The Games Journalism Award

By Nick Capozzoli, NYVGCC Journalism Chair

The Games Journalism Award is given to one journalist or critic for distinguished contributions to the field during the voting year. The selected journalist will have best demonstrated traditional journalistic values, including–but not limited to–work that illuminates, contextualizes, entertains, exhibits lucid writing, sound reasoning, wit, integrity, et alia.

The 2022 Short List12th Annual New York Game Awards



Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Oftentimes, it’s enough for games to simply meet us at our moment—especially when that moment is a rut, and they can sit with us in quietude like a sensitive friend. Their accommodating virtual worlds, inconsequential in the best sense of the word, offer refuge within which frayed nerves can find a way to mend, as Villarreal touchingly relates.

See: The Fantasy of Healing

Justin Heckert

The devil, as they say, is in the details, and Heckert has a collector’s eye for all those sumptuous, devilish little details: stacks of dog-eared magazines, the “cherry” plastic surrounding a vintage game cartridge worth $100,000…and the imprint of crushed carpet fibers that a 700 lb safe leaves after a thief drags it out the door.

See: Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.

Christian Donlan

Continuing with the subject of safes: locks themselves turn out to belie a whole world of verbiage and practices, concealed just behind the cylinder. Donlan, a humble, inquisitive cartographer of small and hidden lands, is the perfect guide to it all.

See: Locks, lockpicking, locksport, and an actual locksmith

Nicole Carpenter

The video game industry will not repair its systemic problems voluntarily. So this incredibly thorough (and incredibly useful) guide claims, and rightfully so; Carpenter’s service journalism deftly making the case for much more action-able methods of reporting.

See: The Rise of the Video Game Union

People Make Games

If “People Make Games” is indeed to be taken as an aphorism (emphasis on the people), it also ends up gently informing our viewing of this series: People Make Journalism, too. Inquisitive, conscientious, affable people, as it happens.

See: Investigating Three Indie Superstars Accused of Emotional Abuse

Making Sense of VRChat, the “Metaverse” People Actually Like

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

Good criticism is sometimes like a hunt, following a trail of metaphors and implications across states and mediums. It’s one thing for Evans-Thirlwell’s writing to consistently pursue those outlying ideas. It’s quite another for it to maintain its clear, engrossing prose the whole time.

See: How is a battle system like a poem?

Rigged Game

Gabrielle de la Puente

The breaking-down of the line between video game and real life is often pitched as an exciting inevitability by people who stand to benefit precisely by that impression of inevitably. Two pieces by de la Puente, though, with anecdotes from a life lived (achingly, mindfully) among games, prove that they don’t need intrusive or commercial tech to be imbricated with our reality.

See: The Long Dark


For the previous years’ lists, click through the page numbers directly below, which will take you through the nominees by year, starting with 2015.