The Game Awards were more infuriating than usual in 2023 | Kaser Focus



At first blush, The Game Awards 2023 was not very different from previous events. Most of the complaints I could level at Geoff Keighley’s tenth show are ones I could make against the ninth, the eighth and so on. The show was overly focused on Hollywood actors over game-based performers. Kojima’s game reveal that wasn’t a game reveal went on for entirely too long. The orchestra practically jumped down the throats of any award recipient who said more than a cursory “Thank you” on the mic (Keighley even agrees with me on the last one).

In any other year, I’d be annoyed, but not upset. While I hate Keighley’s propensity to fawn over anyone from the film and TV industry who shows up at these events and I wish the actual awards were given more focus, I’m accept that this Just How It Is. But in 2023, that felt like even more of a kick in the teeth than it usually does. The Game Awards have always been commercial, but watching Keighley and company wallow in that aspect of the show while the actual industry that’s propping up the event is on fire put my hackles in the air.

Am I talking about the layoffs again? You bet I am. Even by the most conservative estimates, over 7,000 people lost their jobs in the games industry this year. I’m not saying I expected The Game Awards to pay direct tribute to them. Heck, I’m not even saying The Game Awards needed to be a downer. I would have settled for the bare minimum of just acknowledging how many people have been screwed over this year and some lip service to the fact that the show wouldn’t exist without their work.

Instead, what we got was a show where the people who were actually part of the games were played off the stage after 30 seconds while barely being allowed to express their gratitude. Some of the awards weren’t given on the stage at all. The Game Awards has always been a marketing gimmick disguised as a celebration, but the fact the disguise was so transparent on this year, of all times, makes more upsetting than ever. If 2023 has taught us anything, it’s that saying, “That’s Just How It Is” is no longer an adequate justification — if it ever was in the first place.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
  • Sonic Dream Team
  • LEGO Fortnite
  • Arizona Sunshine 2
  • While the Iron’s Hot
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
  • Kingpin Reloaded
  • Born of Bread
  • The Day Before
  • Puzzle & Dragons Story
  • Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties: Definitive Edition

New on subscription services:

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox Game Pass)
  • World War Z: Aftermath (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Goat Simulator 3 (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Against the Storm (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Chivalry 2 (Xbox Game Pass Core)
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service (Xbox Game Pass Core)
  • Lego 2K Drive (PlayStation Plus Essential)
  • Powerwash Simulator (PlayStation Plus Essential)
  • Sable (PlayStation Plus Essential)
  • Deathloop (Prime Gaming)
  • Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express (GeForce Now)
  • BEAST (GeForce Now)
  • Dungeons 4 (GeForce Now)
  • Farming Simulator 22 (GeForce Now)
  • Hollow Knight (GeForce Now)
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (GeForce Now)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (GeForce Now)
  • Spirittea (GeForce Now)
  • Harvest Moon 64 (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • 1080° Snowboarding (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Jet Force Gemini (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Disney Dreamlight Valley Arcade Edition (Apple Arcade)
  • Turmoil+ (Apple Arcade)

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