The Game Awards was such a weird fever dream this yr. The show alone housed an eight-minute acceptance speech straight off the bat. Then there was the stage-crasher who appeared throughout Elden Ring’s GOTY speech and someway wasn’t instantly booted off. Maybe the weirdest factor all through all this, although, has been the bitter battle between the Genshin Influence and Sonic fandoms over the ceremony’s most pointless award: the Gamers’ Voice.

Regardless of the class whittling down to 5 video games by its last spherical, it did not matter. Elden Ring? Irrelevant. By no means heard of it. God of Battle Ragnarok? Who’s she? Stray, Minecraft, Sifu, MultiVersus, Cult of the Lamb… nothing however collateral injury within the conflict between waifus and speedy hedgehogs. Reddit posts had been made, web fingers had been pointed and lifelong digital rivalries had been fashioned. 

The entire thing began as a stunning illustration of two communities’ adoration for the video games they spent a lot time with. Sonic Frontiers followers wished the game to get the popularity they felt it deserved, having earned zero juror nominations throughout any class. In Genshin Influence’s case, it is unsurprising {that a} group boasting round 60 million lively gamers was inflicting the vote to weigh fairly closely of their favour. Regardless, Sonic Frontiers got here out on high for the primary two rounds, with Genshin following carefully behind.

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The third spherical is when issues began to take a flip and the conflict between followers started. The 2 communities started to level fingers at one another, accusing each other of utilizing bots to skew the votes. Regardless of either side wanting to point out enthusiasm for his or her respective video games, issues turned a tad bitter and insults had been flung round. Sonic followers accused Genshin followers of being bribed to vote, whereas Genshin followers identified that paintings of Sonic characters beating the shit out of Genshin characters had begun circulating throughout a Chinese language day of mourning, which spurred the nation’s followers into mass voting. There have additionally been accusations of the Sonic fandom expressing racist or xenophobic remarks in direction of Genshin gamers.

Effectively, issues are lastly over, and it appears not even Sonic’s ultra-passionate group might cease the Genshin Influence practice. Throughout The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley awkwardly laughed via the “100% fan-voted class” nominees, including “you guys had been very busy voting the previous few days.” He even threw in a sly jab on the bot accusations, all however confirming some foul play had taken place. “As soon as we took out all of the bot votes, the game award goes to Genshin Influence.”

I say issues are over, however taunts from either side are nonetheless incoming. The Sonic subreddit is wanting fairly hunkered down now, with mods rapidly cleansing up poisonous posts and feedback and lots of of its high posts are at present locked. I additionally spied a couple of tweets of Genshin followers teasing the Sonic group for allegedly beginning the entire beef, claiming the blue blur would’ve taken the crown if followers had stayed quiet.

Now pay attention, I am apathetic to all this. I’ve performed and loved Genshin and I’ve performed and loved Sonic video games. I am a fence-sitter—I can barely decide a pair of socks within the morning not to mention facet with considered one of two equally horrifying fan bases. Nevertheless it’s a disgrace to see two clearly passionate units of followers going in opposition to each other in more and more imply methods. The Game Awards—and particularly the Gamers’ Voice vote—are a little bit of enjoyable on the finish of the day, and I am certain many followers cross over into each communities and will not respect the continued beef. It is locked now, however I hope this good little bit of paintings of Sonic and Lumine hanging out will remind individuals why we love these video games within the first place.