The Academy Awards are always a glamorous, celebrity-filled event. Coming up on the 92nd Academy Awards, it's an event where actors, directors, producers, and other crew members of all stripes gather 'round to pat themselves on the back for what has been determined by the Academy to be their amazing work. The Game Awards are, perhaps to their detriment, trying to replicate the Oscars with voice actors, game directors, producers, and more. Relative to the declining popularity of the Oscars, the Game Awards are slowly approaching the same level of glamor; something that could well be toxic for the industry.
As indicated above, the Oscars, like many awards shows, are an event full of self-congratulatory language and back-patting. It's something that many take for granted, given their annual occurrence, but they have had a ripple effect on the entertainment industry. Other awards shows like the Tonys, Grammys, Emmys, and more have since popped up. Most recently, the Game Awards have soared as one of the main sources of recognition within the industry, taking direct inspiration of the Oscars. Since 2014, major industry figures have shown up to the event, further cementing as the "Academy Awards for gaming."
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but much of the public has become infatuated with the Game Awards. Viewership has gone from 1.9 million viewers streaming the Game Awards in 2014, the year of the awards show's inception, to 26 million viewers in 2018. There is no clear-cut answer regarding the sheer popularity of the show, but much of it has to be due to a desire for validation of viewers' favorite games.
Think about it: most gamers have their favorite games of the year rattling around in their brain. For the year of 2019, it could be Death Stranding, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or Mortal Kombat 11. Whatever the case may be, for many, having one's favorite game of the year be given the title as the best game of 2019 is a dream come true and confirmation of how astounding the game is for that person.
The fact of the matter is that taste is subjective, and while some games are more polished and have higher production value than others, there's no doubt that gamers' "game of the year" is determined by preference; not an awards show.
There's no doubt that the Game Awards are fun to watch. Seeing favorite industry figures out in the open with other figures is always neat. But, they are mostly meaningless and mostly serve as a way for those in the industry to say, "we did it."