Stuttering Craig Announces The Real Game Awards

In March, Stuttering Craig, the co-founder of Screw Attack and host of Side Scrollers, announced “Take Games Back,” an initiative aimed at wresting video game culture from the hands of hostile corporate and media interests and giving it back to gamers. The first part of this push Craig announced was an awards ceremony to act as a counter to The Game Awards, one in which actual gamers voted on the categories, nominees, and winners. Now, his plan is coming to fruition; today, Craig announced The Real Game Awards, and it runs pretty much how he said it would in March. The inaugural awards ceremony will be online only, but Craig’s hope is to switch to a live event next year and beyond. You can see Craig’s video announcement below:

There are more details on the Real Game Awards website. (The previous URL,, now redirects there.) The most significant change is the price of joining; the year-long voting membership was planned to be $60 when it was announced but is now $30. There are other price tiers as well, including one for a per-month donation of $5 just to support The Real Game Awards or one for $15 a year to suggest categories in upcoming awards shows. This is good for people like me, who don’t play the new stuff right away and really shouldn’t be voting. (I just played Bloodborne this year, to illustrate my point. It was awesome, by the way.) For $150 a year, you can attend the ceremony when it’s held live, and for $1337 a year, you can become an official sponsor of the show. When Craig first announced Take Games Back, I talked about why making people pay to become members is a good way to keep troublemakers out (and he’s completely right about gatekeeping; if you want to be a part of something like this, you should have to love it). It’s also a way to get people invested, to feel like they’re a part of something meaningful for their favorite pastime.

Craig also has a board of directors partially set up, which you can see here. There are some great people involved so far, including Kabrutus, creator of the Sweet Baby Inc. Detected curator and DEI Detected website, Marc the Cyborg, an extremely passionate gamer, and… I don’t know, some guy in a hat who likes Mario Kart. And, as Craig reiterates, the board will not be voting, which is also important; gamers need to feel like they’re in charge of this, they’re the ones picking the winners, and there are no thumbs on the scales. It’s a great setup, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Craig’s right: since he made that initial video, the video game industry and the media that covers it have only gotten worse – or, at least, more overt – in their disdain for gamers. If The Real Game Awards helps change that culture, that’ll be great, but even if it’s just a place for disaffected gamers to go and enjoy celebrating video games with fellow enthusiasts, it’ll have been worth it.

You can follow this movement on the Real Game Awards website, as well as the official X account, and, I’m sure, on Side Scrollers.

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