Al Pacino, Bill Clinton, and The Game Awards 2022’s Strangest Moments


For the most part, The Game Awards 2022 was an excellent installment in what is quickly becoming the biggest gaming show of the year. We were treated to some incredible announcements, quite a few great games walked away with awards, and it was certainly nice to see the show return to a live format. However, there are always a few weird moments at these kinds of shows, and this year’s Game Awards event was no exception. If anything, this might have been the weirdest Game Awards event yet.

While it’s always a least a little sad that such moments can steal the show from the winners and reveals, it’s not hard to see why everyone is obsessed with some of The Game Awards 2022 moments that almost certainly didn’t go according to plan. After all, it’s not every year that we get to talk about Al Pacino, Bill Clinton, and Genshin Impact in the same labored breath.

Al Pacino Opens the Show In the Most Al Pacino Way Possible

On the one hand, it makes no sense that legendary actor Al Pacino opened The Game Awards 2022 as the show’s first presenter. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense that Al Pacino opened The Game Awards 2022 as the show’s first presenter. Have you seen the last 10 years of that man’s career? Hell, have you seen Jack and Jill?

We may never know why Al Pacino agreed to do this (besides money), but we do know he went out and gave us exactly what we should expect from Al Pacino at The Game Awards. He shuffled onto the stage looking like he just got out of the car, he wondered aloud why he was there, he stared at the teleprompter like it shot Vito Corleone, and he made sure to take the time to tell everyone he doesn’t play video games. It was both genuinely amusing/charming and a reminder that The Game Awards tends to be weirdly obsessed with chasing mainstream clout whenever possible.

Christopher Judge Steals (Well…Hijacks) The Show

I almost feel bad for including this one, but we kind of have to talk about Christopher Judge’s speech.

After deservedly receiving the Best Performance award from the aforementioned Al Pacino, God of War actor Christopher Judge approached the microphone to give his acceptance speech. You know, standard award show stuff. Actually, Judge’s speech was heartfelt, genuine, and really captured why he’s so beloved among fans and his co-workers.

However, Judge’s speech clocked in at a whopping nine minutes long. While you kind of expect someone to run long on their speeches at this thing, there came a point where Judge’s speech started to go on for an uncomfortably long time. Even host Geoff Keighley half-joked about the speech throwing off the timing of the show. It all worked out at the end of the day, though there’s something to be said for getting off the stage before everyone wonders if you’re pulling some kind of heist.

A Random Kid Sneaks Up to the Main Stage to Troll the Elden Ring Team and Possibly Reveal a New Internet Horror

This list is in no particular order, but this has to win our award for the absolute weirdest moment of The 2022 Game Awards.

After Elden Ring (deservedly) won the Game of the Year award, the FromSoftware team approached the stage. Amongst the pack of known Elden Ring team members was a young man whose presence immediately confused a lot of viewers. Was he a translator? Was he invited by the developers? Was it all part of a bit?

Well, our questions were answered (kind of) when the Elden Ring team finished their speech and the kid approached the microphone and uttered the following bizarre statement:

“Hey Martin, you know real quick I want to thank everybody and say that I think I want to nominate this award to my reformed Orthodox Rabbi Bill Clinton.”

The kid was taken off-stage by security shortly thereafter, which pretty much instantly confirmed that he was not supposed to be on stage in the first place and that his presence was in no way planned. Yes, some random kid managed to make it all the way to center stage, grab hold of a live microphone, and utter something truly confounding during the biggest gaming show of the year.

At the moment, nobody is entirely sure what to make of any of this. It seems logical that the kid wanted to troll the awards show (the “Invaded by a Dark Spirit” memes are going strong as we speak), but it was his statement was truly confounding. It initially came across as some kind of strange in-joke, though some suggest that the wording could very well be part of some bizarre right-wing conspiracy rhetoric that we won’t go into here so that you can preserve a piece of your sanity for the weekend. I imagine someone will get in touch with the prankster in the near future to shed a little more light on what this was all about.

In any case, the kid was arrested shortly after the show. This is why you’ve got to be careful when you bring internet shit into real life, folks.

Horizon Forbidden West Continues Zero Dawn’s Legacy by Not Winning a Single Game Award

Though not really a “moment,” it’s certainly at least a little weird that Horizon Forbidden West walked away from The Game Awards 2022 without a single win despite being nominated for five awards.

While I speculated that Forbidden West could end up getting squeezed out by Elden Ring and God of War, I thought that voters would end up finding a way to make sure the Horizon team didn’t go home empty-handed. Instead, that’s exactly what happened. It’s darkly reminiscent of when Horizon Zero Dawn secured an impressive six nominations at the 2017 Game Awards and left that show with zero wins (largely due to the award show juggernaut that was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild).

Look, I know these awards don’t mean always mean a lot to the average person, and they’re certainly not the final word on how successful a game is. At the same time, it’s starting to become a little tragic that the brilliant Horizon games keep getting completely overshadowed by some generational masterpieces.

Genshin Impact Stans Win the Trolling War Over Sonic Frontiers Defenders

Fan votes at awards shows tend to be a hot mess. Look at what happened at the Oscars earlier this year. You give internet folk a platform and the chance to troll, and they will troll every single time.

For instance, leading up to the start of The Game Awards 2022, the “Players Choice” vote was a dead heat between two games: Genshin Impact and Sonic Frontiers. Mind you, those games received more fan votes than titles like God of War and Elden Ring.

While I don’t want to say anything too bad about those particular games, it should be pretty obvious that they are somewhat…outside the box choices for any “best of” category. Furthermore, there were reports in the days leading up to The Game Awards that the fan voting system may not have been working as intended and was essentially forcing people to vote for either Genshin or Sonic. In any case, it soon became clear that the fan vote had taken on a life of its own.

Ultimately, Genshin Impact won the Player’s Choice award, which will probably only fuel the Sonic Frontiers fan army and their quest to convince everyone that the game is great, actually, whether they believe that or not. In any case, nobody should expect anything different from any award show that gives any amount of power to an online vote.

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