The third-annual SXSW Gaming Awards kicked off on Saturday night, concluding the SXSW Gaming Expo on a beautifully geeky note.
This year the award show was held at the Hilton Austin Downtown to a packed house. Popular YouTuber Sean “JackSepticEye” McLoughlin and esports star Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico co-emceed the two-hour extravaganza of gaming and geek culture.
The awards show progressed fast, moving through 21 separate categories with little intermission. The categories included a diverse array of games from the traditional world of tabletop gems to the newer brand of mobile games.
Outside of medium, the games themselves were even more varied, from popular IPs Tomb Raider and The Witcher to indie newbies “Ori and the Blind Forest” and “Undertale,” the night was a win for diversity in gaming.
The diversity in winners may be due to SXSW unconventional process. Unlike most other gaming awards, SXSW puts part of the process into the hands of gamers and the general public. After SXSW Gaming Advisory Board members, consisting of over 40 industry experts, select finalists the general public was able to cast their votes on popular gaming news site IGN. All the winners at Saturday’s gaming awards were, in part, due to voices of those who keep the industry alive: gamers.
The biggest winner of the night was “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” which took home three of eight nominations, including the coveted Video Game of the Year Award. Other big winners include “Undertale,” “Bloodborne,” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider” who each took home two awards.
The night was a short, if not fast one of some pretty awesome speeches. Those who could not be in attendance were able to live stream the show on popular live-streaming video platform Twitch.
After having commanded film and music, the SXSW festival organizers seek to emblazon their name in the world of gaming. With increased spotlighting, SXSW seems to be well on its way.
For a complete list of 2016 winners visit the SXSW Gaming Awards website.