Have/would you put games you've only watched in a GOTY list?

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liquiddragon

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Edited By liquiddragon

Poll Have/would you put games you've only watched in a GOTY list? (170 votes)

Yes 23%
Only certain types of games (comment below) 7%
Decide case-by-case (comment below) 17%
No 53%

I still can't get myself to but it seems like the attitude on this has changed over the years. For me, we're still dealing with the games medium and even if I enjoyed the crap out of stuff like Contradiction or Life is Strange on the site, it doesn't make sense to put it on a list with games I've actually played. I'd have fun making up a list of games I enjoyed watching in a given year but can not and will not cross streams.

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BoboBones

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#1  Edited By BoboBones

Hitman was #1 on Austin Walkers GOTY list last year and he said at the time that he hadn't played it. There are a number of titles that I can see working better watching, but I think which games are highly dependent on the person.

I think Yakuza 0 is awesome, but it's a game I'd rather watch East Coast play then dive in myself. Gravity Rush 2 is something I would NEVER watch someone else play, because the best part of that game is simply the feeling of controlling Kat.

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BeachThunder

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Nah, that just seems disingenuous to me.

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FrostyRyan

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No. It's dishonest.

Games are interactive.

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AndrewTanner

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If a game is there to tell a story and the mechanics are largely backseat or there to move the game forward then yes (Life is Strange for example or Undertale), but I wouldn't put a platformer or shooter I hadn't played as my GOTY simply because I never had my hands on it and that is where the real fun is to be found.

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mike

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#5  Edited By mike

@frostyryan said:

No. It's dishonest.

Games are interactive.

What about in cases of people who are born or become severely disabled and aren't physically able to play all but the simplest games, but they still enjoy watching them? Is someone like that being "dishonest" because they loved watching an able-bodied person play through that game on YouTube - something that they couldn't do?

What difference does it even make what people like or why they like them? GOTY lists are inherently subjective anyway. Why can't people have games that rank among their favorites that they have only watched? Furthermore, what if someone is really into Visual Novels? Those are technically games, we even have Wiki pages for them on Giant Bomb. Some have no choice, or very little choice, and the interactivity is limited to essentially turning the page. For people with those games among their favorites, what difference does it really make if they "played" it themselves, or watched someone else do it? Are they being dishonest too, or is this just for you personally you would feel it would be dishonest?

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jeddy201

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Hitman was #1 on Austin Walkers GOTY list last year and he said at the time that he hadn't played it. There are a number of titles that I can see working better watching, but I think which games are highly dependent on the person.

iirc, that was on Austin's list on GB, which was best games to watch in 2016, not his actual goty. It still made it on his list at Waypoint, but his goty was hyper light drifter (or the sprawl, but that's tabletop).

Personally, I don't have a problem if other people do this, but it doesn't feel right for me. I just think the "playing" part is too vital for video games for it to make it on my list of actual games of the year.

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nicksmi56

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Definitely not. I still need to play games for myself before I decide I love them. Watching is an entirely different experience.

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Justin258

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#8  Edited By Justin258

GOTY lists are stupid fun so put whatever you want on them. However, for me personally, the answer is no. I do feel like I have to have actually played the game in question before I can put it in a "best of" list.

There have been a couple of years where my GOTY list largely consisted of games that didn't even come out that year. 2013 springs to mind. Some other years, mine have consisted of games that I didn't even finish - I never wrote one for 2016 but if I had, Tokyo Mirage Sessions would have been a very strong contender and I never finished that game.

That said, I do think it is good form to specify these kinds of things. If you watched someone play it, please mention who you watched play through it.

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WynnDuffy

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I only put movies on my GOTY lists

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FrostyRyan

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#10  Edited By FrostyRyan

@mike: There was really no need to make a long comment focusing on how I might be neglecting disabled people, especially since other people in this thread said pretty much the same thing as me.

They're just GOTY lists. He asked if I would put a game on my GOTY list if I hadn't actually played it and I said no. Calm down.

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ivdamke

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I personally wouldn't because the act of playing a game is the most important thing to me.

However there will undoubtedly be people out there who derive more enjoyment from watching a game than they have played any within that given year so I'd say its totally fair game. If a game can provide you with more entertainment/enjoyment just by simply watching it rather than playing it then why not?

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GrizzlyButts

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Why the hell not? In fact, I'd love to see lists that were "GOTY that I only watched" because it is a valid, modern form of entertainment at this point. There are certain cases where I'd just as well have watched (literally just watched) a game instead of played it. I'm being somewhat cynical here, but I could have watched Journey, Proteus, Dear Esther, Gone Home, or Absu etc. etc. instead of playing any of them and it would have been the same experience for me. If I played two hours of DOTA 2 this year and watched 200 matches, is that any more valid a form of 'interaction' than spending just as much time watching PUBG and never getting a feel for it? I could see both sides of the argument, and personally value the gameplay experience above all else, but I wouldn't see it as dishonest if someone watched 300 hours of Overwatch and had a blast. They're partaking however they see fit. As long as it is fun, you're doing it right.

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BisonHero

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#13  Edited By BisonHero

If the gameplay is very light in the first place and everyone's personal playthrough is basically exactly the same, I'm pretty fine with it. I think I was too lazy to actually make a GotY list that year, but I would've put Contradiction on there. Like, I didn't play it, but at this point would it really make a difference if I played through it with my own 2 hands, when it would be the exact same series of events as when Vinny did it? So extend this out to most visual novels, most Phoenix Wright games, etc., where your GotY input on the game would mostly be about the writing and story and visuals anyway.

If it's a game where I feel like I haven't experienced the controls, or the sense of satisfaction from learning how to overcome obstacles myself, and that is a significant part of the game, then I wouldn't feel as comfortable putting it on my GotY list.

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Tom_omb

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#14  Edited By Tom_omb

No.

That said my favorite thing about Mario Maker was the Dan vs. Patrick saga and may be the reason that I ranked it number 2 on my list that year. I still played it and had plenty of fun outside of watching the videos.

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mike

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#15  Edited By mike

@frostyryan said:

@mike: There was really no need to make a long comment focusing on how I might be neglecting disabled people, especially since other people in this thread said pretty much the same thing as me.

They're just GOTY lists. He asked if I would put a game on my GOTY list if I hadn't actually played it and I said no. Calm down.

I wasn't talking about how YOU specifically "neglect disabled people"...holy cow, man.

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Fredchuckdave

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Depends on the game but I think PUBG for instance is probably fun to play but immensely more fun to watch people play incompetently. There are games that aren't interactive at all and only loosely fit the definition of game; those when watched could be GoTY material from watching though I wouldn't place them on my personal list most likely; but I might vote for them in a poll or something. Spec Ops: The Line is worth watching and playing.

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Rebel_Scum

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Almost exclusively lol. I don't play much and don't buy new games very often.

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BoboBones

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GundamGuru

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#19  Edited By GundamGuru

I think it's usually fine. Consider people who like to enjoy single-player games with others, like the common example of couples playing a game where they one "drives" and the other may make some dialog choices or other decisions. Obviously it depends on the style of game, but for narrative-focused games I think watching someone else play is fine.

Now if you mean just watching a game on Youtube or some other type of Let's Play, then yeah, it's still fine, depending on the style of game and whether it's the game or the personality you actually enjoyed. If you primarily remember a game because of the personality who did the playthough, it probably shouldn't be on your GOTY list. Persona 4 because of the Endurance Run would be an example.

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bigsocrates

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Absolutely not.

For one thing, I wouldn't be reviewing the game, I would be reviewing whatever I watched of it. So for example if I watched the Bombadiers play Hitman I would be reviewing the experience of watching Vinny hilariously screw around in Hitman, which is one part Hitman and one part Vinny. It's unfair to give Hitman credit for the Vinny part, and they become kind of inseparable. You can say that Hitman provides the canvas upon which Vinny paints his comedy art, and that's fine, but being a good conduit for Vinny is very different from being a great game.

Along the same lines if you watch someone play you don't really get a sense for difficulty spikes or places you might get stuck or just content that they bypass or don't explore.

I don't care what others do but for me to put a game on my GOTY list I have to have played it and (assuming it has an ending) preferably finished it. I am less draconian about that because I am comfortable saying a game is great if I loved the first 20 hours, even if the last 10 goes downhill.

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KSCK26

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@bigsocrates: I was reading through this thread and getting a little scared. Thank you for being the voice of reason.

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DarkeyeHails

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Games that are built around light mechanics and strong stories may make the cut. Anything else is probably a no from me.

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spankingaddict

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God no !

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FrodoBaggins

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Absolutely yes. If I watched somebody play a game I can tell whether or not I would have enjoyed playing it myself. I'm a big boy I've been playing video games for a long time, I'm able to make that call.

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LeStephan

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#25  Edited By LeStephan

This, except I personaly dont 100% agree on needing to finish games :p Nioh will probably be in my top 10 this year but im not sure I'll want to finish it, played for 60 hours, it was very fun for that amount of time, kinda done with it now though.

@bigsocrates said:

Absolutely not.

For one thing, I wouldn't be reviewing the game, I would be reviewing whatever I watched of it. So for example if I watched the Bombadiers play Hitman I would be reviewing the experience of watching Vinny hilariously screw around in Hitman, which is one part Hitman and one part Vinny. It's unfair to give Hitman credit for the Vinny part, and they become kind of inseparable. You can say that Hitman provides the canvas upon which Vinny paints his comedy art, and that's fine, but being a good conduit for Vinny is very different from being a great game.

Along the same lines if you watch someone play you don't really get a sense for difficulty spikes or places you might get stuck or just content that they bypass or don't explore.

I don't care what others do but for me to put a game on my GOTY list I have to have played it and (assuming it has an ending) preferably finished it. I am less draconian about that because I am comfortable saying a game is great if I loved the first 20 hours, even if the last 10 goes downhill.

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liquiddragon

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@bisonhero: Just to make a counter argument, I'll say that, having just played through Life is Strange, my solo experience was much different than when I watched the GBE crew play it. Playing in the dark with surround at my own pace, different things stuck out, though we have to also factor that it was my 2nd time seeing it. In regards to Contradiction, knowing my personality and taste, playing it alone, I don't think it'd be in on the joke as much or at all. I can see myself watching a bad movie with people and getting a kick out of it but experiencing it alone, which is how I usually play games, I tend just have more of a critical eye.

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Redhotchilimist

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#27  Edited By Redhotchilimist

No. I would put those in my theoretical Let's Play Of The Year list. It's incredibly rare that I just watch a video playthrough of a game with zero commentary. Last one I can recall was Inside, on ol' Dan's recommendation. And I feel unqualified to comment because I haven't got a clue how it feels, or had to figure out a single puzzle. It's like rating a meal based on watching someone eat it through a glass wall. I would feel like I made an uninformed decision, and was tricking people besides, if I put a game like that in my GOTY list. It's more relevant to recommend the let's play I watched.

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blackichigo

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#28  Edited By blackichigo

Me personally, no I would not. Yakuza 0 for example is a game that is much more fun to watch then to actually play myself in my opinion.

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maddman60620

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#29  Edited By maddman60620

If it were movie of the year you could not just rank a film based on a trailer, how many trailers have you seen only to be super disappointed when you finally get to see... As far as ranked by looking at let's plays and reviews when it comes to games, again like movies a press critic or personality can hype up or tear down something that if you were to see it/play it for yourself might have you come to the opposite opinion that to being presented to you.. commentary reactions and live streams/let's plays are more of a presentation then what the actually game may feel like...

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GERALTITUDE

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Depends on what the nature of the list is.

"GOTY" is very vague really. Here's a few examples..

  • a list of historical important or innovative games (most important games)
  • a list of games which really took the internet by storm (most popular games)
  • a list of games you personally played and enjoyed (personal taste)
  • a list of games that a group played and enjoyed (mixed)

Other than the 3rd version of GOTY, I'm not sure I care if people actually played the games or not.

At the end of the day, so long as the nature / format of the list is clear, I'd be interested in any / all scenarios described above. So, would I put games I didn't play in my list of favourite games I played? No. But would I put those games on a list of games I felt were most popular? Or most important for the industry? Sure.

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FacelessVixen

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No. As good as I am about telling whether or not I'd like a game just by looking at it, adding games that I've only seen to that kind of list just feels wrong. Besides, I don't buy enough new games in a year to even fill out a top four.

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Brendan

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People can make whatever list they want, but I wouldn't mark something down without trying it.

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ArtisanBreads

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#33  Edited By ArtisanBreads

Case by case for me.

I would consider doing it only purely for something I watched if I really didn't play much that was good that year. To me at that point it is sort of something different than how I would think about what me ranking games means.

It does add to a game's ranking for me. I made Hitman my top choice in part because I loved watching it on GB so much as well as playing it.

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Undeadpool

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It's kind of funny that people are talking about how you can't judge a game just by watching it, buuuuuuuuut seem to be forgetting 2015's FMV GOTY Contradiction: Spot the Liar.

It's a game that is only interactive cutscenes and that has zero variation in how you play it, at least as the story and cutscenes are concerned. If I wanted to put it on my GOTY list for 2015 after just watching the playthrough, I don't see how going back and forcing myself to play it, already knowing how and what happens, would alter my viewpoint on it at all.

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MetalBaofu

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Personally, I don't think I would do that. I might would mention a game like that as a "runner up" or something, but not on the actual list.

That said, I could see people doing that for certain games. Mainly adventure type games, like the Telltale stuff, Life is Strange, Contradiction, etc. The main thing of those games is the story. Yeah, you get to make some decisions that can have some effect, but the main parts of the story are still there for everyone.

On the other hand, someone putting an FPS, fighting game, etc. that they've never played onto their list would seem strange to me.

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discomposure

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Nope.

If it's a very story-driven game like a Telltale or visual novel then I think it's probably alright to do so if you've watched the whole game but otherwise it seems a bit silly.

I never watch full playthroughs of games anyway

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BoOzak

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#37  Edited By BoOzak

Nope.

I really enjoyed the Deadly Premonition ER but without experiencing the questionable gameplay I cant say whether it's GOTY worthy.

Having played through Yakuza 0 I can safely say some aspects of the game are made out to be far worse than they are in GB's not ER ER.

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clagnaught

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#38  Edited By clagnaught

Yes, but I haven't applied it that many times. Hitman for instance is one of my favorite games from last year, but it ranked close to the top of my list because I have watched other people play it. Sort of the same thing with Super Mario Maker, since my enjoyment was a constant roll of the dice.

I haven't added a game I solely to my GOTY list. The closest one I can think of if I were to do something retroactively would be Kerbal probably towards the bottom of that year's list.

Some of the games that first come to mind that would be suitable for this type of thing, like Life is Strange, Heavy Rain, Until Dawn, I have all played myself before watching other people play them. Playing those games have always been a better experience, so it's hard to say how I would judge them if I never played them. I probably would have gotten a kick out of the Until Dawn Playdate if I never touched it before.

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Teddie

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It's kind of funny that people are talking about how you can't judge a game just by watching it, buuuuuuuuut seem to be forgetting 2015's FMV GOTY Contradiction: Spot the Liar.

It's a game that is only interactive cutscenes and that has zero variation in how you play it, at least as the story and cutscenes are concerned. If I wanted to put it on my GOTY list for 2015 after just watching the playthrough, I don't see how going back and forcing myself to play it, already knowing how and what happens, would alter my viewpoint on it at all.

I would have enjoyed it less if I played it myself, since GB's commentary was half of my enjoyment of that game, and playing it actually looked like a chore. I'd sooner put the video feature on a GOTY list than the game itself.

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TheWildCard

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There's probably a narrow range of narrative-focused games that can be just as good or better watching someone else play that I wouldn't feel the need to play it myself. It rare that I would watch something like that that's recent enough to be eligible for GOTY considerations.

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hippie_genocide

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No, I personally wouldn't, but I don't care if other people do. A list is nothing but a loosely organized collection of things. I make grocery lists then throw them away. Your GOTY list is hardly more important than that.

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TheHT

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Yes. Until Dawn is the only example I can find that I've done it for.

It's only dishonest if you say you've played it when you didn't.

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RonGalaxy

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Yes, because best of lists exist for our amusement; that's the only reason they exist. There are so many things in life that need to be taken seriously, and this isn't one of them.