The Game Awards…of 1999

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Today is the 2023 Game Awards. But first, we’re turning the clock back to one of the earliest video game award shows!

This is the 1999 Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. The nominations this year were stacked. Half-Life and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time competing for Game of the Year! Pokémon Red and Blue up against Metal Gear Solid for best story! Gran Turismo versus F-Zero X! Coolio is there too, for some reason!

This awards show is still running today, now called the D.I.C.E. Awards. If you want spoilers for 1998’s winners, you can find the results on the AIAS website. But where’s the fun in that?

Today’s Sponsor

Today’s sponsor is Atari! The name needs no introduction for video game fans. Atari recently honored its history with an “interactive documentary” titled Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration!

They’ve offered to DOUBLE every dollar put toward our goal this year, up $1,000! As I write this we’re still pretty far from our goal, so if you’ve been waiting to give this year, this would be a really great time.

We recently recovered the tape for this show by visiting the family of Rita Zimmerer, one of the Academy’s founding advisory board members. As far as we know, this has never been available to watch online until now! We can’t wait to tell you more about Rita and her career in a future post, but for now, we hope you appreciate this little taste of the material she kept.

And back in 1999, “interactive” also covered more than just games! There’s a few web design awards too, which goes to show that our definition of interactive art always keeps changing.

You can see tomorrow’s post right now!

Members of our Patreon who support us at $5 or more per month get to travel through time and see our daily calendar entries one day early! Christmas comes early for our beloved team of time bandits! Memberships at higher tiers also include access to our Discord community, monthly hangout calls with VGHF staff, and more!

Coming tomorrow: A photographic report from the height of Pokémania! It’s a rare look at Nintendo’s 1999 Space World show, with never-before-seen photos from our archives.