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Recap: 1st Annual NY Videogame Critics Circle Awards

4:45 PM on 02.03.2012 // Samit Sarkar

The American videogame industry, and the majority of the people writing critically about it, has coalesced largely on the West Coast. But the New York scene has been ascendant in recent years, and the growing number of critical voices on this side of the country spurred longtime videogame critic Harold Goldberg, author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture, to start a local group for those critics.

That group, the New York Videogame Critics Circle, held its first-ever awards show last night, hopefully the first of many, in conjunction with the NYU Game Center at the school's Cantor Film Center. I was pleased to attend the classy affair, joining many New York-area colleagues from some of your and my favorite publications as well as representatives from the developers and publishers behind the nominated games.

I had the honor of presenting -- along with new Kotaku recruit Tina Amini -- the "A Train Award" for Best Mobile/iOS Game, which went to Superbrothers and Capybara Games' Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. (I should note that, as one of the Critics Circle's newest members, I did not vote on any of the awards given out last night.)

Bastion narrator Logan Cunningham hosted the show, and attendees were treated to live performances of two songs from the game's terrific original soundtrack by Ashley Barrett and audio director Darren Korb. You can watch the second performance above; it's the song "Setting Sail, Coming Home," which plays at a pivotal point in the game's final stage. (Thanks to Russ Frushtick of Vox Games for the recording.)

It was a wonderful evening, and I look forward to playing all the great games that will be nominated for next year's show. Here's the full list of winners:

Manhattan Award for Most NY-Centric Game
Crysis 2

Battery Park Award for Best Handheld Game
Super Mario 3D Land

Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game

A Train Award for Best Mobile/iOS Game
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Herman Melville Award for Best Writing in a Game
Portal 2

Off-Broadway Award for Best Indie Game

Statue of Liberty Award for Best Open-World Game
Saints Row: The Third

Great White Way Award for Best Overall Acting in a Game
Portal 2

Algonquin Roundtable Award for Best Book
All Your Base Are Belong to Us by Harold Goldberg

Mad Men Award for Best Videogame Commercial
Long Live Play – Michael

Big Apple Award for Best Game
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Samit Sarkar,
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