The National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers Corp recently held their 11th annual awards ceremony, where many large platform games were pitted against their microscopic counterparts. For example, the monster award winning Skyrim was placed in the same category for Game of the Year against smaller games like Minecraft. So what’s the big deal? The big deal here is that Minecraft actually won.
If Minecraft were to win an award, the most successful independent video game of the year sounds more like it. Even an award for most extensive development of an arcade title would have been appropriate and respectable. Minecraft as the game of the year, though? The non-profit organization tried awarding lower profile games with some appreciation via random awards. The awards categories were more loaded than the Oscars. Little more was accomplished than the degradation of the nominee losers, the award winners, and mostly the site’s credibility.
Everyone loves a good underdog tale, so why pick on Minecraft? After all, it’s an inspiring story of a small town kid who finally made it in the big city. Unfortunately, though, awarding a GOTY award to a PC indie turned arcade game, especially against games like Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, is either poor award categorizing or great pot stirring. The real question from NAVGTR’s awards is who didn’t win an award, with its whopping 55 award categories.
Over 600 poor misguided testers placed their votes for these awards. The basis behind the award selection is that game testers test, so they know how to determine real winners. Quoting the site directly, “More than any other professional group in the industry, testers spend the most time playing games and are therefore most apt to evaluate them on a technical level with intense detail or analysis.”
What deems someone more apt to evaluate a game when they’re the only ones not playing it for entertainment value? Perhaps some of the technical award categories could be best determined by a tester, but obviously not all the categories. Apparently testers also believe Alice: Madness Returns had a better art direction than Little Big Planet 2. The majority of the awards were designed with the winner in mind, and the other nominees were awkwardly chosen to create the category.
After seeing these “awards”, perhaps the Spike ones aren’t so bad after all.