After being repeatedly asked what it was that actually transpired at last night’s Gaming Media Awards, I figured it would be easiest to simply whack it up here.
Grainger Games - a retail company mainly based in the North of England – decided they fancied the idea of getting closer to the country’s gaming media, and plumped up the cash to become this year’s main sponsors for the annual awards. Previously little more than a small indie chain, their recent successes have seen the brand pumped full of cash by a variety of investors: An attempt no doubt to fatten the goose for a potential sale to prospective buyers like the US company Gamestop.
Bringing their unique flavour of Toon-army charm to London for the night, the first impressions weren’t exactly perfect. Greeted by a bright orange Hummer filled with dwarves and barely-clothed equally orange promo girls, Grainger’s iconic lack of taste wasn’t initially much of a surprise.
Sitting down at a dinner table scattered with Grainger-branded condoms, eyebrows began to rise to more substantial levels: The gender ratio in the games industry isn’t exactly a well-kept secret, so at first this gesture was merely confusing. Should we all be scrambling across the tables for a chance to stick it in one of the barely-legal promo girls, or bumming each other to bits with the aid of condiments hidden beneath this pointless spatter of contraceptives?
When the awards kicked off, things started to get ugly. Heckling the comedian seemed like fair game, but it quickly became evident it wasn’t stopping there: Shouting loudly over the top of each and every award and speech, the lack of respect escalated from irritating to infuriating. Some kindly described the behaviour as heckling, but I’m pretty sure what you’re saying has be either amusing or decipherable for that distinction to be technically valid.
Expertly alternating between shouting whilst sitting down and shouting whilst standing up, at one of the particularly coked-up chaps even decided to jump up on stage and start thrusting his pelvis towards the audience. I think it might have been the award for Rock Paper Shotgun. I’m a big fan too, but still.
It’s hard to pinpoint any one moment of the evening that really hit the bell at the top of the twat-o-meter, but the sentiments throughout the industry were clearly homogeneous: Who the fuck are these clowns, and what are they doing at our party. It was the equivalent of the bride’s father thinking it’ll be alright to punch the groom in the face because he’d paid for the booze and catering.
Hardly the end of the world – but for a company that clearly needs to pitch itself to the big boys as a respectable future investment, it was nothing short of a PR disaster. Having said that, I felt ill and left the party at about 10. FUCK knows what they got up to after that.
Otherwise though, it was a bloody brilliant night and loads of lovely people won some shiny bits of plastic. Excellent work, GMA peeps.
EDIT: I’ve since been informed that after I left, some of the G-crew were caught doing coke in the toilet by security, whilst others were seen to be physically intimidating some of the gaming media’s most prominent figures. Lordy.
Also - I wish to make it clear that I have no negative sentiments towards Newcastle or the north: I lived up there for most of my life.