The Video Game Awards has always been a fun spectacle for gamers to behold. Although in the past E3 was the far superior show, in recent years the VGAs has delivered many exciting announcements. Yet, the game awards it seems always suffered from a kind of imposter syndrome. The game awards bring in celebrities from other mediums, and instead of really celebrating games and the amazing teams that bring them to life, the games are usually sidelined for promotional material. Sure, these advertisements fit into game culture, but it isn’t quite the celebration of games that show was built around.
Is it a popularity contest? Yes, but is that good? Well for some it might be, but for the one mainstream award show about video games, it feels as though game makers don’t have a say. And I’m not saying to make the video game awards more like the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) Awards. But the Game Awards do represent a significant portion of the gaming community, and as such we shouldn’t settle for just a popularity contest with ads.
Tonight (December 8th 2022), the Game Awards will have a chance to redeem itself, simply by virtue of crowning the best game I’ve ever played, as Game of The Year. Yes, that game is none other than Elden Ring.
Now I don’t see Elden Ring as the best gaming experience for everyone, but I do see it, as a nearly perfect product, and a wake-up call for myself and the games industry. As a Game Designer and Developer, the feat that Elden Ring accomplished from just the content development standpoint alone is truly a work of art.
Before Elden Ring, I hadn’t had the time, energy, or motivation to complete a FromSoftware game. Elden Ring provided a world worth exploring, and challenges worth overcoming. In an industry where tutorialization and fake rewards are rampant Elden Ring returns to what feels like is the root of gaming. The fact that it does away with so many trends set by AAA games and capitalizes on their exclusion with real secrets and narrative discoveries is amazing. And from this one game, my view of the industry changed, and I joined the many gamers that believe that FromSoftware is one of the greatest modern day gaming studios.
But back to the game awards, it will be a disservice to all game developers, gamers, and the entire industry if Elden Ring isn’t awarded Game of the Year. Not to disregard the achievements of the other contending game of the year nominees, but Elden Ring is the best game I’ve played in what feels like the last decade.