There are many gaming events throughout a calendar year. From esports competitions to expos or conventions, and even last night’s awards show, public game moments like these occur frequently. But only a select few actually hold water for the entire gaming community. These special events accent the year for gamers. All eyes are on the west coast in June every year in the weeks leading up to E3, let alone the actual event. Like E3, the Game Awards have seemingly gripped the entire industry.
The big three
There were many highlights at the show last night. I, for one, am thrilled that Nintendo fans can enjoy the next bloodbath that is Mortal Kombat 11. I can’t wait to get my hands on that game. And just as you might have suspected given recent internet buzz, Crash Team Racing is being revived on all consoles including the Switch! But the most intriguing highlight for me came at the beginning of the show when Shawn Layden, Phil Spencer, and Reggie Fils-Aimé — the heads of PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo respectively — shared the stage together. For any gaming fan, that really was a moment to behold. It absolutely bolstered the image of the Game Awards as an event for gamers.
The unity of gaming
The Game Awards show is only in its fifth year. In terms of awards shows, and even annual gaming events in general, it’s a fledgling. But boy has this baby bird found its wings already. Why? Why were the Game Awards trending at #1 on Twitter during it’s airing? Why are the Game Awards featured on well over 40 streaming platforms across the globe? The answer is simple: The Game Awards celebrate the entirety of the video game industry as we know it. It’s a show about unity. No one is placing bets or even making proclamations like, “Man, I think Xbox definitely won the show this year,” or, “Sony completely botched their messaging on this one.” No one is keeping score, berating each other, or getting huffy about what they think their favorite game maker should or shouldn’t have done.
Those three businessmen furthered that message by their appearance on stage together. As Spencer said, we’re just here to celebrate games. Are you an esports fan? Well, there were several awards in that category for your favorite professional competitors and events. Are you thrilled about the bevy of quality indie games we’ve seen this year? Not only did indie titles have their own category, but they also were contenders alongside AAA titles in other categories as well. What about online gamers? There are many of them out there but only one that was crowned with the title of Best Ongoing Game. There’s room for story-driven games, the artistic talent that goes into the audio and visual aspects of games, and even mobile games! Yes, mobile gamers are represented at this show.
What’s the takeaway?
I could carry on, but I think I’ve made my point. Three businessmen, each whose businesses are technically threatened by each other, graciously shared the Game Awards stage together. Business competitors wanted you, their fans and supporters, to know that this industry is fundamentally about the medium itself. Development studios of all shapes and sizes produce games in all shapes and sizes on varying platforms. And in the end, they reach us, the consumers to enjoy and, hopefully, bond with others over. Whether it’s simply our shared interest or finding and meeting new people every day to journey into virtual worlds with.
We live in a divisive world, folks. At every turn, somebody has an aggressive opinion that opposes the person to their immediate right. Let’s abandon that toxicity, if not totally, then at the very least in a medium that is really meant to help take us away from all of that. Like the symbolic gesture of these three gaming giants coming together, let’s come together as gaming fans and enjoy taking part in a wondrous industry that is constantly evolving without diminishing each other over our differing interests and opinions. I know I sure felt the spirit of that bond last night during the Game Awards. Let’s keep that spirit going well into the new year. Happy holidays and gaming, friends.