Every new year we take a look back at the games from the previous year to determine what worked, what didn't and how the new entries in gaming's ever-growing back catalog stack up against the games that have come before. This is not a trivial exercise. There's value in acknowledging great achievements. There's meaning in providing feedback to the teams of creative minds who make the games we enjoy. There's worth in criticism.
We live in a culture that's been led to believe people deserve recognition for bothering to show up at all. That's fine. Everyone likes to feel like a winner sometimes. But when everyone is a winner, greatness loses its meaning, achievements become meaningless, and the ideas that will help propel videogaming to the next level go unrecognized. At The Escapist we consider that unacceptable.
We've been observing the videogame industry for going on five years now. We've witnessed some truly remarkable feats of videogame design ingenuity, some monumental shifts in how games are made and played, and the creation of some unforgettable experiences. But so far, we've never judged, or evaluated, or rewarded. This year that's going to change.
I'm proud to present to you the inaugural The Escapist Awards, celebrating greatness in videogame design for the year 2009. Some have called 2009 a "weak" year in gaming, but we disagree. Looking back on the games we played, we've seen some truly remarkable advancements and achievements, and we're happy to finally share our opinions with you and to reward those who've made it all possible.
For 2009 our awards are in three broad categories - Overall Excellence, Professional Excellence and Experiential - recognizing the various ways in which game design has advanced and improved, and the games which we'll be talking about for years to come.
Please join me in congratulating our 2009 The Escapist Awards nominees, and stay tuned for the announcement of our winners.