The Problem with Game Awards

When it’s nearing end of year major gaming sites and magazines start giving out rewards. Time and time again I noticed every one of them use a broken system and everyone is fine with it. I personally feel the need to point out issues with current reward systems in place. It’s better than other ideas I had for a blog post.

Most of these award systems are based on votes by just about anyone. Most of the time it’s simply a tick in a box then you click submit and odd ones let us write in our game of the year. Nothing wrong with that. Allowing us to vote for our favourite games is a great idea but in practice it fails miserably. There are several reasons why this idea ultimately fails and instead of writing one huge block of what the bad stuff are I will break it down to make it easier to read.

Problem 1 : Your creating your own list

When a poll is created for these end of year rewards you would start with a list of potential games. You may think nothing wrong with that but there is one huge problem with it. Your already giving those looking at the poll ideas for what the best game should be. Instead of putting down a name for a game they like that released this year they instead are ticking a box from a list of games you think should win. So while the person voting may feel another game should win it since it isn’t on the list they are obliged to vote for a game you prefer.

Problem 2 : Where your asking

Probably one of the more obvious problems but isn’t really considered a problem. Where you ask is key to which game ultimately wins. You have the game awards voting on a site heavily dedicated to one particular genre of gaming obviously people visiting are fans of that particular genre and vote for that genre to win. Bring the poll to a site dedicated to one gaming platform and games on that platform will get lot more votes. Could tell a company their game is on your list of potential winners and they advertise the poll… The result would change based on where you asked.

Problem 3 : Fun or quality

This is one thing that rewards all fail on. Do we vote for fun or quality? Has a game won based on how much fun it is or the overall quality of the game? Fun is a key part for any game however when it comes to game awards there doesn’t seem to be much push for the fun part of gaming. Most polls are geared towards graphics if any sort of extra rewards besides usual ones. Seems kind of strange don’t have a reward based on how much fun a game is. Game spent most time playing doesn’t get a reward either. Very strange considering how both are key factors in actually buying a game.

Problem 4 : Played it yet?

The biggest and most overlooked problem in gaming awards. Have the people who voted for those games actually played those games? There is nothing to stop someone from voting for a game they haven’t played. While you may think that sounds silly but it happens all the time. I do same thing sometimes myself. Coming across a list of games haven’t played and being forced to vote in all sections to submit. Obviously going to vote for a familiar name even if haven’t played it at all. Some people would vote for a game that just on their console or even genre. Would event vote for the game played even if it’s not what would consider a great game. What about games they haven’t played and are on the list? Some of those games that may not have been heard of but are probably more deserving of an award get ignored.  Wouldn’t accept reviews based on what reviewer thought of the name or trailer. Awards should be same. The votes should be done by people who actually played said games not by random people voting for famous game names simply because they know the name.

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