There are times in my life when I really begin to question the minds of some people. One of those times is right now. The first annual Spike TV Video Game Awards (from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas) is currently premiering while I’m writing this. An hour in, I’m beginning to question my sanity. I cannot fathom what the network execs over at Spike think video game players are like, but I’m quite sure at this point that their market research team should be fired, burned at the stake and then be shot simply because.
What type of awards show opens with the biggest award being given away in the first 2 minutes? Yes, Madden 2004 walked away with the award for “Game of the Year,” as highly undeserving as it was (Note: it wins Game of the Year, yet not Sports Game of the Year). Granted, it plays a great game of football, but I can think of at least 15 other games more worthy. There are no nominees you see, they simply toss out an award with no apparent buildup (even though they just went through the nominees for “Most Anticipated Game”). The awards are announced by host David Spade and then shown on a massive circular screen surrounded by the LA Raiders cheerleaders. The crowd must be filled with thousands of pre-pubescent teens screaming at the top of their lungs whenever Grand Theft Auto is mentioned. You can’t hear anything. The designers get 3 seconds of screen time (with no names mentioned) and can be seen shaking their heads, obviously embarrassed to be part of the proceedings. God forbid the guys who created these games should get any type of credit.
It gets worse. The voting was done online by the public (for those not aware). The general public is the last group of people who should be allowed to vote for video games. Musical performances are constant, annoying, and have absolutely nothing to do with video games. Advertisements claim that this isn’t an ordinary awards show, but that’s hardly the case. It’s a really bad one filled with the cheapest stars they could find, one terribly unfunny host, and bands who can’t be heard over the crowd. David Spade opened the show with the same joke that had been part of the advertising campaign for the past 3 weeks.
Think it gets worse? Commercial breaks are brought about with segments entitled “The secret life of video games.” The jokes/dubbing are lude, crude, and downright offensive. The humor level of this show is obviously set for the 5-year old crowd since they are the only ones who will find any of this amusing. Video game footage hardly ever features anything less than a player trying to find the most sexually explicit position to put the polygonal characters in. The Tomb Raider “strategy guide” was enough to change the station.
But yet, it gets worse. The categories are senseless. How about a “best gameplay” category? Nope. The horror if we honor someone because their game actually plays well. Maybe a nice “best control” award? Nope. Instead, we get a “most anticipated game” category. How can anyone give a game an award before it’s even out, let alone even played it? Most of the games nominated (and winning) have hardly been out for a month, barely enough time for any gamer to really delve deep into it.
Yes, yes, it does get worse. Funkmaster Flex is the DJ for this glorious excuse for an awards show. He honestly gets more screen time than Spade. His microphone is seemingly inside his mouth as he spouts off unintelligible words, announcing various bands and stars. Even the theme music for this show is grating, not even fitting into a single music category. Also, may I ask: What is the Tony Hawk Boom Bam Chuck Huck Jam thing and what the hell does it have to do with video games?
There really are no kind words for this sad attempt at an awards show. It was hardly even about video games. It was a horrific attempt to get a few bands onto a stage, help David Spade make some money post-Chris Farley, and take advantage of a peak market. No, I’m not one to sit and watch the Grammy’s, Oscar’s, or Acadamey Awards. They bore me to tears. However, at least they have some class and decency. This was disgusting, sickening, and downright disturbing at times. If this is going to be an annual thing, then Spike TV can’t become bankrupt soon enough.
Originally posted on Breaking Windows.