HERE COME THE WINNERS!
It’s been another phenomenal year for geek culture, as we claim an ever larger share of the voice of pop culture. Coaching for Geeks’ end of year awards celebrates the big, the bold, and the unsung heroes.
The Coaching for Geeks community made its nominations and the public voted throughout December… and it’s safe to say that Critters had their say this year, briefly hugging the CfG site to death for 5 minutes as they poured in from the Critical Role subreddit.
We had more votes than ever before and, in most categories, it was VERY close at the top with a mere 12 votes between first and second place in one instance.
SO LET’S REVEAL THE WINNERS!
MOVIE OF THE YEAR
MOVIE OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – AVENGERS ENDGAME
Was there really ever any doubt which movie would claim the award?
Taking a whopping 45% of the votes cast, Avengers Endgame brought a close to this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After THAT ending of Infinity War, how could they pull it all together in a way that pleased fans, leaving us thrilled, devastated, but satisfied? A fitting conclusion to a epic saga and CfG’s Movie of the Year 2019.
MOVIE OF THE YEAR RUNNER UP – JOKER
The vote was pretty evenly split between the next 3 nominees; Joker, Detective Pikachu, and Spider-Man: Far From Home with a mere 65 votes between 2nd and 4th place.
No wonder people related. Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.
A dark evolution of the DC villain origin story, launching the DC Black series of standalone movies.
TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
Baby Yoda may have snuck his way into the hearts and minds around the internet, but the late-in-the-year release of The Mandalorian, and Disney+ not yet being available around the world, may have contributed to its lack of inclusion in the TV Show of the Year public vote.
A strong year for TV shows, mostly *Paddington bear glare at Game of Thrones * with one offs and new franchises making an impact. With 150 votes between 1st and 5th place this was a hotly fought category, but there can be only one…
TV SHOW OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – GOOD OMENS
Good Omens hit screens in May of this year. The announcement of this series based on the iconic book by Gaiman and Pratchett was met with some concerns. With such a dedicated and loyal fanbase already in place, how well would the show deliver. However, the concerns were unfounded, Good Omens was undoubtedly a smashing success.
Good Omens rings so true to the novels, entire pages of dialogue are lifted from the pages and spoken aloud in the show. The adaptation has been lovingly crafted by creators and it shows. Good Omens is a heartfelt homage to the novels and well deserving of the Coaching for Geeks TV show 2019.
Heather Tinsley – The Valkyries
RUNNER UP – THE UMBRELLA ACADEM
A very close contender for TV Show of 2019 is the utterly brilliant Umbrella Academy. The Umbrella Academy, the Netflix adaptation of the comic series by My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way, catapulted on to screens in 2019. The whimsical and violent series appealed to both original fans of the series and new fans to the show. Each character is cast perfectly, the choice of Ellen Paige as the angry, resentful, all powerful Vanya is a masterstroke. Almost instantly there was an outpouring of love and adoration for the complex and nuanced performance of Klaus by Robert Sheehan.
Umbrella Academy’s combines off brand super-heroism, larger than life assassins, the end of the world and a slamming soundtrack. It is no surprise how revered it is as a serious and how hotly anticipated season 2 is.
Heather Tinsley – The Valkyries
GEEK INSPIRATION OF THE YEAR
Real life heroes who inspire us to do more, be more, and achieve more. There was a clear runaway winner in this category …
GEEK INSPIRATION OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – MATTHEW MERCER
If you’re a gamer you’ve heard Matt Mercer’s voice whether you realise it or not; he may well be McCree in Overwatch, Yusuke in Persona 5, Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 6 and so many more. AND he’s been the voice of Iron Man, Superman, Two Face, Prince Dimande, Joker, Tygra and untold additional voices on shows and in movies.
The voice of our entertainment and yet, that’s not why he’s made the win, and what a win, claiming a whopping 79% of the vote.
Matt is here as the Dungeon Master of Critical Role. Inspiring so many people to try roleplaying games, inspiring DMs to try new things, and being a thoroughly decent sort along with it. Making numerous appearances at conventions, Matt can spend a day on panels and talks and still finds time to talk with every single person who lines up to meet him. A class act through and through, Matt replied to our tweet that he’d been nominated, and to tell us his vote goes to Greta.
For making a career out of geeky adventures, inspiring us all to play more D&D, and being a thoroughly decent chap – Matt Mercer wins Geek Inspiration of the Year 2019.
RUNNER UP – GRETA THUNBERG
At just 16 years of age, climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been named as Time’s Person of the Year. More important than the accolade is the fact that she has been the face of a youth movement, which has led to thousands of children protesting and missing school on Fridays, to bring the real issue of the global catastrophe facing us to the fore. She is an inspiration to millions around the world and might yet save humanity from itself.
Many in the geek community can identify with being neurodivergent and Greta has shown us that it’s a superpower, terrifying the establishment of old men, challenging authority and holding them to account.
Anjum Razaq – The Dead Pixels
INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR
Another year of greatness in the indie scene as the lines between indie/non indie become increasingly blurred.
INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR 2019 – UNTITLED GOOSE GAME
Untitled Goose Game was one of the Coaching for Geeks gang’s most anticipated game of 2019 and it certainly did not disappoint. Have you ever wanted to cause some nuisance in your neighbourhood? Get revenge on that awful farmer who’s merely going about his business? Then Untitled Goose Game will totally be your jam. Traverse a beautiful English Village as a feathery nuisance stealing bras and carrots, reign terror down on unsuspecting villagers in this addictive and charming adventure.
Heather Tinsley – The Valkyries
RUNNER UP – GIBBOUS: A CTHULU ADVENTURE
Cthulhu. A talking cat. Gibbous takes you on an expansive, traditionally animated, hand-painted adventure. Play as three protagonists and explore a lushly rendered Lovecraft-inspired world, unraveling ancient conspiracies. A comedy cosmic horror adventure made in Transylvania!
It marries a gonzo sense of humour with a solid grounding in Lovecraft’s stories. The split story between the different characters allowed for different styles of play, and it managed to burst some cultural stereotypes wide open with its foray into Romania.
The emotional involvement in the fate of a student librarian, PI and talking cat was surprising yet completely believable
Gibbous definitely deserves a nom if only for the epic rap battle in a Transylvanian castle.
Linda Evans – Druttercup
VIDEOGAME OF THE YEAR
As we near the end of another generation of the gaming cycle, with Nintendo off doing their own thing and SONY/MS gearing up for battle, and Epic providing some competition to Steam’s stranglehold, it’s us who benefit with games!
VIDEOGAME OF THE YEAR 2019 – UNTITLED GOOSE GAME
Not content with grabbing and running away with indie game of the year, the mean goose is back, and this time it means business. The source of countless memes, CfG even curated a shop of goose t shirts such was the fever around Goose Game.
A ridiculous game borne of developer House House‘s workplace slack joke that grew legs, a wings, and a honk that could be heard around the word. Starting on Switch and PC and now available on home consoles, may the honking never die out.
It is a lovely day in the village and you are a horrible goose. A goose that just ran away with the Videogame of the Year Award 2019!
RUNNER UP – THE OUTER WORLDS
The Outer Worlds is proof that Obsidian were the brilliant minds behind the outstanding game Fallout: New Vegas back in 2010. The Outer Worlds packs its universe full of interesting characters, beautifully designed worlds, hilarious dialogue, engaging combat and moral choices that’ll have you entertained for a good 15+ hours. It’s a fantastic RPG game for anyone who was a fan of games like the old Fallout titles, and hopefully this’ll be the start of Obsidian’s bright future as part of Xbox Game Studios.
Matt Salmon – Wise Fish Gaming
LIVE EVENT OF THE YEAR
Another close fought category with 78 votes between first and second place. Ether way it’s a win for Reedpop with three of their events making the public vote this year. With only one US event making it to the public vote perhaps it’s no surprise that it claimed the win…
LIVE EVENT OF THE YEAR 2019 – PAX EAST
PAX East is a beast of an event and one we’ve written about plenty. A spinoff gaming event from Penny Arcade which consumes the entirety of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center each year. It doesn’t just include a huge show floor full of new playable videogames, but often includes big announcements, big guests, and after hours gaming and shows to keep you there from opening till midnight.
The real heart of PAX East is the community panels. Covering aspects of gaming such as mental health, networking for introverts, pitching your game workshops, and even game shows, the panels cover a vast breadth of gaming. And if panels aren’t your thing then back to the hall for more games, or line up to meet a famous streamer, or see a band like the Doubleclicks, or go to one of the community events…
RUNNER UP – MCM COMIC CON LONDON
A mere 78 votes behind PAX East is one of Reedpop’s newer acquisitions, MCM Comic Con London and another event we’ve written about extensively. Taking over London’s Excel Centre twice a year, MCM sees vast numbers of cosplayers arrive in the capital ready to show off their cosplays. With a renewed focus on the comic village and panels, MCM has evolved over the last few years. Coming up in 2020 your Geek Inspiration of the Year Matt Mercer and The Criticial Role team will once again take to the stage, plus the stalls, anime, and interviews on the Live Stage.
BAND/MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
BAND/MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2019 – BILLIE EILISH
Billie Eilish is a woman after my own heart. Not only does she make fun and refreshing as well as soul searching, haunting music, but her personal philosophies speak to me. Known for wearing baggy clothing so people don’t get the opportunity to comment on her body, she has shaken up the music industry a bit and got some shock value in as well. I love it!
Vic Sol – Destai Designs & Entangled
RUNNER UP – LIZZO
2019 was the year of learning to love yourself, and Lizzo led the charge with her big, bold, beautiful album, Cuz I Love You. A soul-inspired R&B album that turns the table on the genre, Lizzo’s music is defined by a thoroughly modern sense of female empowerment, and can be enjoyed – or at least respected – by fans of any genre. An artist that portrays such vulnerability, such boldness and such unapologetic sexuality is rare; one with the vocal chops, twerking and flute skills is even more impressive.
Jenny Mugridge – Copywriter, Blogger and All Round Geek
GAME SOUNDTRACK OF THE YEAR
Nintendo! Put your damn soundtracks on streaming sites FFS!
GAME SOUNDTRACK OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – POKEMON SWORD/SHIELD: MINAKO ADACHI, GO ICHINOSE, TOBY FOX
The music from Pokémon Sword & Shield has excelled again! The arrangements are just as exciting and adventurous as the previous games, but also new themes keep the listeners engaged and wanting more from future games in the series. Introducing Toby Fox to the series also gives it a huge boost and fresh feel. This deserves to be the winner!
Galen Woltkamp-Moon – London Video Game Orchestra
RUNNER UP – DEATH STRANDING: VARIOUS
Bringing in a tranche of excellent bands to provide the soundtrack for Death Stranding was a work of genius, with the likes of CHVRCHES and Bring Me tHe Horizon contributing new tracks, coupled with Ludvig Forssell’s beautiful and haunting score, creating something worth celebrating (even if you don’t fancy being a package deliveryman). Listen on Spotify.
FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – THE TESTAMENTS BY MARGARET ATWOOD
Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale may be 25 years old, but the classic speculative fiction novel is more relevant today than ever. Enter the sequel we were all begging for – The Testaments. Stylistically so close to the original that it feels like just a heartbeat between them, we’re finally given an insight into the rise of Gilead, and an unexpected hope for the future in its fall. A must-read for anyone with a morbid fascination of today’s society. The Testaments fleshes out the story of Gilead and ones of its most enigmatic characters – Aunt Lydia. An incredibly satisfying read that’s as evocative a feminist fever dream as its predecessor.
Jenny Mugridge – Copywriter, Blogger and All Round Geek
RUNNER UP – NORMAL PEOPLE BY SALLY ROONEY
Sorry, none of us have read it! However, Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.
TABLETOP PARTY GAME OF THE YEAR
TABLETOP PARTY GAME OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – FIND THE PICKLE
Team Custard Kraken’s Find the Pickle is a fast-paced pickle finding card game which comes as both a family-friendly and NSFW edition. Fast-paced, fast to play, Find the Pickle is a social deduction card game in which you must steal and bluff your way to finding, and keeping, the pickle. Super simple to learn – draw a card, play up to 2 cards each turn, find the pickle and keep it. Cheap to buy, quick to learn and play, Find the Pickle is your party game of the year.
RUNNER UP – EXIT: THE HAUNTED ROLLERCOASTER
The EXIT series provides an escape room in a box. There’s something delightfully subversive about destroying the pieces as you go; tearing, cutting, drawing on, folding. Sure it’s a one shot, but I have paid way more for way less in an hour’s entertainment. The EXIT series comprises some 15 games, and The Haunted Rollercoaster is your 2019 party game of the year runner up.
TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR
TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER – DUNGEONS & DRAGONS VS RICK AND MORTY
WHOEVER COULD HAVE FORSEEN… that when a D&D focused group of people vote, they;d vote for a D&D game? With Rick and Morty back on our screens the time was right for a retheme of D&D. Based on the surprisingly great comics of the same name, D&D Vs R&M is and adventure set with almost everything you need to start playing right away (bring your own pencils) – pre generated character sheets based on the Smith family, a DM screen, radioactive dice, and a dungeon delve read-to-go.
It helps if you have some idea of Rick and Morty bit the only player who needs any depth of knowledge is the DM. This tabletop roleplaying game boxed set blends the world of Dungeons & Dragons with mad narcissistic genius, Rick Sanchez’s power gaming sensibilities, nostalgia, sarcastic metacommentary, and the reasons why people play D&D in the first place.
RUNNER UP – CTHULU: DEATH MAY DIE
In Cthulhu: Death May Die, inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, you and your fellow players represent investigators in the 1920s who instead of trying to stop the coming of Elder Gods, want to summon those otherworldly beings so that you can put a stop to them permanently. Featuring CMON’s signature miniatures, this co-op game captured your beating heart and sacrificed it to the elder ones.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR 2019 ‘WINNER’ – GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8
If there were an award for most disappointing end to a series when compared with the beginning, Game of Thrones would be up there with Battlestar Galactica and Lost. It’s galling enough that they allowed not one but two blatant anachronisms in the final series, but with all the charm of the beginning gone, the ending was a formulaic mess.
Plot armour thickened to the point of impossibility; ill-conceived ships were sailed then sunk; characters seemed uncertain of their own motivations and redemption arcs were shattered. Perhaps it never could have lived up to our expectations but even still, we might have been more charitable had the last two series been full length, and without a two year hiatus.
Jenny Mugridge – Copywriter, Blogger and All Round Geek
‘RUNNER UP’ – BLIZZARD
Oh Blizzard. We knew you turned evil when you joined up with Activision but 2019 saw you pull some stupid moves. Banning a Hearthstone player, Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung, for supporting the Hong Kong protests saw the public turn against Blizzard, and a loss of sponsorship. Blizzard went on to ban three college students and temporarily suspend multiple people in a Twitch chat for supporting for the protests.
The year long ban was eventually shortened to six months, but the damage to Blizzard’s reputation was done. Do they care? Probably not.
THAT’S IT 2019 IS DONE!
Do you agree with the vote or are you outraged by the outcome? Let us know in the comments below and head on over to join the Coaching for Geeks community to have your say next year as we introduce some new categories…
We’re off to celebrate the start of 2020 and we’ll see you soon for more confidence, life skills, and geek culture with Coaching for Geeks!
Also we need to start packaging these trophies up…