'R.A.G.E Awards' A resounding success -

‘R.A.G.E Awards’ A resounding success

They say that in Mumbai, when you are called for a particular event at 7 pm, you ought to reach after 8. Had yours truly kept the same in mind when he attended the 2nd Annual R.A.G.E. Gaming Awards held on November 25, he wouldn’t have had to wait for more than an hour until the action started.

But that said, once things started, the show was a resounding success.

A view of the ensemble showed a judicious mix of people from various spheres – game publishers, game distributors, journalists and of course, gamers. The gaming gang included hardcore gamers who have now seemed to form their own sub-culture. They sat in groups, audibly drooling at some of the graphics in the trailers and game clips that were on offer. As they sat, spewing gaming jargon, it was quite obvious which games they were rooting for. The casual and avid gamers, although a little subdued, were soaking in the atmosphere, witnessing an event of such a kind for the first time.

The gaming professionals saw a number of big names in attendance, including Mohit Anand, Country Manager (India) – Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, Kreeda.com Managing Partner Robin Alter and Asian Gamers Journalist association President Joey Allarila.

As many as 18,000 entries helped to select the best games spread across 12 different categories. Age Of Empires III and FIFA 2006 were undoubtedly the crowd favourites – especially the former, which went on to win the ‘Best Real Time Strategy Game’ award and also the coveted ‘Game Of The Year’ award.

Activision displayed their supremacy when it comes to animation in gaming. As many as 4 out of 6 nominees for the ‘Best Animation’ award were Activision products, with Quake 4, another hot favourite with the crowd, bagging the honours. The only surprise was the announcement of Burnout Revenge as the ‘Best Racing Game’ over crowd favourite Need For Speed: Underground 2. The entire audience screamed out “NFS” in unison only to find their favourite game not quite making it. However, other things were in store for them, with the launch of Need For Speed – Most Wanted at the expo, held at Nehru Centre during the weekend.

The individual winners in each category were as follows:

Best Music In A Game “ Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Best Movie Adaptation “ Batman Begins

Best Role-Playing Game “ X-Men & Jade Empire (Tie)

Best Stealth Action Game “ Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

Best Animation “ Quake 4

Best Adventure Game “ Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within

Best Real Time Strategy Game “ Age Of Empires III

Best War Simulation Game “ Call Of Duty 2

Best Sports Game “ FIFA 2006

Best Action Game “ Halo 2

Best Racing Game “ Burnout Revenge

Game Of The Year “ Age Of Empires III

A significant feature of the awards ceremony was a presentation given by Mohit Anand, Country Manager (India) – Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division. He spoke on the art of turning innovation in the world of gaming into market leadership. He also showed an elaborate clip of “Age Of Empires III”, which continued to rake in cheers from the audience. Disclosing a unique promotional strategy for the game, Anand informed the audience about their planned use of in-cine advertising at the PVR cinemas, which would soon be launched in Mumbai.

The general consensus was that the gaming industry in India is still in the foetal stage, but the potential is very much there. According to one and all, gaming is picking up in a big way, and the only direction it can go is forward. The need to combat the 3 P’s was addressed “ piracy, pricing and parents’ perceptions and mindsets.

In many ways, the R.A.G.E. Gaming Awards were very much like the gaming scenario in India ” slow to take off, but subsequently impressive. One hopes that more such events are organised. After all, going by the enthusiasm shown by the hardcore gamers who had thronged the event ” yeh dil maange more!