It’s amazing how often poor memory can scupper things. Why, just this evening I was settling down to watch the first episode of new US drama Justified (so I could write about it for this here blog), only to realise that tonight was the Video Game BAFTAs, and it was being televised online. It’s a shame that videogames still haven’t quite reached a point where their main awards ceremony can be televised, but then gaming doesn’t really have too many household names – and let’s face it, it’s not as if we can get Nathan Drake or Soap McTavish to present an award, is it?
Anyway, there was a pleasing smattering of celebrities involved, some of whom took it more seriously than others, and some of whom were keen to show their gaming chops with a few game-related gags (Ralf Little’s berating of Konami for the steadily decreasing returns of Pro Evolution Soccer was certainly amusing).
Aside from LittleBIGPlanet PSP winning the Handheld award – Bowser’s Inside Story or Scribblenauts would have been my pick – BAFTA chose very wisely on the whole, spreading out the awards a bit so Uncharted 2 didn’t win everything, and surprising a few people – apparently including award-giver Charlie Brooker – by pronouncing Batman: Arkham Asylum as Best Game. A very deserving winner in my book, but the award which pleased me most was thatgamecompany’s wonderful Flower winning the BAFTA for Artistic Achievement.
Then, after a slightly rambling introduction from a clearly inebriated Ant and Dec, Shigeru Miyamoto walked onstage to receive his BAFTA Fellowship – the first Japanese person to receive such an award and only the third from the world of videogames, following Will Wright in 2007, and Nolan Bushnell last year. What was particularly remarkable about his speech was that it was entirely in English. Having interviewed Miyamoto, it’s clear he understands quite a bit of the language, but to hear him speak it – and at such length – was a very pleasant surprise, and felt very respectful of the occasion and of BAFTA.