God of War rolls D.I.C.E.

Sony's Greek myth-inspired actioner takes home AIAS' top honor; Guitar Hero rocks out with five awards.

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LAS VEGAS--"I'm telling you, you haven't lived until you had a Nintendog sniff your crotch!" That crack from comedian and self-proclaimed gamer Jay Mohr set the tone for the annual Interactive Achievement Awards. The "#$%@ing Star Trek-lookin' trophies," as the Jerry Maguire and Action star called them, were handed out at a raucous ceremony he emceed at the Hard Rock Casino. The ceremony is the capping event of the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Create, Entertain) convention, put on for the last nine years by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) game-development association.

The evening kicked off with a preceremony reception at the Hard Rock's in-house club, Body English. Other than the cocktail waitresses' fishnet-and-leather-short ensembles, the most risqué thing going on was the red-carpet ceremony, where a virtual Mario on a plasma HDTV got semi-fresh with attendees. Later, on stage, Mohr would accuse the virtual Italian plumber of performing a lewd act on his fiancee, Las Vegas star Nikki Cox (pictured), to uproarious laughter from the crowd.

Mohr's ebullient and off-the-cuff remarks made laughter the prevailing form of expression of the evening--other than the game clips that preceded each category's award. As predicted, Sony Computer Entertainment America's action game God of War, which was also named GameSpot's 2005 PlayStation 2 Game of the Year, won almost every category it was nominated in. Besides overall Game of the Year and Console Game of the Year, it also took home prizes for: Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, Outstanding Character Performance: Male, and Action/Adventure Game of the Year.

Though the exclusion of Resident Evil 4 on a technicality made God of War's victory almost assured--a fact the winning game's director David Jaffe all but acknowledged during his keynote speech earlier in the day--the Interactive Achievement Awards saw some pleasant surprises. Foremost among them was the qiuntuple win by the critically acclaimed rhythm game Guitar Hero. The peripheral-based PlayStation 2 game won the second-most awards of the evening, scoring in the Outstanding Innovation in Gaming, Outstanding Achievement: Soundtrack, Family Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement: Game Play Engineering, and Outstanding Achievement: Game Design categories.

Electronic Arts walked away with the PC Game of the Year prize, thanks to its military shooter Battlefield 2, which also won Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play honors. Shadow of the Colossus got the third-biggest haul of the evening, triumphing in the Outstanding Achievement: Art Direction and the Outstanding Achievement: Visual Engineering fields. A complete list of nominees and winners is below, with winners highlighted in bold.

GAMES OF THE YEAR
Overall Game of the Year:
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

PC Game of the Year:
- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)
- Sid Meier's Civilization IV (P: 2K Games, D: Firaxis Games)
- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)
- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)
- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)

Console Game of the Year:
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)

Outstanding Achievement: Animation
-Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
-Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)
-Rise of the Kasai (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Bottlerocket Entertainment)
-Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (P: EA, D: Oddworld)

Outstanding Achievement: Art Direction
-Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
-Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)
-Ultimate Spider-Man (P: Activision, D: Treyarch)
-Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

Outstanding Achievement: Soundtrack
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- SSX On Tour (P: EA, D: EA-Canada)
- Wipeout Pure (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Studio Liverpool)
- The Warriors (P: Rockstar Games, D: Rockstar Toronto)
- Burnout Revenge (P: EA, D: Criterion Games)

Outstanding Achievement: Original Music Composition
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Rise of the Kasai (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Bottlerocket Entertainment)
- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)
- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)
- Kameo: Elements of Power (P: Microsoft, D: RARE)

Outstanding Achievement: Sound Design
- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)
- Condemned: Criminal Origins (P: Sega, D: Monolith)
- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

Outstanding Achievement: Story and Character Development
- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)
- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)
- Call of Duty: Big Red One (P: Activision, D: Treyarch)
- Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (P: Ubisoft, D: Gearbox Software)
- Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America D: Suckerpunch)

Outstanding Achievement: Gameplay Engineering ***TIE***
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Lumines (P: Ubisoft, D: Q Entertainment)
- Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species (P: Microsoft, D: Blue Fang)

Outstanding Achievement: Online Game Play
- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)
- Mario Kart DS (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)
- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)
- Project Gotham Racing 3 (P: Microsoft, D: Bizarre Creations)
- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

Outstanding Achievement: Visual Engineering
- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Kameo: Elements of Power (P: Microsoft, D: RARE)
- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

Outstanding Achievement: Game Design
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)
- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

Outstanding Character Performance: Male
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)
- Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (P: EA, D: Oddworld)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)
- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

Outstanding Character Performance: Female
- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)
- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted (P: EA, D: EA-Vancouver)

GENRE AWARDS
Sports Game of the Year
- NBA 2K6 (P: 2K Games, D: Visual Concepts)
- MLB 2006 (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- SSX On Tour (P: EA, D: EA Canada)
- MLB 2K5: WS Edition (P: 2K Games, D: Visual Concepts)
- Super Mario Strikers (P: Nintendo, D: Next Level)

First-Person Action Game of the Year
- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)
- Condemned: Criminal Origins (P: Sega, Monolith)
- Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (P: Ubisoft, D: Gearbox Software)
- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)
- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)

Role-Playing Game of the Year
- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)
- Dragon Quest VIII (P: Sqaure Enix, D: Level 5)
- Dungeon Siege II (P: Microsoft, D: Gas Powered)
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (P: Nintendo, D: Intelligent Systems)
- Radiata Stories (P: Square Enix, D: Tri-Ace Inc.)

Fighting Game of the Year
- Soul Calibur III (P:/D: Namco)
- Tekken 5 (P:/D: Namco)
- Fight Night Round 2 (P: EA, D: EA-Chicago)
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw (P: THQ, D: Yuke's Co. Ltd.)

Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)
- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)
- The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Radical Entertainment)

Racing Game of the Year
- Forza Motorsport (P: Microsoft, D: Microsoft Game Studios)
- Project Gotham Racing 3 (P: Microsoft, D: Bizarre Creations)
- Mario Kart DS (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted (P: EA, D: EA-Vancouver)

Children's Game of the Year
- Chicken Little (P: Buena Vista Games, D: Avalanche Software)
- Madagascar (P: Activision, D: Toys for Bob)
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sucker Punch)
- Tak 3: The Great Juju Challenge (P: THQ, D: Avalanche)
- We Love Katamari (P:/D: Namco)

Downloadable Game of the Year
- Oasis (P: PlayFirst, D: Mind Control Software)
- Egg v. Chicken (P: PlayFirst, D: GameLab)
- Chuzzle (P:/D: PopCap)
- Tradewinds Legend (P:/D: Sandlot)
- WIK: Fable of Souls (P: Microsoft, D: Reflexive)

Family Game of the Year
- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)
- Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (P: Nintendo, D: Konami)
- LEGO Star Wars (P: TT Games, D: Traveler's Tales)

Simulation Game of the Year
- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)
- Silent Hunter III (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Romania)
- Animal Crossing (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

Strategy Game of the Year
- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)
- Civilization IV (P: 2K Games, D: Firaxis)
- Empire Earth II (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Mad Doc)

Massively Multiplayer/Persistent World Game of the Year ***TIE***
- City of Villains (P: NCsoft, D: Cryptic Studios)
- Guild Wars (P: NCsoft, D: ArenaNet)
- Lineage II: The Chaotic Principle (P:/D: NCsoft)
- Final Fantasy XI: The Vana'diel Collection (P:/D: Square Enix)

Handheld Game of the Year
- Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (P: Nintendo, D: Capcom)
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (P: Rockstar, D: Rockstar-Leeds)
- Burnout Legends (P: EA, D: EA-UK Fusion)
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (P: Nintendo, D: Alpha Dream)
- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

Cellular Game of the Year
- Mile High Pinball (P: Nokia, D: Bonus.com)
- Skipping Stone (P: I-Play, D: Gamevil)
- One (P: Nokia, D: Digital Legends)
- Ancient Empires II (P:/D: Glu Mobile)
- High Seize (P: Nokia, D: Red Lynx)

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