New York Times' choice for GOTY

…is Wii Sports. “Gaming is supposed to be about fun, and Wii Sports delivered more fun quickly than anything else I played in 2006.” Writer is Seth Schiesel.

This is in today’s Sunday NY Times Arts and Leisure annual wrap up of the best of the year in film, music etc. He also slams PS3: “Worst Job of Living Up to the Hype… it was flabbergasting when Sony delivered a mediocre product.”

“Best Job of Living Up to the Hype” goes to Gears of War. And he has kudos for XBLA: “the best online game service around.”

And my favorite is “Best Retreat from a Grandstand” which goes to Hilary Clinton and Joseph Lieberman.

I think this link works but sometimes NYT requires a login, maybe for older articles.

The NYT has been very consistently down on the PS3.

Beats choosing GoW for GOTY.

Final Fantasy XII should be console GOTY, IMO.

For the PC, it’s much tougher to call.

I don’t think Wii Sports would be my GOTY, but it’s definitely the most important game of the year.

But… It’s game of the year because it’s “fun”?

Man, when Tom gets up, puts on his beret, swings down to the local cafe for a latte, and picks up his NYT, I can only imagine the havoc.

Works for me. Perhaps “game” has taken on a slightly different meaning over the years.

“Game” used to mean “An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime.”

Not sure the non-hardcore would see, say, Gears of War as “An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime.”

Ah yes, the continued decline of the NYT.

I like the fact that they chose a GOTY based on it being fun and accessible. Games like Wii Sports really do a lot for the industry in terms of broadening the market by converting non-gamers and easing them into gaming.

i don’t want them in gaming. i want games to be for dorks, geeks, nerds and losers. games should be big, unwieldy, complicated, sprawling, ambitious nonsense. normal people can stay the heck out of gaming, they ruin it. i hate going in games shops and being surrounded by the kind of people who would have beaten me up in school for playing computer games.

In other words, we should be one bad Christmas away from another video game crash, 'cause that’s the way it was and we liked it.

I’m gonna take the non-gamers suck side.

No, I’d just prefer the console world not be glutted with 5 million shallow minigames.

And considering the last video game crash occurred when there was a large increase in low cost, low quality video games, and a general attempt to increase the userbase of the console, it maybe premature to associate the death of video games with hardcore gamers.

Why would it be? What are the franchises with the most pull in the US? Madden, Halo, and GTA. I would not describe any of those as shallow minigames. More minigame-based titles may indeed be seen in the coming years, but certainly not at the expense of the traditional titles we’re accustomed to.

The main reason I dont mind more “non-gamers” being converted because it often means I don’t have to hear crap about being a “serious” gamer. Though I’d miss the chance to laugh at people who make fun of gamers yet spend 6-12 hours a weekend watching football games on tv, pay for nfl season pass etc. on satellite etc…

Yes, but the Wii is supposedly spearheading a return to simpler, easier games, and most of the popular upcoming and current titles, like Warioware, Wii Sports, and Rayman, are basically a framework around minigames.

I would rather not see the Wii turn into a DS, where the sum total of games that fully utilize the hardware, and have a decent amount of depth, are very few. While the console market is not a zero sum game, a reallocation of funds to develop simple easy to play games will reroute some funds from other games.

I’d say the DS has actually avoided falling into that trap extremely well. Plenty of traditional games are on the horizon for the Wii, and Smash Bros. even uses the classic controller instead of the wiimote. I think Nintendo is savvy enough to know to balance their release schedule.

Of course, we’ve yet to see if this actually holds true or is just a wispy platitude.

The same kind of thing was said about The Sims, and I don’t think it panned out in the end (non-gamers becoming gamers). Likewise, did the non-gamers who play/ed Brain Age/Big Brain Academy/Sudoku become gamers, or do they stop there?

I don’t think a collection of proof-of-concept minigames should be GotY. And I liked my 30 minutes with bowling and golf (although golf has some issues). Gaming may be about fun, but delivering fun quickly isn’t the same thing. If something delivers fun right away, but stops being fun 30 minutes laterr, that’s not good (not saying Wii sports stops being fun this quickly, but I don’t think it has the lasting power that future Wii games will have OR that other games from '06 have). Lego Star Wars II would come out ahead of Wii Sports in that sense, IMO.

I wouldn’t rank Wii Sports first even if we’re limiting choices to just games on the Wii. In fact, it’s not even the best collection of motion control minigames on the Wii (Raving Rabbids is better). It’s a light, entertaining party game, and a good showcase for the controller (and thus, a great pack-in). But game of the year? They must not have played very many other games.

I’d guess they were going for something they thought the majority of their readers would agree with, and since most non-gamers with Wii experience have pretty much limited their exposure to Wii Sports, that was the safe choice. It’s the gaming equivalent of Time giving Person of the Year to YOU.