Culture, Gaming

BAFTA Games Awards 2015: a ceremony restoring faith in the game industry

Ashley Johnson, BAFTA Games 2015, Mar 12, 2015 (1366x697)In the last couple months, the annual string of overblown award shows has bestowed us with news stories about conflict, heroism and confirmation that it’s hilarious to see celebrities falling over. By contrast, the BAFTA Video Games Awards are rarely the stuff of TMZ-fuelled tabloid controversy. For starters, it still isn’t broadcast on national television (this year it was streamed via, and most of the non-gaming presenters are probably minor celebrities even for the show’s UK-based watchers.

But that doesn’t stop the Games Awards being a repeatedly positive example of celebrating these digital creators, storytellers and engineers; many of whom demonstrate, as they accept their awards, a humility and altruism that the recipients at more established, celebrity-orientated award shows frequently lack.

Culture, Media, Music, TV & Radio

Brits Awards 2015: Madonna’s tumble the high point of a show that’s lost its mojo

Madonna falls, Brit Awards 2015, Feb 25, 2015 screenshot, ITV (620x349)“Oh, Madonna. Did you learn NOTHING from the heroes who fell before you?” asked a quizzical tweet, attached with an image of The Incredibles’s eccentric fashion designer Edna Mode. Those who watched the 2015 Brit Awards live on ITV last night saw it – and then saw it again moments later on Twitter. Madonna, in an austere black suit, a long cloak draped behind her, yanked from her feet midway through her assent to the main stage.

The Twitter crowd had been restless for entirety of the show, but, thanks to the ill-fated timing of a backup dancer, the bait had been thrown and video snippets of Madonna’s tumble – quickly coined ‘#capegate’ – started circulating. The 56-year-old entertainer recovered quickly, carrying on as if it had been little more than a graze. But it was too late. The music had already been forgotten.

Culture, Music

Is the Mercury Prize 2013 shortlist ‘too commercial’?

Laura Mvula in WFUV studio, by WFUV (Apr 2013) (585x329)

If it was any other awards ceremony, commercial success would be applauded. But it’s the Mercury Prize, so, naturally, it’s another reason for the pundits to get their soapbox on.

There are no obligatory ‘token’ albums from folk and jazz acts this year. And no indie starlet, sneaking in at the last minute to become the bookies’ favourite – as The xx and Alt-J have done in the past.


Aiming for the Shortlist

The entry barrier has closed. But this time things are different.

Yesterday was the closing date for entries to the Guardian Student Media Awards 2010. Established in 1999, after splitting from the NUS Awards, the GSMAs are the UK’s most prodigious student media shindig.

They are the Oscars of student journalism. Nominees enjoy a lavish evening full of food, wine and minor celebrities, and the opportunity to meet some of the most well known faces in Britain’s media industry today. As for the winners, they are guaranteed to have job offers filling their inbox at an alarming rate the second their name is announced, and the after party…

OK, that’s a far cry from what it’s actually like – accept for the buffet and minor celebrities. In the past, Platform has won two GSMAs (though, nominated at least three times by my count). However, coming from a former polytechnic with one of the best journalism and media track records in the country, it’s surprising that we haven’t been nominated more often. This has partly been down to restraints, for instance, Platform’s editor was a sabbatical position in the past so we weren’t eligible.

But this year we’ve never been in a better position to enter. The magazine has become more professional, our online presence has expanded to Olympian heights and, unlike some of our predecessors, we’ve managed to submit all our applications and samples on time.

There are far fewer categories and, worse still, no cash prizes this year, but we’re all still hoping we can make it through. To get the website or magazine nominated would be an incredible achievement. And, just like our friends at Fly FM, it would be great to travel down to the awards night as a proud Trent posse. Competition is tight however, especially from the Redbricks and publications that have won in the past, like Gair Rhydd and York Vision, plus our Nottingham rivals Impact.

I’ve put myself forward for Writer of the Year and Digital Journalist of the Year. Now all I can do is wait for the nominees to be announced in September later this year. Onward and upward, then.


NTSU Awards 2009

Yesterday evening the annual Nottingham Trent Students Union Awards took place. This year the awards were expanded to include categories from the entire range of Union activities and services.

Having just started work with Trent Media this year I was nominated for two awards – Trent Media Best Newcomer Award and Platform Volunteer of the Year – for my vigorous editorial work with Platform magazine and the Platform gaming blog.

It was an honour to win both of the awards I was nominated for this year. I look forward to continuing my work with Platform.


  • Trent Media Best Newcomer Award
  • Platform Volunteer of the Year