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Cybermania '94: The Ultimate Gamer Awards [video] (youtube.com)
47 points by ArtWomb on Dec 28, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments

Here's a contemporary review with the winners (Mortal Kombat took home top honors): https://ew.com/article/1994/11/25/cybermania-94-ultimate-gam...

The categories was a hoot, with some racing game being placed in the "Action / Adventure" category and more fun stuff. I wonder if we'll look back on today's video game genres and how we put some games into some of them in the same way.

For posterity, here was the categories and their winners, interesting enough (and maybe because it was related to the academy), they had best actress/actor categories (where the winner seems to have been a almost softcore "game"):

Best Action/ Adventure: Doom;

Best CD-ROM: The 7th Guest;

Best Portable Game: Aladdin;

Best Art or Graphics: Myst;

Best Musical: Xplora 1: Peter Gabriel’s Secret World;

Best Sports: Caesars World of Boxing;

Best Actress: Grace Zabriskie, Voyeur;

Best Actor: Robert Culp, Voyeur;

Best Overall Game (determined by a call-in vote): Mortal Kombat.

I think taking this as a reliable source of info is a mistake, as it was probably all designed around how much TV time they had and worked backwards from there. There's no transparency around how finalists were picked. Hopefully, anyone really interested in the history of videogame classification will take this TV show with a grain of salt and weigh it less compared to something like EGM, Game Informer or even how the publishers describe it. Although, this is free on youtube and it might take some legwork to track down the more reliable primary sources, so I dunno...

No matter what the subject, distinguishing the reliability of sources is one thing that separates blogspam from real research though.

In 1994 there were scant few games that even had an actor or an actress. I'm guessing Wing Commander III was released too late in the year to be in contention?

Most of the games with live action scenes in this era were horrible Macromedia Shockwave things with terrible hunt and click or puzzle gameplay too, mostly banking on the shock value of filling up an entire CD with short tiny Quicktime clips superimposed over static backgrounds.

The 7th guest was my first "cd-rom game" and to this day I remember some of its cool mechanics. Especially the cool video technique they used which added to the creepiness. Still loving horror games all these years later.

This whole thing has "everything is terrible" vibes

Around 1:03 there's leslie nielsen introducing a section where they interview a bunch of hackers which is pretty funny

Watched 1 minute of the content, felt the need to comment: hah, I thought that was actually Hillary Clinton. Choosing her would be odd, she would go on to have a history of blaming video games for society's problems. And Leslie Nielsen's comment about "I sure hope she has health insurance" is bleakly funny in 2021, considering that 2.8 decades later, healthcare is still a fucked up thing in the US (here come the defenders...), and back there Hillary was working for her husband promoting a healthcare reform program: https://ballotpedia.org/%22Hillarycare%22_(The_proposed_Heal...

Lesley Nielson caught me completely offguard.

So out of place, yet completely on brand. A true American treasure.


Only watched the first second and fired up NBA Jam TE on the Picade immediately. Greatest casual game ever with lots of fond memories. SNES > Jaguar > 32X.

ah, just before the dawn of the Internet. “You will be able to vote for your favorite game online, via the Prodigy services network”

It's too easy to forget that just before 1995 and using PPP and a modem to connect to the formerly-only-academic-and-military Internet (and the premiere of web browsers), there was a patchwork of self-hosted dialup providers providing a network-connected GUI of sorts like AOL and Prodigy

Only $1 an hour for access! Actually I think Prodigy was more expensive. AOL made money hand over fist during that brief window before Web Browsers became mainstream.

As soon as ISPs starting showing up that were $10 or $15 for an entire month of Internet all of those dial up services were doomed. They had grown way too fat on per-hour billing and couldn't hope to compete.

Then you had to have a collection of local isp numbers (and for the cracker scene user/pass lists) so you could connect while away from home.

I just remembered how happy I was when I had my palm pilot 14k attachment and could get internet in class because often live POTS were available in many more rooms than these days.

I had no idea palmpilot had a modem attachment!

The Palm VII had a built-in GPRS modem with some truly expensive data options.

Who's the kid? I can't place him.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas. They say it like 10 seconds into the show (t2:02 of the video)

He's most known for being the middle child on Home Improvement and young Simba in The Lion King.

Teenage heartthrob JTT, you may recognize him from Tiger Beat magazine, or perhaps the Tim Allen sitcom "Home Improvement"

Too soon. So cringey.

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