The Game Awards finally happened recently and we got a taste of what direction Geoff Keighly and crew are taking the show in years to come. If you haven’t already seen the winners and news to come out of the award show, you can find all the big news here on The Koalition.
Different aspects of the show itself were a combination of good and bad, but what we ultimately got was an awards show that did what the VGAs and VGX failed to do in previous years, and that was give us an event that made everyone feel proud about loving video games. Despite what you may feel about the winners and losers, or the world premieres and musical numbers, this year’s show was one giant improvement over all the shameful shows that had come before.
One big evolution that The Game Awards 2014 had was the heavier emphasis on indie game titles. In the past, much of the spotlight would focus on triple A games with blockbuster appeal. There was very little focus on indie game titles and studios, mostly to cater to audiences who know very little about games beyond big budgeted titles. By giving indie studios and their games more screen time on stage it conveys a better message that great gaming is not limited to big studios and massive marketing.
With many of the games shown at The Game Awards being developed by independent studios, it is a nice change of pace to allow them to get attention they would have otherwise never received during past award shows. Their heavy presence in the show helps solidify gaming in the public eye as more of an evolving art form rather than a yearly blockbuster.
The best part of this year’s award show was the emphasis on celebrating gaming history and iconic figures in the industry. The biggest proponent of this was the stronger presence of Nintendo at the show compared to past years.
But beyond their world premieres and show displays, many of the award presentations and fun moments of the show incorporated important industry developers and even popular gaming personalities. This was something that was completely absent from the VGAs and VGX, which was instead substituted with celebrities and personalities completely unrelated to gaming. Beforehand, we’ve had to settle for a terrible skit that was loosely related to a popular release that year, which we all universally hated. This was not the case with this year’s show.
The Game Awards 2014 instead took a different approach and gave us moments that celebrated gaming with reverence. The one moment that could summarize The Game Awards of 2014 in a nutshell would be the performance of Imagine Dragons and Zelda series composer Koji Kondo. It was a blend of classic aspects of video games with a modern twist, all of which gave a proper nod to how far gaming has come over the years. Nothing like this was ever done in previous showings of the VGAs and VGX, as most of the emphasis was on current releases and the most popular titles of the time.
A similar thing was done with the award presentation to Sierra Ken and Roberta Williams, the creators of King’s Quest. Gone was the mockery of gaming history and overuse of gaming tropes, and in was the reinforcement of video games as a growing medium and all welcoming pastime.
This gaming award show was about much more than presenting world premieres and giving out statues of excellence. It became more about changing a perception of what it means to have an award show focused on the video games industry. It was a great evolution in what could very well turn into an event to look forward to in the same vein as E3 or GDC down the line.
It’s easy to point out that the show itself was too long, not all the winners were given stage time, teaser trailers didn’t have enough gameplay, or there was a bit too much talking. These are all true arguments to make and prove that The Game Awards are far from being the perfect video game awards show. But this year’s show was full of many answers to the gripes we have all had since the VGAs and VGX, and was a giant leap in the direction we have wanted those shows to go. Like it or not for what it is, The Game Awards is something that we needed to give us a better outlook for having an awards show for video games. And it did a fine job of doing so.
Did you think that The Game Awards 2014 were a great show? Had a few issues with the show and some suggestions on making it better? Do we really need an award show for video games? Leave us a comment below in the comments section and let us know how you feel!