Game Awards 2022 had a big surprise; it’s not what you expect


Kiefer Ely, Creative Commons License

In a surprise move, Matan Even nominates his reformed orthodox rabbi, Bill Clinton.

by Kiefer Ely, Editor

The Game Awards has become a staple of the growing community that is known as online gaming. First established in 2014 by game journalist Geoff Keighley, the Game Awards have had eight consecutive successful years, each with a slew of unique nominees and deserving winners. 

This remains true following this year’s Game Awards. This year included 33 categories. Many of the categories returned from previous years, including narrative, role playing game, multiplayer game and, of coursem game of the year (GOTY). This year’s awards also featured new categories, such as best adaptation. 

“Arcane” follows sisters Vi and Jinx as they struggle to maintain their relationship through the budding war of a city’s higher and lower districts. (Fortiche)

This new category was very fitting for the past year, which has seen a multitude of video-game IP’s developed into incredible adaptations. The nominees for this category included “Arcane: League of Legends,” “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,” “The Cuphead Show!,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and “Uncharted.” 

Although all of these adaptations were successful, two of them pulled a mile ahead of the rest according to fans, who have been seen arguing back-and-forth on social media between the choices for weeks. The two choices were the animated series “Arcane” and “Edgerunners.” Both were inspired by hugely successful video games, “League of Legends” and “Cyberpunk 2077,” respectively. Both series were masterfully written, animated and set a new precedent for the quality of future adaptations. Ultimately and divisively, the award went to “Arcane.”

“I never doubted that it would go to ‘Arcane,’ not for a second. It’s just incredible,” said Jonathan Toohey, who watched both of the top-nominated adaptations.

Before the big reveal for game of the year, one other category had the attention of many. Independent Game is a category that is designed to specifically bring attention to the games and developers that may not get as much marketing as the unbeatable Triple-A supergiants. 

This year, the games “Cult of the Lamb,” “Neon White,” “Sifu,” “Stray” and “TUNIC.” were nominated for the award. The award was given to “Stray,” a feline adventure game that was praised for its simplicity and artistic design and did not generate the divisiveness of other choices.

Since the GOTY voting began, only two things were being discussed within the gaming community. Who would win, FromSoftware’s “Elden Ring” or Sony’s “God of War Ragnarok?”

“God of War Ragnarok” follows Kratos and his son Atreus’ adventures through Norse mythology. (Santa Monica Studios)

As a sequel to 2018’s GOTY winner, “God of War” (GoW), the new game improves on nearly every single aspect of the original. The graphics are finer, the combat is more satisfying, the performances are masterful and the story weaves relatable realism with enchanting mythology. Everyone thought GoW would be the inevitable winner.

“God of War was perfect; I could spend days exploring the world they made,” said Jackson Hetrick, who has already logged over 200 hours on “God of War Ragnarok.”

On the other hand, “Elden Ring” is a masterpiece, built on the foundation of the soulslike genre. Soulslike games, named after the beloved Dark Souls series, are non-linear games known for their difficulty. “Elden Ring” provides a gritty experience as well-made as the beloved Dark Souls series, with all the fanciful bells and whistles of a modern title.

“Elden Ring” is a game that puts you into a dark fantasy world faced with otherworldly monsters. (FromSoftware)

While at first it may have been an underdog, by the day of the awards, it was hard to find anyone that disagreed with “Elden Ring” taking home the GOTY award.

“I loved “Elden Ring,” even though I died a lot.  It’s beautifully crafted. Only its difficulty made me doubt whether it would win,” said Toohey.

“God of War Ragnarok” and “Elden Ring” fought back-and-forth throughout the various categories, both taking home multiple awards. “God of War Ragnarok” earned the best narrative, best score and best action/adventure awards. “Elden Ring” won for best roleplaying and best art direction. Since “God of War Ragnarok” won three awards while “Elden Ring” won only two, many figured that its victory was secured for GOTY.

However, “Elden Ring” ultimately won the award for 2022’s Game of the Year, and the crowd erupted with applause.

The game’s developers rose from their seats to give an acceptance speech on stage. Among them was a teenager, joyously patting the others on the back and showing genuine care for the team’s success. 

A developer would not be so young, but many figured he was there for a reason, maybe as the son of a developer. This seemed likely as he stuck to the back of the group throughout the acceptance speech. This assumption was quickly proven wrong when he stepped up to the front in the final moments.

The teenager, 15-year-old Matan Even, was just an average guest who had bought a ticket to The Game Awards. Whether it be out of teenage angst or a gift for trickery, he walked up alongside the “Elden Ring” developers on an impulse and shared a strange message with the audience.

“I want to nominate my reformed orthodox rabbi, Bill Clinton, for this award. Thank you,” said Even on stage.

Though the message seemingly has no meaning, it immediately confused watchers and garnered a nervous applause from the audience, who may have thought it was a planned skit. In the hours following the awards, it was announced that Even had been arrested for his actions, and his identity was revealed.

Social media has since begun making fun of the event and Even’s clear attention-seeking behavior. Many people even predicted that this would not be the last we would hear from him and that he may try and take his five minutes of fame to the next level. Whether that turns out to be true is yet to be seen.

Regardless of the drama or controversy, this year’s Game Awards was another fantastic year of celebrating the stories that so many people love, and everyone is looking forward to next year.

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