The Video Game BAFTA’s, better in every way?

In 2009, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) made a decision to create a set of awards for video games, recognising their contribution to the visual arts. This has been seen as a big step showing that video games can be treated as an equal to movie or television programme.

The BAFTAs are seen as a UK version of the major Hollywood awards ceremonies such as the Golden Globes and Oscars, with the ceremonies attracting big names to the event, with many members of the press viewing them as a prelude / good indication to their Hollywood counterparts.

Dara Ó Briain is a noted gamer and has hosted the awards since 2009

However, when it comes to the field of video games the only parable is the Spike VGAs; yet when you compare the BAFTAs to the VGAs you would think that they are for two differing media forms. The show is hosted by a well-known (in the UK) Irish comedian who is also a gamer himself, Dara O’Briain.

Most of the attendees to the award show are people who work in the industry and this makes the interviews more accessible to the audience. Since this is an awards show, all of the attendees are in formal clothing and many of the presenters are avid gamers, developers, or are related to video game culture in some way. In 2011 presenters included: Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf), Jon Hare (Sensible Soccer), Gemma Atkinson (Actress who appeared in C&C: Red Alert 3), and Ben Collins (The 2nd Stig from the UK BBC Top Gear)

The evening is seen as a celebration of the industry and what it has achieved in the last 12 months with awards of a similar parable to that of the movies, with awards for Best Music,  Best Game, Best Handheld Title, Artistic Achievement, Best Gameplay, Technical Innovation, and Best Story to name but a few of the categories.

Peter Molyneux creator of games such as Fable and Black and WhiteAs a final award there is a BAFTA fellowship awarded on the evening with the nominees being placed alongside such big names as Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Attenborough, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and Sean Connery to name but a few. To date the following people have been given a BAFTA video gaming fellowship:  Will Wright (Co-Founder of Maxis), Nolan Bushnel (founder of Atari), Shigeru Miyamoto (Video game designer), and Peter Molyneux (video game designer).

The BAFTAs have in recent years looked to partner with a video games retailer in an effort to increase awareness of the awards and as such have recently partnered with the retailer, GAME, who sponsor the audience voted award of Game of the Year.  This award is the only one chosen by the public while the rest chosen by a jury comprised of a range of developers and with a chair from a member of the BAFTA Video Games committee to ensure impartially.

While the event may not be televised on any other place that on the BAFTA website, the show feels very much like its older siblings in that it acknowledges the hard work that these people have put into making some of the most fantastic games of the year. There is no launch of trailers for new and upcoming video games at the awards, or major celebrity appearances (outside of the video game world). The main focus of the event is the developers of these games and acknowledging the hard work they have put into making these games.

DrDogbert (43 Posts)

My name is DrDogbert I'm a Movie geek, Gamer, reader, writer, down right plain normal guy who likes to talk to himself at times