It Begins: Best of 2010 Game Awards (GOTY)! New Format & Ground Rules!

We’ve finally decided on a unique format for this year’s staff and readers’ videogame choice awards. Some ground rules from last year return, along with a couple of big changes of course!

Here’s the biggest alteration: instead of throwing all these polls at you in one day, I think we can make things more organized by having a few polls thrown in daily in order to highlight the voting process. Each week will focus on one of the four main themes: special awards, genre, platform, and last but not least overall GOTY. Likewise, staff votes for each category will follow a similar format: we will announce our nominations along with the reader polls and then finalize our winners at the end of each week. The preliminary deadline for readers’ choice awards will be midnight January 4th, 2011. The deadline is subject to change according on reader demand.

The staff tallying system will remain the same: Each of us must identify three games per category. Top pick gets 3 points, runner-up gets 2 points, and honorable mention gets 1 point. We find this to be a very efficient system that we’ve been using for the past 4 years of GOTY awards. Unlike last year, our readers will follow a similar format with most categories. You’re bound to run into ones in which picking a single game just isn’t good enough, so now you can vote for up to three games too! Restrictions apply to categories that don’t have enough nominations. I’m sure a lot of you hardcore gamers have more than one favorite this year as well.

General ground rules for nominated games: no remakes or enhanced ports are allowed, each has its own special award. We will focus on newer games, sequels, original IPs, etc. Exceptions are present, most notably games like Goldeneye 007 and Lufia since both are re-imaginings which bare little resemblance to the classics they’re based on. Finally, regarding platform awards, “best of PS3” includes only PS3 exclusives, likewise to the rest of the consoles except PC because we typically don’t cover them at all. In other words, any game with a simultaneous 360/PC release can be nominated for “best of 360” and is considered a 360 exclusive when comparing gaming consoles to each other. Multiplatform games have their own award.

Note that our lists of nominations will be somewhat different from yours. Readers’ choice will include more games, while ours will be cut down to 6 games or less per category based on: a) personal reasons on what games deserve to be nominated, and b) games we’ve played this year. Sadly, anything we have not played won’t be up for nomination.

We tend to balance out nominations in each category and add in a little variety, instead of being overly-redundant. That is to say, you may find the same game in multiple categories, but we try to balance out the consoles and genres they belong to here and there.

Be on the lookout for our first couple of polls soon! As always, feedback and discussion are encouraged.