Team Sandbox gathered in NYC on Tuesday for the 9th annual New York Game Awards. The NY Game Awards started as a small awards show but has steadily grown with each iteration; this year it sold out the SVA Theatre in Chelsea. Many great titles from the past year were celebrated alongside two musical acts (Maddie Rice and the Triforce Quartet), though the pinnacle of the night came when former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime was presented with the Andrew Yoon Memorial Legacy Award.

While there are plenty of game awards shows, the NY Game Awards are particularly special. The event is run by the New York Videogame Critics Circle. The NYVGCC is a non-profit that advocates for under-served people in NYC who want to learn about games and technology. The money raised by the show directly goes towards helping underserved students and adults in the NYC area. Reggie recently joined the Board of the NYVGCC, and has been mentoring students in the Bronx since he retired from Nintendo. When Reggie was being honored, there was a video tribute shown on stage.  Among the clips were videos and testimonies from interns and students (many of whom were on hand) who were helped and inspired by Reggie’s work and involvement with the community.

It ended up being a great night; it always is when we get together and see friends from around the gaming industry. But beyond that, and more importantly, it’s nice to be reminded of the positive impact games can make in people’s lives. The NY Game Awards and NYVGCC do a great job of showcasing this – while continuing to promote diversity and inclusion in gaming.