Well, now that we’ve had a day to digest what transpired during the Spike TV VGAs, we can now look back and see what others thought. Seems that VGO and I weren’t the only ones who were underwhelmed by the whole shooting match.
New-to-me Grimwell Online took notes and commented. This is a great read, read the whole thing. A couple quotes:
Not that I’m complaining, yet. You see, I can’t really blame Spike. They have no idea how to do an awards show about video games so why not just skip it and play some music matched with titties and see who notices??? It’s Spike after all, it should be about titties.
He is an 80’s metal-head, so he was looking forward to seeing Motley Crue back in action but, after watching Snoop Dogg join in the song, didn’t think that was quite such a good idea. I’ll let you read his exact words on his site.
Snoop walks off, the song falls apart. The Crue has no idea where in the song they should be, so Mick wanders into a solo…. the song crashes and burns. I cry.
Host Brooke Burke promises to show previews of upcoming games. I wonder if theyíll just give out 2005ís awards now. After all, doesnít this show rely purely on hype and flashy visuals over substance?
Was it better than last yearís show? Yes. But then again, trepanning without anesthesia was better than last yearís show. This yearís show was dreck, but at least it wasnít insulting my intelligence at all times. Just half of them. I just hope that Iím the only one who watched this Ė maybe in the future, Spike will leave such awards to people who actually know games, and not just people with conflicting allegiances.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one watching.
Of course there was the Video Game Ombudsman, who I followed during the show. He also chimed in with wit and biting sarcasm. But he sums up the way forward:
If we in the video game community — the press, the developers, the publishers, and the gamers — sit idly by and allow this type of show to speak for our industry, then we deserve whatever stereotypical bad-mouthing we get from the mainstream press and society at large.
Zonk on Slashdot has a great editorial as well, it’s worth a read:
I have enough problems in my day without having to explain to my family why a show honoring the entertainment I love is populated mostly by underdressed women in angel costumes. Once a year, wouldn’t it be nice to put the scruffy, anti-social gamer stereotype behind us? To sit down and watch some very intelligent people in tuxedos and gowns get their due for providing us so much entertainment? Seriously, wouldn’t it be great to see John Carmack present an award? Or get to listen to a Wil Wright acceptance speech? A gaming awards show taken seriously would be a sight to see. Even if that never happens, please — enough with the Spike-style awards shows.
Succint and to the point. Exactly the way I feel. My wife knows I love games. She even plays them with me. But when she sees things like “Cheat codes read by hot chicks” she gives me that “look”. I think she recognizes (and tolerates) the nature of the “stereo-typical” gamer demographic but even she can see through the Spike TV’s thinnly veiled attempts at pandering. But we can and should rise above this. I think these quotes and links prove that the award show in absolutely no way represented gamers as a whole. I hope enough of an outcry is made so changes can take place. The first step would be to prevent Spike TV from ever hosting a video game award show. That would be a step in the right direction.
Update (12/20/2004) – A couple other places on the ButtonMashing reading list have chimed in. The-inbetween had some choice words for Spike TV:
And to make it even more intolerable, the tape delay means that the Spike tight-asses are censoring about every other word that they say. My tv now sounds like a skipping CD.
Everyone (including myself) looks to Penny-Arcade for their comments and opinions on all things gaming, so I looked anxiously to see what they would say.
if your 2004 awards program does not include Metroid Prime 2 or World of Warcraft, it has no authority whatsoever to coronate the king of any genre. I’m not even saying that those games need to win. I’m simply stating that the games exist and are real, news which has not reached them out there on the ragged periphery of taste and intellect.
This is something I thought about but didn’t articulate. Even though I haven’t played Metroid Prime 2, the fact that they all but ignored Nintendo proves their insignificance and irrelevance.