Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Musing ~ Or "Why I don't like to discuss the Spike Video Game Awards"

I was asked by a reader to comment on this because I haven't given any coverage over the Spike Video Game awards. So to Mike C from Colorado, here's the reason:

I remember wayyyyyy back in 2003 when the awards first aired. I was excited. Finally there was something that was semi-official and recognized the art of video gaming. It was a moment for gamers to be proud of their hobby and show the world that this could be a legitimate form of media art.

What won game of the year? Madden 2004. Between the bad game choices, the hosting, and the random celebrity concoctions (who would put Jamie Presley and members of the WWE in the same room? For that matter, does Jamie Presley even know what a video game is?) it was a horrible excuse of an award show. The first year of the MTV movie awards and video music awards were a million times better then the crap Spike threw together. Best Animation: DOA Beach Vollyball. Best Music: Def Jam Vendetta. It became a man show of who had the biggest boobs, the biggest explosions and they would win an award. It killed all hope that I had for a video game award that was somewhat serious. And I get that there are a lot of games out there that don't take themselves seriously. But for every 10 that are crap, there are 2-3 that are really good. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater >>> Madden 2004. (Yeah it came out that long ago. I was surprised too when I saw the list of 2004 games and wondered "why were none of these listed?" Devil May Cry 2, Panzer Dragoon (Xbox), Beyond Good & Evil. So many better games then Madden.)

And the show hasn't evolved since then. It's still about who has the biggest boobs and the biggest explosions because they'll win. Oh, and it's 98% U.S. developers. Very few studios from Japan or Europe or anywhere else in the world are ever accepted. Just check out the 2010 categories. Your best bet for non-U.S. studios will be the Wii games. Even then Donkey Kong Country Returns was developed by a studio in Austin, Texas. So U.S. studio, boobs, explosions, and you have a winner!

Not to mention the general tackiness of the show. It's a means of promoting new video games, misappropriation of names/dates (infamously Samuel L. Jackson misnamed GTA San Andreas as GTA2, and some display cases had the game listed as GTA3, and then there is Halo winning best shooter when the game was released nearly 2 years earlier and should have put the title out of contention), and clamming up to "celebrities." That's it! It's a flashy show with no substance. A popularity contest with no real meat. I'm still not even certain how voting occurs. Supposedly it's all based on online voting by the audience, but that's only for a very select number of categories (usually no more then 2 with one being Most Anticipated game). A quick google search and I couldn't find much information and there's nothing on the Spike website that would lead me to believe that there is a fair system in place. So it seems like there are 5 guys in an office somewhere at Spike who pick 5 games they think are "cool" for each category and just pick a winner? There's not much else I can go by with so little info. And yes, I did check the website to see if I could vote but it didn't give me any options until I got to Most Anticipated game.

For an award show that touts itself as being a video game version of the Oscars, they failed miserably in that aspect and I don't have the stamina to give them a second chance. Nothing can compel me to want to sit though garbage like that again. Oh, and Jersey Shore cast members on the 2009 show. That loses all credibility right there.

So there you go. Hope that was the answer you were looking for. Or at least an answer. XD


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