The Game Awards for this year are out. The Game Awards are an interesting thing. I don’t pay attention the Emmys or the Golden Globes, so its weird to have an awards show I’m invested in.

The categories break down about the way you’d expect. There’s obviously Game of the Year, which doesn’t sound too special when you remember there are two hundred gaming websites willing to call anything “Game of the Year.”

Then there are the types of categories that fit under ‘story’ and ‘production.’ The first one covers best direction, best narrative, and best performance while the second one includes things like art direction, score, and audio design.

Best Direction is an interesting one because it’s more than just the direction of the visuals and performances; it includes the game’s overall vision. On a scale of Minecraft clone to Hotline Miami, how original are the game’s mechanics, tone, and themes?

With the exceptions of A Way Out and Detroit: Become Human, nominees for Direction are all sequels, so maybe “original” isn’t the right word. Execution is a factor. After years of lackluster Spider-Man games, Marvel’s Spider-Man is included because while we’ve known how to make a good Spider-Man game since 2004, we just waited 14 years to do it.

Then the awards are broken down by genre or platform. VR/AR and mobile games each get their own categories. There’s too many genres for me to list all of them, but the categories are comprehensive.

I’m not listing nominees or my faves because you can get that shit anywhere. That said, I’m hoping Battletech takes Best Strategy Game because it was far more solid than I expected and I trash talked it a lot.

There are also publisher categories which reward indie studios, indie debuts, and games produced by high school or college developers. That’s a relief because the board of The Game Awards is a list of top-tier video game companies. Ubisoft, Microsoft, and Steam are a representation of the types of companies whose members sent on TGA’s board. Steam and AMD seem like a minority share of the board and the only ones who’d lobby to support independent games and I’m glad they’re doing it.

There’s also community awards and ongoing game awards, which are there solely to reward YouTubers and No Man’s Sky. It’s reasonable to recognize YouTubers like Ninja, but I feel like there should be a distinction between something like No Man’s Sky—which did not release the game they said they would and finally released that game years later—and whatever Overwatch and Destiny 2 are doing to earn the title of ‘ongoing’ games.

Do lootboxes count as “ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time”? Wait. Is this whole award ironic?

The last broad category is esports, which I know nothing about. I might look up some of the best esports moments of the year because I’m sure they’re exciting, but it’s a whole other world that I don’t know anything about. If you do, let me know.

The game awards will be December 6th and you can vote by registering on their website or by Twitter, Facebook, Discord, or even some of those fancy in-home voice assistants.

The Game Awards

We don’t mention it in the episode, but I think the internal contradiction of xenophobia and taking alien babies is an internal contradiction that makes the Telarians a little more real. What it is that separates that from inconsistent characterization of an alien culture is something I can’t define.

This is definitely one of the weakest episodes of season four, but that conversation between Picard and Troi is a shining beacon of humor and characterization.

My one gripe is making Picard such a singular figure in Starfleet. Do you prefer Picard be a guy who’s ordinary but has worked hard to become a captain or do you want Picard to be someone who has dedicated himself singularly to becoming a Starfleet captain, to the exclusion of even having a normal childhood?

I guess I also skipped over saying explicitly that Jono was imagined by Tommy Westphall and that there’s a lot to unpack there. The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis is detailed more under Tommy Westphall’s Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Westphall

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Family

Can we count this as Star Trek’s first three-parter? It’s like the third part of the foundation that makes the most celebrated parts of the Star Trek franchise going forward. I rail against the continuity, but it’s clearly one of the parts of Trek that people look forward to.

They call up Wil Wheaton to do an acting exercise, Picard is cool as heck, and we learn that Worf apparently shares parents with Mike Warner. It’s a good ‘un.

“Captain Riker, Ambassador Picard”: Good idea or bad idea?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Ularon: It’s important to feel their—
Rulah: Hrah! Busy punching, Teacher. Hrah!
Goblin: Skreee!
Ularon: As am I. The Drophan-Bo technique combines one’s mind and body with the timing and mindset of the enemy and—
Goblin: GOBLIN CATAPULT!
Ularon: pfurgh!
Rulah: Ularon?
Goblin: Shah!
Rulah: Fire fist!
Goblin: Skreee!