Game of the Year Awards, as selected by Brenna’s dad

By Brenna Hillier
17 February 2015 08:28 GMT

Is there anything more fun than someone you love earnestly engaging in worlds outside their ken? I posit there is not.


Have you noticed how many dads are getting around in games lately? I am not a dad, and thanks to the cruelties of biology and a wide streak of self-interest I shall probably never be one, but I do have a dad, for which I am eternally grateful.

My dad is super rad. He is the standard to which I hold all other dads. Every year that I’m in Australia in December I spend Christmas and New Year’s with my dad, and most years I take a bunch of games and play them while he intermittently observes between reading, dozing, asking me to flick over to the cricket and handing me stubbies.

My dad’s not a gamer but he does like to see what the latest trends in gaming are, both because he is blessed with intellectual curiosity and because he wants to know what in the heck I do for a living so he can explain it to other people. Here’s a list of his observations, as best as I can recall them, as well as the awards I have extrapolated from his reactions, from last year’s crop of games.

far-cry-4-e3 (3)

Far Cry 4 – Best Guns

“What’s this one?” [It’s the one where you shoot tigers.] “Don’t shoot tigers!”

[a judgment free observation] “Violent!”

[Watch me shoot this guy’s head off, Dad.] “Murderous child.”

“Is that a [incomprehensible series of letters and numbers]?” [I check. It is.] “I thought it might be. Hang on. Let me look at the guns for a minute.” [Several minutes of commentary on the various guns on sale follows. He gives me purchasing advice.]

[after I am eaten by a tiger for the third time in a row] “DON’T SHOOT TIGERS.”

[after I am eaten by a tiger for the sixth time in a row] “If you are going to shoot tigers, use a shotgun, idiot child.”

[after I successfully dispatch a tiger with a souped-up shotgun] “Yes I thought that would be better for you.”

“What have you got there?” [A sawn off shotgun. You can equip it as a side arm, so I can use it while I drive this quad bike.] “Good thinking. You might actually hit something.” [Are you bagging out my aim?] “Let’s just say I don’t think those baddies have anything to worry about.”

[after I strap C4 to an elephant and send it charging into land mines] “I worry about you.”


Dragon Age: Inquisition – Most Incomprehensible

“Where are you now? Still in the Himalayas?” [No, this is a different game.] “I thought it looked different. Not as… hmm.” [The graphics aren’t as good as Far Cry 4, you think?] “Yes. The other one, it’s amazing what they can do these days. This one’s a bit ehh.” [It’s not as spectacular maybe but it does some very clever things.] “Hmm.”

[Watch me own these baddies, Dad.] “I have no idea what’s going on.”

“What did you do there?” [I set this guy on fire and then stabbed him and it made him explode. It’s very tactical.] [in a dubious tone] “Oh, yes, of course.”

“Who’s this wowser?” [He’s my boyfriend. I love him. We do kisses.] “Oh, uh.” [look of slight confusion]

“Who’s that bald bugger?” [That’s Solas. He’s very clever. He’s an elf.] “An elf! Huh!” [Next time I play through I’m going to do kisses with him.] “With him? I worry about you.”

[Dad what should I do?] [lengthy explanation of situation] “Well I don’t think you should chop his head off.”

[Dad they’re all mad at me because I didn’t chop his head off.] [sounding genuinely indignant] “Bugger ’em, then. You did the right thing. That’s what counts.”


The Wolf Among Us – Best Decisions

“I like the look of this one. I like the way it looks.”

[upon being given a hasty introduction to the world of Fables] “That sounds real interesting.”

[upon being told he should read the comics] “Hmm, maybe.” [upon being further told he should read Sandman, too] “I don’t know about that.” [upon being told that when I move close to home I will make him read all sorts of things] “Oh, ah? Maybe you better stay in Sydney then.” [brightens up] “It’ll be so good to have you home.”

“Punch him.”

“Poor pig! He just wants a drink.”

[after a series of horrible things happen] “Tch tch tch.”

“Punch him.”

[in tones of glee as Bigby starts to go wolf] “Now we’re in trouble!”

“Arrest that guy!”

“Punch him.”


Game of Thrones – Most Impact

“Game of Thrones – is that that TV show that’s so popular?” [Yes, and a book series.] “I thought I recognised the name.” [It’s really good. Sort of political. Lots of backstabbing. More politics, less magic.] “Sounds kind of interesting.” [I told you to read them, ages ago.] “Did you?” [Yeah, when I moved to New Zealand and you had all my books. I told you. Before it was famous.] “I don’t remember that.” [I’ll make you read them.]

[at the Red Wedding, regarding the Frey] “Wankers.”

[dozes off, is silent for most of the episode]

“Oof!” [a wincing exclamation at the episode’s conclusion] “I did not expect that.” [You scared me! I thought you were asleep.] “I was but a man can’t get a wink with all these murders going on.”

[minutes later, ruefully shaking his head] “No, I did not expect that.”


Tales from the Borderlands – GOTY

“This looks like Mad Max.”

[regular bouts of laughter]

“What’s that silly bugger doing?”

[staring intently at the screen for the whole episode, chin propped on one hand]

[disappointed sigh after the big betrayal]

[at the conclusion] “Well, I’ll be. And there’ll be another one like that? Huh! They make you wait to see what happens, the buggers.”

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