Selecting the best game of the year should be the result of a thoughtful process, not a rush to the finish line.
Last year we completely retooled how Kotaku made it’s selection for game of the year, and I think it worked. This year we’re returning to that system, a system that has us wait until we’ve had time to examine our choices and think through our arguments.
Today we kick off the debate, a process that has us openly discussing why we think our selection of finalists is or isn’t the game of the year.
Later today you’ll have a chance to read through the arguments we each made surrounding the first of four games nominated internally as potentially the game of the year.
To select those nominees I asked each writer to decide what single game they thought was the absolute best for the year. It had to be a game that they could argue was better than any other. There was no runner-up or third place selection, so the finalists come off as an oddly eclectic mix.
Once selected, we made sure everyone had played all of the games in question and then kicked off a round of internal debate. A game was given a champion who opened the debate with his reasoning for why the game was the best of the year, that was followed by six writers discussing why they agree or disagree. Finally the champion has a chance to respond to the points raised.
This is what we’re publishing over the course of the week. These are sincere arguments, they are meant to change minds, internally, and sometimes they do.
On Friday we will open the debate up to you, our readers. Over the weekend I will ask the staff of Kotaku to reexamine the arguments made both internally and by you and to recast their vote for game of the year. We will announce that winner and the winner of the reader’s choice award on Monday.
Hope you enjoy the debate, it starts in two hours.