Video Games Weekly: Video Game Awards
Did you know the gaming community has the equivalent of the Academy Awards for video games? They do, and it’s called The Game Awards! This year is the second annual Game Awards, so the show is very new.
This year, the show was free to stream on December 5th on various platforms (it was not on live TV). Spectators could watch the show for free on YouTube, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Wii U, Steam, and Twitch, just to name a few. This show is free to watch, but that means you have to have an internet connection. Now that show is over, you can watch the entire event on YouTube here: http://thegameawards.com/watch-live/ Just to warn you, the show is two and a half hours long…but you can easily summarize it by looking at the winners.
Categories: There are a total of 14 categories that are decided with a jury and 6 categories that are decided by fans. As you can see, there are many categories to recognize subgenres in gaming, like roleplaying, shooter, action/adventure, etc. These are the main genres that I talked about in an earlier post.
I really like these categories because there are many many video games released in one calendar year that excel in their respective subgenre and deserve recognition. My favorite category is “Games for Impact”. This category is for games that have brought light to a social issue, whether it’s covering taboo subjects in gaming or portraying diverse characters/plot. This year’s winner was Life is Strange, which is no surprise to me. Perhaps I’ll review it later in 2016!
Like the Academy Awards, the most coveted title is “Game of the Year”. I want to point out that you’ll hear many different games say they won “Game of the Year”. This is because “Game of the Year” is not awarded solely from The Game Awards. “Game of the Year” is something that is awarded by many different gaming publications, such as Game Informer, Time Magazine, and many many others. If The Game Awards becomes highly recognized like the Academy Awards in like five years, I can see how the title might become monopolized and rewarded to only one game per calendar year. Until then, you’ll see different games bragging about their coveted “Game of the Year” title, and they’re not lying! If a game has won any “Game of the Year” title, they’ll usually manufacture a “Game of the Year” version of the game, which usually includes bonus features. They’re usually sold at the same price you would buy the base game, so try to buy “Game of the Year” editions if you can.
Jury: *sigh*. In my opinion, this is the Achilles’ heel of The Game Awards. Like the Academy Awards, The Game Awards jury is not diverse. I will give credit where credit is due, at least The Game Awards tried to select jurors on a national scale, and 10 counties were represented. That being said, only two out of the thirty jurors were women.
UGH. We already know there are female gamers, female game developers, female game critics out there, so WHY IS THIS STILL A THING? The answer: the gaming community is still trying to be a boy’s club. And that is deplorable. MTV wrote a great article about women and The Game Awards 2015, which you can read here: http://www.mtv.com/news/2615523/game-awards-controversy-female-gamers-and-critics/
Collection Development: The Game Awards is a great tool for collection development. I’d recommend taking a look at the nomination lists and making sure your collection has as many titles as possible, because I’m sure the gamers in your community will be looking for them. If you have a small collection development fund, you can decide to buy the winners, or you can wait to see if there will be “Game of the Year” editions released in 2016. I should also mention that you may not be able to buy all of the titles, because not all of them are console games (especially independent games).
Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!
By: Alanna Graves
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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