Thoughts On The Game Awards 2017

Last night marked the fourth annual Game Awards. You can find all the winners here.

I feel like each year the awards show edges closer and closer to the image Geoff Keighley seems to be aiming to project (including the addition of the Game Awards Orchestra), however I wish a few changes could be implemented to carry the weight of the achievements being presented.

I feel like a sense of continuity is important and not always present. Some awards aren’t even presented onstage, and thus aren’t given the same weight at the stage-presented awards. It feels far too casual to have a slew of awards and winners announced from a platform in the audience. I sincerely wish a podium was present on the sage and that each award was given its due. I think it would also behoove them to show a montage of clips from each game nominated as they read out the nominees. They did this for some awards and not others, and I wish there had been that continuity.

I love the addition of the official Game Awards Orchestra, however they were used relatively sparingly. I would have loved to have seen gameplay from they games they were playing selections of as they were playing. Again, they did that at some points, but not others.

I also feel they could benefit from rehearsals and instructions to the nominees. Several times, it looked like the winners had no idea where to go once they were onstage, and sometimes people went back to the audience, sometimes offstage. This seems like a simple fix. Just let your presenters know the protocol, then have them escort the winners the appropriate direction.

I am so grateful The Game Awards exist, I just wish they could find a cohesive way to present this event. Presentation matters. I get the impression Geoff Keighley wants these to be taken seriously, and for that to happen, there needs to be a more refined presentation. All that being said, I believe this year’s show was by far the best, so improvements are being made.

The game of the year winner was what I expected (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), but there were several awards I was ever so pleased by.

Carol Shaw receiving the industry icon award was a wonderful moment. I felt the retrospective on her was educational and I thought she was awfully sweet in her acceptance speech.

I love that there is now a category for best student game. I think this opens up so much.

The award I’m often most interested in is the games for impact award. I’m entirely pleased Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice won. For many reasons. Not only did the game address mental illness, but it was self-published and created as a more compact AAA experience. I feel like this opens the door for so many developers who want to create a AAA experience, but don’t have the staff or resources to do so on the same scale as the bigger publishers.

Another category I’m always keen on is the best performance award. This year, the award went to Melina Juergens of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. As she accepted the award, she explained that she wasn’t an actress but was a video editor for the game studio responsible for the game. I think it’s wonderful that for her first foray into acting, she brought such a complex character to life.

This has been one of the most amazing years for games and gaming in memory, and it can’t have been easy to choose the winners in any category.

What moments of the show stood out for you?

Also, what will you be playing this weekend?

I will be heading to PSX tonight, so while I won’t be gaming, I will definitely be surrounded by news of it! Cheers, friends, and please be safe out there.

6 replies »

    • I am so eager to play the game, even though I know it is heavy. I was blown away when I found out Hellblade was her first acting job and that she wasn’t even an actress prior.

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  1. I’m happy to see that Hellblade won. It was my favorite game of the year. I don’t think I have been as emotionally drained after playing a game but hellblade was that rough. I would dread thinking of playing on days I had time to play. But I don’t think a game I played was as personally rewarding as that game. I loved that game.

    I am also happy that Melina Juergans won for her performance. She did a phenomenal job and really drew me to her character and her struggle. Words can not explain how much her performance affected me.

    Changing to the business end of games, I would recommend Ninja Theory’s dev diaries that Juergans made for the game. They offer great in sight to the development process and business model they were going with as a indie developer making a medium sized AAA game.

    Sorry if I have been gushing about this game. But it impacted me on a personal level more than I thought games ever could

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t wait to play it for myself. Every single person I know who has played it has said it’s among the heaviest games they have played, but also among the most moving.

      I will definitely look into those! That sounds fascinating. I did see Game Informer’s coverage of the game prior to release, but I never saw the dev diaries.

      No need to apologize! You NEVER need to apologize for talking about something here! These are the kinds of things I love to talk about and read about and discuss. You are bringing one of my dreams of writing to life! To get people engaged in discussions about gaming! So thank you!

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