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Christopher Judge and Al Pacino was the emotional high point of The Game Awards

One of the greatest actors of his generation showed up early

Christopher Judge and Al Pacino embrace on stage at The Game Awards Image: The Game Awards via Polygon
Pete Volk (he/they) is Polygon’s Senior Curation Editor, with a particular love for action and martial arts movies.

The Game Awards had a surprise presenter Thursday night: Al Pacino. And it culminated in a touching — and notably long — moment that was one of the highlights of the show.

Pacino gave out the award for Best Performance, after first talking about his own relationship to video games. The 82-year-old legendary actor joked that people might be surprised to learn he doesn’t play many video games himself, but that he watches his kids play and has a fondness for the immersive style of storytelling they can provide (he also joked about not being able to read the teleprompter. It was quite the engaging little preamble).

So cool, thank you! Oh, thank you. Hello everyone! It’s really good to see you here. This is, uh, an experience for me, haha. One I didn’t expect, but here I am, as usual, doing my surprising thing for myself.

But, uh, anyway, it may come as a shock to you, but it’s hard for me to see the teleprompter [laughs]. In truth, I don’t play a whole lot of video games. But I do have, however, spent a lot of time watching my kids play. Yeah! And I’ve continued to be thoroughly impressed and entertained by the unique and immersive ways video games tell their stories. Especially, naturally, by the performance! Who help tell these stories.

As an actor, I’ve learned whether you’re on a stage or in front of a camera, or inside an audio booth, always, fundamentally, always we’re the same. We are all trying to tell a story. In our way. With our kind of truth. And I am honored to be here tonight. To celebrate the achievements of these incredibly talented actors, who by breathing life into these stories, have helped elevate the medium of video games to a new height.

The award went to Christopher Judge, for his work as Kratos in God of War: Ragnarok. Judge was visibly moved not only by receiving the award (his speech started with “Shit!”), but by getting it from Pacino of all people. He chased down Pacino on stage for a hug, and exclaimed “And I met Al Pacino!” after an emotional speech.

Amidst all the premieres and commercials, it was a nice reminder of what award shows like these can be about: Celebrating the artists that make the things we enjoy, no matter what they are.

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