The Game Awards delivered their funniest and most frustrating show yet |  Digital trends

The Game Awards delivered their funniest and most frustrating show yet | Digital trends

If the goal of modern day awards is to create “moments,” then The Game Awards 2022 certainly lived up to the occasion — and more. The Geoff Keighley-produced ceremony was among the show’s best overall efforts to date, with an excellent slate of reveals, genuine surprises, and enough “WTF” moments to make headlines even in mainstream publications. who normally pay no attention to the world. Game.

While it may have been a particularly exciting sight for fans and casual viewers, it was an uneven ceremony when it came to actual awards. Hurried winner announcements and speeches took precedence over flashy trailers over the night. That’s certainly nothing new for the nine-year-old show, which has built its reputation on delivering E3-calibur announcements, but awards seemed to be a noticeably low priority during the broadcast.

THE GAME AWARDS 2022: Official 4K Live Stream: Thursday, December 8 (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT/12:30 p.m. GMT)

This dynamic made for a sometimes underwhelming show that didn’t always seem to work as a celebration of the industry. Instead, it was a night designed for social engagement — something that ended up being its Achilles heel by the night’s bizarre finale.

The summary

If you tuned into The Game Awards 2022 just to see new trailers, you probably left happy. Keighley was at his best as a curator this year, putting together an impressive amount of trailers that somehow avoided leaks. A superb Death Stranding 2 Creator Hideo Kojima’s reveal and live appearance created one of the show’s most hair-raising moments to date. I was at the Microsoft Theater for the ceremony, and the energy in the room was palpable; it was historic.

It was far from the only major “world premiere” of the series. A fantastic Armored Core VI: Fires of the Rubicon the debut made the participants scream, Hades 2 shocked the crowd, and Final Fantasy XVI makes for a much stronger closing reveal than Fast and Furious Crossroads or an Unreal Engine 5 tech demo based on The Matrix series. Same Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, whose release date was unceremoniously leaked ahead of the show, garnered a massive reaction. Neither ad had its thunder stolen, allowing the show to feel like a “can’t miss” show.

Although the show eventually sagged in the middle (an awkward Crash Bandicoot segment made for its lowest point), fans seemed satisfied overall. When Geoff Keighley posted a poll on Twitter after the ceremony asking viewers to rate the show, gamers overwhelmingly responded with A’s. If this was supposed to be a night for fans, The Game Awards were delivered.

If it was meant to be a developer night, however, the ceremony left a lot to be desired. The evening started out quite promisingly with a particular focus on the Best Performance award, presented by a rather confused Al Pacino. God of War Ragnarok‘s Christopher Judge won and delivered a moving (albeit awkwardly long) speech that made the trophy a significant honor.

This feeling did not last. An hour into the show, only a few statues were shown between trailers. The winners who ended up taking the stage to accept didn’t have much time to do so. From where I sat, I could see the central teleprompter, which began flashing “Wrap it up” messages almost instantly. A low point of the evening came when Nintendo’s Doug Bowser took the stage to accept Best Action Game on behalf of Bayonet 3. After giving a brief introduction, he opened up a statement prepared by developer PlatinumGames as the show switched to music to push him offstage. It turned out to be a disrespectful moment for one of the show’s biggest categories.

God of War Ragnarok's Christopher Judge kisses Al Pacino at The Game Awards.

The Game Awards generally seemed disinterested in handing out awards. Several categories were grouped into rapid-fire segments where five winners were called out in the space of one minute. The winners of these categories did not take the stage to accept their awards, and no seconds of footage from any game was shown. If you had never heard of Moss: Book 2 before the show, you certainly didn’t leave knowing anything about it. The final twist on that knife came near the end, where Keighley sped through half a dozen of the show’s biggest categories, like Best RPG and Best Indie Game, in an instant and just as quickly tossed into a trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2the new content.

The tension lies in The Game Awards’ mission to be a show “for the fans,” something that seems a bit at odds with the idea of ​​an awards show. Sure, it’s not always exciting to see developers take the stage to thank their teams and families, but that’s not the point. Ceremonies like this are meant to give the people who make art we love a moment to celebrate their victories. It’s an honor to see passionate and heartfelt moments like this, even when they last too long.

Ironically, the show’s lowest moments were arguably the result of the show’s focus on the fans. The first revolved around this year’s controversial Players Choice category, which sparked a war between sound borders and Genshin Impact Fans. The two bases accused each other of trying to manipulate the show’s public poll, creating a nasty rhetoric online. Keighley acknowledged that during the show, noting that the team needed to remove the bots from the final results before announcing that Genshin Impact was victorious. The result drew a wave of boos from the crowd, reducing the entire category to high school pettiness. Then there was the show’s bizarre finale.

A stage rusher calls out to Bill Clinton during The Game Awards 2022.

The ceremony ended with elderberry ring developer FromSoftware takes the stage to accept Game of the Year. At the end, one of the people on stage took the microphone to thank his “Reform Orthodox Rabbi Bill Clinton”. Viewers were understandably puzzled. It turned out that the culprit was not a FromSoftware developer but a 15 year old boy attending the show who simply took to the stage alongside FromSoftware, slipping out of safety. The whole situation left viewers wondering if it was a funny prank or an anti-mesenteric dog whistle. Either way, it was a troubling security risk that came with the show’s return to a public format.

It was an almost poetic ending: the show ended with a fan eclipsing the people we were supposed to celebrate.

Although The Game Awards 2022 delivered a more paced show full of exciting announcements, it’s certainly worth rethinking who the ceremony is really about as it enters its tenth year. Until he does, “Bill Clinton kid” will be as symbolic a moment for The Game Awards as Josef Fares’ Oscar rant.

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