Respawn Entertainment is out here making history during the annual Academy Awards ceremony. The Electronic Arts studio just took home an Oscar during the 93rd edition of the show, making it the first gaming company to boast a win.
Respawn Entertainment and Oculus Studios have won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short during this year’s Academy Awards ceremony for a documentary called Collette from Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is a VR experience rooted in real-life World War II history. Immersive and highly interactive, the game on its own is an enjoyable experience, but what many might not know is how positive of an impact it has for veterans and shining a truthful light on American history. Unlike other games that say they’re showing of an honest reflection on US history, Above and Beyond truly captured something raw with its VR experience. That realness was brought to the forefront through a series of mini-documentaries that helped make up the game.
The win for Colette celebrations a tumultuous tale of a 90-year old French Resistance fighter whose journey led him to Germany during World War II. “We could not be more proud of Anthony Giacchino and the team’s work in bringing Colette’s story to life as part of Medal of Honor, a video game franchise rooted in history and the retelling of veterans’ stories to generations for years to come,” said Peter Hirschmann, Creative Director at Respawn Entertainment, in a recent press statement. “As we continue to take steps towards further legitimizing the creativity and passion of those in the games industry, we hope this is the first of many Oscars for video game companies who have shown time and time again how powerful and impactful storytelling through this interactive medium can be.”
“The youngest combat vet from World War II is in their nineties,” director Peter Hirschmann told Game Informer previously, driving home the idea that first-hand accounts of what actually happened are becoming more and more distant. “The youngest is in their nineties. That means they were teenagers. Gil, who is one of our future guys, was 19. He was a 19-year-old kid on a tank.”
The accompanying documentary reveals so many incredibly powerful stories. Tales that show the friendship that endures war (and forms because of it), the losses that come with it, and the side not often seen in mainstream media: the human side. The quieter danger, the moments of reflection, and the parts of history that are a very close reality to many still with us. For those interested in learning more, you can check out our previous interview with Hirschmann right here.
For now, a huge congrats to Respawn on making gaming history! First the Oscars, now the world!
Thoughts on Respawn Entertainment taking home the first Oscar win for a gaming company? Have you had a chance to see the documentaries that were a part of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!