I won the Games Media Legend award at the Games Media Awards in London last night, as well as Specialist Writer (Web). VG247 won the Games Blog award. By the end of it, I got up on stage and genuinely had no words. I’m better at writing than speaking (clearly), so here’s what I would have said given the benefit of hindsight and not having 400 people cheering at me.
I am, as my wife keeps pointing out this morning, a “legend”. I have an award that proves it. I am also, apparently, the best specialist online games writer in Britain. The website I launched with Eurogamer’s Rupert Loman last February is the best games blog in the UK. It’s all too much. I didn’t sleep a lot last night.
There are so many people I want to thank. I’ve been involved in British games editorial since 1998, and I’ve met a great many people on the way who’ve inspired me, pushed me and moulded my career for a variety of reasons.
Some of them: Fiona, Johnny Minkley, Rupert Loman, Ellie Gibson, Tom Bramwell, Colin Campbell, Mike Bowden, Greg Ingham, Nick Loman, Gavin Ogden, Nick Grange, Tina Hicks, Kristan Reed, Jon Fargher, Alex Simmons, Paul Davies, Paul Loman, Barbara Loman, Oliver Menne, Tanja Menne, Rob Purchese, Martin Taylor, Matt Styles, Tim Ponting, Jerry the Crobar, Stephany Nunneley, Rob Fahey, Matt Martin, Oli Welsh, Gareth Ramsay, Simon Byron, Richard Leadbetter, Gary Harrod, Gary Cutlack, Tony Horgan, James Ashton, Cat Channon, Jonnie Bryant, Hugo Bustillos, Simon Smith-Wright, Shaun White, Jodie Van Hibb, Amy Wright, Stefan Walters, Hamish Brown, Alex Ward, Nathan Grayson, Johnny Cullen, Steve Fulljames, Dave Woods, Rhianna Pratchett and many, many others. I’m sorry if I missed you out. I could go on all day.
I remember sitting next to a river in Glossop near Manchester over ten years ago getting drunk with Colin Campbell, telling him I had no respect for anyone in the games media. It didn’t mean anything, and it wasn’t “real”. I was glad to be writing for a living, but all I wanted to do was be better than games. I wanted to be a novelist – and still do – and the whole thing seemed so Mickey Mouse to me then. It wasn’t the Guardian or the Times; it was chancers grinding out random horseshit about polygons, something I knew very little about.
I was right and wrong, arrogance aside. A decade on, I love this industry. Despite still being in its infancy, games editorial is maturing, as are the products we write about, the journalists that write about them and the people that play them. The enthusiasm and passion involved in the games media is incredible, but we’ve got so far to go. I stopped wishing I was “better” than games many years ago. I’m very proud to be a part of this and to watch it evolve. It’s an honour, in fact.
Last night was a stand-out life moment. I’ll never forget it. I’m still buzzing. Thank you so much for voting for my team and our site, and for me personally, and thank you to everyone that hugged me or shook my hand. I’m completely overwhelmed.
I love you all.