On Tuesday March 5th, luminaries of the games industry cuddled up after dark to eagerly find out if they had won a BAFTA. There were no less than 53 games nominated for a variety of categories, ranging from genre (Action, Family, Sports/Fitness) to achievements like Game Design, Innovation and Original Music.
There is the obvious quip of how ‘BAFTAs’ doesn’t have a V in it for Video Games. But perhaps this is a case of ‘not yet’ – are video games not becoming more and more recognised as a form of art, of entertainment, of creativity to the masses rather than solely as an antisocial pastime in a darkened room, surrounded by junk food? There’s something to be said about an awards ceremony dedicated to video games by the same academy that hands out award to filmmakers and so on, and that this event is in its fifth year. Also, that it’s not necessarily the only video game awards – the Golden Joysticks being another popular one.
Good for video games! Hooray also for Dara O’Briain for displaying his heart piece on his sleeve and proudly hosting for yet another year. And, although many of the games up for nomination were not solely British, there was a category for Best British game to highlight the homegrown industry, a nice touch and hopefully a category which will see even more fantastic nominations in the future.
It was great to see fan favourites such as The Walking Dead and stunners such as Journey taking home well-deserved awards (in Journey’s case, five), and to see indie devs nominated alongside heavy hitters in the British Game category, displaying the diversity and talent of the industry in the UK. Ready Up obsession XCOM: Enemy Unknown picked up the Strategy award. Gabe Newell of the beloved Valve was also presented with the Academy Fellowship for an ‘outstanding and exceptional creative contribution to the Games industry’. It’s enough to give your pixel heart the warm and fuzzies!
Did you enjoy watching the awards, and did you do so while munching on Doritos and swigging Mountain Dew (totally ironically, of course)? Or alternatively, did you choose to spend the evening playing video games instead? Did your favourite game win, or did your most hated title sweep the award instead? Check out our quick roundup of the winners below.
Artistic Achievement: Journey
Audio Achievement: Journey
Best Game: Dishonored
British Game: The Room
Debut Game: The Unfinished Swan
Family: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Game Design: Journey
Game Innovation: The Unfinished Swan
Mobile & Handheld: The Walking Dead
Online – Browser: SongPop
Online – Multiplayer: Journey
Original Music: Journey
Performer: Danny Wallace (The Narrator) – Thomas Was Alone
Sports/Fitness: New Star Soccer
Story: The Walking Dead
Strategy: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
BAFTA Ones to Watch Award: Starcrossed
Academy Fellowship: Gabe Newell (Valve)