By AARON YNCLAN, Guest Writer

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced the nominees for this year’s D.I.C.E. awards, with indie game Journey leading the pack with 11 nominations, including Game of the Year.

The D.I.C.E. awards is an annual ceremony meant to honor the best and brightest in the gaming industry, and is considered by many to be the gaming equivalent of the Academy Awards. With over twenty categories ranging from Best Mobile Game to Best Sound Design and Game of the Year, a whopping 63 games have received nominations based on the four criteria on which they are judged (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain).

Vying for the crown of Game of the Year are Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, The Walking Dead, and Journey, the latter of which has received the most nominations. Other games with multiple nominations include The Walking Dead with eight nominations, Far Cry 3 with seven, Halo 4 with six, and Dishonored and Borderlands 2 with five nominations apiece.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 7th at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas during the D.I.C.E. Summit, and will be streamed live on Machinima at 7:30 PT/10:30 ET. The Awards will be hosted by Nerdist.com founder and AMC Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.

“The D.I.C.E. Awards are very important to me,” said Hardwick. “I have been playing video games since there were video games. I hope there is some type of Dovahkiin Shout that will make sure I don’t mess this up. I will find one! If not, I’ll just look like a psychotic, screaming a**hole leading up to the Awards.”

For a full list of the nominees, visit the D.I.C.E. website at dicesummit.org.