The Game Awards Are Broadcasting In VR

The Game Awards Are Broadcasting In VR
November 5, 2016

Even if you can’t get yourself a ticket for The Game Awards out in LA, you can still get awfully close. The big show is returning for its third annual event on December 1st, and they’ll be broadcast in Virtual Reality for anyone with a headset as part of a partnership with NextVR. That’s in addition to streaming over Facebook, Twitter and a most other major streaming platforms — including platforms in China via a partnership with media conglomerate Tencent.
“Video games have the power to unite communities from all over the world, and this year we will share the power of gaming with more people than ever before,” Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley said in a statement. “For 2016 we will expand our all-digital, no-friction path to global distribution through partnerships that include the first live awards show broadcast on Twitter, an initiative with Tencent to bring The Game Awards live to China, and our innovative, first-of-its-kind live VR broadcast with Next VR.”
NextVR has live streamed plenty of events before, even if the Game Awards do get the honor of being the first award show to use the trick. Still, the video gaming population is pretty uniquely geared towards both wanting and being able to watch things VR given the games-first focus of this early wave of modern VR, and so I’ll be curious to see what the experience is like. Other events, like the Presidential debates, aren’t exactly using VR as a selling point, so it’s possible the Game Awards will make some more explicit attempts to take advantage of the medium.
The Game Awards are a relative newcomer in a somewhat fractured interactive awards show landscape, though they are in many ways an evolution of the award show Keighley did with Spike TV. It borrows from traditional awards shows with some important twists that have served to raise their profile in the past three years, mostly in the form of those announcements and debut trailers that gamers can be relied on to show up for, as well as sales for winners and nominees on digital distribution platforms. The aim is to become the “Oscars” of videogames: the film industry may have many awards shows, but the Oscars are unquestionably the most important. Games don’t yet have a defining award like that, and The Game Awards feel like they could be on their way towards fixing that. They’ve made a lot of progress in just a few years, and we’ll see how things pan out in a few weeks.

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