The 2003 Ely Awards Pt. 1

Every year gaming websites are required by law under the 1996 Cliché Column Act to gather a Â"˜Best ofÂ' list. Useful for those readers who might have been temporarily comatose, heavily medicated, or who are completely incapable of forming their own opinions, these lists serve o­nly to ensure that people in internet forums absolutely never run out of things to complain about. Despite their pointless futility, websites usually compile these lists because itÂ's really quite time consuming to invent an otherwise original idea for an article. Besides, these things practically write themselves. In fact, I plan to take several naps while compiling and writing my list, though it probably wonÂ't surprise you to learn I write many of my articles this way.

Still, I donÂ't want a traditional Â"˜best ofÂ' list, o­ne with some rational process by which lists of games in standardized categories are well considered before a winner is finally determined using Rock, Paper, Scissors. The thing is, the games alone donÂ't tell the yearÂ's whole story. There are many other events, products, and news items that consumed our collective consciousness, even sometimes beyond gaming itself. Thus are born The Elys, a hodgepodge of nods to those people who briefly stumbled into our field of vision, looked nervously around, and then tried to skitter back off stage. LetÂ's begin:

Best Fiction Masquerading As News:

Winner - Microsoft Buying Vivendi – Try not to look surprised when I tell you this rumor, among a great host of others, was apparently fabricated and passed along as fact by C&VG. This rumor was such a lovely cliche, the archetype of its kind, that to not choose it would be as anathema as serving merlot with salmon, or playing a FPS with a joystick. Microsoft has been rumored to be in the process of buying out pretty much everyone. Vivendi, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Square, even Rare Â"… though, that last o­ne proved to be accurate. ThereÂ's a good reason that Microsoft makes for good rumor. ItÂ's because we like having a Death Star around to point all our troubles at. If it werenÂ't for Microsoft, weÂ'd have no o­ne to blame for putting out software we all use and thus can cooperatively complain about. I mean, IÂ'm writing this article in Word, and that copy of Word is running o­n Windows XP, which makes me as eminently qualified as everyone else to bitch about Microsoft. Those bastards make all this stuff I use! They should be taken out behind the woodshed immediately.

So when some poorly managed company comes hobbling into the spotlight, itÂ's o­nly a matter of time before someone intones the inevitability of a M$ buyout – heavy emphasis o­n and a wry wink at the $. Why? Because ultimately we all want to be owned by Microsoft. ItÂ's just much easier that way.

Runner-up - Halo 2 in 2003 – IsnÂ't it funny how quickly you can go from Â"˜wouldnÂ't it be cool ifÂ"…Â' to Â"˜itÂ's a factÂ'? A rumor that made it to news through sheer force of wishing, thereÂ's never been any evidence to substantiate this rumor – and of course in hindsight, it was obvious bunk. Supported by the ever nebulous Â"˜inside anonymous sourcesÂ', which is journalism's way of saying Â"˜IÂ'm making this upÂ', this managed to make the full circuit around the internet despite being refuted time and again by those annoying people who actually know.

Best Place to Get Fiction Masquerading As News

Winner - C&VG – I wonder what the process is by which these folks decide a story has the credibility to be newsworthy. Is it entirely a process of deciding that the best way to make wishes come true is by pretending that they actually are? Perhaps itÂ's not C&VGÂ's fault. Perhaps they have someone with a mental illness working o­n staff, the kind of person that canÂ't distinguish a self-created fiction from reality. ItÂ's a tragic story when you think about it, that person wandering around all day thinking heÂ's sleeping with supermodels, that heÂ's rich, and that anyone takes C&VG Â"˜rumorsÂ' seriously.

Of course, I donÂ't think C&VG is going to make a big deal out of receiving an Ely. I know this not because I am perfectly aware of how insignificant GWJ is by comparison, nor that I mask that inferiority with sarcasm in a vain attempt to comfort myself with self-prescribed credibility instead of recognizing that we donÂ't have a fraction of the readership, presence, or revenue. ThatÂ's ridiculous. ItÂ's because the people who create – and I do mean create – news over there have probably already given themselves an imaginary Pulitzer or perhaps Nobel.

ThereÂ's really something pathetic about a person who would create an award to give to themselves.

Runner up - Out of your own ass – Though it may ultimately be proven that C&VG is already using this as their own source.

Best New Gaming Website of 2003

Winner - Gamers With Jobs – Maybe thereÂ's something pathetic about creating an award to give to yourself. Some might suggest itÂ's a conflict of interests, or that somehow IÂ'm not entirely objective o­n the matter. Some might even go so far as to say the award is rigged, and of course those people would be absolutely right.

I considered giving this Ely to another website as a kind of self-depricating humor, you know an ironic jab at my expense entirely for the quick laugh so you guys would like me, but I did enough of that in high-school. Besides, thereÂ's o­nly o­ne other site I noticed going up this year – though IÂ'm not omniscient or anything – and I just canÂ't see awarding them anything more than a tuna sandwich. A moldy o­ne at that. Who knows, that may be worth more. So, you know what, screw anyone who wants to bitch about it, GWJ gets the award and proudly accepts. WeÂ'd like to thank ourselves for working tirelessly, and all our fans that, as yet, havenÂ't sent us a single shred of hate mail, which we assume as defacto accolades.

Further, we expect to be called Award Winning Gamers With Jobs from now o­n, though we will accept the acronym AWGWJ.

Runner-up - AinÂ't It Cool Games – An apparently disavowed spin off of movie news site and large font repository AinÂ't it Cool News, this was the o­nly other gaming site I noticed coming o­nline this year. It appears to still be running, with o­ne post already for the young month of December. Its black text o­n white background doesnÂ't appear to cause blindness or induce seizures. Also its headlines are both readable and generally free of racial slurs. Many of the sentences it uses appear to be grammatically correct. Err, um, I usually donÂ't want to hurt myself when reading it. There are many more nice things I could say about our runner-up, but I canÂ't seem to think of any right now. Maybe IÂ'll write some more later.

Best Gaming System That Costs Less Than $99

Winner - Game Boy Advance – When I created this category I did so in the hopes that I could concoct an award the Gamecube could win. Then I remembered that the GBA also fits, and so the Gamecube automatically slipped to third place, which is surprising since there were o­nly two nominees.

Runner up - A SNES I saw o­n Ebay – I had to go looking for a second place nominee, and I think this SNES fits the bill nicely. Though there havenÂ't been any new games made for the SNES in half a decade, itÂ's still just a better gaming system than its grandchild.  I don't know, maybe the final bid for this thing will scoot it over the $100 mark, and allow our honorable mention to move up in the ranks, but a SNES with 35 games for under $100 is pretty damn snazzy.

Honorable Mention - Gamecube – It has Zelda and Metroid Prime. If you just think of it as paying double price for those two games, then you can probably justify the expense. Ok, now all you Gamecube fans can go ahead and start scribing your scathing responses. Just be aware that when I read your angry invective, it will sound like the Comic Book guy in my head. IÂ'll laugh and laugh.

The What Have You Done For Me Lately System of the Year:

Winner - Playstation 2 – This was a great year for the Playstation 2. With amazing games like, um Â"… hey wait just a damn minute. There was nothing this year that set the PS2 juggernaut apart from its competitors. What, the Eye Toy? Pffff! Please. Ooooh, I canÂ't play The Getaway o­n any other systems. IÂ'll try not to get my salty tears o­n anyoneÂ's shoulder.

Ladies and gentlemen. I present a system o­n cruise control.

Runner Up - NONE - For as much as I might mock the Gamecube, in a very delicate and loving way of course, at least it hauled two or three big games that fans could get excited about.

Best Phantom System

Winner - Phantom – YouÂ've got to admit, if itÂ's a joke, itÂ's a funny o­ne. Seemingly making up hardware specs and devising promises o­n the fly, Infinium Labs may be o­ne of the most organized scams to hit the streets in years. I know it seems like itÂ'll be a great system if it ever is released, what with the fantastic developers that have signed o­n to make fantastic games for this imaginary system. Developers like, uh, you know those guys who had that big game a few years back, with the cool sounding name. Oh yeah, everyone was playing their game. It was awesome, and theyÂ're totally making a game for the phantom. I mean three games. There are so many other guys too. I couldnÂ't begin to list them all here. Um, so I wonÂ't.

Yeah, itÂ'll be awesome!

Runner Up - N-Gage – IÂ'm assured by some very reputable people that there are actually people out there who have gone into stores to purchase NokiaÂ's product. Eventually, IÂ'll actually see someone playing o­ne, or perhaps IÂ'll just find o­ne discarded in the trash.

Putz of 2003

Winner – That loser who hacked Valve – I make it a rule to never expressly wish physical harm o­n anyone in my articles. Ok, so itÂ's a new rule. Still, if the possibility exists at all that Half-Life 2 was delayed because some elephant testicle licking ball of pus-filled flesh wanted to feel like a man – largely because his unusually small genitals so often leaves him confused o­n the issue – I do wish him a general sense of malaise, and perhaps a nasty cold. I know itÂ's a little low brow of me to go for the small penis joke, but we really have to assume itÂ's true. Besides, itÂ's not often I stray from the high path, so when I do I like to go all the way.

In that spirit IÂ'd like to say thereÂ's more character in my newbornÂ's soiled diapers, more class in a Tijuana brothel, and more integrity in C&VGÂ's fact checking department than there is in this vomit brained goon. Just to be clear, IÂ'd rather hang out with a urine stained oil rag pulled out of a clogged sewer line, than this guy.

Runner Up – Any Interplay Executive – LetÂ's put it this way. Enron seems to have been a more skillfully run corporation than Interplay. IÂ'd expect better money management from drunken frat boys at a strip club.

You know itÂ's bad when people donÂ't even concoct rumors of Microsoft buying you out.

Worst Gaming Award Show

Tie - Video Game Awards (Spike TV) & G-Phoria (G4) – I might just as easily have called this Best Gaming Award Show, as both categories would end up with the same winners, and both would have ended up in a tie. The thing is, when you use the word best you create a positive connotation, and really I wanted to avoid doing that. Now, itÂ's very easy for me to sit upon my high chair perched in this ivory tower and pass my venomous sarcasm down o­n the people who work hard to put shows like this together Â"… and thatÂ's why I do it. If it were hard, it would hardly be worth doing.

I really wanted to single out Spike TVÂ's show as the worst of the year, if o­nly because I think Spike is a really stupid name for a network, but G-Phoria was hosted by Jamie Kennedy, and thatÂ's just unforgivable. I donÂ't mean to imply that I donÂ't like Jamie Kennedy. I mean to outright state it.

Both shows seemed as video game savvy as a grandmotherly librarian.

Game of the Year (Nintendo)

Winner - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker – This was actually a difficult decision for me. Mostly because I donÂ't have a Gamecube, and havenÂ't played any Gamecube games. I figured, since many other awards are given without any relevant information taken into account then I could follow that lead. So, yeah, Wind Waker gets my nod as Gamecube game of the year. Mostly I chose this game because you all would have gotten o­n my case if I hadnÂ't. Everyone who put finger to keyboard to scribe a review about Wind Waker performed verbal fellatio o­n the game, so I donÂ't see why I have to play it and come to the same conclusions as everyone else. Sure, I thought the cel shading looked a little infantile, but what the hell do I know?

Congratulations The Wind Waker

Runner up - uh I dunno, letÂ's say Â"… Mario Kart Double Dash.

Congratulation to all our inaugural Ely winners, but hang o­n, thereÂ's more celebration and hilarity yet to come! Next week, some non-gaming awards plus my pick for Xbox game of the year. IÂ've even played some Xbox games, so get excited! It might not be what you think.



Uh oh, he's snapped!

HEY! Don't mess with Spike, those Highlander reruns are the only thing keeping me going this season!


That, or it's a subtle commentary on the subjectivity and fundamentally flawed chemistry of the 'Best of' list genre.

Though, you're probably right. I have been feeling mentally ill of late.

Ladies and gentlemen. I present a system o­n cruise control.

I lent my PS2 to someone for two months and for about a month of that I forgot I didn't have it anymore. I would have noticed if there were any games worth playing at the time.

Anyways, excellent article old chap. I'll look forward to the lavish awards I'm sure will be heaped on my lap in part two!

That whole article is like a great joke that I wish I could remember. There are so many good lines of trash talk that I'm going be full of evil giggling for the rest of the week.

For the "loser who hacked Valve" I think you could have also included something about his man-tits or "hacking with one hand." That would have been funny. Also, I would like to reveal first on GWJ that I am buying Microsoft.

Hmm, you cracked on the 'Cube and the PS2 what does that leave? The console with PC guts that were obsolete 2 years ago: Xbox.

It's always important to cover all bases.

At first I was worried you might actually be doing a best of list, then I began reading. Whew! What a relief. Hilarious.

But seriously, I'm right there with you man. Link just looked gay. I like the game and all, the art direction of the rest of the game was pretty cool, but Link was goddamned creepy. I think if you stare into those eyes long enough your brain melts from the inside. That, or you begin to like showtunes.

Also, I would like to reveal first on GWJ that I am buying Microsoft.

Hey man, you remember that time you borrowed $20? Well now it's payback time. You could just give me the Windows division or just park a truckload of money outside my house. Whatever.

Today's phrase that pays: verbal fellatio.

Just classic.

elephant testicle licking ball of pus-filled flesh wanted to feel like a man

I'm pretty sure puss it two 's's.

*is*, I meant IS!

Hmm, you cracked on the 'Cube and the PS2 what does that leave? The console with PC guts that were obsolete 2 years ago: Xbox.

Ooooh, Xbox is next week, my friend. Patience, m' boy. Patience.

I nominate Deus Ex: Invisible War for the PC as XBox Game of the Year.

Just kidding!

Hey man, you remember that time you borrowed $20? Well now it's payback time.

Well, since you never said anything about interest, and I did say I would give you the money back... so I'll send you that cashier's check for $20 tomorrow.

You forgot to mention the Dreamcast somewhere in the awards. I demand it.

Also, I demand an award too.

Also, I demand more funny in your next article.

You're awfully demanding for a guy that lives in Sherlock.

Sherlock has got America by the balls. Don't you watch TV?

Can I have Mex's award? Oh wait... that probably won't be a good award...

On another note, funny read. Me Likey.

You're awfully demanding for a guy that lives in Sherlock.

I demand you take that back.

Where's the mandatory joke about Duke Nukem Forever that's been in every 'best of' or 'game of the year' article for the past 3 years?

That joke has been delayed until Q4 of 2005.

Seriously though, how is that company still in business? They haven't made a game in years?

I'm pretty sure they've made or published games now and then. I remember some versions of Duke Nukem for GBA and Playstation, and then there's Max Payne...