By Paul Hunter
NextGen Player readers are probably quite familiar with our extensive coverage of the ELAN Awards. What can I say? It's very Canadian and very much about video games. It's a natural fit for us.
That's why I'm a little ambivalent to read a news report on The Straight indicating that the ELAN Award producer, Holly Carinci, is contemplating moving this event to Los Angeles. I say ambivalent because as much as I want the annual awards show to remain a Canadian event, I do understand her plight.
Since its conception in 2006, the ELAN Awards have been hosted in Vancouver. It's a growing event that used to focus exclusively on Canadian video game developers. This year it opened its nominations to the international community, and attracted a sizable number of developers from California. As large as the B.C. video game industry is, it's hard to compete with the likes of California, a state home to such juggernauts as Activision Blizzard, Disney Interactive, EA, Infinity Ward, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, Nintendo, Sega, and SCEA.
Add to the fact that Los Angeles has the necessary infrastructure to support Holly's goal of making the ELAN Awards the "Oscars" of the video game industry. For example, a natural *dream* location for the ELANs I'm sure would be the grand Kodak Theatre.
With all that said, I wish the award show would stay in Canada. This country's video game industry is already third in the world, and our influence on the global gaming market has been steadily increasing over the years. To me, it's a natural fit to have video games largest annual award show happening right here at home.