It’s December! Around this time, The Game Awards makes its presence known, with World Premieres, sponsored content and of course, games winning awards. Started by Geoff Keighley in 2014, it’s now entering its eighth year of trying to be something that’s the video game equivalent of the Academy Awards. Whether or not he’s succeeded is up for debate.
Way back in 2012, Year One of this blog, I had made a post about the “highlights” of Spike TV and their Video Game Awards, the predecessor to The Game Awards. It was rather crude, much like a fair share of my first few years of this blog, of which I eventually went back and gave it an overhaul in 2019. You can see the updated version here. I figured since I’m still going at this “writing about games” thing 10 years later, I figure it’s time to do part two of this series, covering the current version of the Video Game Awards.
The Game Awards are something I really hold no love to. It’s the most crass, commercial thing of the entire video game industry, replacing E3 as the most visible but problematic thing about the toxic game industry. Thus much like the first post, I’m going to point out some of the more awkward and stupid moments of this “revered” Game Awards.
But first, some ground rules: We’ll go year by year, covering what I feel are the most notable parts. We won’t talk much about what games actually won, as awards like these are arbitrary, and having a conversation about what should’ve won is like people who constantly debate about game review scores: pointless. We’ll only cover things that I think are worth being a lowlight, which might be missing out on some things that others might consider “cringe” and should be covered here. (Which means you won’t see me post something like SonicFox winning Best Esports Player in 2018 on this list, because he deserved that. Sorry.)
That being said, let’s get started.
The Repeat Offenders
Before we get into the inaugural year of The Game Awards, I’m gonna start by covering certain events that happen repeatedly in several years, to speed things along.
From 2016 onward, each Game Awards starts with a 30 minute pre-show. During this process, they would alternate between interviews about the show, and showing off World Premieres and giving out some awards before the actual broadcast. In essence, the pre-show is like the regular show but at a faster clip. The hosts changed from year to year, but the hosts were Kyle Bosman (2016-2017), Geoff Keighley (2016-2018), and Sydnee Goodman (2019-present).
What awards get mentioned during the pre-show vary from year to year, but usually it’s the ones that wouldn’t have people come up to accept the award, or in the case from 2019 onward, the Esports centric awards. Shoving these off to a pre-show just to have more World Premieres always felt scummy to me, but apparently most contemporary award shows don’t cover all the awards in a single broadcast either, so… I don’t know. At least in some categories, they do have people come up to accept the award, so they at least get some time in the spotlight, just not on center stage.
In addition, this rapid-fire announcement of awards continues well into the regular broadcast. In a lot of cases, Geoff will appear on stage and go through up to 3-4 categories at a time, most of the time being the ones that are voted on by viewers. Again, nothing really wrong with this per se, but it just makes the actual awards just be a prop so we can get more World Premieres in.
Finally, returning from the Spike Video Game Awards, there are promotional ads everywhere. These change from year to year, but they’re often the go-to digital services of today: Discord, Grubhub, TikTok, Spotify, the works. Sponsors for upcoming video game films and video game-adjacent products are prominent. Facebook Gaming sponsors a taped segment each year covering gamers from around the world. And in some years, there’s ads for services that no longer exist, like go90 being incredibly prominent during 2015’s broadcast, or 2019, which had several ads for Google Stadia, a service shutting down in early 2023.
Much like its predecessor, there’s still award categories sponsored by brands like Samsung, Gillette and Subway. While there’s no “Most Addictive Game fueled by Mountain Dew” category anymore, it makes the award show feel a bit hollow to have brands sponsor specific awards.
The debut year of The Game Awards was an… interesting affair. Since Geoff and the show’s production team were transitioning from broadcast television to internet streaming, there’s a fair share of technical problems that happen throughout the broadcast. Microphones don’t work, awkward camera cuts, the works.
One of those technical problems seems to be this secondary camera angle that they constantly cut to when not on center stage, where Geoff will either be talking or doing an interview with someone like Marty O’Donnell. I assume this camera angle has a purpose: maybe to get a better angle of the people being interviewed. But instead it just looks like someone in the control booth accidentally switched to the wrong camera. It’s kinda funny to get rather unflattering angles of people like Reggie Fils-Aime.
One common award featured during these broadcasts is “Trending Gamer,” an award voted upon the community highlighting notable internet gaming personalities. The award would eventually get renamed to “Content Creator of the Year,” but with the same rules in place.
The inaugural year has Justine “iJustine” Ezarik and Stephen “Boogie2988” Williams presenting the award, of which the candidates were a bunch of relatively unknown Youtubers, Pewdiepie, and weirdly, Jeff Gerstmann. The winner ended up being John Bain, better known as “TotalBiscuit.”
I’m putting this here because TotalBiscuit was one of those personalities who was very much on the side of Gamergate, even though he tried to renounce it a few times. He was a fairly toxic personality when it came to gaming culture, complete with saying that his critics “didn’t actually play games,” and introducing The Framerate Police, a Steam Curators group that basically wagged fingers at games that dared to have locked framerates for their games, like the original Tomb Raider from 1997.
TotalBiscuit passed away in 2018 from cancer, a few years after this award. At the time TotalBiscuit had found out he was in the early stages of cancer, thus he accepts his award from his home.
For the record, I do not wish he died of cancer. I wish he was still alive so that he could get his head on straight and not try to pander to the angry gamers crowd like he had. At worst, he could’ve gone the Pewdiepie route and powwowed openly with right-wing fascists. At least then I could rightly ignore the guy. Though, in retrospect, The Game Awards did go with the more safer choice, because if Pewdiepie won, the award would’ve been a much worse look today. But honestly, I wish Jeff Gerstmann won. After all, Jeff Gerstmann is still a threat.
In a continuation of the slapdash production of the first Game Awards, we have miscommunication leading to an awkward presentation.
Best Mobile/Handheld Game was presented by comedians Matt Braunger and Ron Funches, two fairly amusing people — I always loved when Funches appeared on The Giant Beastcast. After doing a silly bit where they try to rip off Angry Birds, they announce the winner: Blizzard Entertainment for Hearthstone. Matt then says “Blizzard can’t be here tonight,” and they accept the award in their honor. Cut to Geoff, confused, where he mentions that someone from Blizzard is at the show, but continues with a conversation with Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime. Eventually Blizzard producer Eric Dodds appears to accept his award and give his speech at the little nook where Geoff is interviewing Reggie. It’s kinda hilarious that such a thing happened, and wouldn’t be the last time we would see award mishaps like these.
Okay, onto year two. After a few mishaps, we’ve gotten a fair share of the bugs out of the system, hopefully they can make a few improvements to be a real award show. Thankfully, it mostly goes off without a hitch. Hope you like seeing a lot of go90 ads!
Since Virtual Reality was starting to gain traction thanks to Facebook acquiring Oculus, VR got a bit more love on this year’s show. Rock Band VR was promoted at the show, which had a rather goofy trailer featuring members of DragonForce trying to work with Oculus and Harmonix. Normally I would gloss over that announcement entirely, but the person who decided to go up on stage to promote Rock Band VR was one Palmer Luckey. Luckey being one of the founders of Oculus to promote this product made sense at the time, but in the following year, there were reports of him helping to fund Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential campaign with all the memes. Whoops.
Why they couldn’t get somebody from Harmonix to present the game instead of Luckey is anyone’s guess. Would’ve been nice to see Alex Rigopulos up there instead.
Later on in the show, Chris Roberts, one of the lead designers of Wing Commander, and actor Mark Hamill appear to promote Star Citizen and Squadron 42, two games being developed by Roberts’ RSI game studios. Star Citizen, announced in late 2012 and had gone through not one but two crowdfunding campaigns, was not really finished. By 2015, Star Citizen became a sunk cost galaxy, with barely any playable content and macrotransactions of people buying digital ships with superfluous features for thousands of actual dollars. Hamill, previously appearing in Wing Commander III and IV, would appear for the single player Squadron 42 campaign alongside other actors like Gary Oldman, which was being made at the same time as Star Citizen.
As of 2022, over a decade after its announcement, Star Citizen is still in the alpha phase, and Squadron 42, the more singleplayer focused all-star campaign has been constantly delayed and presumably canceled. Meanwhile, other similar space exploration games like Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky have actually been released and added features things similar to Star Citizen, albeit on a much smaller scale. If you can’t tell, I’m not a big fan of Star Citizen or Chris Roberts. So Geoff Keighley giving Roberts a soapbox leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Roberts and Hamill present the Game Award for Best Action/Adventure Game, of which Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain wins. Kiefer Sutherland, the actor who performs Snake in that game, comes up to accept the award instead of lead designer Hideo Kojima. Geoff then gives a fairly somber speech saying that Konami denied Kojima the opportunity to fly down to Las Vegas to be at the awards show. At the time, Konami and Kojima had quite a falling out, and for them to hold Kojima hostage like this is pretty scummy for Konami. Though, Geoff’s speech didn’t really do the awards favors either.
Finally, we have one more mishap, and this is a case of a mistake with one of the awards. Game designer Jade Raymond presents the award for Best Performance, of which Viva Siefert as Hannah Smith in Her Story wins the award. But Jade reads off the card as “Viva Siefert: The Witcher 3.” Viva was not in The Witcher III; the nominee for that was Doug Cockle voicing Geralt of Rivia. CD Projekt Red’s Marcin Iwiński, who coincidentally sat behind Siefert, gave the most puzzling reaction.
As far as I know, this wasn’t really addressed during the broadcast, but the reaction is quite hilarious. And suddenly I realize that Mark Hamill has appeared three times in these picture montages. This is merely a coincidence. At least it’s better than that one Spike Video Game Awards where he sat through a 2 hour spectacle, hoping to go up on stage to accept an award, only to find out the category he was nominated had the winner announced before the broadcast.
Since Hideo Kojima left Konami by this point, forming a new version of Kojima Productions, Geoff starts off 2016’s show by giving him an award. That award being Industry Icon. Past Industry Icon winners were Ken and Roberta Williams from Sierra Interactive, and Brett Sperry and Louis Castle of Westwood Studios. While Kojima has been around the gaming industry since the 1980s, I don’t know if he really deserved the Industry Icon award that year. It really felt like Geoff just wanted to give him an award after being snubbed last year, and thought this was the best way to do it. Honestly? I would’ve just given him last year’s award instead.
After last year’s Trending Gamer being mostly inoffensive — Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller won the award over TotalBiscuit, Markiplier and Pewdiepie — the award returns this year, with EA’s Peter Moore giving the award to past award presenter Stephen “Boogie2988” Williams.
Much like TotalBiscuit, Boogie has a fair share of issues of him saying things and defending people like Jon “JonTron” Jafari, who said rather racist remarks. In addition, he had been in voice chats with people like Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, one of the more infamous personalities around Gamergate. They sure know how to pick ’em, that’s for sure.
While the candidates he went up against were people like Angry Joe Vargas and Jacksepticeye, he beat out Danny O’Dwyer, whose Noclip documentaries are informative and entertaining more than Boogie’s old schtick ever was. I know Trending Gamer is a community-driven award and some of these winners might’ve won by ballot-stuffing at the insistence of the nominee, but still. They should learn to vet their nominees so their awards aren’t going to people who say rather questionable things.
Finally, we have to cover the most infamous moment of The Game Awards thus far: The Schick Hydrobot. We already covered product placement earlier in this post, but this is undeniably the most egregious. Initially presented by Kyle Bosman, the Hydrobot appears a handful of times throughout the show, complete with a fake fighting game commercial with the other player, who goes unnamed. Out of all the things that have come out of The Game Awards, this is especially the most egregious marketing. Even Spike’s Awards didn’t get this blatant.
Year four. Things are starting to fall into place. This is the year that introduces us to The Game Awards Orchestra, probably the highlight of the whole event in more recent years. Video game orchestra music is always neat, and I will always appreciate it.
At the pre-show, the Trending Gamer is once again awarded to a fairly questionable figure: Guy Beahm, better known as DrDisrespect. DrDisrespect, noted for doing stuff like sharing COVID-19 anti-vaccine rumors, is yet another mainstream internet personality I never quite got because seeing dudes get Angry At Video Games stopped being funny to me years ago. I liked him better when he was just a community manager for Call of Duty instead. DrDisrespect beat out folk like Steven Spohn of ablegamers and Clinton “halfcoordinated” Lexa, who have done more to help out the game industry through their game accessibility options than anything DrDisrespect might have done.
Also, Andrea Rene was nominated, who was hosting the Facebook event lounge for the Game Awards. That feels… pretty suspect to have someone who’s working your show be nominated for Trending Gamer?? They clearly have not learned from the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, where host Neil Patrick Harris won an award.
Since we’re now at the point where The Game Awards is considered a legitimate award show, we now have more celebrity talent coming into to present awards. Unfortunately a lot of these fall flat, often making jokes that wouldn’t be funny even if they were new. Zachary Levi returns after being teabagged in a previous Spike Video Game Awards, and there really isn’t a whole lot to add here.
One of the most infamous moments is director and game designer Josef Fares, who worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and eventually formed Hazelight, making co-op focused games like A Way Out. After a conversation with Geoff about A Way Out, he goes on a rant, ending with him flipping the bird to the camera and going “FUCK THE OSCARS!”
I honestly don’t know what Josef was going for with that comment. Was he drunk? Jetlagged? Wanted to make a statement about the games industry? Regardless, this was not a career ender, as he has reappeared in later Game Awards since, even occasionally making callbacks to this instance, as if it was memorable and not outright embarrassing.
You know what? let’s finish with something more wholesome. Here’s Eiji Aonuma doing his best Link cosplay to promote The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
Before we continue to the last four years, I have to take a moment to dedicate some of the games that have been featured on the Game Awards that have since become lost media.
Game development is a messy thing. Sometimes the stars align and somehow you make a decent product. Other times, you stumble over the finish line but still get something playable out. Sometimes your game comes out and becomes mostly forgotten, thriving with a small fervent fan base who will follow you to the bitter end.
But then there’s those games that come out and fail even with the backing of Geoff and The Game Awards behind them. Some of them got a fancy trailer and then get cancelled. Others get trailers to get people hyped for your game, only for it to not do much in the grand scheme of things, and your game gets shut down anyway.
This section is to dedicated to those games that we cannot play anymore, either because they never came out or they’ve since shut down. I highlight these games not to be negative about the game industry, but to remember those who worked hard on something they’ll never see on a storefront, or for those who will remember fondly playing a game that they can no longer personally experience. Game preservation is really important, and to even have to do this montage bums me out a little.
Cue your “sad music” here. Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” is quite fitting.
(All screenshots courtesy of the official websites, GameSpot, Giant Bomb, and any Steam store pages these games might’ve had.)
2018 started off with something you usually don’t see often: a speech between Shawn Layden of Sony’s PlayStation, Phil Spencer of Microsoft’s Xbox, and Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo talking about bringing games and gamers together. Usually these personalities are not in the same place, so I figure Geoff thought this was a grand gesture to try to get people to put aside their console wars and play stuff together. If I had to take a guess, this was during the peak period where Sony refused to do cross-platform play with games like Fortnite on rival platforms.
I wonder if they stuck around to talk shop afterwards. More realistically, I bet they couldn’t wait to split once this hamfisted speech was over, as they’ve never repeated this stunt since. Then again, if they tried to, it would be Phil Spencer talking with Sony’s Jim Ryan and Nintendo’s Doug Bowser, who are not nearly as charismatic as Reggie.
By this point, the “Trending Gamer” category was renamed to the more corporate sounding “Content Creator of the Year.” This time, it was was given to one Tyler Blevins, aka “Ninja,” a guy who refuses to stream with women because of fears of it being misinterpreted as flirting. (For the record, Ninja is married to another Twitch streamer.) In addition to this, he does a bit with Pepe the King Prawn from The Muppets involving taking a selfie.
I only know him for being some streamer for Fortnite and streaming Fallout 76 with Logic and Rick & Morty, which… was an absolute trainwreck. He seems less like a garbage person compared to people like DrDisrespect or Boogie2988, but Ninja feels like someone who always feels a bit suspect to me. After all, being notable for doing some gaming thing on the internet has increased odds of said person being a douchebag, if the past award winners are any indication.
At one point, Crash Bandicoot, who was basically left for dead years ago by Activision, appears to announce Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. I find the whole “guy in a Crash Bandicoot suit being all cool and wisecracking” bit really stopped being funny around the 2000s during the Crash Twinsanity era. But when Crash is one of the few family-friendly brands Activision owns, I guess we’ll take what we can get. This wouldn’t be the last time we’ll see this wumpa fruit grabbing goof, as he’d reappear in 2022 to promote Crash Team Rumble, complete with a Zoom call joke.
By this point The Game Awards has perfected its format. Sydnee Goodman now does the pre-show, World Premieres appear at a steady clip, awards are given, all that jazz. The Game Awards Orchestra comes in to start the show, and otherwise it’s fairly mundane to start.
Then we hear about the Xbox Series X from Phil Spencer. Which, hey, that’s neat to show off, but this is The Game Awards, not E3. Him showing up on stage to promote this feels more scummy than past occurrences of developers coming up on stage to announce their games. There are people that think The Game Awards has a Sony bias, but this was like, the first thing featured announced at the show.
Outside of this, there’s not a lot of bad here. Ikumi Nakamura — at the time designer at Tango Gameworks, known for her silly charming personality during Bethesda’s E3 2019 showcase — appears to present Best Art Direction, and is probably the best part of the whole show. Ninja returns to present Best Multiplayer Game in probably the gaudiest suit I’ve seen imaginable. Guess you gotta balance the good with the bad sometimes.
At one point, Grimes appears to perform a song to promote Cyberpunk 2077. Since her partner at the time was rich man, future divorced dad and slowly setting Twitter aflame Elon Musk, he attempts to give a standing ovation, but gets cut off by the cameras. Only Ikumi Nakamura joins in, probably in a “I have no idea what’s going on here!” moment.
There’s this one bit where Mirage from Apex Legends has a conversation with Geoff about winning an award, which segues into Mirage promoting Apex‘s holiday event. Like, I get it, this is probably better than having Vince Zampella up to promote your game, but you don’t see Digital Extremes’ Rebecca Ford dressing up as Lotus to promote Warframe, do you? (Speaking of people dressing up, that’ll appear again real soon.)
Outside of that, there’s a bit with Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker from The Muppets that involves Untitled Goose Game, including Beaker appearing in the game itself through a VR helmet. It’s a shame that didn’t make it actually into the game, because that would’ve been funny as heck. But maybe that’s because I really like crossovers.
At least we got one good thing out of it: Rocco Botte from Mega64 sitting in a row of empty seats, occasionally staring at the camera awkwardly from the crowd in a vague photobomb. Probably the best moment of the show, outside of the Muppets and Ikumi Nakamura.
It’s December 2020. We’re nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with a lot of negligence, ivermectin and unnecessary deaths due to incompetence. With the vaccines still a fair bit away, people are now Working From Home to be able to work on their projects. If anybody else was running The Game Awards, they would probably cancel this year because of the pandemic. But not Geoff. The show must go on, according to him.
2020’s Game Awards was a mostly digital affair. Outside of Geoff and Sydnee Goodman, there were only a handful of folks willing to actually appear on camera, of course with the proper protocols of staying at a safe distance from one another. Everyone else stayed home, being filmed through webcams through a bizarre augmented reality set.
Since everyone was remote, you get webcams in various levels of quality accepting the awards. It’s kinda hilarious to see a bunch of game designers and producers at home, but that seemed to be the case for a lot of award shows in 2020. Even Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards did this in a similar format.
Naturally there’s a fair share of celebrity talent this year, likely because it was all remote, so you end up seeing new faces like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Keanu Reeves and The Swedish Chef appearing to present awards or announce things.
One that I’d consider rather questionable is Wonder Woman 1984‘s Gal Gadot appearing to present “Games for Impact” as well as tease the upcoming Wonder Woman video game.
Gadot, when she’s not appropriating John Lennon’s “Imagine” as a half-hearted attempt to keep everyone together during the pandemic, is an ex-Israel Defense Forces soldier who in the following year decided to downplay the Israel-Palestine conflict as a both sides issue. Yikes. Here’s hoping that Wonder Woman game is good, I guess? It’s a Monolith Production, so it’ll at least be passable, and Gadot will probably not be a part of it, so.
The only other thing I can point out is the abundance of awards Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II got. While I’ve yet to play the original game for more than 10 minutes, that’s one of those games that I feel became the equivalent to “oscar bait” but for video games, especially when it won for “Innovation in Accessibility.” Here’s a screenshot of one of the awards won with a rather silly shot:
Other than that, it was a rather uneventful year. This was one pretty unusual award show, but still had all the hallmarks of giving awards and World Premieres in spite of that, I guess.
Oh yeah, Ninja makes one more appearance: This time as his Fortnite version to promote a Halo map in creator mode with the folks from Rooster Teeth’s Red vs. Blue:
Okay, the pandemic’s over! (It’s not over, but they’ll pretend it is!) We’re back to a regular show full of people, but with masks on, baby!
More celebrity talent! Simu Liu does a rather boring and uninteresting bit about being addicted to his phone while presenting Best Action Game (come on dude, you could’ve learned from Zachary Levi’s mistake!), and an announcement for Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad game gets “interrupted” by Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis, who’s played Waller in every major appearance in a DC film to date) before airing the trailer anyway.
Outside of that, this award show was mostly uneventful. Not nearly as many standout moments, except this… “pot friend” that greets Geoff to announce Elden Ring, which came out the following year. Amusingly, Elden Ring ended up winning “Most Anticipated Game” for the second year in a row. That’ll be important later.
Like last year where The Last of Us Part II won a good chunk of the awards, Hazelight’s It Takes Two takes a bunch of the awards this year, including Game of the Year. Yes, Josef Fares reappears. Not nearly as controversial this time, but he does make a callback to the “FUCK THE OSCARS” moment from four years ago.
This one was just a bit dull, to be honest. There wasn’t a whole lot of infamous moments that year.
Which brings us to this year. Initially, I wasn’t going to cover this year as originally I was going to publish this article the day of this year’s Game Awards. But since I pushed it back a week, and considering what happened, it would be foolish for me not to cover this year’s. Plus hey, eight’s a nice even number.
Like before, there isn’t a whole lot different this time. We’ve gotten to the point where all the kinks have been ironed out, and the structure is identical year-to-year. World Premieres, Sydnee Goodman presents awards during the pre-show, commercials for games and promotional products, and The Game Awards Orchestra appear in all their glory. The downside is this means that the days of awkward camera angles and misdirection is over, which makes it a little less funny to cover here.
The first award is Best Performance, of which Al Pacino presents to Christopher Judge for playing Kratos in God of War: Ragnarok. Judge takes about 10 minutes to do his acceptance speech, of which you can tell the producers are a bit annoyed as they start doing the award show routine of playing music to get him off the stage. At least his speech was rather touching, and his fashion sense impeccable.
Outside of that, the most notable thing is probably the most infamous: A kid by the name of Matan Even snuck up on stage with Hidetaka Miyazaki and the rest of the From Software crew when Elden Ring won Game of the Year. After Miyazaki’s speech, Even waltzed up to the mic, doing a dumb voice that kinda sounded like Josef Fares, and dedicating the award to “Reformed Orthodox Rabbi Bill Clinton” before being escorted off the stage.
There’s a bit more about Even in this VICE article that documents his infamy. Basically he’s one of those dumb kids who do shit like this “for the lulz.” I mean, I did dumb shit too at his age, but never crashed an awards ceremony.
While this is probably the most notability The Game Awards has ever gotten, I worry about mentioning him crashing this event, as this could give Even more notoriety. This could genuinely lead to him being the next Charlie Kirk or something, being one of those heroes of the more toxic sides of the internet that The Game Awards had mostly survived up to this point. Here’s hoping that doesn’t become the case.
As I stated, I don’t care much for The Game Awards. We’re past the point of legitimizing video games as an art form, with BAFTA and other more notable award organizations giving awards. The Game Awards is just another one of those fluff award shows, where they think that it’s the gaming version of the Academy Awards, but in reality it’s more like gaming’s Teen Choice Awards. Something that’s mostly fluff than something legitimate.
I honestly thought at one point that with Keighley doing his own thing not under the shackles of Spike TV management would result in a more prestigious show. While we did get there, it also showed that the many flaws of the Spike Video Game Awards were not the fault of network meddling, as they also appear here. If anything, this tells me that Geoff Keighley probably wanted to be more in the spotlight, and when he couldn’t get his way at Spike — at best having to do an “awards show” with Joel McHale in 2013, he decided to ride solo.
Since E3 has slowly faded away, Keighley’s been more than happy to take up the mantle of being the PR mouthpiece for gaming, which makes a lot of his statements hollow. He’ll talk about harassment in gaming, yet having people who’ve incited harassment. Being inclusive about gaming that’s sponsored by big brands. Criticizing crunch culture and having The Last of Us Part II win a ton of awards despite the massive crunch culture at Naughty Dog. That kind of thing.
In all honesty, The Game Awards is useful for only one thing: Surprise announcements. And occasionally the giveaways and free swag, as 2022’s Game Awards had the opportunity for someone to win a Steam Deck every minute. It’s arguably the most crass, commercial thing out of video gaming. And honestly, this has made me rethink about the modern, AAA gaming culture that we’re all in and whether it’s even worth playing games anymore.
On the bright side, I’ll probably never have to talk about Geoff “The Dorito Pope” Keighley on this blog ever again. What with covering this, the Spike Awards, and even his brief contribution to Cybermania ’94 (which I wrote about in 2020), I’ve covered most of the bases he’s well known for. Unless someone asks me to cover his old show “Game Head” on Spike TV or something, then the ride will truly never end.
This was quite a journey for me to write. Probably one of my more longer posts. In a sense, this hearkens back to my early days of writing in this blog, where I was a little more carefree and wrote with a stronger sense of spontaneity. I had this article idea in my head for a long while, and thought this year, on my blog’s 10th anniversary, would be the time to write about it.
This was intended to go up for everyone on December 8, the day of this year’s Game Awards. Unfortunately due to personal issues, it got pushed back. I hope you all understand.
Also, my apologies for not having a Patreon-exclusive post this month. I’ll try to make it up to y’all next year.