New York Times Grants Insulting Game Awards


The New York Times injected its industry opinions into it’s 2007 “Game of the Year” awards.

New York Times writer Seth Schiesel is acknowledging some the gaming industry’s greatest titles released during 2007 in his new “High Scores for the Games of 2007” feature. However, in doing so, Schiesel has taken the liberty to slip in a few unsavory, albeit honest, comments about the industry.

Below are some of the awards (some of which are questionably insulting in and of themselves) and quotes highlighting Schiesel’s backhanded compliments.

Most Difficult Delivery: The New E3– “This year the industry radically downsized the event, known as E3, moving it from the cavernous Los Angeles Convention Center to a constellation of ritzy beach-side hotels. It was a great idea but a logistical nightmare because the demonstrations were spread out among at least a dozen hotels, bars, restaurants and even an airplane hangar. The solution for next year can be summed up in one word (or is that two?): Las Vegas.”

Best Unambitious Representations of the State of the Art: Halo 3 and Super Mario Galaxy– “Halo 3 is a polished gem of a science-fiction shooter. But that is all it is. It has suitably spruced-up graphics, and some of its new online features are welcome additions. But it is a refinement of the time-tested Halo formula rather than a daring attempt to provide a new sort of experience. That’s enough to generate hundreds of millions of dollars, but it is not enough to inspire.

“Super Mario Galaxy presents similar questions. Galaxy is finely tuned and a worthy member of the Mario pantheon. Almost anyone can have fun playing it. But as with Halo, Galaxy is at some level mostly a reinvention of classic play modes. In Halo that means battling killer aliens. In Mario that means jumping and dodging and collecting stars to free the princess who, as she has been for more than 20 years, is locked away in a cartoon-style castle. That’s fun as far as it goes.”

Best Single-handed Rescue of a Major Game System: Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction– “Sad to say, many of this year’s big-budget, exclusive games for Sony’s PlayStation 3, including Heavenly Sword and Lair, were mediocre at best. The action-adventure game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune seems strong, but the shining star for the PS3 this year was the new Ratchet & Clank, made by Insomniac Games.”

Game of the Year: Mass Effect– “Story and characters aren’t everything, but these components of narrative have always been the weakest part of video games. For decades games have made up in frenetic action what they have lacked in dramatic depth. And that is a big reason why games have traditionally appealed most strongly to the demographic group that most enjoys frenetic action: young men. In its choice of milieu – science fiction – Mass Effect is not ambitious at all.”

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