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What I want out of a video game awards show.


Aw, here it goes, here it goes again....

Another year, another Spike TV Video Game Awards show. I've covered this particular "event" in the past. Perhaps a bit too much than any sane person should, but I have to address this because we seem to shrug our shoulders and "just go with it" when we could honestly get something better than this. So instead of writing "Don't watch this" for the third year in a row, I'm going to suggest what I'd personally want out of a televised video game awards show.

First, I think the VGAs shouldn't be a holiday event. Every year the event airs in November-December and usually games that just came out recently -- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Saints Row the Third, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim just to name a few -- are being nominated for major awards without taking into consideration stuff that came out earlier in the year, unless someone pipes up and says "Hey, what about Portal 2?" Now I'm not saying Skyrim is not game-of-the-year material, but there's a reason most award shows tend to avoid nominating stuff that came out just 2-3 months prior. One year we had nominations for 50 Cent: Bulletproof and King Kong: Jesus christ this is a long god damn title for a video ga- I mean, King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, when those two games had not been released when the award show was taped. It'd be like giving the Academy Award to a movie that just came out this week, you just don't do that.

The other problem I have is just getting famous video game faces. In past years we were given the grace of Samuel L. Jackson saying his favorite game was "Grand Theft Auto III: San Andreas" and Sarah Silverman belittling the audience as if most of the 20-something audience gives a crap about her depreciating humor. I understand we're still in a period where game designers aren't necessarily household names, but I'd settle with getting actors who voiced characters in a game recently. Get Nolan North up there, get Tim Schafer on stage just for a goofy repartee, hell, make a famous games personality be the MC just so we feel like we're getting an awards show that feels more like its contemporaries.

Sponsorship is a common standard in award shows. Having a company back your award show with occasional sponsors is good. Having categories sponsored by Stride gum and Mountain Dew is not. I mentioned this before, but I don't see "Best Car Chase sponsored by Ford Motor Company," and seeing such blatant product placement just bothers me. I already have to be force-fed many commercials over the course of a day and seeing ads for Hooters and in games like Homefront, I don't need ads on top of ads in my award show.

The last thing that irks me is the announcements. New trailers, new games, all incentives to make you watch. Incentives that go away immediately after the broadcast when they're on instantly. Again, traditional award shows don't do this. I understand this gives us a reason to watch -- hey, maybe Valve will announce Half-Life 2: Episode Three finally -- but I already don't watch your award show, you could make this announcement on GameTrailers TV or the VGAs, it doesn't matter to me.

I want the Spike TV VGAs to be more like the Oscars and less like the MTV Movie Awards. An award show that developers and gamers can be proud of watching. Where winning "Game of the Year" feels like an accomplishment given to underdogs and not just given to the newest Call of Duty game every year. Where I don't see naked chicks painted like box covers. I can't be the only one pining for something better, right?

This is why I never take this award show seriously.

Granted, some of my requests are perhaps too unrealistic -- this is on a network dedicated to seeing very "manly" things like MANswers and Auction Hunters -- but this blog is a million times better than a certain Angry personality who went up to Geoff Keighley saying he "had a bone to pick with him." I have a bit more tact than that. :P
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About TonicBHone of us since 2:09 PM on 07.13.2009

I am a 28-year-old guy who plays video games on occasion. I'm a casual collector and own various games from the Atari 2600 to the current generation of game consoles. Nothing really on the "rare" side... unless you count owning about a dozen variations of Wheel of Fortune as "rare."

I write and review things on occasion. I occasionally write reviews of games, otherwise it's me ranting about gaming and the industry at large. Be forewarned: Expect loads of cynicism over gamers and some of the things they say. I hate fanboys and all the things they stand for. I also dislike arguments without facts to back them up. Otherwise I'm a nice guy unless you try to teabag me in a multiplayer game. Then I might not be so nice.

When not sporadically contributing opinions to Destructoid's community blogs, I write about gaming obscurities and oddities at You Found a Secret Area.

I also occasionally post stuff elsewhere. Usually off-topic stuff, but other things as well.
Xbox LIVE:TonicBH
Steam ID:TonicBH


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