The votes are in and counted, and I can confirm that New Super Mario Bros U has won the 2012 FGTV Game of the Year.
Whenever talent shows go into the viewer voting stages my heart sinks a little as proceedings often descend into a popularity rather than talent competition. However, when it comes to videogames I've become fascinated by the voting on the best family games of the year for, you see, each year I open up the Family Gamer TV game of the year award to viewer voting, and sit back to see what happens.
This year I couldn't have picked the results better myself. Well, perhaps I could, but that would just be my preference and the set we ended up with was much more wide-ranging. What we have here is the verdict of hundreds of families from all over the world.
New Super Mario Bros U was closely followed by both Just Dance 4 and Skylanders Giants. It joins winners from past FGTV Game of Year awards that include Mirror's Edge, Skylanders Spyro's Adventure and Ico.
If you've not come across them the Family Gamer TV Awards take a different approach to categorizing their Game of the Year, opting for age-groups rather than genres. This means that, you can see which games won in each different age category:
Infants: New Super Mario Bros U
Juniors: Skylanders Giant
Teens: LEGO Lord of the Rings
Students: Trials Evolution
Workers: Halo 4
Parents: The Walking Dead
Seniors: Professor Layton and Miracle Mask
Although some of my favorites like Rhythm Thief and Go Vacation were overlooked, I'm particularly proud of some of this voting picking out games like Trials and Professor Layton. If you are interested in how the voting broke down, here are the rounded percentages in each of those categories.
Vote for Infant Game of Year (3 to 6 yrs)
Kinect Sesame Street TV 9%
Go Vacation 7%
New Super Mario Bros U 43%
Just Dance 4 41%
Vote for Juniors Game of Year (7 to 11 yrs)
Skylanders Giants 53%
LittleBigPlanet Karting 13%
Epic Mickey 2 13%
Vote for Teen Game of Year (12 to 15 yrs)
Lego Lord of the Rings 41%
F1 Race Stars 17%
Paper Mario Sticker Star 15%
Vote for Student Game of Year (16 to 17 yrs)
Trials Evolution 36%
Little Big Planet Vita 30%
Xenoblade Chronicles 34%
Vote for Worker Game of Year (18 and over)
Uncharted Golden Abyss 18%
Need for Speed Most Wanted 20%
Halo 4 57%
Vote for Parent Game of Year
Papo and Yo 8%
The Walking Dead 54%
Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed 29%
XCOM: Enemy Unknown 8%
Vote for Grandparent Game of the Year
Pinball Arcade 7%
Unfinished Swan 7%
Rhythm Thief 19%
Prof Layton Miracle Mask 67%
Games are selected for the award throughout the year, one in each category in each season. The awards are now looking ahead to 2013 and picking games to be voted on for Spring. The games selected aim to reflect the age-centric nature of FGTV family viewers.
You can browse the winning games over the years by the following age group pages - Infants, Juniors, Teens, Students, Workers, Parents and Seniors. Each of these should provide a good starting point for choosing games. Unlike the ESRB or PEGI ratings the games here also reflect how well a person of that age will enjoy the experience as well as how appropriate the content is for them.
For more about what the FGTV channel does here's a short introductory