As interactive entertainment has asserted itself as a mainstream media form in recent years, it’s adopted norms of the more traditional entertainment industries, such as the production of annual award ceremonies.
Of these ceremonies for interactive entertainment, The Game Awards is perhaps the most notable. Created in 2014, it’s seen its live viewership rise to 11.5 million during last year’s presentation.
Like most other award shows, The Game Awards announces its nominations before the date of each ceremony. For this year’s presentation, which takes place on Dec. 6, the show revealed its nominees on Nov. 13.
Generally, the video game community has shown approval of 2018’s nominees, as comments from University of Georgia gamers can attest.
Freshman management major Jessica Phan, a member of UGA’s Girls for Games, is pleased to see indie game “Celeste” nominated for Game of the Year.
“[It] was really cool to see a very low-profile game amongst high-profile games like ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ and ‘God of War’ and such,” Phan said.
Though Phan is surprised the PlayStation 4 release “Detroit: Become Human” isn’t under consideration for the category, she’s glad Bryan Dechart, one of its motion capture actors, is a nominee for Best Performance.
“The [computer graphics] in the game used the actors’ movements, and that process was very tedious for actors to actually undergo because they have to physically act the whole scene out with no props, no makeup, no nothing,” Phan said. “So I feel like [the nomination] was really well-earned.”
To junior Dymond Billins, an entertainment and media studies major who describes video games as her “favorite storytelling medium,” the absence of “Detroit: Become Human” among the Game of the Year nominees is justified.
“The whole politics [the game] was trying to convey was just messy,” Billins said.
Because Billins deems the attempt at political topicality she sees in the game underwhelming, she doesn’t agree with its nomination for Best Narrative.
However, Billins finds the nomination for episodic title “Life is Strange 2” for Best Narrative appropriate.She appreciates what she considers in the game political commentary more direct than that of “Detroit: Become Human.”
“In the first episode [of ‘Life is Strange 2’], you can clearly see the police brutality they’re trying to convey,” Billins said. “Spoiler alert, but the father of the main character gets shot down by a police officer in the first 15 minutes … They try to take a realistic — more or less — take on things.”
Of the Game of the Year nominees, Billins has only played “God of War,” but she supports its nomination based on her experience with the game.
“[‘God of War’] had a story to keep you engaged, pretty decent gameplay [and] phenomenal graphics,” Billins said. “I would say it was good.”
Junior avian biology major Matthew Donarico, a member of UGA’s Nerd Culture Club, applauds the game’s nomination.
“I thoroughly enjoyed [‘God of War’], and it’s the best ‘God of War’ in its series so far,” Donarico said. “It was such an enthralling game. Some games with collectables can get really monotonous or can get really dull after a while, but this kept it really nice by keeping most of the collectables with the lore, so it makes sense why you’re collecting.”
Donarico also praises the game’s “beautiful” score and graphics.
Like Phan, Donarico is happy “Celeste” is also a Game of the Year contender.
“It’s always nice when indie games, especially really good ones, can make it into [the category],” Donarico said.