Author Topic: GOTY or not GOTY?  (Read 864 times)

Offline Starfox

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GOTY or not GOTY?
« on: December 30, 2015, 02:06:12 AM »
It's this period of the year; the GOTY farce is back again. Why would I call it a "farce" because it is and every gamer following the video gaming scene knows it. But the GOTY (or Game Of The Year) is not directed to expert gamers, it is for more casual gamers who play games but don't really care about where they came from (that is the majority of gamers).

To this legion of gamers, GOTY can only be good. It tells them what game was the more exceptional in a given year, right? Quite not so... So for these fellow gamers, let's get things straight and explain what GOTY really is.

First it's an award only in name. It's not an Oscar thing attributed for excellence in particular domains or as a whole. It's a label decided by many protagonists in the video gaming industry (that includes gaming websites, magazine or even schools and institutes specialized in video gaming). Not every gaming website has a GOTY award (some even had a GOTY but abandoned it possibly considering the mess it was) but the main players do, including the likes of Gamespot, IGN or Game Informer. As a matter of fact the GOTY award has no legal status and no defined rules. But it is presented to the public as a worthy award equal to the Academy Oscars nevertheless. And this is where the problems start. Because each website, each school, each magazine have their particular opinion on what the greatest game of the year should be which ends up with... several GOTY awards for any given year (except for those rare years completely lacking in worthy contestants -- like 2014 with Dragon Age: Inquisition grabbing most of the GOTY on PC because, well, the competition wasn't exactly overflowing -- it would have a much harder time this year).

Most  GOTY awards for this year have yet to be announced but of course the first announced will stick more than the others with the general public, at least for a while, and that would be the Gamespot granted The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY award. Next will possibly be IGN GOTY and there I will hazard a guess... Fallout 4 (don't ask me why, it just seems IGN type but who knows, I may be wrong).

Anyway... What should be a true Game Of The Year award? First it should be renamed because GOTY has seen so much abuse through the years that it barely means anything anymore. Second it should be handled by an independent entity that has no direct ties to the video-gaming industry (not even in a reviewing capacity) and last it should be decided mainly by gamers, on a worldwide scale (after all the web is there to facilitate votes). Last but not least, the competition should run from October to October with a voting at the end of December eliminating any contestants for which gamers couldn't have sufficient time to judge. Games released on November and December would be eligible for the following year, of course.

That wouldn't be perfect but at least that would be more democratic and less messy than the current GOTY system. One year = One GOTY (with the possibility of one per platform), that's how it should be.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein