rahimi believes that "the next big change in goalposts will come when most of the games nominated will not only need to have great gameplay, but will also move people emotionally in the same way that great films, novels and paintings do now." Only after games are able to tell stories that are "as compelling, insightful and influential as any film, TV show, painting, album or novel," he says, will these awards have the prestige of those of other media."

BioShock and Fallout 3 have an emotional impact on me, sorry if you missed these games Rahimi.

Haha, right. Bioshock actually won an award from the AFI (Australia Film Institute) last year (or was it the year before?). So his head is up his bum, fo sho. Many games have stories much better than many movies etc. But Xelanath above is right, to compare is odious, a great story is not necessarily the point.

BAFTA seems to have an odd assortment of categories. What we have is:
Best Game, Action & Adventure, Casual, Gameplay, Handheld, Multiplayer, Score (Music).

A bit odd, why do we need a special category for Action and Adventure? Are RTSers being snubbed? Why handheld? Shouldn't we have Best Console/PC/Handheld/Browser to be complete? Why a vague "Artistic Achievement" when we could have separate Graphics/Sound/Creative Design categories. And since so many games are of the railroad plot type, why not Best Story?

So, I propose:
Best Game, Best Gameplay, Best Multiplayer
Genre: Action Adventure, RPG, FPS, Puzzle, Strategy, MMORPG, Sport, Casual
Platform: Console, PC, Handheld, Browser
Artistic: Graphics, Music, Creative Design, Setting
Plot: Story, Best Character

What do you think?

After reading this article, I must say that although i understand the idea behind giving video game award cerimonies high press coverage and for the most part agree with this article, if the BAFTA awards were highly publicized and telivised like the Emmys are, I wouldn't tune in to watch them. While The games industry is the type of industry that lets crewativity flow, it also is the type of industry that attracts the type of people who think they arre better then anyone else because they have the privelege of getting to play god with a high-budget project, and these awards, if they were highly publicized, would serve to baloon up their already massive ego's to Biblical proportions, with Jonathin Blow being a prime example of this snobbiness.

The other problemm I forsee is that the ceremony, like the Oscars and the Emmys, would get stale very fast. The worst case scenario would be that it becomes a get together for snobby hoo-hahs who don't like each other with champaigne poured into every glass, like the Emmys and the Oscars seem to be ever year. Oh well, I guess that if that's the price for worldwde acceptance as an important and attractive media, then so be it.

This, and other articles that I've read here and elsewhere, are continually promoting the acceptance of games as a legitimate form of art as a high priority... why is this? As this article points out, video games already generate more gross revenue than films, TV or music. Why do so many developers, publishers and gamers feel the need to legitimize our hobby when it's already achieved mainstream acceptance?

Haven't we learned by now that games are their own unique medium, and striving to be more like other forms of media can only be detrimental? So many of us trash-talk Hollywood for the constant stream of dreck it produces, so why would we want our games (or their awards) to be more like them?

The argument that games are on the cusp of coming into their own, finally maturing and gaining the acceptance that other forms of media enjoy is a theme I see in many articles lately. I propose that the games industry has already achieved this, and that there is absolutely no need to attempt to emulate other forms of media in terms of recognizing greatness.

There are many who don't take Oscars, Emmys or Grammys seriously, myself included, so why on earth would we need an equivalent for games? Every major games publication already produces "Game(s) of the Year" awards in numerous categories, and many times the award winners advertise this on the box. That's sufficient recognition for me, and I'd wager it's sufficient for most gamers.

Let's stop trying to make games into something that they're not, and let them grow organically into what they need to be....

The more back it is by the industry the more irrelevant it becomes.... its like yiffing only for industry types and filmed for the public to laugh at....

 

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