The Game Awards is a strange beast which continues to evolve and shift in accordance with the rapidly changing industry which it serves. It continues to benefit gamers as a mini-E3 of announcements and trailers, while those of us entrenched in development benefit from the accolades and a celebration of the past year in games creativity. Amid the world premieres and musical numbers, developers are credited for their contributions to creativity in the industry. Many of these are awards are easily guessable based on the year just gone but the Industry Icon award, this year won by legendary developer Carol Shaw, is more of a mystery. And one that nicely educates the ever-young games community on the industry’s history.
Shaw, one of the our earliest game designers and developer of Atari classic River Raid, has technically been retired for over twenty years, but her work in the games industry was formative. Something demonstrated beautifully in the winner’s video shown at The Game Awards, which you can watch below. She was introduced to the stage by Felicia Day and the feeling of reverence and respect shown was counter to what one would expect from a show that sometimes descends into pandering farce. And we say that with love.
This continued attempt by Geoff Keighley and the Game Awards team to inform a young audience of the industry’s history is delightful, as was the acceptance speech given by Shaw during the show. She reiterates that games have never been easier to develop and that aspiring designers have a whole host of tools available to them that certainly didn’t exist thirty years ago when River Raid was in development. Events like these are key for inspiring the developers of tomorrow.
You can check out Shaw’s full speech in the video below.