A great week in the world of gaming, with a slew of exciting announcements.
The highlight of this past week was DJ’s excellent article examining the multifaceted representation of evil in Obsidian’s latest game, Tyranny. The discussion draws on political statements made by some of the most notable figures in history, namely Aristotle and Niccolo Macchiavelli, and focuses on the way that players can alter the way in which the downtrodden populace views them, as an underling of the Overlord Kyros. I found it a fascinating read, and I believe that many of you will also. Elsewhere, we introduced you to a pair of indie games, Witanlore: Dreamtime and Beautiful Desolation, two very different titles, but each featuring some unique properties that make them well worth looking into.
This past week saw the announcement of the Oscar nominations and the outcome of Triple J’s Hottest 100, both of which centre on the awarding of accolades based on media products of the past year. These two events, coming so close to each other, made me think about the way that we go about rewarding games. Most websites tend to hold end of year ceremonies where games are awarded particular merits, following in the footsteps of the long tradition of film awards. The biggest of these is The Video Game Awards, which, frankly, is an ostentatious celebration that focuses too much of spectacle and not enough on artistry, but that is a side issue.
OnlySP didn’t hold an awards ceremony last year; organising the process of selection and voting seemed less important than normal given the transitional state of the website. We have no plans to abandon the idea entirely, though. Developers deserve to be rewarded for the work that they put in month after month and year after year, even if that recognition comes from a source with as small a footprint as OnlySP. However, I want to change the process this year. Some sources have already done so; TotalBiscuit, for example, holds the Arbitrary Awards, while Eurogamer, in past years, has conducted a series of retrospectives on exemplary or interesting titles. Both approaches are intriguing in their eschewing of traditional means of recognition, but neither fully captures the appreciation of artistry that an awards ceremony should strive for.
Improving the state of our end of year awards is something that we here at OnlySP are going to work on as this year progresses. We want our approach to feel both relevant and unique, but we are not sure of how to do that at present. And that is where you come in. If you have any ideas on how to make a better awards ceremony, let us know and we will take it into consideration. We want your insights and input. How can we award artistry more effectively? How can we bring you into the process? How do we revamp it without feeling gimmicky or irrelevant? Help us, for only with your help can OnlySP truly be the news outlet that you deserve.
This week turned out to be far busier than I had anticipated, which forced me to push back my preparation of the Planet Coaster review (along with a number of other projects). It will be done one day. I hope. So, aside from continuing to play that, I have been rereading Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series as I plan on reading the two latest entries in the saga, Clariel and Goldenhand. All things considered, my week has been rather dull, then. How about yours?