Game Rant Asks: What Did You Think Of The Spike VGA's?This week in Game Rant Asks, we talk about one of the most controversial events of the game industry: the Spike Video Game Awards. Having aired this past Friday, gamers were likely expecting a flood of reactions on why the award show was bad, or why it does a disservice to the industry. But we at Game Rant wanted to do something different: we want to share our thoughts on the show, not just from one perspective, but that of many of our team - and of course, give you the readers a chance to share your thoughts as well. So read on for our opinions on Spike's 10th annual Video Game Awards (and check out the winners list!).
Andrew Dyce (@andrew_dyce)Despite being in greater agreement than usual with this year's VGA winners, the disparity between the actual games and the presentation of the show itself is just getting worse. The worst stereotypes of 'games' aren't just welcome, they're painfully injected (at the expense of announcing actual winners on air). Immaturity abounds while games like The Walking Dead and Journey clean up; looks to me like the voters have well outgrown the producers at this point. And yet again, viewers are forced to hear non-developers spout quips, instead of asking the legends present to reflect on the medium. I would be worried, but the entire show has become a joke among those whose opinions matter.
Anthony Taormina (@ANTaormina)This was the first year, in a long time, that the Spike VGAs actually awarded titles that felt deserving in many of the categories. Games like Dishonored and Journey, which never would have received a nomination let alone an award in past years, came away with a trophy, and in some cases more than one. And then there was Game of the Year. The Walking Dead is a true achievement in video games, and it deserves all the recognition that's coming its way. On the other hand, the show itself was pretty much a disaster save for the delightful orchestra performances. It was almost as if all parties, especially host Samuel Jackson, involved were encouraged to spout profanity because that's what the VGA demographic should find funny. I didn't.
Anthony MolÃ© (@AnthonyMole)Unlike most, I happen to enjoy the Spike VGAs. The show may be a tad gratuitous (especially with Samuel L. Jackson's vulgarity at this year's show); but it's big event centered around video games and I always get a tingle of excitement in the days leading up to the event. This year; however, I didn't enjoy the awards so much. Perhaps it's because I felt 2012 was disappointing year overall, but there were few nominees I actually cared about. It was also quite unfortunate that the show had forgone any narrative category, which would have perhaps given more recognition to games like Spec Ops: The Line and Binary Domain. With game's moving forward in so many directions, completely ignoring the narrative and art style, as well as other aspects of game design, just does a disservice to an ever growing medium.
Riley Little (@TheRileyLittle)For the most part, the industry agrees that the tenth annual Spike Video Game Awards was the best show yet, and I'm inclined to agree. The nominees were well thought out and the winners were deserving, but the content that filled the gaps between game reveals and awards was still juvenile. Be it a giant inflatable penis on display behind Tenacious D, or the amount of censorship required every time VGA host Sam Jackson spoke, remnants of the old show are still widely apparent. What's baffling about the head shaking, however, is that people actually expected more. This is Spike TV, the same channel that provides viewers with such gems as 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty and Impact Wrestling. What more can honestly be expected when this brand tries its take on an awards ceremony? There's potential for the VGAs to become something much more, and the latest shows proves that. Whether its potential comes to fruition, though, is entirely in the hands of the producers.
Brian Sipple (@Brian_Sipple)The Spike TV Video Game Awards are a double-edged sword. Always have been, always will be. At one end, the industry has a nationally televised primetime (even though it’s cable on a Friday night) celebration of its collective oeuvre. At the other, there hasn’t been a show in its 10-year history which failed to exacerbate an unfair, degrading stereotype of the average gamer — in this case through SLJ’s profanity-laced schtick, which I’m pretty sure began netting bleeps at random halfway through the opening monologue. And to me, it’s all illustrative of the show’s credibility problem: The VGAs will never be viewed in the same light as the Oscars or the Emmys, because they’re viewed as the sole entity of a television network -- Spike -- seeking to drive viewership through whatever empty humor its producers deem marketable. I admired the selection of The Walking Dead for GOTY and thought the orchestral musical renditions were fantastic. They weren’t enough, however, to dissolve the VGAs’ annual aftertaste: bittersweet.
Curt Hutson (8BitBomb)When SPIKE TV premiered its Video Game Award show ten years ago, it was a misogynistic, immature and uncivilized look at a blossoming industry as seen through the eyes of the gaming minority. Sadly, a decade has done little to curb that habit of pandering to the worst of us, but if SPIKE would allow itself to grow, it could be pretty great. Here are some helpful tips: Better presenters. Every year there are droves of irrelevant celebrities (typically attractive women) who will get up and talk about how much they love Mario Brothers, most likely because it’s the only game they’ve ever played. Why aren’t there more game industry folks presenting? Showcasing the talent behind the games should be a hallmark of the show. Having Camilla Luddington (the new voice of Lara Croft) present Tomb Raider was a great start. How about Cliffy B or Tim Schafer? Hell, Nolan North, as sick as we are of hearing him, would have been a much better choice than Jessica Alba. Smarter performances. One of the show’s more brilliant ideas was having live musical performances accompany their exclusive game trailers, a huge part of the show. Not only did it add a touch of class, but it also made for a more beautiful and immersive experience. 86 the violists in skin tight, leather cat suits and they would have nailed it. Also, nix bands like Linkin Park and bring in gaming bands like The Megas, The OneUps or Entertainment System, who could use the exposure and are already fan favorites. Make it about the awards. Yeah, no one wants to just see a bunch of awards being handed out for three hours, but there were around only four actual awards handed out this year. Taking the time to let some industry professionals speak and have their moment is exactly what they deserve. They’re the reason we’re all watching and the fans voted for their games, after all, so they should get some payoff — and, no, that doesn’t mean a flat, twenty-second montage of the winners. If they don't want to hand out awards, then should call it SPIKE TV's Random Celebrity Variety Show and throw in some gaming trailers. These are just a few ideas to reach out to the current generation of gamers who voted for games this year based on factors of more than just fun or sex or violence, but of beauty, creativity and uniqueness. Strong evidence that SPIKE's viewers are beginning to outgrow that circus of an awards show.
ConclusionAt the end of the day, the Spike Video Game Awards will always be a controversial topic among the gaming community. Some feel the entire show is just a waste of time, while others are more than content with what Spike offers in its annual extravaganza. But what do you think? Join in on the discussion down below. Be sure to check out the 2012 Spike VGAs winners list!
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