In the glitz and glamour of the Game Awards, a moment stood out, not for its celebratory nature, but for its stark lack of respect towards one of the gaming industry's most revered figures. The incident in question? The hurried treatment of Eiji Aonuma, the legendary producer of "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," as he accepted the award for Best Action/Adventure Game. This was the exact moment I grew so disgusted that I ended up just turning the Game Awards off and walking away for the night.
The scene was unsettling: as Aonuma began his acceptance speech, the teleprompter briskly urged him to "wrap it up." This gesture, seemingly trivial, speaks volumes about the current state of the Game Awards. It's a symptom of a deeper issue, reflecting a disregard for the very creators who form the backbone of the gaming world.
Aonuma, a figure synonymous with innovation and storytelling in gaming, deserved his moment in the spotlight. His contributions to the Zelda series have not only defined a genre but have also shaped the childhoods and imaginations of countless gamers worldwide. The Game Awards, however, reduced his moment of recognition to a mere footnote, prioritizing schedule over substance. They can't make up their mind on what kind of show they want to be, an Award show that focuses more on game trailers than the people behind creating them. Follow the dollar...
This trend wasn't unique to Aonuma. Several industry veterans faced similar treatment, their speeches cut short in a bid to maintain the event's brisk pace. While time constraints are a reality for any award show, especially one doubling as a platform for major game announcements, the question arises: where do we draw the line?
Last year's lengthy acceptance speech by Christopher Judge, the voice actor for God of War, may have prompted a tighter schedule. However, applying these time constraints uniformly, without considering the stature and contribution of the individual, is an oversight. Aonuma, ready with a concise speech, was unlikely to overextend his stage time, yet he was preemptively rushed.
The challenge for Geoff Keighley and the Game Awards organizers is to find a balance. Yes, the awards double as a stage for exciting game announcements, but they are, first and foremost, a celebration of the people behind these games. Developers, artists, and visionaries like Aonuma are the lifeblood of the industry. Without their creativity and dedication, there would be no games to announce, no awards to hand out.
The Game Awards need to reevaluate their overall approach. It's not just about allotting more time for acceptance speeches; it's about showing due respect and appreciation for the achievements of these industry giants. A hurried speech may save time, but it costs much more in terms of respect and recognition.
As the Game Awards evolve, let's hope they remember their core purpose: to honor and celebrate the people who make gaming such a vibrant, dynamic, and beloved medium. Here's to giving legends like Aonuma the respect and spotlight they rightfully deserve. Otherwise, they will suffer the same pitfalls that so many shows have attempted and failed throughout the years previously.