LAS VEGAS— I don't know whether to refer to the DICE Awards as gaming's Oscars, its Golden Globes, or maybe something even more offbeat like its AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards (Yes, that's a real thing). Regardless, the DICE Awards happened last night with all the pomp and circumstance you might expect from your typical awards show—big red carpet, big stage, big names, big suits, big spotlights, bad jokes...and some actually pretty decent ones, courtesy of host Pete Holmes.
Oh, and they locked us in a room and force-fed us chicken on a stick, so basically it was your standard awards show.
Okay, DICE Awards are about to start. So far they've locked us in a room and made us eat chicken-on-a-stick. pic.twitter.com/4HzeXKAvud— Hayden Dingman (@haydencd) February 6, 2015
First, for the awards that mattered: Both Al Alcorn and Ralph Baer were honored with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science's Pioneer Award. Alcorn nabbed his for his work at Atari (namely on Pong) and Baer's son accepted a posthumous award for the invention of the home video game console. Both wins were long overdue.
Other than that the night was pretty much cinched up by a trifecta of Shadow of Mordor (eight awards), Destiny (four), and Hearthstone (two). Oh, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, which swooped in to pull off a last-minute Game of the Year upset victory. The crowd literally gasped.
It was a big booming spectacle of an awards show that had some spot-on choices and some that were pretty questionable. (Destiny beating Wolfenstein: The New Order for Action Game? Come on. Come on.)
Basically, it was an awards show. Here’s the full list of winners:
Adventure Game of the Year—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Family Game of the Year—LittleBigPlanet 3
Mobile Game of the Year—Hearthstone
Handheld Game of the Year—Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Outstanding Achievement in Animation—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Outstanding Achievement in Art—Monument Valley
Outstanding Technical Achievement—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Outstanding Achievement in Online—Destiny
RPG/MMO Game of the Year —Dragon Age: Inquisition
Strategy Game of the Year—Hearthstone
Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition—Destiny
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design—Destiny
Outstanding Achievement in Narrative—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Outstanding Achievement in Character—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Outstanding Innovation in Gaming —Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Sports Game of the Year—FIFA 15
Racing Game of the Year—Mario Kart 8
Fighting Game of the Year—Super Smash Bros. WiiU
Action Game of the Year—Destiny
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction—Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Game of the Year—Dragon Age: Inquisition
Reminder: The DICE Awards are voted on by members of the Academy and sort of directly compete with The Game Awards in December and the GDC Awards in March to see who can come out the most prestigious. We'll have corresponding coverage of said GDC Awards (and the IGF Awards) in a few weeks.
In the meantime, check out PCWorld’s best PC games of 2014 for the PC-exclusive games we loved.