Shack Chat: What was your favorite gaming moment of 2020?

In our final Shack Chat of the year, the staff reflects on their favorite moments of 2020.

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As 2020 comes to a close, we’re feeling a bit reflective here at Shacknews. It’s been a wild year, to say the least. Though there’s been so much bad, there’s also been a lot of positive takeaways. In a year where most of us were confined to our homes, forced to socially distance, we turned to video games as a retreat. It’s time to look back at our favorite moments in gaming this year.

Question: What was your favorite gaming moment of 2020?


Asif Khan, Retired from Rocket League

Beating Rooster Teeth, Kinda Funny, and SpawnOnMe in a 1v3 Rocket League game in front of God and the Internet


Summer Games Done Quick prevails through the pandemic - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor of the Year

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't been fun for anybody, especially in the world of gaming. If you were planning to run a live event, you had a miserable year. That threatened to be true for Games Done Quick, which has largely thrived because of its live environment. If Games Done Quick suffered, it would have been a tragedy for many reasons, the biggest one being because it's an organization dedicated to raising money for charity.

Instead, Games Done Quick showed a level of resilience that, in hindsight, should have been expected. They're an exceptional team, proving it once again by pivoting to a week-long online presentation. Yes, it lost a little something without the in-person audience and the spontaneous live moments. However, it made up for that with some memorable new moments, including the one I highlighted above, where Seth "happyf33tz" Sanchez welcomed viewers into his home for a Pump It Up exhibition unlike any other.

By the end of the week, Summer Games Done Quick had raised over $2.3 million, a number unthinkable given the current circumstances. But if there's anything that Games Done Quick truly excels at above all else, it's showing the good side of gaming and the community. Can't wait to do it all again in just a couple of weeks when Awesome Games Done Quick goes online at the start of January.


The launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Donovan Erskine

The anticipated build-up and release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is my favorite gaming moment of 2020. It truly released at the perfect time, as the pandemic was becoming severe, and stay-at-home orders started to go out. It was a tough time, but Animal Crossing felt like this beacon of hope, the lighthouse in the middle of a storm. It was so fun to jump in every day and build my island, talk to my villagers, and even visit friends. Everybody online was talking about it, sharing images and videos of cool fish that they caught, or updating everyone on their museum progress. It’s a period of time I’ll never forget.


Gaming with Ice-T at E4 - Blake Morse, Shameless name-dropper

Here at Shacknews, we had to do a lot of pivoting this year due in no small part to the world just sort of going to total shit. While it did hinder a lot of the awesome stuff we had planned, we’re nothing if not versatile. So, we pivoted and made the best of the situation we could and that happened to involve playing video games at our very own E4 online event that was born in the wake of E3’s cancellation. As part of E4, we were beyond fortunate to get Ice-T to come by and livestream with us. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been a fan of Ice-T because it’s close to my entire life.

Whether we’re talking about his work as an actor in movies like Surviving the Game and Tank Girl, his hip-hop career, his work as the lead singer in Bodycount, or his role as Det. Fin Tutuola on Law & Order: SVU, I cannot get a big enough glass of Ice-T. Getting an opportunity to enjoy our mutual interests together and have him answer any questions I could think of was a literal dream come true. Homie even hooked up some badass golden guns while we were playing Borderlands 3! Not only was this my favorite gaming moment of 2020, but it might also be the greatest gaming moment of my life!


Gaming with friends - Chris Jarrard, Surprised he has friends

Sure, there have been some satisfying moments in most of the games I’ve played this year, but the thought I keep coming back to is the time I spent in TeamSpeak with my reliably trill group of friends. I love the games, but they aren’t worth much without my group of hot boys.


Loved ones - Sam Chandler, Gaming together

My favorute gaming moment(s) from this year is/are a rather simple one: getting to play video games with my partner and my friends. Whether I was sailing in Sea of Thieves, exploring a backyard as a tiny person, or playing other co-op games, getting to game with my partner is, and always will be, a highlight for me.

Then there’s playing video games with my close friends. I might not have tapped into the latest and hottest games this year that they were playing (Call of Duty and Valorant), but I did get to play a tonne of Halo: MCC with another friend. Smashing out the LASO Achievements has been such a blast.

I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store.


Game of the Year - Bill Lavoy, Leaving Night City

It’s not really a moment, but it’s a small collection of moments made up of our Game of the Year process here at Shacknews. We all had the opportunity to buy and play this year’s best games, and it gave me a chance to dive into titles I wouldn’t have otherwise played. Games like Demon’s Souls, Hades, Diabotical, and more made me hungry to spend my holiday break playing these and other titles and rolling credits on them.


Spending Time with Friends - Josh Hawkins, Guides Editor

Much like Sam, my favorite gaming moments this year come from the many hours I spent playing games with my friends and my partner. Being able to get lost in worlds like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Sea of Thieves, and even some other multiplayer games made for some great times that helped me forget about the raging craziness of the world outside. Honestly, without those moments, this year would have been a lot more difficult to get through than it has been, and for that, I feel very lucky.

I’m excited to see what 2021 has in store for gaming, but I think I’ll always hold the memories made during the past year close to my heart.


Finishing games with my spouse - TJ Denzer, will do more of this over break

It’s so hard to find time to play games for fun these days. It was especially hectic in 2020, but it made me cherish my time with my partner that much more. We’ve always picked games to play together, generally long games with interesting stories that would be as fun to follow and watch as play. Dishonored, Final Fantasy 15, God of War, and other titles hang in our pantheon of long-form titles we’ve finished together, and this year we were happy to add titles like Code Vein and Wasteland 3 to our list. We’ve even beaten Code Vein.

In particular, Wasteland 3 has been a blast because the game allows you to make a duo of protagonists. So my partner and I both made one with their own personalities and it's one of the few games to give him a personal agency in the choices we make in the game. We’re closing in on beating Wasteland 3 too, and there’s no better feeling than finishing a long journey together. It’s one I plan to savor over my winter break as we get ready for some cool new adventures in 2021.


Half-Life: Alyx - David L. Craddock, long reads editor

I’ve logged hundreds of hours in Animal Crossing: New Horizon this year, meeting up with the Shacknews editorial staff and randos to buy and sell bells, show off our islands, trade items, and myriad other means of escaping the hellscape of 2020. All of that holds a special place in my heart, but nothing compares to slipping on my HTC Vive headset and setting foot in Half-Life: Alyx for the first time.

At last, I remember thinking, here’s a VR game that feels like a video game, not a tech demo. Half-Life: Alyx does a phenomenal job of creating a sense of space and immersing you inside it. It is VR’s “system seller,” and with HMDs like the Oculus Quest 2 becoming more affordable, the barrier of entry to VR games is (finally) lowering. It’s not gone yet, though. You still need to have access to a PC capable of rendering VR games smoothly--more frames means less motion sickness--but we’re closer to VR becoming accessible to everyone, and I can think of no better developer to lead the way into a new realm of gaming possibilities.


Dead by Daylight got Crossplay - Greg Burke, Head of Video

Was really awesome for this game to FINALLY get crossplay between nearly every platform. I really loved this game, but i had so many friends on PC or PS4 that each wanted to play it on that platform, and now they can, with myself on the Xbox. Crossplay is something that would’ve seemed completely unthinkable in early 2000, and now in 2020, it’s a clear reality that we will see more and more moving forward.


Cons, streams, and stuff between-Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

What was my favorite gaming moment of 2020? This year will be remembered for some bad things but there were some good moments for me this year. This year was the first time I was able to attend/cover the New York Toy Fair and do it for Shacknews. That was also the same week Pax East was going on in Boston, prior to everything getting shut down for the awful pandemic. These were the last events I was able to attend before my foot surgery as well as me getting to spend some time on my Animal Crossing island and getting back into Pokémon Sword. This year was also the start of the Stevetendo show, my livestream program on the Shacknews Twitch channel; getting to stream on a major platform has been a blast. Some great gaming memories happened this year for me and hope to build off them in 2021.


And that’s our final Shack Chat of 2020, we’ll see you next year! Please, share with us your favorite gaming moment of 2020 down below.

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