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How I feel about Spike's video game awards.


So tomorrow, Spike TV airs their seventh annual Video Game Awards. Man, I remember about 3-4 years writing stuff like this where I was condemning the awards because of petty, but logical, reasons. You can see my ranting tirades of previous Spike VGAs here and here.

For instance, at the 2005 awards, some of the games that got nominated and later won were 50 Cent: Bulletproof, a terrible third-person shooter, and Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, a licensed title. Both games were not out yet, which gave the implication of marketing dollars triumphing over credibility that year. I believe they kept doing this for subsequent years, nominating games that came out in November like Call of Duty 3 and Gears of War, but I heard they eventually changed this so games that came out in that period would actually be nominated for the following year's awards. That's a step up, at least.

I bet the celebrity talent isn't gonna be that magnificent either. I remember when Samuel L. Jackson was hosting the 2006 awards and talking about "Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas." Or even the time when Sarah Silverman decided to waste five minutes of our time insulting our intelligence with overused and stereotyped "gamer nerd" jokes. Yeah, Sarah, go back to fucking Matt Damon and leave us be, ok?

Oh yeah, I can't forget the corporate sponsorship. "Most Addictive Game fueled by Mountain Dew!" "Best Casual Game sponsored by Stride gum!" "Pontiac presents the Best Driving Game!" I have never seen that on any real award show, like Ford crediting an award for "Best Car Chase in a film," why in god's name would there be sponsorship of a certain award in a video game awards show? And since there's Burger King ads this year, I bet there will be an award sponsored by them and presented by some guy in a Burger King costume. I really find this whole thing cheap and incredibly tacky.

Credibility also goes out the window when you had "Best RPG" in one year have three Square-Enix published JRPGs versus The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, or three EA Sports games versus one 2K Sports game. Or even better: "Studio of the Year" 2006 was dedicated to a studio that had just closed as the award show happened (Capcom's Clover Studio) and two of the nominees were dedicated to one designer rather than a development studio, like Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games and Todd Howard of Bethesda Softworks. Yeah, I wouldn't have objected if it was just Epic and Bethesda being nominated, but you singled out the most important guy there and nominated him as if he did the game all by himself. Real smooth, guys.

I stopped watching around 2006, so I can't tell if they have improved. All I do remember about one year's show is a moment where guys from Gamecock Media actually stormed the stage as Ken Levine (of 2K Boston) was about to give a speech for winning an award for Bioshock. Guess which one is still in the business, Gamecock? Certainly ain't you guys.

This would probably be the point in my rant that I would say "Don't watch this," but it's been on the air for about several years and it's not going away any time soon, so I feel it would be futile to do so. Even having people like Geoff Keighley or Jeff Gerstmann involved couldn't make this show any better. At least it's better than the fate of G-Phoria, which used to be the same type of bombastic award event, but nowadays it's just a 30 minute X-Play special. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I'll wait for the real game awards that will actually be held by credible sites with an air of professionalism and won't involve nude chicks being body painted to resemble the game boxes and have them strut on stage.
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About TonicBHone of us since 2:09 PM on 07.13.2009

I am a 34-year-old... person (it's complicated.) who plays video games on occasion. I tend to own a bunch of superfluous junk most people don't care about.

When not lurking and contributing opinions to Destructoid's community blogs every five years, I write about gaming obscurities and oddities at You Found a Secret Area. That's usually where I post these days.

I don't visit Destructoid all that much these days, but I do have some vague memories of visiting this site.

I'm also on Twitter if that's more your speed.
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