The winners will be unveiled and celebrated at the Soho Revue Bar on the evening of Thursday October 11th. The finalists, listed over the next few pages, represent the games industry’s most important links to the consumer.
Here's a closer look at the finalists for the Specialist Games Media (Online) category:
GAMES WEBSITE - NEWS
“Historically, Europe and online media in particular has struggled to compete against its better-supported American and Japanese counterparts, but in recent years devoted news journalists like Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson and Johnny Minkley have helped reverse that trend,”
Rupert Loman, MD
“Being nominated for this award in such an intensely competitive – and highly controlled – environment as online news coverage brought a genuine wave of pride to the SPOnG team. This market is as cut-throat as it comes with apparent stories breaking minute-by-minute.”
Tim Smith, Editorial Director
“GameSpot UK is really pleased to be shortlisted for a Games Media Award. The news section is a popular area of the site, and an entry point for many of our users, who are free to comment on stories. UK stories such as the news of Haze's PS3 exclusivity have been a huge part of that success.”
Emma Boyes, Editor
Joystiq and its blogging contemporary Kotaku have changed the way games news is reported with their informative prose style and highly opinionated team of bloggers. Launched in 2004, it cites its remit as ‘to exhaustively cover video game news from an independent, unbiased perspective.’
Gawker Media-owned Kotaku has become one of the leading sources of gaming news on the web due to its close relationship with its community of readers and a no-nonsense agenda that ‘goes beyond the press release’. Launched in 2002 by Brian Crecente, it hit the headlines earlier this year after the ’Sony blackballing’ saga.
GAMES WEBSITE - REVIEWS AND FEATURES
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to be recognised and nominated – this is a glowing testament to the continual improvement of CVG and everybody involved in the process. CVG is the world’s longest running gaming publication – here’s to another 25 years!”
Gavin Ogden, Editor
As well as being a consumate ligger, Adam Hartley is a qualified journalist, which means he writes many big and clever words in his features. The result? We remove all that wordy crap in favour of single syllable replacements – why use a long word when a diminutive one will suffice?
Tim Smith, Editorial Director
“The UK has a long tradition of producing excellent feature writers, and the GMA nomination demonstrates how far Eurogamer has gone to carrying on that tradition. We’d like to congratulate our contributors for helping to make British games journalism some of the best in the world.”
Kristan Reed, Editor
“It’s great for IGN to be recognised by a trade publication like MCV for an award so soon after launching operations in the UK. IGN is the acknowledged global leader in gaming content but we’re especially proud of what the team have achieved.”
European General Manager
“The GamesRadar team are delighted to have been nominated for this award. Our global editiorial team has been working extremely hard creating unique, progressive feature content over the last year, in what is an incredibly overcrowded online environment.”
George Walter, Editor
BEST WRITER IN SPECIALIST DIGITAL MEDIA
When we asked Cutlack for a brief biog and quote for his nominaton, all we got was a Sonic-related fantasy about headbutting Eggman to death and a semi-naked Cream the Rabbit cooing as her soft, hot fur rubbed against his manly torso. Thanks Gary. He also thinks Tom off Eurogamer will get this award. He writes a comedy blog, by the way.
Alex Sassoon Coby
Alex has been working at GameSpot UK since its relaunch back in 2006, and with CNET Networks since 2004. At the moment he deals with production and community matters for GameSpot UK as well as writing news, previews and anything else he can whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Loveable, talented and wonderfully modest, Andy is the 21-year-old rising star of Future’s CVG.co.uk. He joined Future in late 2005 after a brief career playing Halo until the wee hours and drinking cider in Essex parks. Today he is responsible for all the news and video content on CVG’s Xbox channel.
Having joined Official Xbox 360 Magazine from X360 in May, Ryan King has thrown himself into the online editor role with gusto. “I’m delighted my work has been recognised by the Games Media Awards,” he says. “It’s a real honour to be nominated.” His colleagues were also delighted, congratulating him with excited cries of “how?”
Tom began work at Eurogamer in early 2000 following a stint at GameSpy. “I’m surprised and delighted to have been nominated,” says Bramwell. “Eurogamer is staffed by some of the most talented games journalists in the country, and to be considered their peer – let alone elevated to this level – is genuinely humbling.”
NON-COMMERCIAL WEBSITE OR BLOG
UKR’s Cutlack claims it’s easy to write a succesful blog. “All you have to do is pick a really popular thing and say it’s rubbish in a manner in which readers can’t tell if you're being serious or not,” he says. “Then loads of people immediately polarise and go utterly berserk, while you sit back in your underpants and count the traffic statistics all evening until it’s bed time.”
“When we first started this journey, some vocal industry skeptics considered Destructoid in-joke, a novelty, something that would amount to no more than the adventure of attending E3,” says Destructoid's UK staff writer Jim Sterling. “However, time has proven that our unconventional style does have a place in the industry. We have all worked to achieve something one can be proud of.”
“Obviously I’m chuffed to bits by this nomination – thanks everyone,” says Wonderland’s Alice Taylor. “I’d like to thank my hairdresser, my retired co-eds, and also hijack this opportunity to say, please industry, can we have more female heroines who aren’t in bikinis; thoughtful clever and funny ones, ones with a story to tell? Thanks very much.”
Idle Thumbs’ illustrious staff include a variety of industry insiders, among them QA managers, journalists and “miscellaneous industry gnomes”. “We’re never ones to turn down an invite to drink booze,” says the site. “If only so we can punch Kieron Gillen in his ugly face.”
Game Over, Yeah
Game Over Yeah is run by two mysterious types called Wratty and Kev, who’s forthright opinions and no-nonsense copy have earned it a decent online following. They responded increduously to their nomination, but are nevertheless an important voice in the games blog community.
Ross Atherton, editor of PC Gamer, is “pleased and astonished” that his mag’s podcast has been nominated. “Considering we’ve only done half a dozen, it’s entirely unscripted, and it often descends into the geekiest PC gaming-related babble you can possibly imagine. It’s a bit of a surprise,” he said.
Cheap Ass Gamer's CAGcast
US-based cheapassgamer.com has been saving gamers’ money since it was established in May 2003. The CAGcast has become an important part of the site’s offering, in which the site’s team highlight some of the bargains of the day at retail, as well as guiding people toward the forums, where tight-fisted Yanks can swap games.
The Gamespot UK podcast
The team at Gamespot has introduced their podcast as a valuable addition to their already enormous content offering. It offers, according to the Gamespot team, “honest and sometimes brazenly irreverent opinions on current issues in the gaming industry” It has since become a respected resource for gamers worldwide.
Matt Cuttle’s popular Gamesweasel podcast has become a gamers’ favourite thanks to its weekly mix of reviews and features for console, PC and handheld owners. Its broad remit seeks to inform and entertain both hardcore and more casual listeners, while writer and presenter Cuttle’s broadcast experience makes him a safe pair of hands for the show.
One Life Left
Masterminded by industry veterans Ste Curran, Robert Howells and Ann Scantlebury, One Life Left is not only a podcast but is a regular Monday night fixture on London radio station Resonance 104.4FM. One Life Left strives to be different in that it doesn’t take itself too seriously – games are seen as a starting point for the show, rather than the core topic.
GAMES MEDIA LEGEND
A new, very special category was recently added to The Games Media Awards – the Games Media Legend Award, sponsored by System 3.
This is one for the real pioneers of video games journalism. The winner will be drawn from the ranks of those who were laid the foundations for the modern video games magazine, at a time when the rules were unwritten and creativity was king.
Modern day writers, wild-eyed iconoclasts with challenging haircuts though they may be, still hold the early generation of video games journalists in high regard, and the Games Media Legend Award gives them a chance to hail their forefathers in a suitable setting. The winner will be chosen by a panel consisting of some of Intent Media’s finest minds (the old ‘uns, essentially), and select members of today’s media elite.
System 3 boss Mark Cale commented: “I’ve probably had a few quite spiky arguments with all the names that will be up for consideration, but that’s because what they wrote mattered – even if it wasn’t always what we wanted to read. What we had in common was the belief that it was all about the product.”