So, we’re in a new place here with the SPJ’s Kunkel awards asking for the community to comment and discuss the top choices up for awards. This past week they had 6 entries that they really liked for the category of “Excellence in News Video/Streaming” and asked people to share their thoughts on what they thought should win. Well, I’m here with my thoughts on the nominees having watched all of these, and why I think that there is a clear winner.

The 6 nominees available for discussion are

Well that list definitely shows one repeating name as SuperBunnyHop makes up half the list. All of the judges like the first three on that list, while the last 3 were liked by 2 of the three judges. I’m going to run down the videos in brief, before telling you what I think the winner should be.

Kojima vs Konami: An Investigation 

This video by SuperBunnyHop was released just around when Silent Hills was officially cancelled and rumors were flying around everywhere. He dug around a lot and brought new information to light on the situation, some of which we have seen be effectively confirmed by events since.

Making Sense of Shenmue 3

Shenmue 3 was one of the two most confusion kickstarters ran last year, with the other being Red Ash. This video looked into what was actually going on, what Sony’s involvement with the project was and addressed the many contradictions and misconceptions that were going around due to poor translations and poor communication.

Oh Boy, Boyer! – Indie-Fensible (#GamerGate)

This video looked at the IGF and Indie Fund, and other potential conflicts of interest. There’s been a lot of accusations and discussions, and this video shows some digging around and talking with known and anonymous developers about the issues that may be there. 

Devs Speak Out on Steam Refunds 

This may be the least visually compelling one of the bunch, being one of TotalBiscuit’s non-game review videos is him speaking over some gameplay footage that doesn’t particularly pertain to the topic at hand. This was released not too long after Steam Refunds, and after a couple of developers and the media created some panic around the topic, TotalBiscuit reached out to various developers to get their thoughts on what was going on to help bring more voices to the table. He also reviewed a lot of the information that was provided by the developers who had been quoted in the media and provided some context to it.

#GamerGate at SPJ Airplay

This video was basically a mash up of the SPJ Airplay event using some sharp editing and work to get many of the best moments in the event that occurred and provide much of the essence of what was discussed in a short condensed burst. 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Videogames and You!

Not the sexiest topic in the least, but in this video SuperBunnyHop went over the Trans-Pacific Partnership and looking at it from a video game perspective. It’s something that other industries have done and it is one of, if not the, most significant trade and more deal we’ll see for years to come. It helps educate viewers and covers a complex topic in a short period of time.

So that’s the list of competitors with a brief bit there. Looking at it all and rewatching them, one for me really stood out—and that was Kojima vs Konami: An Investigation.

Let’s ignore all the drama around that video (and some of the others) and look just at the content here. What this showed was a clear example of high quality journalistic work put in to contact and reach out to everyone and investigate all the leads he could. The video shed new light on an emerging story that was mired in rumors and uncertainity, as it provided the various statements that George was able to get, as well as comments from an anonymous source.  A key point for me here also is how the anonymous information is clearly labelled and the risks inherent in that, while bringing in what made sense and what didn’t as George critically examined what his source told him and compared it to what others were reporting.

With the benefit of hindsight, some of the things shown there are proven to be true definitively. We can see the changes in their studio, the greater issues with Kojima himself, and even more has happened that lends credence to most things his source says. While this can’t really impact that, it does help reinforce the fact that the work here was sourced as well as could be and that the proper information sifting was done to find out what was going on.

Another point here is that George uses a very crisp style for presentation that works quite well. His videos are easy on the eyes, clean to see, and the visuals complement what is being discussed often instead of just serving as a random backdrop. Additionally, all the claims that were given by the anonymous source, while without evidence, were provided clearly to the viewer along with George pointing out the bits that he felt were important or somewhat credulous. Emails he had with other sources—such as Konami’s PR, Norman Reedus’ publicist, and others—were shown, helping present to the viewer the whole situation and bringing them into it. From a presentation standpoint it was brilliant to do, and from an informing standpoint it helps make clear that there were no more comments and people have to rely less on a single person’s words.

So, there you have it. The nominees are largely solid overall I feel, but I think “Kojima vs Konami” is the best of the bunch. If you were to ask me to choose a second, it would probably be Making Sense of Shenmue 3, because I think it did a great job clearing up what was a highly confusing situation. But what’s your choice? You still have some time to get it into the Kunkel Awards and make your voice heard!

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.