Game of the Year time is a time for self service. I’ve spent an entire calender talking about and writing about various Video Games, be they good or bad, and now I get to tell you all why this game or that game is really the best that came out of it all year. There’s a bit of a problem with the process though.
I didn’t play all the games.
It’s not shocking I guess. I don’t own a Playstation 3 or a 3DS or Wii U and those platforms had some really great games. So when I talk about my “Game of the Year” it’s a bit disingenuous because I have no authority to name a “Game of the Year”. All of this may seem rather obvious I suppose, but when games like ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’ come out to near universal praise I feel a bit of responsibility for not playing them critically. On our own Podcast James talked very highly of the Last of Us and it’s ending and during out End of Year cast (releasing later this week). I, however, didn’t get to play it.
So what if it really is my Game of the Year and I just don’t know it?
I’m not the only one though. I’d guess that most people who write for publications didn’t play every game released over any given year. Most of the writers from Official Playstation Magazine didn’t play Card Hunter and most console gamers didn’t get the joy of The Stanley Parable or Rogue Legacy. Video Game’s most visible awards show, the VGX, still treats all of it’s viewers as if they’re 16 year old ADD riddled idiots. I do think it’s time we have a proper awards show, with suits and a subdued audience and proper voting and the like… but the medium isn’t ready for that. We still celebrate fart jokes and 5-Star wanted levels.
When a game like Gone Home is held up and compared to a game like Grand Theft Auto V then you know there’s a problem with your system.
If you’re going to participate in the masturbatory practice of GOTY then you need to understand that it’s completely subjective. Jeff Gerstmann put Divekick at #6 on his list. 4chan almost pushed an eroge game into the #1 spot of Kotaku’s GOTY. You know what all of this means? There really isn’t a best game of 2013. Just the games that I liked the most and think you should check out.
Proper criticism over time can’t come in an amalgamation. A lot of people have given awards to The Last of Us. Is that definitively the best game released in 2013? It’s impossible to know. Maybe they didn’t get to play Tearaway.
- Pranksters Almost Voted An Erotic Game As Our Readers’ Game of the Year (kotaku.com)
- Gamespot Names The Legend Of Zelda A Link Between Worlds As Game Of The Year For 2013 (obaforums.wordpress.com)
- GOTY 2013 Game of the Year – Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (news.softpedia.com)