VOTING NOW CLOSED – RESULTS COMING SOON

UPDATE: Slight problem with the form this morning, now fixed. Sorry!

Put that controller down. Stop hammering the keys on that keyboard.

Yes, I know you were busy fighting off that zombie horde in Left 4 Dead, or perhaps you were fighting with the Horde in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, I don’t know. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter which game you were playing, because believe me, I’m in the same situation – in the last couple of months, we’ve been hit with such a barrage of high-quality gaming experiences that if you’re not working, you’re probably gaming to get through everything.

With that in mind, as we approach the end of what has been an exciting year both for games and Ready Up, I would like to commence voting for the Ready Up Game Awards 2008, in which our wonderful readers (that means you!) have the chance to narrow down the best of the best, and possibly win a cool prize along the way.

Just a selection of game highlights from this year

It’s difficult to summarise such a hectic year for gaming. Certainly, many of the landmark moments of the year have emerged in the form of sequels: Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Fallout 3 are prime examples which demonstrate how developers are pushing forward franchises that millions love, surpassing their predecessors in many ways. Yet, reassuringly, we have also been introduced to many new IPs this year; innovative and perhaps risky titles like LittleBigPlanet, Mirror’s Edge and Spore have kept gamers guessing all year round, whereas more evolutionary titles such as Dead Space and Race Driver: GRID have refined their respective genres in interesting ways.

However, it would be criminal to ignore one of the fastest-evolving areas of game development: downloadable games. Fresh and fun games like puzzling mind-bender Braid, party beat-em-up Castle Crashers and the raucously entertaining Penny Arcade Adventures seek to remind us why we play video games in the first place; with the further expansion of services such as Xbox Live, WiiWare, Steam and the Playstation Network, this looks set to continue.

There’s just as much fun to be had through downloadable content

If you look at the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 as the beginning of the current gaming generation, this month marks the third year that developers have had to get comfortable with the new console and PC hardware on offer. The platforms have evolved: new functionality has been added to the Nintendo Wii through additional channels, Sony is looking to finally launch its social gaming hub Home, and Microsoft has revitalised the Xbox dashboard through The New Xbox Experience. There have certainly been challenges along the way, but it is clear that this year developers have got it right. Whatever your platform of choice and whatever your genre of preference, there’s something to celebrate.

And celebrate is what we want to do here at Ready Up. But we need your help!

Between the readers of the site and the Ready Up team, we have compiled together a number of categories and nominees for you all to vote on. From the best games of the year, to the most outrageous stories in gaming, and even your favourite gaming snacks, we want to know which nominees make the grade!

Best of all, by taking part, you will have a chance of winning one of 10 free, high quality gaming t-shirts from the always-awesome RetroGT. Voting commences now and we will announce the winners in two weeks, so get to it! Winners will be able to choose any T-Shirt from the fantastic RetroGT range.

Winners will be chosen at random from all entries; only one entry per email address will be counted. Ready Up staff members may vote but are not eligible for entry into any Ready Up competition. Winners will be notified by email and none of your details will be shared.