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#6 BAFTA diary - The Gag

Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Fri, 23 Mar 2012

Ste Pickford

Once the meal had finished, the actual BAFTA awards ceremony began, with everyone still sat at their meal tables.

The show kicked off with the bizarre sight of The Saturdays performing to a room full of merry but mostly disinterested middle aged blokes, without even any cameras running to justify their efforts. This was one of the oddest and most depressing sights I've seen since watching Seal perform his poor little heart out to the backs of a room full of desperately networking retail buyers and video game distributors at a Nintendo party a few years ago at E3.

Dara O Briain came on and squeezed in a few jokes before the broadcast started and the ceremony kicked off proper. I like Dara O Briain, and think he's a pretty decent choice as presenter, but overall I dislike the way the awards are dominated by TV stars and comedians. It feels like BAFTA lack confidence or faith in video games themselves, and feel that they need to prop the awards up with familiar faces from TV.

Sure, there aren't many famous video game developers, but surely the whole purpose of something like the BAFTAs is to help make game developers more well known and recognisable? How is that supposed to happen if the limelight is given to people already well known in other fields? Also, anyone watching the BAFTA ceremony has chosen to watch it because they have an interest in video games in the first place, so surely such an audience want to see the people behind their favourite games rather than famous people from other media.

That said, we were giving out an award ourselves later on, and as we watched the ceremony unfold we noticed that every single person coming up to give an award out was a famous actor, writer, comedian, singer, or someone from the telly who wasn't a video game developer. There had to be some famous game developers coming out in a minute, surely?

Once the first awards were given, we thought it would be really funny to tweet a photo of John holding a little BAFTA chocolate really close to the camera, as if we'd won an award ourselves. Obviously a gag, as of course we weren't going to win. Within moments of the tweet going out though, we had a flurry of messages of congratulations coming in. Yikes! We didn't mean to actually fool anyone, so we had to follow up with a quick photo of a bite being taken from the chocolate.


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