So the night has begun and I’m currently surrounded by lots of other game journos who are enjoying the free bar and generally being loud in badly fitting suits. The nominees are, well, nomming their dinner at present and the awards start in about twenty minutes, hosted by the very amusing Dara Ó Briain.
The evening is set for a celebration of the best gaming in the world and, so far, not a sign of Sophie Ellis-Bextor. She’s bound to show up though, she’s been stalking me at every gaming shindig for the past year – I’m going to have to take out a restraining order if she doesn’t leave me alone.
The Film BAFTAs regularly attract superstar celebrities, so who can I see here tonight? Well, there’s comedian Danny Wallace; the old Stig from Top gear, Ben Collins and – yes – Barney Harwood from Blue Peter. Joining those superstars is (thankfully) a proper A-lister, none other than Sir Ben bleedin‘ Kingsley! Over in a corner are the UK’s Eurovision hopefuls – recently reformed boy band Blue – and the lovely Gemma Atkinson.
Comedian and console fan Iain Lee is present, as is Jason Bradbury from The Gadget show and gaming legends Jon Hare, David Braben and some bloke called Molyneux. I’ve been told there are quite a few sports personalities present but that’s not exactly my area of expertise: I can spot Joe Calzaghe from Strictly Come Dancing, he’s also famous for hitting people, isn’t he?
My fact sheet also tells me that ‘Industry’ celebrity Joris De Man is here. If I run in to him it’s going to take every tiny bit of willpower I can muster for this not to happen:
“Hello, I’m Tuffcub from TheSixthAxis, pleased to meet you.”
“Bonjour, Joris De Man.”
“No, you is da man!”
I’m sure Peter will edit that out. [mark the date on your calendars, Tuffcub was wrong – ed]
Just before we begin, I must give the BAFTAs a ‘Good Canapé Rating’ of 9/10. Anyone who has been to these industry parties will know that they live or die on the tastiness of their nibbles and BAFTAs are excellent, although not quite as nice as the mini fish ‘n’ chips from the Sony PSN Video store launch. Also of note is the alcohol that is being supplied, a Belgian beer called ‘Vedett’ which features a picture showing five men standing in a line, trousers round their ankles relieving themselves in a bush. I’m not making that up, honest.
Right, music is playing, we’re about to start and I’ve just realised I’m sat at a very awkward angle and going to get neck ache, curses! Dara has walked on and is being very amusing, he’s already called people bitches. You won’t get to see this bit on the live video feed so Dara is taking the opportunity to be rude. A mon-tage of gaming highlights from the past year is playing, Jason Bradbury seems to be a fan of Dance Central. Dara has noticed that zombies are everywhere and is suggesting FIFA zombies, also complaining he’s still not had sex in Mass Effect 2.
The first award tonight is the Action category and the noms are presented by Gemma Atkinson. Up for the gong are Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, BioShock 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, God of War III and Halo: Reach. It’s actually quite exciting as we watch video segments for each game and the winner is… Assassins Creed Brotherhood! Excellent choice.
Next up it’s the new face of Blue Peter, Barney Harwood. What a cute little button he is and he’s presenting the Family Game. There’s rather a large number of Kinect games nominated but nice to see the rather excellent Toy Story 3 in the mix, well worth a play. Taking the award is Kinect Sports, one of the best Kinect games at launch.
We’re rattling through the awards at breakneck speed. Technical Innovation next and it’s a strong line up, Kinectimals and Heavy Rain in the mix alongside Black Ops – not entirely sure what was particularly innovative about that game but who cares, it’s the first win of the night for the ground breaking Heavy Rain! Press X to BAFTA!
The Social Network Game is next, games on Facebook and the like and not a category limited to games based around the hit film. However I have a problem: where I’m sitting is just metres away from where all the winners will be interviewed and that means they’re all queuing up behind me to be interviewed and read everything I type over my shoulder, hello Assassin’s Creed people, well done on your award! Winning the Social Network game is My Empire, whatever that is.
Next up, looking very uncomfortable in a suit, is the legend that is Jon Hare, creator of classics such as Sensible Soccer and Mega Lo Mania. The award is for Audio and DJ Hero 2 has been nominated, this could be an awkward moment but Battlefield Bad Company 2 takes the prize.
The award for best Handheld game is next, Professor Layton and Cut The Rope are up against Kratos in God Of War: Ghost of Sparta. No contest then, It’s Krat… oh, Cut The Rope wins.