The Sneaky's 2009

Otherwise know as The Annual Golden Gopher Awards. Or just my favorite games of 2009.

After further investigation (droopy pipes, trench coats, and many anonymous phone booth calls), 2009 was the biggest year in terms of how many game tapes I’ve solved, and how many I’ve bought. So many games that I felt were fantastic and worth buying just couldn't make this "Top 10" list.

That said, the game that I’ve been playing the most this year is a game that came out in 2008 and caught me by total surprise was Valkyria Chronicles. That game for all i care is one of the best games of this generation and is one of the very few RPG's that i can even stand. It may look "kiddie" or even "too anime," but trust me when i say that it is one of the most emotional and mature story's ever told in any game. Therefore its not on this list, since its exclusively 2009 games. Just throwing that out there.

The Sneaky is a very prestigious award that dates back all the way to 1989, the year Legacy of The Wizard was released. The game was so terrible it prompted my grand father Walter T. Chanceworth to take action into his own hands by making sure that only the good game tapes were recognized and publicized to the masses. The name "Sneaky" arose as he felt these tapes snuck under the radar from big brother outlets such as GamePro and EGM, which he felt were in the pocket of major publishers like Brøderbund and Ultra. The golden gopher displayed on the trophy emanated from the Native American philosophy of perceiving gophers as having a cognitive mental competence of "uncovering hidden truths, meanings, and all the lies beneath a situation. Gopher will show timing in which path to take of the many choices available and how those choices are interconnected. Gopher shows how to maneuver with purpose and keep the balance of instincts in tune the heartbeat of the earth. Pay attention to the movement and follow Gopher's wisdom for deeper truths await." The importance of the rodent stuck with him while on his travels with the Powhatan in Western Virginia. He felt that The Sneaky's stood for something much greater than just an award stamp for the back of the box. It stood for uncovering the truths by showcasing the games that were actually fun to play and that may have snuck under the radar because of paid off corupt journalist. It exploited the lies that plagued the video game industry throughout the 80's. Much like the animal, it brought balance to the video game industry and made gamers more in tune to the heartbeat of the hobby they grew to love.

He posted the results on his CompuServe BBS discussion entitled "The Sneaky's." Making certain that tapes like Phantasy Star 2, Gameboy Tetris, Duck Tales and Ninja Turtles II Arcade got their time in the limelight for 1989. Though in hindsight Cobra Triangle should have made the top ten list. The outrage of its absence did not go unnoticed with the readers who had just spent upwards to 10 minutes dialing into the BBS. They made sure their animosity towards its absence was heard by going to elaborate lengths of sending packages to his house containing cases by the dozens of freshly mint copies of Cobra Triangle and even calling in bomb threats to his home phone. A rival BBS was soon posted in response entitled “The Spackler’s.” The reference was to Carl Spackler, Bill Murrays character in Caddy Shack who was hell bent on destroying and killing a gopher. The movement ended up back firing as the BBS quickly became used to trade various Debbie Gibson images with video games now taking a back seat. With everyone flocking back to The Sneaky’s for his or her trusted video game awards, it continued to grow more and more.

The controversy is hard to ignore and has forced us to make sure that we take absolute care during the deliberations even today. It still represents what Walter T. Chanceworth envisioned it would back in 1989. That’s to make sure that it doesn’t lie about what’s exceptional and to remind us that this medium is a living breathing ever-growing structure that has a pulse. “The moment we allow lie’s to defile our hobby, that’s the moment it looses it’s pulse.” – Walter T. Chanceworth.

Without further ado, I present to you the Annual Golden Gopher Awards.

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