I’m not a huge fan of any type of awards shows–period–but for some unknown reason the American culture deems it necessary to hand out awards to anything and everything on a near constant basis. From daytime soap operas to adult videos, accolades can be won without even being aware of eligibility let alone nomination. This is all well and good; Americans like to win awards and to watch as other people win them, too. And we all love to bitch bitterly when whomever we think should win said award doesn’t emerge victorious. It’s a considerable athletic ego boost when Team USA annihilates a small under-privileged third world country whose athletes actually have something else to do than train relentlessly for four straight years. But, deep down inside, we love to watch the underdog win. It warms the heart–don’t deny it. But, more specifically, I’m referring to the media sham that is the Spike TV Video Game Awards.
You truly know that video games have become outrageously popular and embedded themselves in the American psyche when half naked gyrating women and ‘bling-bling’ rappers attack your television screen during an awards show that isn’t an MTV presentation. Spike TV’s producers have adopted everything heinous and wrong about video games and transplanted it into a two-hour marathon of absolute crap. The categories in the show are basic; awards such as Game of the Year, RPG of the Year, etc, which seem run-of-the-mill all things considered. But they even give out awards for voice acting, which is rather nice in my opinion. But I’m just wondering how seriously you can take an award show that has forty-eight games nominated across only twenty-four categories? For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see this year’s Spike TV awards show, let me break it down for you by the numbers:
Total Number of Categories: 24
Total Number of Games Nominated: 48
Number of times Snoop Dogg talked to an animated version of himself: 2
Total Awards Won by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: 3
Total Number of Games that actually won awards: 12
Total Number of Groans by the MyGamer Staff during the award show: 942
Not to hammer down on Spike TV for taking the initiative and bringing gaming to the forefront of American consciousness, but the show seemed like little more than a giant ego boosting exercise for overrated and over-hyped games. Some of the categories that should have had at least five nominees only actually had three. The award for Action Game of the Year was won by the painfully dull Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Sure, the game was popular enough, but there were a ton of action games across all the systems that were far, far better. Spike TV, for whatever reason, took the most popular games of the year and gave them the critical nod, while leaving other, perhaps more memorable games, out in the cold. How can you they call themselves a video game awards show, when they’re not able to consider the whole spectrum of available games? How can Spike TV so blatantly discount titles that look better, handle better and, in general, are simply better games all around? Are they really so dependant on the draw of the popular demographic? Or does Spike TV actually want to lack credibility? Do they want people to make fun of them, those very same people who actually play video games? Over the duration of the entire evening I was both shocked and appalled by the apparent lack of gamers Spike TV must have working for them. Personally speaking, I hate Doom 3, but it should still win Best New Graphics–in anyone’s awards show. Admittedly the game looks amazing but, as we all know, graphics aren’t enough for this particular gaming sceptic. Instead, the more widely anticipated Half-Life 2 won the Spike TV graphics award. Sure, it too looks good, but not nearly as good as Doom 3.
The in-show musical acts that Spike TV saw fit to torture the gaming public with would have been bearable if not for the fact that every second word that came out of their collective mouths had to be edited for content. I mean, if you know that a recording artist (a term I use loosely here) has prevalent offensive language throughout their lyrics, perhaps you should ask them to change things around a little? I admit rap (silent C) isn’t necessarily my thing, but sweet baby Jesus, how about a few more rock bands next year, eh? Not that I’m in any way condoning a next year, of course. I’m praying that Spike TV finds some intelligence as a station and starts playing Bond films on a twenty-four hour loop. Chance would be a fine thing.
It seems that Spike TV didn’t want to leave any of the big game companies disgruntled; especially as every major player had a game on show that picked up an award. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, City of Heroes