This year marks the 29th Golden Joystick Awards which will be held in London, England on 21 October 2011. For the maths-challenged that means the first GJAs was held way back in 1982.
This year, we're asking all our readers to vote, but we're aware that this being a 'global' website and the awards being a UK-based event, many of our readers might be thinking, 'WTF is this Golden Joystick thing, then?'
So to put you in the picture and give you some sense of history of the illustrious awards, here's 12 hot facts. Read it and you'll know more than the people that organise the thing...
1. It's the only game awards voted for by gamers
Setting the Golden Joysticks apart from other lesser game awards is the unique voting mechanic. Rather than use a bunch of stuffy uninformed judges, games are voted for by gamers themselves via CVG and GamesRadar.
2. 2011's awards will be different to previous years
As well as partnering with long-standing games mag GamesMaster for the 2011 awards, this year the event will be used to showcase teaser trailers for upcoming games - so it won't just be about last year's releases. Something people always have a moan about. Expect to see a few world exclusives unveiled during the show as a result.
3. The winners get an actual golden (plated) joystick
Above: The gaming equivalent of an Oscar
4. The ceremony always has a celebrity compere
Celebrities who turn up at a game events typically know nothing about games whatsoever. The Golden Joystick Awards is no exception.
Above: BBC's Jonathan Ross presented the 2002 awards
Aside from a few confessed gamer comperes (UK talk show host Jonathan Ross is a notable exception) the awards are normally presided over by an 'of-the-moment' comedian who knows naff all about games. They do one of two things - use their slot to take take the piss out of people who like or work in games (cue awkward laughter from the audience, who are 95% games industry) or say nothing whatsoever about games in their (usually very funny) opening routine.
Like we said, it's a tradition. And it wouldn't be the same without it. Globally famous presenters of the Golden Joystick Awards include Matt Lucas of Little Britain/USA, Jonthan Ross, David Mitchell (Peep Show) and Rich Hall (umm, some shit you probably haven't seen.)
Above: Yes, that's David Mitchell off Peep Show doing the 2007 awards
Above: And Little Britain's Majorie Doors (Matt Lucas) embarassed everyone in 2002
BONUS UK Specific celebrity corner:
For our UK readers here's a few other photos from the archives that show GJA presenters from the past. US readers get kudos for knowing who any of these people are...
Above: Radio One Superstar Dave Lee Travis in 1982
Above: 'Later...' presenter Jools Holland in 1987
Above: UK 'Millionaire' presenter Chris Tarrant took over in 1989
Above: Capital Radio DJ and general loud-mouth Danny Baker in 1991
Above: Friday Night Project funny man Justin Lee Collins in 2006
Okay, that's enough now.
5. Some girls attend the awards
Above: Girls from The Sun newspaper give out an award
As if to remind the audience that *as a general rule* men like games more than girls, female-types are hired in to bring a bit of glamour to the proceedings, fill the gaps between the men and ensure backstage awards photographs don't look too hideous.
Not *too* hideous.
6. Mostly men of games attend
Here, have some men of games.
7. It gets covered in all languages
8. There's always a celebrity-free 'aftershow party'
You know how the hottest tickets at major awards ceremonies like the Oscars, Grammies, BAFTAs and MTV are the aftershow parties? Well, after the Golden Joystick Awards there's a big aftershow party. It's exactly the same as say, the MTV Music Awards. Except it has very few celebrities. Unless you count Craig Fairbrass.
However, it is very much the UK games industry's drinking event of the year and if you're not there you're a nobody. Or a celebrity.
9. The voice of the UK National Lottery introduces all the nominations
We're scraping the barrel here. If you're reading this from anywhere west of Prince Edward Island, well done for scrolling this far down the page.
Anyway, the man who reads out nominations for the awards is called Alan Dedicoat, whose other claim to fame is reading out the UK National Lottery numbers on live TV.
10. Jetpac won the first GJA Game of the Year award in 1982
Ultimate's Jetpac has the accolade of winning the first Game of the Year, which appeared on grandad game machines ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro and the Vic-20. If you want to see why it won, you can play the original on XBLA as part of Jetpac Reloaded.
Above: Back in the day, games like this won awards
Other Game of the Years in the GJA's history have included bonafide classics like: Knight Lore (1984), Gauntlet (1986), Outrun (1988), Street Fighter 2 (1992), Grand Theft Auto III (2002) and Doom 3 (2004)
11 Voting for the 2011 Awards will start very soon
In the coming months a new, simplified and updated voting website will be launched for you to voice your opinions on this year's best games - keep checking our Facebook page or Golden Joysticks 2011 page for details.
12. Last year's Ultimate Game of the Year was won by Mass Effect 2
To jog your memory here's the full list of last year's winners:
The Action/Adventure Game Of The Year in association with Nuts
Winner: Assassin's Creed II
Runners Up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Red Dead Redemption
Download Game Of The Year in association with Green Man Gaming
Winner: Plants vs. Zombies
Runners Up: Battlefield 1943, Call of Duty: World At War: ZOMBIES
Fighting Game Of The Year in association with Official Nintendo Magazine
Winner: Street Fighter IV
Runners Up: Tekken 6, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny
Music Game Of The Year in association with Total Film
Winner: Guitar Hero 5
Runners Up: DJ Hero, The Beatles: Rock Band
The One To Watch in association with MSN
Winner: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Runners Up: Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: The Old Republic
Online Game Of The Year in association with CVG
Winner: League of Legends
Runners Up: Aion: The Tower Of Eternity, Farmville
Portable Game Of The Year in association with Habbo
Winner: Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Runners Up: Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, Plants vs. Zombies
Puzzle Game Of The Year in association with NGamer
Winner: World of Goo
Runners Up: Professor Layton and Pandora's Box, Scribblenauts
Racing Game Of The Year in association with T3
Winner: Forza Motorsport 3
Runners Up: Need For Speed: Shift. Colin McRae: Dirt 2
RPG Of The Year in association with GamesRadar
Winner: Mass Effect 2
Runners Up: Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition, Final Fantasy XIII
Shooter Of The Year in association with IGN Game On
Winner: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Runners Up: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2
Soundtrack Of The Year in association with Metal Hammer
Winner: Final Fantasy XIII
Runners Up: Brutal Legend, Assassin's Creed 2
Sports Game Of The Year in association with Mousebreaker
Winner: FIFA 10
Runners Up: Wii Sports Resort, Skate 3
Strategy Game Of The Year in association with PC Gamer
Winner: Plants vs. Zombies
Runners Up: The Sims 3, Age of Empires III: Collection
UK Developer Of The Year in association with Edge
Runners Up: Rockstar North, Codemasters
23 June 2011 (Updated)
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