The presentation of the inaugural event last Thursday, was hosted by Mindspark Interactive Network's Mike Goslin at GDC Online in Austin, Texas. Following the live show, a free, chapter-ready version of the 50-minute long award ceremony, including acceptance speeches, game showcases and special awards was posted to the GDC Vault website.
Leading the night with wins in five categories was Riot's standout "multiplayer online battle arena" title League of Legends, which earned awards for Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design, and New Online Game.
Other Choice Online Award recipients include CCP, which received the Best Live Game award for EVE Online, World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment receiving the award for Best Community Relations, Social City by Playdom for Best Social Network Game, and more.
Particularly worth watching is the section on Origin and Electronic Arts' seminal MMO title, Ultima Online, recognized as the first Hall of Fame game by the GDC Online Awards.
The award for the honor was accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, launch producer, Starr Long, associate producer & director, and Raph Koster, lead designer, and many of the game's other producers (pictured above) were also introduced onstage by EA's Eugene Evans.
The section of the awards honoring Ultima Online also included a video message from "Lord British" himself, Richard Garriott, and a special video featuring anecdotes from UO players. The honor reflects the huge influence that the title has had as one of the longest continually running massively multiplayer online games in history.
The Choice Online Awards acknowledged more than just games, honoring Richard Bartle as the recipient of the first ever Online Game Legend Award, in recognition of his indelible impact on the craft of online game development. As the co-creator of the seminal MUD, or Multi-User Dungeon, Bartle's touching acceptance speech is also worth checking out.
The free-to-view GDC Online Awards are presented as the first part of a raft of specially recorded GDC Online videos, with nearly 100 lectures from the show to debut on the GDC Vault website next week.
A limited amount of these lectures, with specially synced audio and slides, will be made free to all on GDC Vault. The majority are available to All-Access Pass holders to any 2010 GDC show, group subscribers and individual subscription-holders -- with a limited-time GDC Vault subscription Beta currently underway.