Flicker flames and haunted faces
Shuffling feet find empty spaces
Moving shadows, someone's hurting
Huddle closer, campfire burning.

Thursday 1 August 2013

The Gaming Media Awards: Best of Brit-ish.

The twelvethty-summeth Gaming Media Awards are upon us, a time to celebrate the best of British writing talents and also people who have something to do with magazines and blogs and podcasts and those little malformed sentences pertaining to the sandwich someone you only vaguely know just enjoyed, or didn’t enjoy, and here’s a picture of it in blurry, squiffy colours.

And far be it for me to argue with the list of nominees, all of whom seem drawn from my very own Twitter list except for that one guy I unfollowed even though his retweeted bile shows up in my feed all the blasted time. Fuck that guy. I mean, I’m sure he’s nice and if you’re on board the good ship Constant Venomous Negativity then more power to you--or as we say on the Seven Seas, grab an oar and put your back into it.

But the disparity here, this “I like everyone who’s been nominated except for you; you I don’t like” is a good way of summing up what the GMAs are, or have become, or always were and always will be. As perspicacious as it was of me to assemble such a pool of pleasant, interesting and downright talented individuals I’m not all-seeing. Even just the British contingent of Internet gaming professionals is massive, and the names on the GMA shortlist--names we recognise, names we’ve seen before--are interrelated and incestuous. I’d call it a Boys Club if the phrase wasn’t loaded with connotations. And while the writers, podcasters, video-makers and tweeters are all very deserving (yes, even that guy) that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few more sadly edged to the roadside, or perhaps stood outside the Dickensian window, nose pressed to the pane watching those inside feast on roast goose and free bubbly.

I feel bad for them. I want them to be nominated as well. They deserve it, G-- damn it. For their videos are just as good, their podcasts perhaps even better, their words are written finesse and their coats are sleek and glossy, and catch the light when they jump the dear little walls and scamper through the dear little tunnels of the Best In Breed assault course in the GMA arena. And while they mightn’t care (or maybe they do; who can fathom the mind of a games writer?) leaving them in a ditch while their friends and workmates embark on this glorious road trip to recognition seems as cruel as having all but one of them on my Twitter list, and then drawing attention to this fact.

It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But if you read this morning’s list of GMA nominees and, before you put on your game face, before you nodded grim understanding and offered a smattering of applause to the guy or gal opposite who, at his or her desk, was already having his or her head fitted for a crown that says “BEST AT GAMES” on it and has sparklers on it also; if before that moment you felt a slight stirring, a slight sinking, a slight disappointment deep inside then know that hey, pal, I’ve got your back bro. You were overlooked, sure, and it sucks. But you’re absolutely right: you did deserve a nomination.

And even though you didn’t get one, at least you’re on my Twitter list. That’s gotta be some consolation, right?

No, hey, don’t cry. Why are you crying? Please don’t cry.

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