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The REAL Game Awards: I Owe Stuttering Craig An Apology...

These days in the video game industry, approaching everything with skepticism is an unfortunate must, especially when things promise to revolutionize or challenge established norms. There've been far too many ventures by good-intention sounding products (Amico, I'm looking at you) for us to just blindly believe what gets spouted...

So when Stuttering Craig of Side Scrollers first announced his "Take Games Back" initiative, like many, I approached it with a healthy dose of cynicism, seeing it as yet another potential 'grift' in an industry already marred by exploitation and deception. However... diving deeper into the serious video game industry's issues as of late, my perspective has shifted. Today, I not only understand but also appreciate the necessity of such a movement, and I owe Craig an apology for my initial doubts.

The "Take Games Back" initiative emerged from a collective frustration with how gamers are treated by certain journalists and industry insiders. It's disheartening to see an industry that should be driven by passion and innovation instead show a blatant disregard for the core audience—gamers themselves - US!

The initiative was created out of reaction to an environment where our voices are often drowned out by corporatized interests and where the merit of games is decided by a select few, far removed from the gaming community's heart...

The REAL Game Awards: I Owe Stuttering Craig An Apology...
Geoff Keighley mingling with Alyssa Mercante of Kotaku at Summer Game Fest

Craig’s venture, now rebranded as "The Real Game Awards," aims to democratize how games are celebrated, shifting the focus back to the gamers rather than industry 'gatekeepers'. As Craig puts it, the phrase "for gamers, by gamers" might be cliché, but it resonates profoundly with the reason for the initiative.

#TakeGamesBack seeks to strip away the unnecessary 'glamour' and 'commercialism' that've permeated traditional award shows and industry events, focusing instead on our pure, unadulterated love for gaming!

What truly sets "The Real Game Awards" apart is its commitment to inclusivity from the community and our involvement from within.

By allowing us to become voting members and even suggest categories for the awards, it ensures that the gaming community can shape the event in a way that reflects their true interests and values. This model not only fosters a sense of 'ownership' among gamers but also challenges the status quo, advocating for a more transparent and participative approach to celebrating gaming achievements.


Reflecting on my initial skepticism, I realize that it was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to my past disappointments—a defense mechanism against the potential exploitation of our community. In my now unlisted video, I shared some serious doubts... But Craig's persistence and the evident passion behind "Take Games Back" have highlighted the critical need for initiatives that genuinely seek to empower gamers and challenge industry norms... And I owe Craig a huge apology.

Its important to recognize the importance of supporting endeavors that strive to make the gaming industry more inclusive and respectful of its most important stakeholders: the gamers themselves. Could Craig have come across as a bit less 'grifty' in his initial video? Sure... But there was so much left to figure out that it was easy to poke holes in the idea. As time has passed and details have been filling out, I can tell that this is no mere 'cash grab', it's a genuine attempt at getting a game show off the ground for real gamers.

I'm looking forward to the digital event in 2024 and the potential for a physical gathering in 2025, even if it's... at a 'Buffalo Wild Wings', as Craig put it... the message is clear. It's time to reclaim the narrative and ensure that our voices, as gamers, are not only heard but also respected!

For those tired of the status quo and eager to see genuine change, I encourage you to visit The Real Game Awards website, become a voting member, and start suggesting categories. This is our chance to reshape the landscape of gaming awards and ensure that our passion for gaming is accurately and fairly represented. Let’s help take games back, not just for us, but for future generations of gamers!


Big thanks to Stuttering Craig for doing some serious legwork on this effort!

~Smash

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I think any Game Awards shows should distance themselves from the whole DEI bullcrap because most gamers are Sick & tired with this Garbage and the will surely make their opinions heard and known by Gaming companies

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This might be the first game award show I'll actually check out since most previous ones have been nonsense by non gamers

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