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Seriously, BAFTA?


For years now, the videogame industry has strived to lose its image as a kids’ pastime and be considered a serious entertainment medium, the same as the film and music industries have been for years. Then, about ten years ago, the British Academy of Film and Television Awards decided to recognise videogames in the same way that it looked at movies and television and the videogame BAFTAs were born.

Everyone agreed that this was a watershed moment for the industry – with the UK’s most respected theatrical organisation recognising the creativity in the games industry, surely respect for videogames was just around the corner.

Most of this year’s winners were deserving – Dead Space won Best Use of Audio and LittleBigPlanet won Artistic Achievement, for example – but the two games that won the two highest honours (Best Game and the Game Award voted by the public) were released, and played, in 2007. The awards were supposedly for games released in 2008.

I have no problem with Super Mario Galaxy winning Best Game or Call Of Duty 4 being voted for the Game Award by the public per se, but it’s hard to take awards seriously when they get the year wrong.

It’s like the BAFTAs giving a Best Film award to The Departed at this year’s awards – it’s something that just wouldn’t happen. And why? Because BAFTA knows what it’s doing with film and, at least, pays attention to when films are out.

Being recognised by as a prestigious establishment as the BAFTAs is incredibly important to the games industry, but if that establishment loses some of that prestige by looking like it doesn’t know what’s going on then what’s the point?

  • dave moore

    i agree,whith such top notch games out last year its insulting to those involved in making them that the year is wrong and may not get noticed at all.i still shows a lack of understanding in our past time and i wonder if that will ever change.

  • Nick Jones

    You’ve also got to wonder how Rockstar, Media Molecule and Bethesda are feeling after GTA IV, LittleBigPlanet and Fallout 3 were snubbed for the Best Game award. But maybe they’ll win next year…