2015, My Year in Gaming

This post isn’t about the games I played this year or events that transpired. In a couple of days, we will record the annual Icel.me Game awards that will cover all that.

This post is about one event this year that for me represented everything that is worthwhile in gaming. I originally wrote that impression on my personal blog in Hebrew, and I think it’s a good time to bring it over.

In March, I attended the EGX Rezzed convention in London. It’s a “little brother” event to the much larger EGX, which mainly focus and gives a stage to indie developers. On the first night of the event, they held the BAFTA Games Awards.

The thing is, and maybe it’s an introvert thing, whenever I’m not at home, I want to be back home, no matter how much fun I’m having. I’m going back to the hotel each evening, my legs and back aches from standing for hours, walking the convention floor, and I feel sorry for myself.

It’s easy, when you sit at home day to day, month after month, working your day job and not progressing in the development of that game you dream about from the time you were 16 years old, to feel like you’re in a vacuum. To surf the web and watch all the amazing things people “out there” do, and feel miserable that you’re not making any progress.

BAFTA Game Awards were filled with so much positive energy and great people that love and give from their every heart to this industry.

I was sitting there, beside some guy I met a couple of minutes before, and we’re making jokes throughout the entire event. I sat there were saw games I knew and like and was cheering them on. I saw new games I didn’t even know about. I saw some games I never thought would win in their category. I enjoyed sitting in the crowd, continuing my imagined rivalry with Tim Shafer, my poster-boy for everything wrong in the industry.

This event was simply a celebration of everything good in games. Of people that make those games a reality. The environment that supports them, the people who play them, the organizations and educates about them.

Often times, when you watch a “mainstream” gaming event, it feels fake. This didn’t feel fake.

And I remembered why I came, and why I keep being involved with games, despite the hardship, despite the slow progress. If I could take only one thing away from 2015, it will be this feeling that I felt during the BAFTA Game Awards.

Now listen to Ashley Johnson’s speech when she received the BAFTA for Performer award (it’s around 1 minute 34 seconds, turns out you can’t use timestamps with embedding.).

Have a happy new year.