Last year, I devoted December to a series of “alternative awards”, and I’m planning to do the same thing this year.
The MoeGamer Awards provide me with the opportunity to review what we’ve been exploring over the course of the previous year, highlight some things I feel should have had a bit more attention and exposure and just have a bit of fun looking back over the year gone by.
A lot of the fun last year came from the readers getting involved by suggesting awards categories… so if you’d like to give me some ideas this year, read on and leave me a comment with an idea for a 2018 award!
I’m not looking for specific game nominations here, to clarify: I’m looking for categories. “You should do an award for hottest H-scene!” is good. “You should give an award to Evenicle” is not good. “You should give an award to [game I clearly haven’t played this year]” is really not good.
I’m looking for creative ideas, too, not the usual boring old “best graphics”, “best sound” tedium we get at The Game Awards every year. Get that noodle working and give me some fresh suggestions that will really make me think!
And if you need some inspiration… well, let’s revisit last year’s awards for some ideas, shall we?
The Best Community award was an opportunity for me to highlight a community of gamers who I felt had had a positive impact on the landscape of gaming as a whole. All too often we hear about “toxic fandoms” these days, so it was a pleasure — and an easy choice — to give this to the delightful Senran Kagura fandom, who are some of the nicest people on the Internet.
Meanwhile, the Coolest Scoring Mechanic award is what I mean when I say “think creative” for these awards. This isn’t the sort of super-specific thing you see celebrated in your typical gaming awards show, but it’s something that is important to particular types of game. My choice for this year was Steel Dragon Evolution, part of the Steel Dragon EX package for PlayStation 2.
The Saving the World with Only Girls award was one of my favourite suggestions from a reader. And I was even more delighted that it gave me a suitable opportunity to wax lyrical about the underappreciated MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death.
Another award you won’t see on a big stage with some random Olympic athlete trying to pretend they know about games, the Best Integration of Mechanics with Thematic Elements award went to the game that felt the most “coherent” between its narrative and mechanical components. There was clearly no other choice but Nier: Automata for this one.
The Best Retro Systems to Collect For in 2017 award was another fun one to contemplate, as 2017 was the year I feel like I really got into collecting and taking it seriously. It was a well-deserved joint victory between PS2, PSP and Wii… and I’m not sure my answer would be different this year at this point!
The Most Relevant Opening Song award was another one I was delighted to have suggested to me, and there were a lot of possible choices for this one. I ultimately gave it to Nekopara vol. 2, for reasons you can find out if you read the article!
The Second Chance award celebrated a game that I’d initially bounced off a bit, before giving it another go and actually discovering it to be rather good. That game was the first Gravity Rush, which it turned out on my original attempt I’d been fundamentally misunderstanding certain aspects of. That’s all on me!
“Best Music”? What does that mean? Most Eclectic Soundtrack? Now you’re talking. The Most Eclectic Soundtrack award celebrated a game that took creative risks with its soundtrack, and came out extremely memorable as a result. That game was Nights of Azure.
This was another interesting award in that it encouraged thinking in a somewhat more “meta” way about the games: the Character I’d Most Like to Talk To award celebrated a character I found appealing regardless of context. This was a distinct award from “Best Waifu”, too, and a good opportunity to bring up how much I liked Illya from Fate/stay night, as terrifying as she could be.
We play a lot of visual novels around these parts, and many of them thar visual novels concern close interpersonal relationships. The Best Couple award celebrated the one that I’d found most interesting, appealing and compelling over the course of the year, and it was a tough choice between a few candidates. I ultimately went for Len and Uzume from Ne no Kami: The Two Princess Knights of Kyoto.
I got a Switch for Christmas. It was pretty sweet. The Best Christmas Present award provided a suitable opportunity to provide some first impressions.
The “I Shouldn’t Have Hesitated” award celebrated a game or series that I’d been holding off on exploring because I wasn’t sure I’d like it. As anyone who saw me go from nervous curiosity from full-on delight with the Rance series will attest, there was clearly no other choice.
The Fond Farewell award celebrated something we were seeing the end of in 2017. With the death of the Wii U and its built-in social media service MiiVerse, we came to the end of an era.
Well, you’ve gotta, haven’t you? The Game of the Year award celebrated the game I played in 2017 — not necessarily a game that was released in 2017 — that left the strongest impact on me, that I really wanted to call out as being something special. I had a number of viable candidates for this and it was a pretty tough decision, but I ultimately settled on the incredible Gravity Rush 2, a game Sony sent out to die and which nowhere near enough people have played, enjoyed and loved. Buy it. Play it. Love it.
So that’s that! Hope that gives you some ideas. Please post any suggestions you have for this year’s awards in the comments below, and I’ll make use of those that I think will make a good article, starting on December 3 — the first Monday in December. I can’t guarantee I’ll use everyone’s suggestions, but I’ll do my best!
I don’t have any prizes or anything on offer, I’m afraid, but I will happily link to your website, social media, Soundcloud or whatever, so please be sure to provide that information in your comment if you’d like a shout-out.
One last thing: these awards are intended to be positive and celebratory in nature. So suggestions such as “worst game”, “most idiotic games journalist” or “stupidest censorship” will not be considered at all, I’m afraid. There’s too much negativity on the Internet these days, so this initiative is all about spreading a little joy rather than moaning about things.
That’s it! Take it away, friends, I’d love to see what you come up with this year.
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