So at time of writing, the winners of the videogame BAFTAs have just been announced. If you're unfamiliar with them, they're the British Academy of Film and Television Awards, the UK's equivalent to the Oscars, except recognizing other media, including videogames - and the day the Academy Awards start recognizing games will be a victory for us all. They're still just called the Film and Television Awards, though, I guess BAFTGA doesn't have the same ring. Maybe you could call them the BAFTIMAs, for Film, Television and Interactive Media, but that may sound too much like a name for the one comically fat prostitute in a fantasy novel whorehouse.
It is good for games to get mainstream recognition, but as always happens when an industry gets together for congratulatory back-slaps and reach-arounds, there's a fair bit of bullshit going on. Three of my own personal top 5, Just Cause 2, Dead Rising 2 and Amnesia: The Dark Descent didn't score a single nomination, but then I was basing my decisions around the amount of fun I had, which may be outside the BAFTA remit. So let's take a selected look at the categories, nominees and winners so I can gloat over how wrong everyone else in the world is.
Winner: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Nominees: Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bioshock 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, God of War 3, Halo: Reach
Ha ha, sorry, I just wanted to mention that the OpenOffice predictive text function thought I was typing "reach-arounds" at the end there. Anyway, the biggest dollop of bullshit here is Bioshock 2, which you may remember was my 5th worst game of 2010 for being a big puff of air circling the interior of a hoover bag. As for the winner, I stand by my position that it's unfair to award AC:B or Mario Galaxy 2 because they were expansion pack sequels built off the engine of the previous game, but having said that, I do agree that Assassin's Creed has the best "action" of the nominees, in that it's stealthy, varied, thoughtful and largely untainted by button mashing or cover-based shooting. Hate to admit it, mind, since if Just Cause 2 should have gotten into any category it was definitely this one.
Winner: God of War 3
Nominees: AC:Brotherhood, CoD: Black Ops, Heavy Rain, LIMBO, Mass Effect 2
Props for the LIMBO nom, but this is a strangely worded award. If it just means visuals, then fair enough, God of War 3 was pretty striking in that regard, shame the massive splurgey visuals were as hollow and vacant as the eyes of a child prostitute. But if it's about artistry as a concept, I'd have gone for either LIMBO or Heavy Rain for somewhat justifying the concept of a straight-up "interactive story," but there we go.
Winner: Heavy Rain
Nominees: Alan Wake, Bioshock 2, CoD: BlOps, Fallout: New Vegas, Mass Effect 2
Having bigged up Heavy Rain for its artistic achievement one sentence ago, I will now say that awarding it best story is making me want to blow raspberries until my cheeks flap right off my face. Yes, it was a virtually unprecedented blend of gameplay and story, but said story was an absolute mess of plot holes, incomprehensible motivations and for all its bluff, most of the decisions you made didn't matter shit until about half an hour before the end. I'd have given this rather hesitantly to Alan Wake, but then again, there weren't so many titties in that.