The Game Awards Speech that Captivated My Humanity

Image Source: YouTube

Image Source: YouTube

"...But more than that, the person I'd like to thank is Nicole Tan... I have never met Nicole Tan."
Greg Miller


While TV viewing America was watching NBC's live rendition of 'The Wiz' this past Thursday, I was actively engaged online, streaming 'The Game Awards' from YouTube. (You can watch 2 minute acceptance speech by clicking the captioned image above).

The event recognizes the past year of video games and their creators. Think of it as 'the Academy Awards for Video Games.' And while I could inform you of all the winners and go on and on about how awesome it was, this story is about is about Nicole Tan. Or well, it's about what Nicole Tan represents. Let me explain..

Greg Miller, previously a video game journalist for IGN (huge video game review and big deal internet site for gamers) turned internet/YouTube celebrity, won an award for Trending Gamer on Thursday night. By far his speech was the most moving. After he thanked the standard people you would expect him to (parents, girlfriend, friends), Greg did something a bit unexpected. He thanked a total stranger.


"...But more than that, the person I'd like to thank is Nicole Tan. Nicole Tan is an environment artist for Crystal Dynamics. I have never met Nicole Tan. I beat Rise of the Tomb Raider this weekend, saw her name go through the credits along with dozens of other names I didn't recognize and this happens all the time. Every time I finish a game, hundreds of names I don't know.

So today I'm the trending gamer. I am a duly elected representative of you, the gamers. So on behalf of the gamers, I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone in this room that makes video games. Thank you to everyone at home right now - directors, producers, writers, animators who make video games. Hell, thank you to the guy who's working on a Maya project right now and won't see this until it's on YouTube tomorrow.

We all know that making a game is not a glamorous life. It's long hours. It's time away from your family. And no matter what when the game's out, someone on the internet is going to be mean to it. I'm sure it comes down everyday somebody says 'is this worth it?' And I want you to know that on behalf of the millions of lives you have changed, it is worth it.

Thank you for making games. I would not be the person, we would not be the people we are today if it wasn't for video games. So thank you each and every one of you who does this, who makes video games. Thank you for your art and know that we are forever in your debt."


The thing that struck me was not his passion for video games, something I've come to find is profound and true from following his work, but that he did something that we often take for granted. He thanked someone he didn't even know for making the way he lives possible.

Greg's words don't just apply to video games, they apply to everything.

We all get a little complacent from time to time. Yes, most of us say 'Thank You' when someone opens a door for us or prompts that kind of response naturally, but we rarely go out of our way to tell someone we appreciate them (and no, holidays don't count either).

The act of fostering those around us, especially when they're on the same team, is important beyond measure. Saying thank you can build trust and foster teamwork. It can help with someone's confidence and make them feel significant as a part of the overall team.

Take a moment out of your day and let someone know that what they do matters. Even if that means saying so to a complete stranger.


Taking the time to recognize your peers is a good thing to make a habit of. You don't know what positive results you'll bring until you try. Have you ever done this for someone? Has someone ever done it for you? Let me know some of your thoughts in the comments below.

Michael LaValley

Buffalo, NY