Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -

Somewhere between Felicia Day and Brooklyn Decker bobbing for cupcakes, and Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey being gently eased to the ground so that he might receive a mimed "teabagging" from a man who had been hired for this expressed purpose, a salient and depressing realization came to me: The Spike Video Game Awards are not for me, and they're never going to be.

This image sums up the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards better than any words could.

For nine years now, Spike TV, GameTrailers, and complicit publishers have continued to push the illusion that the VGAs are an actual award show. And for nine years, people have continued to say, out loud, that we do not believe this. No matter how many times we try to express that we understand that the VGAs are simply an elaborate marketing ploy, designed to get brand awareness out for huge new games that we won't see until next year or later, Geoff Keighley and the show's producers continue to press this notion that the VGAs are meant to be taken seriously, and that the awards are meant to mean something. And every year, we end up back in the same place, watching the same embarrassing pageant of D-list celebrities trotted onto the stage to usurp air time that, on literally any other awards show, would have been dedicated to the people winning awards.

Prior to this year's show, this was the first time I made it a point to say anything publicly about my disdain for the yearly program. After the first round of nominees were announced (including the baffling "Most Anticipated Game Award"--an award ostensibly created to reward marketing campaigns), I made known via Twitter my belief that the VGAs were little more than a straw man awards show, an elaborate beard constructed to specifically gain Keighley and GameTrailers a mess of exclusive trailers. After all, the vast bulk of the hype surrounding the show was geared toward the big, exclusive reveals from studios like Naughty Dog, BioWare, and the like.

Interestingly, Keighley chose to engage my thoughts on the show directly, asking me what I'd like to see done differently. I explained to him my beef with the needless celebrity pandering, the fact that the awards felt completely secondary to the big exclusive trailers, and that the winners often seemed bewildered as to why they were even there. Keighley was gracious, at least made overtures that my feedback was something he cared about, and asked me to give this year's show a shot. He seemed legitimately enthused about what he and the show's producers had cooked up, so I promised to watch this year's broadcast with an open mind. I won't pretend I didn't still have reservations, but truth be told, nothing would have made me happier than to watch an awards show the video game industry could be excited about, and perhaps even proud of.

Then last night happened.

A rare moment, in which developers were allowed to speak.

I won't recap the entirety of last night's dreadful spectacle, as much of it has already been recapped via social media and various blogs in the night since. You likely already know that the likes of Charlie Sheen, Hulk Hogan, and the cast of the next American Pie movie were paraded out to breathlessly (or dully, depending on how willing said celebrity was to pretend to be excited about the situation) introduce somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen exclusive trailers for games not out until next year. You may already be aware that whole swaths of categories were awarded via montage or quick, dismissive voice-over, with only a few actual developers being allowed onto the stage to accept their trophy. You have probably already been informed that host Zachary Levi and sort-of co-host Felicia Day were saddled with material that involved them making off-handed jokes about award bribery right before introducing the Game of the Year Award, and running around with one of the Jonas brothers with velcro suits on, respectively.

Once again, the VGAs were a marketing-driven, tone-deaf disaster, almost entirely bereft of the awards emblazoned right there in the title. A more accurate title might have been GameTrailers and Spike TV Present a Video Game Coming Attractions Extravaganza! Then, in 8-point, Comic Sans font, it would read underneath "Also, some trophies!"

And in a way, that's actually kind of perfect for the video game industry.

A lot of people want to see the VGAs become the "Oscars" for the video game industry. There are a variety of reasons why this can never be the case. One, it's on Spike TV, the network that has brought you such visionary programs as MANswers and 1,000 Ways to Die. Another is that the video game industry isn't really built for something like the Oscars. The Oscars are personality driven, predicated on the notion that you understand who these people are, and why them getting up and giving a big speech is an important thing. As several have pointed out, the video game industry has precious few faces who could go up on a televised stage, and deliver an acceptance speech without the restless mainstream audience simply changing the channel. It is, perhaps, why so few developers were given the opportunity to actually come up and accept their awards, and of the ones that did, one of the less recognizable faces had to be teabagged. You know, to keep the audience interested. Not that that's any excuse for why poor Mark Hamill, who had been nominated for a voice acting award, was dragged out to the show, only to find himself in the bleacher seats and unaware that his award had been announced during the pre-show. He sounded none-too-pleased about that.

The exclusive reveals have all but overridden the alleged importance of the awards themselves.

And that right there is the main issue at hand: the utter lack of respect the VGAs have for the very people they're theoretically supposed to be honoring. Go down the line of awards shows, from the Oscars on down to the Teen Choice Awards, and the thing you will see is that, shock of shocks, the people who win their awards are usually given opportunities to accept them. The VGAs didn't even pretend to have an interest in such a thing. They brought up the few developers they seemingly felt obligated to allow on stage, then hurried them off as quickly as possible. Essentially, the message was, "Great, you've got your award, now can you go away so we can show this new Spider-Man trailer?" It's not just disrespectful, it's downright antithetical to the very meaning of an award.

To be clear: "meaning" does not have to equate to "boring." The last thing in the world the video game industry needs is to be treated with dire seriousness. This is simply not that kind of entertainment medium. There are serious games about serious subjects, but the very core of what gaming is rooted in is fun. We want to enjoy ourselves while playing games, so watching an awards show full of tuxedo-wearing developers delivering Important Speeches about Important Things would be senseless. It would not only be dull, but also disingenuous.

Unfortunately, somewhere in the process of designing the VGAs year-to-year, the term "fun" became mistranslated as "idotic." As our own Jeff Gerstmann pointed out during the broadcast, the writers of the VGAs clearly can't find a happy middle-ground between the knowing in-jokes and broad humor aimed at the non-endemic audience. In effect, the VGAs have no idea what they want to be, a show for gamers, or a show for the mass audience. Instead, it's stuck somewhere in the middle, and pleases no one in the process.

I do believe that a middle-ground for such a show can exist. Other industry awards like AIAS, DICE, and the Game Developers Choice Awards have offered glimpses of what a show by the developers, for the developers could actually look like. The GDC awards in particular have generally been pretty good in the last few years, with Tim Schafer proving a more-than-capable host and even some genuinely funny comedy bits tossed in (several of which were courtesy of the Mega64 troupe). The production isn't strong enough to be TV-ready yet, but were a network like, perhaps, G4 (they're still sort of about video games, right?) to toss a little production capital its way, it's something that could totally be broadcast to an audience.

Unfortunately, it's not likely to ever happen on a Viacom network. With Mark Burnett and his team of producers running the show, it's frankly a wonder that this thing even features game developers at all. This is, after all, the man who has been responsible for the last several installments of the MTV Movie Awards, along with several other reality programs I'm guessing you don't have particularly fond feelings toward. Burnett and the executives in charge of programming at Spike TV are the ones that are truly responsible for the decisions made regarding the broadcast. People like Geoff Keighley and Zachary Levi bear much of the hate from the audience--something I, myself, am responsible for too--but truly it's Burnett and Spike's executives that decided that a video game awards show should feature as few actual awards as humanly possible, for fear people may tune away and upset the sponsors.

You can't lay the blame on host Zachary Levi. The dude honestly looked like he was trying.

It's too bad, because one gets the impression that Keighley would love to be working on a more respectable show. While the gleefulness with which he promotes his exclusives is maybe a tad off-putting, Keighley's rep as a writer and personality in the industry isn't smoke and mirrors. His Last Hours pieces and GameTrailers interviews shows he's a man who cares about this industry passionately, and not just for his own self-interest. Unfortunately, he is saddled with a broadcast in which his sole duty is to bring to bear as many exclusive treats as he possibly can, and smile for the pre-show camera. He is tasked with trying to make the game industry not hate this show, and while I'm sure the marketing and PR teams at various publishers are on board, there seem to be no shortage of developers and writers less-than-enthusiastic with what the show offered. I doubt I would have even watched at all were it not for Keighley's promises that this would be a better show, something that the industry could really get behind. I realize now that he probably didn't have much choice there, but it was nonetheless disappointing to find myself watching the same haggard thing we've been offered for the last several years.

I don't even blame Zachary Levi, or much of the rest of the talent involved. When Levi was interviewed by MTV ahead of the show last week, he seemed to be saying all the right things. His "geek cred," or whatever, seemed to be on the up-and-up. When he said he wanted this to be a show families could enjoy watching together, I honestly believed him.

And then the teabagging happened.

At that point, I realized he was just trying to put the best face on a not altogether pleasant situation. Watching him deliver one-liners he clearly hated and try to turn the Augmented Reality segments into something other than confusing and weird, I felt for him. He looked like a man who wanted to host a video game awards show--just not this one.

The question, then, is whether or not another video game awards show can, or should even happen. The VGAs will continue on as they always have. Of this much I am certain. Though the ratings have slipped from year to year, they continue to rise in the core demographic Spike TV unashamedly covets: young males, 18-34. So long as the game publishers get the publicity they crave, and Spike continues to get returns on its desperate pandering to immature boys, then there is no good reason for it to ever change its course. So long as we continue to come for the trailers of upcoming games, and not for the games we're ostensibly supposed to be celebrating, the VGAs will continue to represent the "next big thing" portion of the gaming audience, and no one else.

Perhaps some day, someone will make a video game awards show for those of us who would like to celebrate the best games of this year, and not the biggest ones of next. All I know is that, perhaps years after I should have figured it out, the Spike VGAs are, and never will be that award show. And now that I know, I won't be watching again.

#1 Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -

Somewhere between Felicia Day and Brooklyn Decker bobbing for cupcakes, and Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey being gently eased to the ground so that he might receive a mimed "teabagging" from a man who had been hired for this expressed purpose, a salient and depressing realization came to me: The Spike Video Game Awards are not for me, and they're never going to be.

This image sums up the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards better than any words could.

For nine years now, Spike TV, GameTrailers, and complicit publishers have continued to push the illusion that the VGAs are an actual award show. And for nine years, people have continued to say, out loud, that we do not believe this. No matter how many times we try to express that we understand that the VGAs are simply an elaborate marketing ploy, designed to get brand awareness out for huge new games that we won't see until next year or later, Geoff Keighley and the show's producers continue to press this notion that the VGAs are meant to be taken seriously, and that the awards are meant to mean something. And every year, we end up back in the same place, watching the same embarrassing pageant of D-list celebrities trotted onto the stage to usurp air time that, on literally any other awards show, would have been dedicated to the people winning awards.

Prior to this year's show, this was the first time I made it a point to say anything publicly about my disdain for the yearly program. After the first round of nominees were announced (including the baffling "Most Anticipated Game Award"--an award ostensibly created to reward marketing campaigns), I made known via Twitter my belief that the VGAs were little more than a straw man awards show, an elaborate beard constructed to specifically gain Keighley and GameTrailers a mess of exclusive trailers. After all, the vast bulk of the hype surrounding the show was geared toward the big, exclusive reveals from studios like Naughty Dog, BioWare, and the like.

Interestingly, Keighley chose to engage my thoughts on the show directly, asking me what I'd like to see done differently. I explained to him my beef with the needless celebrity pandering, the fact that the awards felt completely secondary to the big exclusive trailers, and that the winners often seemed bewildered as to why they were even there. Keighley was gracious, at least made overtures that my feedback was something he cared about, and asked me to give this year's show a shot. He seemed legitimately enthused about what he and the show's producers had cooked up, so I promised to watch this year's broadcast with an open mind. I won't pretend I didn't still have reservations, but truth be told, nothing would have made me happier than to watch an awards show the video game industry could be excited about, and perhaps even proud of.

Then last night happened.

A rare moment, in which developers were allowed to speak.

I won't recap the entirety of last night's dreadful spectacle, as much of it has already been recapped via social media and various blogs in the night since. You likely already know that the likes of Charlie Sheen, Hulk Hogan, and the cast of the next American Pie movie were paraded out to breathlessly (or dully, depending on how willing said celebrity was to pretend to be excited about the situation) introduce somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen exclusive trailers for games not out until next year. You may already be aware that whole swaths of categories were awarded via montage or quick, dismissive voice-over, with only a few actual developers being allowed onto the stage to accept their trophy. You have probably already been informed that host Zachary Levi and sort-of co-host Felicia Day were saddled with material that involved them making off-handed jokes about award bribery right before introducing the Game of the Year Award, and running around with one of the Jonas brothers with velcro suits on, respectively.

Once again, the VGAs were a marketing-driven, tone-deaf disaster, almost entirely bereft of the awards emblazoned right there in the title. A more accurate title might have been GameTrailers and Spike TV Present a Video Game Coming Attractions Extravaganza! Then, in 8-point, Comic Sans font, it would read underneath "Also, some trophies!"

And in a way, that's actually kind of perfect for the video game industry.

A lot of people want to see the VGAs become the "Oscars" for the video game industry. There are a variety of reasons why this can never be the case. One, it's on Spike TV, the network that has brought you such visionary programs as MANswers and 1,000 Ways to Die. Another is that the video game industry isn't really built for something like the Oscars. The Oscars are personality driven, predicated on the notion that you understand who these people are, and why them getting up and giving a big speech is an important thing. As several have pointed out, the video game industry has precious few faces who could go up on a televised stage, and deliver an acceptance speech without the restless mainstream audience simply changing the channel. It is, perhaps, why so few developers were given the opportunity to actually come up and accept their awards, and of the ones that did, one of the less recognizable faces had to be teabagged. You know, to keep the audience interested. Not that that's any excuse for why poor Mark Hamill, who had been nominated for a voice acting award, was dragged out to the show, only to find himself in the bleacher seats and unaware that his award had been announced during the pre-show. He sounded none-too-pleased about that.

The exclusive reveals have all but overridden the alleged importance of the awards themselves.

And that right there is the main issue at hand: the utter lack of respect the VGAs have for the very people they're theoretically supposed to be honoring. Go down the line of awards shows, from the Oscars on down to the Teen Choice Awards, and the thing you will see is that, shock of shocks, the people who win their awards are usually given opportunities to accept them. The VGAs didn't even pretend to have an interest in such a thing. They brought up the few developers they seemingly felt obligated to allow on stage, then hurried them off as quickly as possible. Essentially, the message was, "Great, you've got your award, now can you go away so we can show this new Spider-Man trailer?" It's not just disrespectful, it's downright antithetical to the very meaning of an award.

To be clear: "meaning" does not have to equate to "boring." The last thing in the world the video game industry needs is to be treated with dire seriousness. This is simply not that kind of entertainment medium. There are serious games about serious subjects, but the very core of what gaming is rooted in is fun. We want to enjoy ourselves while playing games, so watching an awards show full of tuxedo-wearing developers delivering Important Speeches about Important Things would be senseless. It would not only be dull, but also disingenuous.

Unfortunately, somewhere in the process of designing the VGAs year-to-year, the term "fun" became mistranslated as "idotic." As our own Jeff Gerstmann pointed out during the broadcast, the writers of the VGAs clearly can't find a happy middle-ground between the knowing in-jokes and broad humor aimed at the non-endemic audience. In effect, the VGAs have no idea what they want to be, a show for gamers, or a show for the mass audience. Instead, it's stuck somewhere in the middle, and pleases no one in the process.

I do believe that a middle-ground for such a show can exist. Other industry awards like AIAS, DICE, and the Game Developers Choice Awards have offered glimpses of what a show by the developers, for the developers could actually look like. The GDC awards in particular have generally been pretty good in the last few years, with Tim Schafer proving a more-than-capable host and even some genuinely funny comedy bits tossed in (several of which were courtesy of the Mega64 troupe). The production isn't strong enough to be TV-ready yet, but were a network like, perhaps, G4 (they're still sort of about video games, right?) to toss a little production capital its way, it's something that could totally be broadcast to an audience.

Unfortunately, it's not likely to ever happen on a Viacom network. With Mark Burnett and his team of producers running the show, it's frankly a wonder that this thing even features game developers at all. This is, after all, the man who has been responsible for the last several installments of the MTV Movie Awards, along with several other reality programs I'm guessing you don't have particularly fond feelings toward. Burnett and the executives in charge of programming at Spike TV are the ones that are truly responsible for the decisions made regarding the broadcast. People like Geoff Keighley and Zachary Levi bear much of the hate from the audience--something I, myself, am responsible for too--but truly it's Burnett and Spike's executives that decided that a video game awards show should feature as few actual awards as humanly possible, for fear people may tune away and upset the sponsors.

You can't lay the blame on host Zachary Levi. The dude honestly looked like he was trying.

It's too bad, because one gets the impression that Keighley would love to be working on a more respectable show. While the gleefulness with which he promotes his exclusives is maybe a tad off-putting, Keighley's rep as a writer and personality in the industry isn't smoke and mirrors. His Last Hours pieces and GameTrailers interviews shows he's a man who cares about this industry passionately, and not just for his own self-interest. Unfortunately, he is saddled with a broadcast in which his sole duty is to bring to bear as many exclusive treats as he possibly can, and smile for the pre-show camera. He is tasked with trying to make the game industry not hate this show, and while I'm sure the marketing and PR teams at various publishers are on board, there seem to be no shortage of developers and writers less-than-enthusiastic with what the show offered. I doubt I would have even watched at all were it not for Keighley's promises that this would be a better show, something that the industry could really get behind. I realize now that he probably didn't have much choice there, but it was nonetheless disappointing to find myself watching the same haggard thing we've been offered for the last several years.

I don't even blame Zachary Levi, or much of the rest of the talent involved. When Levi was interviewed by MTV ahead of the show last week, he seemed to be saying all the right things. His "geek cred," or whatever, seemed to be on the up-and-up. When he said he wanted this to be a show families could enjoy watching together, I honestly believed him.

And then the teabagging happened.

At that point, I realized he was just trying to put the best face on a not altogether pleasant situation. Watching him deliver one-liners he clearly hated and try to turn the Augmented Reality segments into something other than confusing and weird, I felt for him. He looked like a man who wanted to host a video game awards show--just not this one.

The question, then, is whether or not another video game awards show can, or should even happen. The VGAs will continue on as they always have. Of this much I am certain. Though the ratings have slipped from year to year, they continue to rise in the core demographic Spike TV unashamedly covets: young males, 18-34. So long as the game publishers get the publicity they crave, and Spike continues to get returns on its desperate pandering to immature boys, then there is no good reason for it to ever change its course. So long as we continue to come for the trailers of upcoming games, and not for the games we're ostensibly supposed to be celebrating, the VGAs will continue to represent the "next big thing" portion of the gaming audience, and no one else.

Perhaps some day, someone will make a video game awards show for those of us who would like to celebrate the best games of this year, and not the biggest ones of next. All I know is that, perhaps years after I should have figured it out, the Spike VGAs are, and never will be that award show. And now that I know, I won't be watching again.

#2 Posted by Dtat (1623 posts) -

Tell it like it is, Alex.

#3 Posted by VIGGO123 (553 posts) -

That was truly a complete shitshow, nothing but disrespect for the entire industry.

#4 Posted by Ben_H (3384 posts) -

I didn't watch it. Alex's tweets told me everything I needed to know.

#5 Posted by Animasta (14713 posts) -

I love you alex

#6 Posted by tobygw (581 posts) -

I just imagined what it would be like for the Giant Bomb crew to host a big budget live awards show like that and I nearly cried tears of joy.

#7 Posted by rmanthorp (4009 posts) -

Feel so bad for Zachary. Show was a wreck, I really think they only gave out 3 awards proper and those had to be the 3 highlights of the night.

"A rare moment, in which developers were allowed to speak."

Q fucking FT.

Moderator
#8 Posted by StalkingTurnip (150 posts) -

Amen.

#9 Posted by Cyrisaurus (455 posts) -

I didn't think anyone even WANTED to be there for the awards. I can't see myself as a developer and saying "Oh yeah we got this VGA award from the people who make MANSWERS and 1000 WAYS TO DIE, we are really proud of it"

Sure, the judges for the awards, like Jeff, make the awards matter somewhat, but Jeff will be giving his own personal GOTY award anyway, as with the other judges.

#10 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

Preach it brother

#11 Posted by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

Yes, let the hate flow through you, Alex.

#12 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19372 posts) -

#14 Posted by ocdog45 (675 posts) -

That transformers traielr looks cool.

#15 Posted by Aetheldod (3632 posts) -

In retrospect indeed I may be at fault here , I didnt watched the "show" at all but all I cared for was to see the upcoming games trailers , still I had the mentality that justifies the "existence" of such a thing :/ .... so why not make a night of "look at all this trailers" instead of this falacy and then we wont feel sorry afterwards.

#16 Posted by GeneralZod37 (265 posts) -

A well written article Alex, and I usually despise all that you do. So I guess that's saying something?

#17 Posted by whistlebottom (194 posts) -

Alex once again proving he is my favorite writer on Whiskey. Good job, sir.

#18 Posted by Nokterian (61 posts) -

Seeing alex tweets makes me think how bad this show is. Thanks alex for the head up!

#19 Posted by Lepton (41 posts) -

People are being far too generous to these proceedings. How many times did they cut over to Hulk Hogan during the show?? The show was shameless self-promotion for Spike TV and nothing else. Hey, and did you know that it will covering CES live this year, since it ran the promo for the coverage every, every, every commercial break on the livestream?

#20 Posted by AlKusanagi (933 posts) -

The best part? Not having to watch it and just seeing the trailers on other sites the next day. I don't even look at the winners since I'd just rage at the retarded, narrow-minded, common denominator choices.

#21 Posted by Three0neFive (2297 posts) -

Spike TV, setting the public perception of videogames back 20 years via ridiculous stereotypes and pandering.
 
Glad that people in the industry are finally starting to speak out against this shit.

#22 Posted by DrJota (700 posts) -

On the bright side,no Mr. Caffiene...

#23 Posted by RE_Player1 (7563 posts) -

Well said Alex.

#24 Posted by Jeffk38uk (716 posts) -

Honestly, it was better than last year, and the best parts were the specially made character nominee videos and the exclusives. Sadly, it's also the opposite of what an award show would be. I found it incredibly odd that Bastion devs got their award during the preshow for three categories, and during the actual show the winners of categories were read out pretty quickly.

#25 Posted by sl1ppyfist (82 posts) -

I really hated how disingenuous the celebs they put on that show were. I'm not saying that everyone should play games, but maybe find someone that has at least seen the games their talking about.

#26 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

@Three0neFive said:

Spike TV, setting the public perception of videogames back 20 years via ridiculous stereotypes and pandering. Glad that people in the industry are finally starting to speak out against this shit.

This, too bad that nothing will really be done about it because the producer's interests are more important than the interests of gaming enthusiasts.

#27 Edited by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

I really only caught the end of the show but just looking at the Blizzard heads that came up to accept an award. I could see that they were not too happy about being there. I didn't have any reference when the dude giving the speech said "I better get done fast cause I know what you do to people who don't". Knowing now what it was is just shameful on Spike's part.

Also did they force Kojima to speak english? I guess Spike didn't want to lose that precious male audience that sits around saying "We're in America, Speak ENGLISH DAMMIT". The crowd gave him some backup though so that was a nice part of the show.

#28 Posted by duffles (25 posts) -

Agreed. A thousand times agreed. I love Zachary Levi's brand of comedy, and he almost made some of the terrible lines he said remotely funny.

You've got to love an award show where the trailers outnumber the awards presented by like 4 to 1. It's also unforgivable to allow MW3 to get their award on stage only for a comedy bit, when other GAME OF THE YEAR nominees Uncharted 3 and Portal 2 never got any stage time for the developers. At the very least the nominees weren't as bad as years prior. Hopefully they won't go back to making the Best Performance Male/Female just a way to get celebrities to show up.

#29 Posted by clumsyninja1 (817 posts) -

I love the bluntness of Alex...east coast style

#30 Posted by Brodehouse (10079 posts) -

I wish Geoff Keighley would just quote Alex and say "the chance of me changing my writing style is zero." It would serve him right.

#31 Posted by Kesselrun (67 posts) -

Alex, your tweets last night were entertaining and this piece was great. I'm more than a little bummed out by people who react to this stuff with "well what did you expect", as if it's bad to have criticisms or hope for more from entertainment.

#32 Posted by EDfromRED (126 posts) -

I actually cringed several times in sympathetic embarrassment during the show, and I had to change the channel during poor Kojimas painfully flubbed intro of Metal Gear Rising. With so many talented people involved in the games industry, why is it saddled with such a subpar awards show? I'd rather watch a half hour run of new trailer debuts then another travesty like this again.

#33 Posted by KingOfIceland (654 posts) -

I completely agree with you Alex, but I've thankfully never even tried to watch the show. I feel like I know exactly how those awards go and all I need to see (those damn new "EXCLUSIVE REVEALS") on the internet next day. That way I can completely evade endorsing or reminding people that this piece of garbage exists.

#34 Edited by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

I found myself nodding in agreement with the entire tenor of your article, Alex. Not just you, but the actual tenor. That's something that you can find in an article, right? A tenor?

Look, I know that these are video game awards, and they're never going to be as dignified and, well, as stuffy as the Academy Awards. Like, I get it. Video games are inherently less serious. But we should at least be trying to aim for that direction. We should at least be looking over to where the Oscars are and try to steer the boat in that direction.

Instead, take the MTV movie awards and the People's Choice Awards, and dump a bunch of classless shit on top, and that's the VGAs. It's somehow more embarrassing and unbearable then even those two shows.

And it really pisses me off when a guy like, say, Geoff Keighley is somehow doe-eyed and asking people on twitter what the problem is. Really? If he can't see what the obvious problem is, he's either the soulless shill we've all pegged him as, or he's simply an idiot.

#35 Posted by AlmostSwedish (575 posts) -

"Filed under tea-bagging"

Excellent!

#36 Edited by Zimbo (875 posts) -

Very well said Alex. I agree completely.

It is such a shame to see Mark Hamill treated so offhandedly. I would rather have seen him on stage than someone like Charlie Sheen.

#37 Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -

@Brodehouse: I don't know what that would really teach me. I'm not asking Keighley to change his "writing style," and I concede in the article that the odds of the VGAs ever shifting tone are practically nil. In fact, I suggest that because the show is clearly just not meant for someone like me, I will simply stop watching it.

Since I'm clearly just not the kind of writer for you, maybe you should just stop reading my stuff?

#38 Posted by CaLe (4021 posts) -

The people who were upset by the show only have themselves to blame. Your expectations were at fault, not the show.

#39 Posted by RYNO9881 (625 posts) -

Agreed. There has to be some middle ground.

#40 Posted by MikeinSC (910 posts) -

I don't criticize Keighley too much because I ALSO think he wants it to be way more legit than Spike is capable of allowing it to be. But somebody needs to speak up and say certain things are too retarded to be broadcast on television. The teabagging thing? What the heck was the POINT? You don't see many industries reveling in annoying habits it is infested with. Do the Oscars make it a point to mention how brutally terrible 95% of the movies out there are and that almost nobody watched the nominees for Best Pic (and how many of those nominees seem to confuse "boring" and "deep")? Your goal is to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative. The VGA's tend to do the exact opposite.

And why obsess over C-level celebrities? Hulk Hogan appeared? Honestly, who the hell cares? He's remotely relevant now due to a nasty divorce complete with homosexuality rumors that one of his best friends says is true. Charlie Sheen? Nothing he's ever done in his life makes one think he gives a damn about gamers? Why involve him at all --- much less put a spotlight on him?

The hosts were stuck in a bad situation. The writing has abysmal and the producers will make the shows they make --- they just don't fit here. Felicia Day has some ability to write and perform. I have no beefs with her being a bit of a face for gaming since she legitimately games. Why not put Adam Sessler out there as an MC? He's not a major name to most people, but he is an intelligent and funny guy who could likely make the broadcast amusing. The producers don't respect what the industry they are producing an awards show for...expecting it to be good is WAY too optimistic now.

As far as exclusive reveals --- have a different show to do that specifically. Again, you don't see a lot of exclusive reveals of movies on the Oscars broadcast? It's not like this show has proven to be relevant to final sales figures of new titles, so why do we continue to do it? In December, it wouldn't be too hard to find at least one network who would air a show just about what is coming up in gaming in the next year. But Spike is a bit of a joke of a network and expecting anything one can be proud of out of the management there is expecting a lot.

#41 Edited by Fattony12000 (7528 posts) -

Some small part of me died inside.

Brilliant article there Alex.

#42 Posted by mnzy (2916 posts) -

The show you (and I) want already exists and you said so yourself: the GDC awards. Entertaining, even funny sometimes while giving respect and spotlight to the people that matter. But you will NEVER get that on fucking Spike.

That's why I say: take it or leave it. We live in an age of great availability and we don't need to watch an awful TV show just because we care about a few trailers.

#43 Posted by wsowen02 (321 posts) -

Preach it brother!

#44 Posted by robin_smith (96 posts) -

the baftas seem to at least come close to doing it respectfully.

#45 Posted by Skald (4369 posts) -

The problem is that the developers fully support this show. I know it's a good source of free advertising, but a clean break away from the VGAs would probably help legitimize the video game industry.

#46 Posted by HydraHam (1338 posts) -

Besides some debatable winners, charlie sheen a some silly un-funny jokes i actually enjoyed it, i thought zack did extremely well and i enjoyed the show, was it perfect? far from it, was it watchable unlike the previous ones? yes, still needs work.

Defiantly heading in the right direction, they need to quit with the stereotypical gamer jokes, it's hurting it more then the non-needed "famous" people presenting fucking trailers, will i am comes out just to premiere a trailer? waste of money.

And i am still fucking appalled that MW3 won best shooter, but then again its a GT based show so it shouldn't surprise me that much.

#47 Posted by NissanSkyline (106 posts) -

Yeap, that was really bad awards.

#48 Posted by Redbullet685 (6054 posts) -

@AlKusanagi said:

The best part? Not having to watch it and just seeing the trailers on other sites the next day. I don't even look at the winners since I'd just rage at the retarded, narrow-minded, common denominator choices.

You know the winners are chosen by game critics including our very own Jeff Gerstmann.

#49 Edited by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

The thing that is crazy is the miyamoto part was the best thing and it looked like they put effort into. its amazing that segment was part of the same show where 4 assholes made dick jokes. The part with supporting the troops was fine as well. Its a shame the whole show was not like that instead we got cupcakes and teabags

#50 Posted by Seeric (160 posts) -

I didn't watch the awards since I've never taken them seriously, but this year's show sounds even worse than usual. I really have to question just who this show is even really for since non-gamers likely won't watch it and gamers tend to just feel ashamed of it. Do they really just bank on people watching it for the 'car crash' value (i.e. views from people watching it because they can't believe how bad it is) and for 'exclusive' trailers which could easily be found online mere hours/minutes later?

On a side note, I think Alex may want to change 'idotic'.