The 2014 oprainfall Awards: Part 1

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

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It started with an idea.

It’s been about 70 years since engineers first played around with the idea of gaming on computers. As they experimented with cathode ray tubes, the industry’s humble beginnings took shape.

And while they experimented with it for a while, it wasn’t until the mid-60s when Ralph Baer began working on his Brown Box prototype. This of course would lead to the very first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey. Inspired by it — or maybe seeing the potential for an entirely new market — Nolan Bushnell created the first killer game, Pong.

Ralph Baer Brown Box

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine with all our advanced graphics and mega-controllers that gaming was merely just two lines hitting a single pixel. But back then, that’s all it really was.

But as people started to see the potential of the industry — and technology exponentially improved to better show off the idea — we saw the first big bubble of gaming. Arcades popped up across the world. Consoles were created with the new technology. Chips were so small and inexpensive that little handheld games flooded the market.

Galaga (NES) | Screenshot

Yes, this bubble did eventually burst — twice. But the ideas were still there. And the idea began to grow into an adventure. One that took us from cathode ray tubes to Tennis for Two to the Mushroom Kingdom, the fields of Hyrule, Ancient Greece, fantasy worlds, and all across the universe.

Hyrule Warriors | Link Fights

But it’s more than just what the game looks like. It’s about pushing the limits of what the technology can do.

Dragon Age Inquisition

It’s about venturing forth to the future while honoring the past.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U

It’s about watching an interactive story unfold in a way that only gaming can make possible.

The Wolf Among Us Screenshot 6

It’s about watching as someone is given a chance to make their vision a reality.

Shovel Knight

Or in some cases, a second chance to make things right.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1

Today, someone’s idea to experiment with a tube has turned into a $25 billion industry. And whether you create a game that has a budget of $50,000 or $500,000,000, one thing still remains the same…

It all starts with an idea.

What you make of that idea is up to you.

The oprainfall Awards

Welcome to the 3rd Annual oprainfall Video Game Awards. As usual, this is a three-part awards presentation that goes from now until Friday, revealing our picks from 21 categories spanning game aesthetics, characters, consoles, and PC, all leading up to our pick for Game of the Year. In addition, we will also be revealing the winner of the 2014 Readers’ Game of the Year.

UPDATE: Voting for Readers’ Game of the Year has closed. Be sure to check out the results on Thursday.

Today, however, we bring awards for characters and begin the console awards. As usual, all nominees for console awards are exclusives to the console. Exceptions can be made on a game by game basis, which includes but not limited to a game being deemed better on a specific system over any others. All other games released on multiple consoles will be a part of the Multiplatform category.

And, of course, with everything that we do that involves picking, there will be some spoilers. You have been warned!

But enough talk. It’s time for awards. HAVE AT YOU!

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.

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