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Games Media Brit List: Who, what, why, where, when?

The Games Media Brit List is a new awards event for the UK’s games media. We catch up with Mimram Media’s Lisa Carter, who is part of the team organising the event, to find out all about the games media’s newest big night out.

What are the aims of the Games Media Brit List Awards?

We launched The Games Media Brit List as a showcase of UK games media talent, open to anyone engaged in reporting, reviewing or commentating on video games and esports. The finalists include specialist journalists, national press, podcasters, vloggers, streamers, reviewers, and anyone in between.

It’s a platform for the games media and the wider industry to network, and celebrate the important work that the games media does in informing and inspiring consumers.

Who’s behind the event?

All of us were previously ‘games media’. I started my career in the games industry about 100 years ago just before the launch of the PlayStation as deputy editor on CTW (the forerunner to MCV) and then helped launch MCV back in 1998. I worked at Intent Media, (which then became NewBay Media) until a couple of years back.

The rest of the Games Media Brit List Awards team (there’s no ‘I’ in team, right?) – Stuart O’Brien, Andrew Wooden and Darrell Carter) are all ex-Intent/NewBay staffers. We’ve all worked on various awards events – including one similar to the Games Media Brit List. We knew that the games media was keen to have an awards event, so after a glass of wine and a few beers, we decided to launch this event.

How did you decide on the categories?

We wanted to recognise the broad range of work being done across the games media, and decided the best way to do this would be to categorise by the type of work people are engaged in, rather than subject area.

So our Best Reporter category is open to anyone engaged in news activity across trade, consumer and any specialist areas. The alternative would be to categorise by subject area (such as ‘esports’, ‘PC’, etc) where feature writers, news writers, and streamers could be competing against each other. We didn’t think that was fair – and also didn’t want to marginalise any sectors. 

We’ve had some feedback that esports should have had its own category, but we don’t believe it’s a ‘sector’, certainly not a niche. The writers, broadcasters and streamers in this area of the media don’t deserve to be marginalised.

How are the awards reflecting the changing games media?

Media in general is constantly evolving, particularly in relation to the incredible growth of YouTube influencers. In the games industry, that’s underlined by the importance of Twitch and the ever-growing fan base of esports, which is reflected by a growing UK community of specialist writers and commentators.

The games media landscape is very different to what it was ten years ago, but what remains a constant is the talent, passion and creativity of the people involved.

It’s a community of people writing about what they love, and which produces engaging and creative content. The Games Media Brit List is designed to recognise the best of that, and encompass all facets of this evolving medium.

Can you tell about the shortlisting and judging process?

We think the process of putting together a list of finalists is a collaborative effort between the organisers of an event and the group being recognised. So we made nominations as open as possible and aimed to keep the barriers of entry minimal to encourage as much engagement as possible.

These are creative awards and so there is always subjectivity involved in picking out individuals. We’re not recognising profit curves, market expansions, or flashy corporate rebrands – we want to highlight the high watermarks of creativity and engagement ingenuity, whether that’s in the form of traditional print, online, video or podcast. We think the best way to do that is in the first instance to have the community itself tell us who they hold up as champions.

We had an incredible response, with the number of nominations we received surpassing our expectations. The judging process is about to begin and, again, we’re asking the games media itself to choose the winners. The judging panel, made up entirely of the games media itself, will vote based on examples of work from each of the finalists.

What can we expect on the night, and who can attend?

All finalists are invited to attend the event – Thursday May 17 at Rich Mix Shoreditch – for free. We’re able to do this, thanks to the fantastic support of a number of event partners, including Rising Star, Reality Clash, Bossa Studios, Jaegermeister and Vuelio. We also have a VERY limited number of trade tickets available now.

This is an informal awards event – no table plans or dress code – but we can promise great entertainment, thanks to our host Simon Miller and the video-games-theme-tune covers band Plug n Play. Plus the booze is free, and we have a host of fiddly canapés for guests to wrestle with.

And there’s more, but you’ll have to wait until May 17 to find out. Here’s the plug – if you want to find out more, visit www.gamesmediabritlist.com

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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