Host Selection for the Game Awards

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redcream

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Geoff Keighley has been updating the world on Twitter on the presenters for this year's The Game Awards and while there are luminaries from the gaming industry present like Reggie Fils-Aime, there are also some choices which are odd (even though I respect them in their own respective crafts) e.g. Stephen A Smith, Christopher Nolan, and Gal Gadot to name a few. It's closest thing the game industry has to an Academy Award but it seems kinda weird to me that these presenters are barely associated with video games, if at all. It's an interesting way of producing the show for sure and I dig the non-insular approach. Inviting these celebrities would maybe lend legitimacy to the awards which the game industry seems to have been clamoring for for so long but I do not know of any instance where celebrities from the Oscars or the Grammy, or any awards shows for that matter intermingled with one another (apart from performances and actors who are also successful musical artists). Sorry for rambling on and on. My point being, it should only be fair that someday, Hideo Kojima or (cue in the laugh track) David Cage, or Jonathan Blow, or any other reputable gaming personality be invited in the more established awards show as a host or some sort of presenter.

Eh, in the end what does it matter, right? It's an awards show, who gives a damn? Still, I want to know your thoughts on this trivial matter. Should Geoff Keighley invite more non-gaming personalities or should he endeavor to include more gaming personalities in place of these celebrities or is he doing an excellent job mixing in both gaming and non-gaming personalities?

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dudeglove

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It's less about the whether their craft lines up; Keighley and his production company are clearly hustling to get "respectable" names attached to the show as opposed to, y'know, the Schick Hydrobot

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bigsocrates

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#3 bigsocrates  Online

The big difference between the Grammys and the Oscars and the Game Awards (besides the Game Awards being even more nakedly commercial) is that games don't really have mainstream celebrities associated with them. It's partially the nature of interactive entertainment (in that with rare exceptions there are no live human performances) and partially just the nature of the industry, history, and the hype machines associated with it.

The Oscars and Grammys rarely have directors and producers as presenters (unless they're megastars, often with on screen careers in addition to their behind the scenes work) for similar reasons. Even big game actors like Nolan North are not well known outside the game enthusiast group and don't have celebrity that even approaches those of movie or music stars.

There are some crossover actors or musicians who have done game work (Keanu Reeves obviously comes to mind right now) but they are relatively few and even then it's not their main gig. Plus many of them are B or C level stars (Nathan Fillion has done a bunch of game stuff but he's not at 'Oscar presenter' level.)

For those reasons it makes sense for the Game Awards to get presenters who are better known, and because it's half award show half PR event it's just what they're going to do. Would Will Wright make more sense than Christopher Nolan? Yes from a subject matter perspective but very few people know who he is let alone what he looks like.

The Game Awards is not about legitimacy or like artistic integrity. They're about hype and headlines.

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sombre

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TGA is the awards equivalent of a clickbait headline.

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FinalDasa

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#5 FinalDasa  Moderator

@sombre said:

TGA is the awards equivalent of a clickbait headline.

This is pretty apt.

The same goes for the celeb guest hosts. They are there to get eyeballs on the product. The same thing happened when the Game Awards were on Spike and they'd trot out Snoop Dogg to give out an award.

Despite the grandstanding, these awards aren't about developers, it's about eyeballs and advertising. For every real moment with a dev they have a World Premiere or a can't miss celebrity moment.

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zoofame

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The Game Awards has always been and will always be a joke.

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hermes

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I think people underestimate than being a public celebrity personality, a host personality and being a gaming personality are very different skillset. I have a lot of respect for Kojima, Blow and Miyamoto. Do I want to listen to them talking about development or lighting techniques? Absolutely. Do I want to see them struggling for hours with the language and trying to deliver on jokes somebody else wrote (that are likely going to land dead at their feet)? Hell no.

The best we can hope for is a public celebrity that is known for having familiarity with games. Just call Jack Black... The alternatives are celebrities that are not familiar or interested, and see it on the level of a Bar Mitzvah or a Prom (like Joel McHale) or celebrities that are only known by the gaming audience and cringe inducing on the general public (like Ninja or Dr Disrespect). Neither of those options is better than the alternative we got...

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bigsocrates

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#8 bigsocrates  Online

@dudeglove: Flagged for disrespecting the Hydrobot. There is nobody more respectable or deserving of respect than the Hydrobot. He's like a Pepsiman you can rub all over your face, and who hasn't spent many, many, hours thinking about rubbing Pepsiman all over their face?

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monkeyking1969

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Well, we all know that Stephen A Smith, Christopher Nolan, and Gal Gadot brings more eye balls then Brian Horton, Bryan Intihar, and Marcus Smith (some of the directors behind Spider-Man: Miles Morales).

I think when it comes to the game awards I would wish that they would care less about being "flashy" and just be honest that some really introverted/quirky people make some really great games...and just emebarcess the quirk. I don't need Gal Gadot, she a cool lady and very pretty...but I'll never watch a show where they have to trot someone famous on stage like a show pony.

I rather the show be "__________ game won GOTY" and then they show a small highlight clip of some iconic gameplay, then the directors and or producers of teh game appear on a 'pre-made' to THANK EVERYONE for the award. All the "video thanks" are done ahead of time just in case, by they win. After the show Geoff mail the awards out. Nobody needs to come on stage! Hell, nobody needs to be in the audiences. The show runs like clockwork because all the highlight reels for nominated games and acceptance speeches are "in the can".

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Gundato

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I don't know how devs actually feel about the game awards outside of "Oh, cool, we got a bump in sales because we had best music" in a manner similar to how Tetris Effect's devs talked about seeing a noticeable sales bump after GB (I think that was the example?)

I do know that a lot of devs very openly like to prep announcements and do PR stuff with TGA because it goes out to a huge audience. Like a compact E3. Although, there is also the question of if that is needed in the year of a thousand digital E3s.

And in that regard, celebrities, music events (that are somehow overshadowed by their baby daddy?), and so forth is the way to go. Microsoft aren't going to announce the Series X while five of us are laughing because Steve Sinclair told his story about the maintenance guy who (rightfully) hated the lightning gun as an anecdote before announcing the winner of "best DLC". MAYBE a Kojima could pull that off but I also have some friends in the game industry who kind of hate when Kojimas take all the credit so... No, they want Vin Diesel dying inside because he knows how bad the game he is announcing is or "That guy from Community" pissing off all the kids who can't take a joke and so forth.

At the end of the day: TGA is any awards ceremony. Maybe some of the recipients care and maybe some are just there because of contractual obligations. Whatever. At least TGA is a night with a lot of cool trailers you can either watch "live" or catch in a writeup the next day. Which kind of puts it way above the oscars and so forth in my mind (even if I usually just check the writeup for what was announced).

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LapsarianGiraff

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@gundato: Honestly? I work at game studio and the only time we've talked about TGA is to talk about maybe premiering an ad there. Given how similar news has been received here in the past, I bet we'd get a quick line from our CEO, "oh by the way, we won this award, that's cool" and then move on, ha.

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dudeglove

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I'd also add that if you're looking for "serious" industry awards - those already exist. Things like DICE and the IGDAs and IndieCade have been a thing for years. The VGAs aren't going for that vibe. It's striving for a general mass attention thing.

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PeezMachine

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The Game Awards are, at best, the VMAs of games.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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If you're coming into the TGAs expecting the actual games industry to be treated with any degree of respect or dignity, this ain't the awards show for you.

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BladeOfCreation

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Nothing is more cringe-inducing than watching celebrities get up on stage, recite some canned lines about how they've always been a gamer, and having them read the category nominees that they've clearly never even heard of before. That's not to say that celebrities don't play video games. Gal Gadot probably does. The most-viewed Twitch streamers probably watch movies. It doesn't mean they should be presenting the Academy Awards.

There is an overlap of celebrity and games, but it's never the celebrities they want. You know who should present an award this year? Gary Whitta. Screenwriter (including a Star Wars movie, so he's got Hollywood clout), games writer, and he started a talk show that took place entirely inside Animal Crossing. But no. For some reason, people think A-list celebrities will get people who are not interested in games to watch this and take it seriously. It smacks of someone upset that no one takes their hobby seriously. I'm sorry kids made fun of you for liking games in school, Geoff. Get the fuck over it.

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Raven10

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So first off, the Game Awards on not the equivalent of the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, or Emmys. That would be the GDC Awards hosted in March. All are chosen by industry members to honor their colleagues. That is why it is such an honor. Because Daniel Day Lewis said you were the best actor of the year not named Daniel Day Lewis. Miyamoto said you were the best game designer not named Miyamoto. And that means a Hell of a lot more than what some critics say.

That said, The Game Awards are much better than the days when they aired on whatever that awful TV station was. Geoff now has full creative control and has made some really great choices over the years in presenters, structure, and performances. People like to roast the dude but he gets the scoops, he's a fantastic writer on the off chance he gets to do a written piece, and he overall really seems to love games.

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sombre

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I don't understand why Christopher Nolan is presenting an award

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bigsocrates

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#18 bigsocrates  Online

@sombre: We're talking about it, aren't we?

That's it. He's famous. He has a lot of fanboys, some of whom may tune in to see him.

Why is Matthew McConaughey on TV trying to sell you cars? Same reason.

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Giant_Gamer

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There are developers who look completely comfortable on stage. These are the people that are worth watching in TGA. Bringing celebrities won't matter to the viewers unless they make an announcement or bring some content to display.

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development

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They should have got Brie Larson instead of fascist-supporter Gal Godot. On top of Cyberpunk not winning GOTY this would put millions of gamers into five year comas (they hate Brie Larson).

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glik

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@sombre: To remind you that Tenet is currently on/coming soon to HBO Max/Disney+/Netflix/CBS All Access/the streaming platform of your choice. Gal Gadot has a Wonder Woman movie to sell.

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BladeOfCreation

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@glik: Christopher Nolan isn't gonna be trying to sell people on watching his movie at home.

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Rejizzle

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Will the game awards be streaming on GB tonight? Dunking on it with the community is always a highlight of my year.

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brian_

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#24  Edited By brian_

It's incredibly frustrating for me to see the game industry trying to garner mainstream attention by roping in mainstream stars from other industries instead of propelling their own stars into the mainstream. You're not going to become the new Hollywood by putting Hollywood up on a pedestal and indicating how much more important Hollywood is than you are.

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Gundato

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#25  Edited By Gundato

@theoracleofgame: Makes sense. A friend from undergrad who works on a pretty well regarded TV show summarizes awards as "Oh, cool <BLANK> will bring the good donuts in on Monday"

-----

I dunno, a lot of responses in this thread seem like they still miss the point (and at least one person just seems really angry for some reason...). Sending DiCaprio on stage to present a best performance award is fine but... how much of those performances are Leo and how much of that was the director and the writers and even the poor overworked sumbitch in the editing booth trying to cut together twelve different takes?

Its the same thing there. You get the biggest name you can to get the most eyes you can. Sure sometimes you actually get the "no name" director but even then it is usually someone who has won so many times that people know who they are that is giving the award.

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Onemanarmyy

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There's a lot of grumpiness around celebs being part of this, but we live in a world where people care a lot about Keanu appearing on a stage to the point where i saw that particular gif as late as a few weeks ago. People in general care about celebrity appearances and can't stop talking & sharing that stuff. So naturally these events like E3 and The Game Awards figure that getting celebs to be part of their event is the way to go.

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whitegreyblack

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Part of video games hitting it big in the mainstream is exorcising game's insular, gatekeep-y culture and opening up to all.

Celebrities can be incredibly off-putting, but "gamers" being pissed off that a celebrity (who puts a huge percentage of their life's time & effort into stuff like being a highly paid professional in their field, and other pursuits) doesn't hang out on game sites enough to know 100% of the games listed on a nomination list they are reading on a corny awards show can fuck right off.

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imhungry

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I've changed my opinion about all of this. Keep making dumb things like this happen Geoff.

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frytup

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Of all the things to get precious about...

How to watch the Game Awards:

1) Subscribe to the youtube channel
2) Refresh every 30 mins in between doing something else
3) Watch any trailers that look interesting

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MostlySquares

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I feel pretty good when a celeb I like is somehow entagled in the game scene. I feel very good when I find out they actually love games. It creates a small sliver of kinship with someone who was previously seen as a celebrity doing celebrity things. It's very easy for us to think that celebs are always just doing hollywood shit, but that's not the case. Lots of them are playing video games like crazy, and as a gamer that just feels nice. I think this is why they try to get so many celebrities in there. Gives me a good feeling, probably does for others as well.

I also think celebs kinda want to be there, cause the video game industry isn't some tiny thing.. It's bigger than music and movies put together... .. It's not smalltime nonsense for nerds and losers anymore, it is the biggest entertainment industry in the world. We're like 4 years away from a scenario where Obama could realistically make a PSA about quitting smoking... Gaming is unbelievably enormous. Fortnite makes so much money at this point that there's nothing Disney can do with a single IP that would even touch Fortnite's profits. Avengers Endgame is pathetic in comparison.... Didn't even make half of what Fortnite made this year. Think about that shit.... The blockbusterest movie ever didn't come close to beating the blockbusterest game at the moment... If I was a celeb I would want to get my feet in that door post haste.

Gaming is SO BIG... We just don't really feel it cause we're still surfing on this subculture-vibe which is really only in our minds. Games used to be for outcasts and losers.. That's like 20 years in the past now. Thinking gaming is still this underground club for outcasts is like feeling special cause you watch movies or listen to pop music.

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Humanity

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#31  Edited By Humanity

All in all the Game Awards are the closest the gaming industry has ever gotten to a "respectable" awards ceremony. It may not be that great and it definitely serves as a vehicle for announcements and advertising first and foremost, but at least it is taking baby steps forward in not looking like an embarrassing mess to outside the world. Getting celebrities and even directors like Nolan with renown to get up there and treat it semi-seriously will go a ways in maybe moving away from the image gaming culture has managed to foster over the decades.

I agree with the sentiment above that "gamers" need to let get of the insular mindset. If they want Nolan to present a "serious" award with a straight face about directing in games or whatever then I'm fine with that. It's a lot better than another show like Conans gamer skit where once again games are used as a stepping stone to cheap comedy - especially when on the very same show he will invite actors and talk in earnest about the great plot of another Marvel movie.

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zoofame

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The endless concern trolling and handwaving of every criticism as "gatekeeping" is extremely tiresome. This is entirely too much effort to nail yourself to a cross that nobody cares about in the first place.

And lol at people thinking Chris Nolan needs defending after his abhorrent tantrum that people don't want to die from COVID in a crowded theater for his latest wank piece.

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Gundato

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@zoofame:

Hey, thanks for demonstrating the problem. Hopefully most folk will realize you are being sarcastic but you might want to edit in a "/s" because it can be hard to convey on the internet. Poe's Law and all that

But yeah, that is the issue. People can have semi-nuanced discussions explaining motivations, what the reality is, and so forth .And then folk will run by and just need to get in their bullshit one liner that Pewdiepie et al taught them was a "reaction". Issues with "not a real gamer" responses getting distilled down to whiny SJWs complaining about imaginary gatekeeping is a great example. So is the continued insistance that Nolan is a whiny baby rather than acknowledge that a LOT of Hollywood is angry that they are getting screwed over contractually because of the HBO Max moves and it seems like only Gal Gadot and WW84 got compensated. Why understand when you can just complain?

So yeah, thanks. I think you more or less encapsulated a lot of why it is so frustrating to try to have a discussion about anything and why we'll have this exact same thread every single year.

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BladeOfCreation

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As somebody who "hate-watches" this show every year...other than the silliness of announcing multiple awards at once just to get back to WORLD PREMIERES, this was the least cringey this show has ever been.