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(The Game Awards) Video Games' Wannabe Oscars - Brihard Video

Africa's Toto

Jan 7, 2018
Video by Brihard

Video got me thinking, so I tried to lay out a summary of his thoughts.

Basically, he argues that The Game Awards isn't a celebration of games, but "a popularity contest that aims to legitimize games towards not only the more casual fans of games, but more importantly, those that don't engage with them"

According to him, Oscarbait for games is high-budget, realistic-looking games with cinematic narrative focus, meanwhile the breadth of games is much larger and the nominations and awards should represent that.

His points are:

- The Game awards uses big-name celebrities who have zero relevancy towards the medium, while ignoring celebrities who are known "celebrity gamers" like Terry Crews, who have been included in games and streamed their own play sessions.

- The award categories are generalized;
he points out that TLOUII was placed under action/adventure while Half Life: Alyx and Doom Eternal were simply under 'action', with all three being linear shooters in his opinion.
Meanwhile other games in the adventure category had a greater focus on adventure than TLOUII (Ghost of Tsushima, Ori and the will of the wisps, AC: Valhalla, Jedi Fallen order).
Best shooter could be its own award, reducing the cluster in the action category.

- Timeframe of release is an inconsistent factor of the award category nominations, since
Best ongoing (since release) is its own category tracking games released pre-2020, yet games like Among Us and MK11 won best multiplayer and fighting when they were released pre-2020 yet weren't nominated for best ongoing.
If the definitions aren't fixed, why can't remasters of old games qualify for any of these categories?

- "Why are best VR and best mobile single awards when they aren't genres but platforms with ranges of game types and genres within them?"

- "Why do the awards clump best sim/strategy together if the nominations end up being 1 sim and 4 strategy titles?"

- Specific Genre and Technical awards are sidelined and presented in a few seconds with no fanfare or special host, giving smaller games less exposure
Best Music/score is one of these presented rapid-fire in the pre-show despite game music performances having their own section in the main show

- Actual developers and producers are not involved in the judging process. This prevents more nuanced categories like combat design and 3d animation being represented.

- The game awards are less focused than other awards shows, as those shows don't have reveals or trailers as appeals; The game awards is turning itself into a second E3 which distracts from developer accomplishments; Awards need more time and reverence.

Overall, he argues that the lack of consistency in categories and the other points mentioned create a narrow view of the industry, devaluing the games and awards presented and painting a weird image of the industry for those involved in making and playing these games.

He also points out that this funnels a celebration of all games into a celebration of games that are trying to be movies (
Cinematic, narrative focused games are pushed to the forefront of the award show, sidelining indie games and more gameplay focused titles in an attempt to legitimize gaming

Towards the end he brings up some options for improving the show and showcasing games.
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Dec 4, 2018
I only watch it for the reveals, couldn't give half a shit what games these """""""critics"""""" and """""""""""""journalists""""""""""""" deem to be reward worthy.
Nov 13, 2016
It's hard to disagree with him, but video games are much more diverse and multi-layered than for example movies, making it a more difficult medium to make an award show for. It's understandable that'd we be stuck with TGA in its current form. Unfortunately I think the show does more harm than good. Shows like TGA make games as an industry seem childish, chasing other media, begging for validation.


Apr 12, 2020
Interesting points. These game awards always put me off but i couldn't quite put my finger around the main problem, but put into words like this made it easier to see it.

Its true, gaming media in general always wanted validation, for games to be "taken seriously" and be on the same patamar of art as movies. However, most of the people involved in these events don't even seem to understand games, and in a blind pursuit towards hollywood status ends up putting focus on the games most similar to movies. This does make the industry look childish.
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Jan 14, 2021
Agree 1,000%

If this was a real show it would highlight the environmental artist and costume artist instead of voice actors, games for change and the infamous no talent streamer awards. Its about the devs. not the anyone could do that jobs.
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Ozzy Onya A2Z

Apr 16, 2012
Melbourne, Australia
I just enjoy the show/presenters/performances etc, real time forum reactions, reveals and don't give a shit about the awards themselves.

You can't top...

Fuck the Oscars!

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Africa's Toto

Jan 7, 2018
I think his bias towards gameplay-focused experiences and away from cinematic narrative experiences shows, but he makes some good points.

The video kinda explains the very disinterested feeling I remember people had from a particular point in the show till the end.

I'm pretty sure Sekiro winning GOTY goes against some of the stuff he talks about here. Although that was 2 years ago.


Oct 4, 2011
It was apparent to me from the very first VGA that it was a ploy for marketing dollars. It was not the celebration and recognition of developers that it was touted to be. After the second VGA, I just gave up and don't care. I'll just watch the new trailers and shit on YT afterwards. Got better shit to do.
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