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Oscars 2023: Will Video Games Ever Get An Oscars Category?

Christopher Judge as Kratos (Photo credit AS USA)
Scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once, Oscars 2023 best pictures winner

Oscars 2023 was held on Sunday night 12 March 2023 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Califronia. ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ swept most of the awards including winning the biggest award for the night. The multiverse action-comedy scooped 7 awards, winning in almost all the categories it was nominated.

Another movie that stood out was ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. The German-language adaptation of a 1929 anti-war novel by Erich Maria Remarque took home 4 awards. The most notable of them was the ‘Best International Feature Film’.

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Last month, the 65th Grammy Awards historically announced the first video game winner. The move by the Grammy to create a special category for video game was widely applauded. Apart from gamers, it was also a big win for video game score producers who were hitherto sidelined.

This year’s Oscars had a record number of Asian artists nominated for the acting categories. Michelle Yeoh won the best actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, becoming the first Asian to win the coveted award. Ke Huy Quan, a former child star and refugee from Vietnam, won the best supporting actor.

This year’s Oscars Award may have been more diverse compared to that of two years ago, but video game actors continue to be on the sideline. It took the Academy Awards a long time to expand its categories to include international films (1956). Sadly, it is taking even longer for them to realize that video games can no longer be ignored.

Full list of winners at Oscars 2023

Jamie Lee Curtis  wins her first Academy Awards at Oscars 2023

India made headlines on Sunday, Mar. 12 night too. Naatu Naatu from the movie RRR became the first Indian song to bag a nomination and win in the best song category.

Jamie Lee Curtis won the best supporting actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. What made Curtis’ win emotional was that she was the daughter of actors. Her parents never won the Oscars.

Also, this was her first in her forty-year acting career. In her acceptance speech, Curtis gazed at the ceiling and said “I just won an Oscar!” apparently speaking to her late parents. Here is the full list of all the winners for the night.

Best Picture

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Lead Actress

Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Best Lead Actor

Brendan Fraser

Best Director

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Best Film Editing

Everything Everywhere All At Once – Paul Rogers

Best Original Song

Naatu Naatu from “RRR” – by M.M. Keeravaani, lyrics by Chandrabose

Best Sound

Top Gun: Maverick – Mark Weingarten, James H. Marther, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

Best Adapted Screenplay

Women Talking – Sarah Polley

Best Original Screenplay

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front – Volker Bertelmann

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front – production design by Christian M. Goldbeck, set decoration by Ernestine Hipper

Best Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud

Best Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers – Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Costume Design

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth E. Carter

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Whale – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front – James Friend

Best Live Action Short

An Irish Goodbye – Tom Berkeley and Ross White

Best Documentary Feature Film

Navalny – Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toto’s Pinocchio

Why video games deserve a category at the Oscars

In 2021, Apex Legends and Oculus Studios creators won an Oscar for a short documentary which was part of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. The World War II documentary called Colette won the Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 93rd Oscars. The documentary was released as part of the Gallery mode of Respawn’s 2020 virtual reality title. It was the gaming industry’s best ride at the Oscars so far.

Game acting has evolved over several decades. Some game developers now employ popular movie actors to perform for big game titles. Their sterling performances are incorporated into games using motion-capture. The most recent was Ella Balinska in Forspoken.

Steven Ogg as Trevor (Photo credit: Charlie INTEL)
Steven Ogg as Trevor (Photo credit: Charlie INTEL)

Christopher Judge of God of War Ragnarok and Steven Ogg of GTA 5 are among the flurry of video game actors that have left indelible memories in the minds of gamers and non-gamers through their A-class acting. These talented actors are sidelined simply because there is no suitable category for them, yet, at the Oscars.  

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Any attempt to include video games into other categories will not work too. Imagine comparing an apple and a banana. If there is an award for the best animated feature film and best animated short film, the exclusion of video games simply doesn’t make sense. Today, more video games are getting movie adaptations—which shouldn’t be if video games didn’t matter.

Recent statistics shows that there are over 3 billion gamers across the globe. A visual entertainment sector with that number of followers should never be treated with levity. With the end of Oscars 2023, we hope the Academy Awards looks inward and creates a category for video games in the next award ceremony.

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