The year of 2016 is coming to a close. It’s been an exciting year for the video game world and it all concluded earlier this month with the annual Game Awards. Geoff Keighley has been a hero for everyone in the industry. By creating this ceremony after its predecessor was dropped by SpikeTV, he has made sure the dedicated developers, publishers, and the gaming community at large receive their just rewards for giving us such fantastic entertainment each year.
While The Game Awards are truly marvelous, especially if you are a massive gamer who has played most of the nominees, it is still fairly new and can learn more and more about itself each year. While it is not the Oscars, and it shouldn’t try to be, a few changes to bring The Game Awards slightly closer to something as regal as the film industry’s biggest night could be beneficial. Understandably, some things may be out of Geoff Keighley or other producers’ powers, but mentioning them is still helpful.
Dress to Impress
One of the oddest things about The Game Awards is the differences from one award receiver to the next. In this case, I am specifically talking about their outfits. The latest show had some nominees accept their awards with jeans and a sweater while others were in a full suit and tie. There is no red carpet outside and even some attendees at the Oscars have had some bizarre choices of clothing, but The Game Awards would benefit from everyone dressing their best.
We don’t need to see $10,000 gowns or equally priced tuxes, but a standard of formal attire would emphasize the importance of the event. Perhaps this is simply something that will happen in time, or perhaps something as simple as mentioning proper attire on all the invites would suffice.
Getting Back on Television
Additionally, though it’s an entire other conversation, getting The Game Awards on television might also be a nice incentive for patrons to dress to impress. There were millions who watched different streams of this year’s ceremony, meaning it seems as though the numbers are there to get a network channel on board to air it live. While there is an argument that streaming gives The Game Awards more freedom, they could raise money with the commercial times and thus obtain a bigger budget. Getting on television does not mean that it couldn’t be streamed as well. Everything from sporting events to live performances often have a concurrent stream while being on TV. At the end of the day, it would most likely increase advertisement and become more of an event.
While much of The Game Awards’ appeal is the brand new trailers and exclusives for upcoming games, perhaps the sole appeal for some people, the argument can be made that this actually takes away from the celebration. The trailers don’t have to go away entirely. They could be left to commercial times, whether on television or continued streaming. Even this year, there were a few commercial breaks in the streams and they replayed some gameplay videos. There is no reason why this time slots couldn’t be filled with the trailers that people long to see, while still taking a backseat to the actual ceremony. Think about how many people you know who go to Super Bowl parties and tell everyone to be quiet during the commercials. It would leave more room for actual awards to be seen in real time.
Show all of the Awards
Anyone who watched The Game Awards 2016 can tell you how beautiful and bittersweet of a moment it was when Ryan Green accepted the Games for Impact award for That Dragon, Cancer and gave a speech for his late son, Joel.
While no one wants to necessarily watch others in grief, everyone who is nominated for an award of this caliber has a story to tell or a special path that brought them there. It is disheartening when we cut back to Geoff Keighley and he says “Oh by the way, this game won for such and such award.” The audience should be seeing each award given. That goes for games that win more than one award. Overwatch wound up winning three, but no one knew that until the very end when it was announced to win two others along with Game of the Year. It oddly undermines the achievements of a big winning game and developer.
Straighten out the Categories
As stated before, The Game Awards are certainly young and are trying to find the right way to do everything. Looking at the actual awards, there were two notable changes from 2015 that came off as a little bizarre this year. First, Best Action/Adventure Game became split between Best Action and Best Action/Adventure. Maybe it’s just the actual naming, but it seems a bit redundant. The switch that is more out of place, however, is that they went from Best Score/Soundtrack to Best Music/Sound Design. While great sound design is absolutely worthy of being recognized, these two should be separate categories. An indie developer who writes a gorgeous 16 bit soundtrack should not have to compete with AAA explosion sounds, car crashes, or whatever else.
Geoff Keighley and everyone who makes The Game Awards possible should be commended for their hard work and dedication. Watching them for the past couple years has been a blast. These suggestions are simply ways to possibly grow it to become a truly magical night for the attendants, nominees, and everyone watching at home.