Games journalists must hear this all the time. And I doubt it gets any easier defending their noble profession to those toiling at the tax office or selling insurance for a living.
Clearly, games journalists get an awful lot of perks – press trips, free games and other tat, PRs willing to cater to every sexual whim (okay, not so much the last one), but at the same time, there is hard work involved. Honest.
Looming deadlines, ever-increasing pressure from publishers and the mere expectation that you're able to write something coherent after a 12-hour session on LEGO Assassins Of War ProStreet Training can all take their toll.
Games journalism can be poorly paid and highly pressured. And while of course these privileged media types are hardly toiling in a sweatshop making 2 T-shirts for Primark, once a year it's worth doffing your cap to the people who work so hard in helping to sell more quality games – and of course pan the rubbish ones. But criticism is important too. Think of it as a form of quality control that keeps developers on their toes.
So that's what we've done with the
– highlighted the best of the best. The morning after there were more than a few sore heads, but the people and publications named as the best in the business have every right to be pretty chuffed with themselves. And that must have helped the hangovers.
MCV asked for votes from every sector of the industry, and they came in their droves. Some categories were incredibly tight – some, quite frankly, were a walkover. You even might think some awards went to the wrong person or publication. And there's probably someone on the internet slagging us off right now. But that's all part of the fun. We're big boys and girls, we can take it.
It's rare to get a pat on the back when most people think your job is a walk in the park. But the UK games industry, happily, is nice enough to do just that.
Now that any idiot with a PC and internet connection can set up a website and claim to be an expert, it's more important than ever to have professionals who live and breathe games.
Well-informed, impartial opinion is of true value amid a sea of internet fanboyism, and it was rewarded last night.
Congratulations to all the
– and for everyone else, good luck next year.