The 2022 Game Awards kicked off in a big way. Not with a new blockbuster world premiere or a stunning upset, but with Scarface himself walking out on stage to deliver the award for best video game performance. Al Pacino clearly owed someone a favor, or a lot of money, and we are all the richer for it.
The 82-year-old Academy Award winner appeared from stage left like he was searching for the restroom, admitted early on to not having ever really touched a video game, and stumbled through the teleprompter script like a high schooler who got popcorned while sleeping through seventh period. “How is he wearing a suit and pajamas at the same time?” asked Luke Plunkett in the Kotaku Slack.
The answer is that he’s Al Pacino and he can do whatever he wants, whether it’s a truly awful rendition of The Merchant of Venice, flaunting a Shrek phone case, or stealing the show at the Game Awards.
Pacino is by far the biggest star that host Geoff Keighley has ever bagged for the show. In a lot of ways it was pure Spike TV energy, dating back to when the TGAs were the VGAs and the cable TV broadcast was littered with B-list talent aimed at channeling the MTV Music Awards for nerds.
It didn’t matter that Pacino will never play God of War Ragnarök, let alone touch a PlayStation controller, in however many years he has left on this beautiful blue ball. Best Performance winner for Kratos, Christopher Judge, got to accept the award from one of the most renowned actors in any medium. Pacino even seemed to be enjoying himself, pumping the award a few times as he monologued like a grandfather about needing to make up for his missed workout during the day.
Or at least he convinced me he was enjoying himself up there on stage for a hundred-billion-dollar industry’s biggest trailer night of the year in a room full of complete strangers. He has been honing his craft longer than gaming’s even existed, after all.