Each Friday, A.V. Club staffers start off our week by week open thread for the discussion of gaming plans and recent gaming glories, but of course, the real activity is down in the comments, where we welcome you to answer our timeless question: What Are You Playing This Weekend? Presently entering its eighth. The Game Awards want to be gaming’s Oscars, but they’re really just its Super Bowl
The yearly Game Awards are just similar to the Major event: Stuffed with corporate sponsorships, and most of us are just looking for the commercials
into one class, then having them battle it out, is just begging for the entire exercise to fall apart. Best Story is nebulous mostly because The Game Awards themselves are nebulous; they exist to some degree to give platforms to the biggest releases — what other reason might there be for Most Expected Game, a classification
Honestly, sufficiently it’s to cause me to infer that the TGAs don’t plan closest to the Oscars by any stretch of the imagination, but another significant American watercooler occasion. All things considered, we’ve already
Presently entering its eighth year — with said installment showing up the following month, on December 8 — Geoff Keighley’s yearly awards show The Game Awards is functioning as hard as ever to persuade individuals that it’s The Game Awards want to be gaming’s Oscars. That is: It’s a showy, company cordial festival of the medium’s safest bets and most normal successes that no one really seems to like or respect so much, but which we are all, because of reasons that are dim, best case scenario, compelled to surrender does, as a matter of fact, exist.
The nominations for the 2022 TGAs, released recently, are commonplace for the pack: The most expensive games of the year — most of which got large trailer reveals or other promotions at prior installments of the Awards — all take up the top spots, with a couple “non mainstream” titles sprinkled around just to keep things interesting. It isn’t so much that games like Riot and Ubisoft partnering on research to create aren’t great games — as the person who reviewed the two titles for the site, I can attest that they’re both all around made examples of the AAA gaming structure — so much as the way that the intense corporate purchase in Keighley and his group have accomplished with this show renders the situation feeling irrevocably beholden to The Cash Machine.
This year, the biggest conversation surrounding the Awards — besides famous gaming account Nibellion stopping Twitter on just about the same day that their completely relaxed way to deal with gaming news was selected for “Content Creator Of The Year” — has been the conversation about “Best Story,” and specifically about Elden Ring’s inclusion in the nominees for the honor.
This conversation — between those who advocate for more conventional storytelling vs. From Software’s indirect way to deal with spinning its sprawling story of genuine siblings squabbling over a wrecked world — is less a symptom of Elden Ring’s merits, however, than it is the nebulous descriptor for the classification. To draw out the The Game Awards want to be gaming’s Oscars, the Story grant is pretty obviously intended to plan on to something like “Best Unique Screenplay,” with past winners including beloved word geek games like Disco Elysium and Red Dead Redemption 2.
But gaming is just sometimes an essayist’s medium; story in games happens as the players explore a game’s reality to such an extent, or more, than actors exploring the words that are in the script. Endeavoring to shove a conventional story like Lord Of War Ragnarök, and Elden Ring, and a deliberately puzzle-like story like Everlasting status into one class, then having them battle it out, is just begging for the entire exercise to go to pieces.
Best Story is nebulous mostly because The Game Awards themselves are nebulous; they exist to a limited extent to give platforms to the biggest releases — what other reason might there be for Most Expected Game, a classification entirely predicated on the force of publicity? — thus the categories must be merged to those needs. (Best Story, specifically, feels like a deliberate support against those scrutinizing the awards for being purely about the business, permitting a couple of more “artistic” games to gain appreciation as well.)
Honestly, sufficiently it’s to cause me to infer that the TGAs don’t plan closest to The Game Awards want to be gaming’s Oscars by any stretch of the imagination, but another significant American watercooler occasion. All things considered, we’ve already got an intensely corporate-sponsored, generally meaningless rivalry that most individuals observe just for the commercials: Congratulations to all required for giving the medium its own personal Super Bowl.
As both a festival of the industry’s creations throughout the last year and a showcase for impending titles, the Game Awards is something of a half and half, blending customary honor show mainstays (speeches, skits, musical performances) and promotion driving gaming show reveals (this year’s occasion will feature approximately 10 new game announcements). The result is a show that has become a must-look for gaming fans and a necessary stop for industry players both inside gaming and without.