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Editorial: On the SpikeTV Video Game Awards

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the r-e-s-p-e-c-t-find-out-what-it-means-to-me dept.

Editorial 635

The best thing about the SpikeTV Video Game Awards show was that it was "only" two hours long. And that's really sad. Now that the business side of gaming has gained some attention, the next hurdle the gaming industry should be attempting to clear is an artistic one: games will never be seen as equals to movies or television if they and the culture that surrounds them are represented the way they were last night. The industry can do better. Read on for my reaction to last night's train wreck of an awards show.The concept of an awards show for video games probably strikes some people as counterintuitive. While movies and television are investments of a handful of hours on the viewer's part, even the shortest story-based games take ten hours or more to complete. The personal nature of the video gaming experience means that gaming is a highly subjective genre of entertainment. Even more so than for movies and television, people have very specific gaming preferences. Attempting to quantify that experience across the board may seem like a bad idea at the outset.

That said, I think that an awards show is a good idea for the industry. At the very least, having an awards show with some gravitas would be a great way to put a public stamp of approval on the hard work that development houses put into their games. Games and movies can both take years to make, with certain games having development cycles longer than the lifespan of the average household pet. That kind of commitment by the artists, developers, designers, and producers should be rewarded in some way. If a game is good, I'm sure the big fat checks they get are plenty of reward. There's still something at work in an awards show, though. I bet if you asked a big name actor who's has been in a financially successful film and also won an award which he remembered more you're going to get "the awards ceremony" as an answer every time.

If an awards show in general is a good idea, I believe the debacle that SpikeTV broadcast last night was actually counter-productive for the gaming industry. As far as I could tell, the show had little to do with games, and everything to do with advertising. "Most Addictive Game Fueled by Mountain Dew"? Come on! If the Oscars had categories like "Best Comedy driven by Ford" or "Best Female in a Leading Role with makeup by Revlon" would you take them seriously? The night was a never-ending cascade of scantily clad women, rap, "extreme" stuff, rap, people who had nothing to do with games, and rap.

It's very interesting to me that, at least in my time zone, just after the awards show ended an episode of X-Play that I really wanted to see came on. Aside from the fact that the X-Play folks are (refreshingly) actual gamers, this particular episode had a piece with Morgan Webb covering the Child's Play charity auction from last week. Seeing Gabe and Tycho in tuxedos was excellent in and of itself. Above and beyond that, the disparity between the crass tenor of the awards show and the tone of the charity auction was striking. From what little I saw of the auction, it didn't seem somber at all. Jokes were cracked and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The difference is that the audience and organizers were there to celebrate games and children in a respectful manner.

And that, for me, is the biggest complaint I have about the awards last night. The show showed absolutely no respect to the games themselves. From the Video Game Ombudsman's commentary: "A selection of graphics adjectives used on the show - "slammin'," "great," "amazing," "hot visually," "so sick." That kind of shallow analysis is why games aren't art in the minds of a lot of people. Katamari Damacy is a very worthwhile game, but graphics and the "slammin-ness" of the game have nothing to do with that. Katamari is a good game because of a great (and simple) design, a development team that purposely looked for a unique style of gameplay, and a quirky and original soundtrack. I want an awards show that actually says things like that.

It could be great, too! The Oscars have a board that votes on the movies, and the Academy members are made of folks from the movie industry. I say the same style would be a useful format for games with some slight changes. The Oscars send around DVDs of all the nominee films to the Academy. Forcing a large group of people to play the number of games that would be required would be just cruel. That would mean hundreds of hours of gameplay just to be qualified to vote. It would be a much better idea to split up the field into bodies of relevant people. Have thirty or so folks involved in the RTS genre, say, from developers to producers to fan site owners review a set of five or six games and then vote accordingly. Have a Media Choice Award where game review organs like Gamespot, Game Informer, and X-Play, who have presumably played most of the field, can have their say. Have voting for the Game of the Year award be an industry-wide event, with everyone from an EA developer to a Sony Online Customer Service Rep to an IGDA member having a chance to say their piece. Voting via website is fine if you're taking a Slashdot poll -- making a representative, evaluative statement about a field of entertainment for an entire year should be slightly more involved.

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.

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eff pee! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095547)

eff pee!

zonk (4, Funny)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095558)

Who is this guy, Jon Katz under a false name?

Re:zonk (1)

herbert_axelrod (554087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095602)

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

It was that sentence that gave it away...

Re:zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095660)

No, much more literate the Katz

Re:zonk (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095692)

Not possible, unless there is going to be a book written on the downtrodden Videogamer.

Re:zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095696)

Jon never posted a story [] on something, then editorize it later.

Its like a new type of dupe!!

Re:zonk (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095843)

Whoever he is..what does he have against scantily clad women? I mean, sure, I can see his objections to all the (c)rap associated with the show, but, c'mon, who doesn't like nearly nekkid women?


Re:zonk (0, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095849)

Who is this guy, Jon Katz under a false name?

No, just a relatively new editor trying to advertise his presence under the guise of an "editorial".

wow (1)

unknown_goth (773919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095559)

i would have never guess another channel would do something like this other than G4 "lack of" TECHTV.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095616)

The "lack of" TechTV was planned. Comcast's G4 pretty much sucks (ever seen any of their shows? even though I'm a gamer G4 had awful programming -- it seemed like they're trying to cater to 13 year old kiddies), and they probably didn't like TechTV stealing their thunder. So they quashed TechTV and jacked X-Play because of Morgan Webb.

Re:wow (2, Interesting)

Urgo (28400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095630)

Oh that reminds me.. Today comcast is moving g4techtv from the pay-extra digital package to the basic package according to a letter they mailed out last month... So now everyone can see how comcast screwed over techtv and how gaming isn't really that interesting to devote a whole chan to it. I miss the old zdtv/techtv.

Torrent for the Charity Auction? (3, Interesting)

Staos (700036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095575)

Anyone got a .torrent for the xplay episode with the charity auction?

River Raid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095580)

So wait, how many awards did River Raid win?

Editorials.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095583)

Can we get this "Editorial" prefix attached to all of Michael's stories since he always inserts his opinion into every article summary? I have nothing wrong with opinions, it is just I would appreciate some journalistic integrity here..

Re:Editorials.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095705)

If you want "journalistic integrity" from Slashdot then you've come to the wrong place, my friend.

Isn't this what journals are for? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095585)

Boring things that 99.9% of people don't want to read?

Yeah, you've got an opinion. Guess what, you're not special.

Re:Isn't this what journals are for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095782)

You're rounding down to the nearest decimal point.

Games will never equal TV or Movies (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095589)

TV and movies will always have a far, far greater audience.

Just wait (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095718)

When something more complex than Pokemon runs the Pokemon marketing campaign:

Video games / Toys / Movies / Cartoons / Cereal/ Toilet Paper / Flamethrower
I currently have a badass MMOG FPS/RPG/RTS based on Transformers I'm trying to pitch to Hasbro, but their execs live in fortresses of solitude. The key to having a cultural phenomena isn't just sticking with one medium, but tagging the whole spectrum, and doing it well so you're not only selling a product, you're hyping your other products.

Re:Games will never equal TV or Movies (1)

MattJakel (815179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095776)

TV and movies will always have a far, far greater audience.

I disagree. The interactivity of video games builds on TV, adding as much of a new dimension to entertainment as TV did to Radio. It will take awhile for older people to accept video games as something more than sophomoric entertainment, but once that happens, interactive entertainment will take off.

wrong (3, Insightful)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095592)

Mixing Snoopdog with videogames is simply sad and a disgrace to videogames.

Re:wrong (1)

which way is up (835908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095669)

Well duh... everyone knows the only thing that mixes well with snoop dog is 'gin and juice'.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095698)

Now that the business side of gaming has gained some attention.
Hmm... Just like a stripper standing on a sidewalk.

Re:wrong (1)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095773)

Yep, cuz as everyone knows, your opinion is the only one that matters. Snoop Dogg sucks because you said so.

Re:wrong (1)

SkyWalk423 (661752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095840)

No, Snoop Dogg does, in fact, suck.

Sellout (1)

dr7greenthumb (752231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095790)

He was just "keeping it real" in the offtime between his AOL and T-Mobile commercials.

To Summarize... (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095595)

... hollywood thinks gamers are the frat-boy, rap loving, dew drinking jocks that play the following games: Tony Hawk, Madden, and GTA.

Of course, this is completely wrong in most ways and its not a surprise that any 'real' gamer thinks the award cermony was trash.

Re:To Summarize... (5, Insightful)

bob670 (645306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095656)

You are confusing the classic "geek" gamer archetype, which probably represents you and I pretty well, versus the more typical "gamer" today, which you decribed perfectly. You only had to drive by a store during the Halo 2 release to see what the typical "gamer" has become, and it ain't us.

Re:To Summarize... (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095803)

Hahaha. That's the funniest thing I read all day. I guess the same could be said on opening night of Lord of the Rings. WOWO

Re:To Summarize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095679)

hollywood thinks gamers are the frat-boy, rap loving, dew drinking jocks that play the following games: Tony Hawk, Madden, and GTA.

Hey, they cater to the people who spend money. (And that is not you basement dwelling hippies that steal more than they spend.)

Media (3, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095598)

This attitude will change when the media stops portraying gamers the same way they portray internet child predators -- weird, pasty white guys with no lives who cause trouble, e.g. Columbine. Games are a scapegoat for the media, why give them any credit?

They're only video games! (2, Insightful)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095599)

While I didn't bother wasting my time on this show, I can only wonder why the producers (and everyone else involved) did. However I have to disagree with one part of this editorial.

"And that, for me, is the biggest complaint I have about the awards last night. The show showed absolutely no respect to the games themselves."

These are video games that people play for fun. It's not a symphany orchestra, it's not a blockbuster movie. While I can see how this show may have demeaned, in many ways, the hard work of the developers, but these aren't productions worthy of prestigous critical acclaim.

Just my $0.02.

Re:They're only video games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095677)

These are video games that people play for fun. It's not a symphany orchestra, it's not a blockbuster movie.

So wait, you're saying going to listen to a symphony or watching a blockbuster movie isn't fun?

What are you, a movie critic?

Re:They're only video games! (2, Interesting)

clawDATA (758072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095778)

these aren't productions worthy of prestigous critical acclaim.
In the early days of film (say, around the 1910's), most had the same reaction. They had the same reaction to new types of music as well, from the earliest forms of symphonic music to rock.

Re:They're only video games! (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095779)

These are video games that people play for fun. It's not a symphany orchestra, it's not a blockbuster movie.

Did you just compare a symphony orchestra to a blockbuster movie? Did you just imply that a blockbuster movie has more depth, or more art than a video game? Have you seen any blockbuster movies in the last 10 years? I'm sorry but most people go to see blockbuster movies because they are fun and because you don't have to think very hard.

The top three blockbusters right now are: Ocean's Twelve, Blade: Trinity, and National Treasure. Yeah, that's some real art for you.

Re:They're only video games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095801)

Fair enough, but then I don't really care a left nut's worth for any of these pointless award shows anyway.

Re:They're only video games! (2, Insightful)

which way is up (835908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095815)

First of all, no one watches award shows for the awards...

They watch it for the colorful musical guest appearances, and a glimpse of celebrity breast in tight fitting low cut dresses.

Re:They're only video games! (NO THEY ARE NOT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095819)

These are video games that people play for fun. It's not a symphany orchestra, it's not a blockbuster movie
Why do people go to the orchestra or movies if not for fun? Video Games are a new medium in which to convey ideas and allow people to actually participate. While I feel it is too early in the medium for it to be pure art, it certainly is on par with an symphony or a movie. As video games progress, people will be able to make more choices that change the output of the game. This will allow for more social commentary as the choices made in game affect the world that surrounds you. People will be truly immersed in the art that others create and the meaning of the art will be easier to understand. Video games are art. They are others ideas expressed across a medium to the masses. While they are inherently different from a painting or a symphony they are still important parts of our time.

No, they are not only video games (1)

Glog (303500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095824)

Well, pal, the budget for many of the games that are produced these days approach that of a hollywood blockbuster. So why then, I ask, can't you compare the two? Gaming at this stage of the game is like the beginning of the movie industry at the start of the 20 century - it's rough around the edges and it leaves a lot to be desired. But problems aside they DID have awards for movies back then even though there were people just like YOU saying "Duh, this is not art, it's not Mozart, why do we need awards." It's simple, really - awards drive competition, and competition drives excellence. Though it's going to be commercialized to no end it's still inevitable.

Why not? (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095831)

Neither Symphony Orchestras nor Blockbuster Moovies have *ANY* practical value whatsoever. Same (despite the hand-eye coordination claims of any adolescentbusted for too many hours in front of the nintendo) for video games. How is a symphony orchestra in any way superior to a video game aside from being more expensive?

The only possible significant difference between a symphony orchestra/movie and video games is orchestras and movies have a longer history, and video games make more money.

In both cases, you experience the thing for a while, then when you're done, you've got nothing to show for it except the experience.

And some better hand-eye coordination for video games, of course.

Re:They're only video games! (1)

Jhyrryl (208418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095850)

The gaming industry out-grosses the movie industry these days. Halo 2 had made more money by the end of its first release day than any movie made its first full weekend this past year. A big MMORPG, say 300,000 subscribers, is pulling in close to $5 million dollars every month. And they take just as long to make as movies with nearly as many people.

Making a game isn't a big production? Pfft.

Well... (5, Funny)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095603)

All of your points are valid and EXTREME TO THE MAX!!

Seriously, 'slammin article with some wicked good points.

What is this 'TV' of which you speak? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095605)

I know it not. It does not sound like something of which my life suffers greatly for the lack.

You lost me with... (3, Insightful)

bob670 (645306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095606)

the analogy to the Oscars, look how many absolute crap movies get nominated and win Oscars every year. The real problem is that we have turned gaming in to such a big business, which explains why so many crap games get released every Tuesday. Maybe there is a paralell between Hollywood and the games industry, but not the one you want to draw...

Are you Serious (4, Funny)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095608)

These are video games.... you really think that this should be as serious as the Oscars. And by the way, exactly what is wrong with scantily clad females?

Re:Are you Serious (1, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095754)

"And by the way, exactly what is wrong with scantily clad females?"

It's in poor, fucking taste because it has nothing to do with video games. There's a little thing called context that makes certain things appropriate for certain venues and inapproporate for others. Christ, if the Spike TV's and Maxim's of the world would just curl up in to a little ball and die, we could hold American culture up with a little dignity.

I don't know about you, but I spend a lot more money on games than movies and can continue to enjoy them over and over for years. The people that put all of that talent and hard work into making them deserve a more dignified awards show than a mockery.

Re:Are you Serious (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095842)

Oh, bull crap. Some of my favorite games had scantily clad females in them. So to pretend Spike TV invented the culture is being misleading.

Re:Are you Serious (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095866)

Obviously he's never been to a trade show... Hell, of any kind.

Scantily clad females are used to sell EVERYTHING. Snowshovels, manure spreaders, video games, even gay porn. If you went to a gay porn trade show, they'd have HALF NAKED chicks pushing gay porn on GAY DUDES.

Just like billboards are used to advertise things that have nothing to do with driving or cars.

Re:Are you Serious (4, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095792)

Why are movies any more serious? Did Titanic really change any ones lives? did some one get some great epiphany from watching the LoTR? I'm not saying that games should be elevated to the level of movies, I think that everything else should be lowered to games. Movies, TV shoes, Music. Games. It's all entertainment. I don't think any group on it's own is better than any other. All this prestige that surrounds the Oscars, Grammies Emmys Etc is in my humble opinion dumb.

I was going to end this with a movie or a song that breaks the rules I have laid out above but I can't think of any. If they do exist they don't get the recognition they deserve.

Was it just me... (2, Interesting)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095610)

...or did it seem like every other nominee was an EA game? I swear, EA had at least two games in almost every category, and the ones it was in, it tended to win.

I found it annoying, like an even worse interpretation of an awards show than MTV's typical fare.

Re:Was it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095789)

It's simple. EA is the largest game publisher on the planet. It stands to reason then that many of the games would be from EA.

EROTOTOXINS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095619)



Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095678) id=1343&wit_id=3910

cue Ed Meese, Tipper Gore, take two! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095855)

I luv "science"!

Not academy equivalent (3, Interesting)

Mage Inq. (651824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095631)

I wouldn't give SpikeTV Video Game Awards much creedance. It's like taking Blockbuster Awards too seriously. The audience for SpikeTV is hardly academically minded, so the show caters to its audience. No surprise there. TV is a vast wasteland anyway.

Re:Not academy equivalent (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095750)

I have absolutely no idea what SpikeTV is.

But with "Most Addictive Game Fueled by Mountain Dew", that sounds EXTREME TO THE MAX!

Wow. Slow News Day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095637)

Coming up next... editorial on what's wrong with the MTV Classical Music Awards Show.

Why didn't you to the 2003 VGA's with... (1)

DigitalTechnic (822530) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095638)

this review. It seemed like you thought the VGA's was something new.

Nice review! (1)

derxob (835539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095640)

I didn't get to see the aware show itself, but I was fortunate enough to see previews of it on commericals, and boy can I say I'm glad I didn't see it. From what I saw, it looked more like an ad campaign then anything else.

Developers and games. (2, Insightful)

achacha (139424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095647)

Name two developers that wrote/designed/coded the game you really like... can't think of any, but most people can rattle off B-actor/actress names. Our society is very much about visual appeal and instant gratification, the people behind the schenes are often forgotten and ignored.

Re:Developers and games. (1)

BoRictor (559494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095873)

Most games have such big dev teams that you can't just name 1 or 2 of them (with the obvious big name exceptions). More important than the developers of the games are the game development houses. If it isn't fun then who cares who wrote it. In all my years of gaming I've never picked up a title and said "Gee, I wonder if so-and-so wrote this. His previous game was awesome." I base my decisions partly on the company that wrote the game. Of course there are exceptions to that as well (such as the entire dev team leaving and forming a new company or being replaced, etc, etc) but for the most part if a solid company puts forth a title I would be more inclined to look at it.

Re:Developers and games. (2, Insightful)

Kirby-meister (574952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095879)

That analogy is pretty off.

The developers who code the games are like the production crew of a movie. Those who worked on sound, camera work, and the locale. I doubt the majority of movie-goers don't care about them.

The closest thing to a movie actor analog in the videogame world is probably the main character of a game. And a lot of gamers can easily rattle off many video game leads and memorable characters.

Woah, wait. (5, Insightful)

Sagara Sozou (726002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095653)

Remember, Spike is the first network for men, NOT the first network for nerds. I feel that Spike is trying to make the awards for those average Joes who like to play GTA and such, and don't have the time for in depth analysis of certain points of games. We're only part of the market guys, we shouldn't be selfish and count out the rest of the world. What may be a train wreck for us, may be a good time for others.

Think Grammies, not Oscars... (2, Insightful)

meganthom (259885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095657)

I think the problem here was that you were hoping for an Oscars-type awards show, when the previews clearly indicated it would be more on the level of Grammies/People's Choice. I like the idea of a games award show, too, but realistically, anything the televise (especially on the so-called "television for men" channel) is going to go after the teeny-boppers and dolts. They have money, and it's easy to entertain and please them.

2 hours long was 45 minutes too long. (2, Insightful)

KajiCo (463552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095658)

Probably the worst awards show ever. What was up with all the celebrities accepting the awards for the developers? Can't there be a decent award show without hollywood getting their dirty hands in it?

Samuel L. Jackson (2, Insightful)

andman42 (721375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095857)

Probably the worst awards show ever. What was up with all the celebrities accepting the awards for the developers?

I only caught a few minutes, but it was terrible. The "highlight" for me was when Samuel L. Jackson accepted the Game of the Year award for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas but kept referring to it as "Grand Theft Auto 2."

How many other award shows have people accepting honors for things they know nothing about? It was a joke.

Awards Shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095870)

Can't there be a decent award show without hollywood getting their dirty hands in it?

Nope. This went out on "Spike-TV", a targeted cable network. I don't think their veiwers (the coveted 18-32 white male demographic) want to watch some nerd accepting an award... they want to see CELEBRETIES and HOT CHICKS.

The again I'm just speculating, I fail to see the draw of awards shows in general.

Award Shows Aren't Needed (1)

sc0ttyb (833038) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095671)

Last I checked, videogaming was a $12 billion industry. I don't think we really _need_ an award show to "help bolster the cause".

I'd prefer to get my reviews and awards from review sites and personal testimonials rather than some thug mumbling incoherent words while "fly bitches" gyrate their asses across a stage. I just play games, thanks. If I want that crap I can watch MTV.

2 things. (3, Insightful)

Too Many Secrets (449095) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095684)

1. It was on Spike. Not NBC. Not Fox. Not even the game show network. They have no advertisers, so they have to advertise during the show. (Watch the commercials sometime, most of the commercials they show are for their OWN SHOWS).

2. What's the problem with rap? Video games feature prominently in the mainstream african american community, while in the white community they are still by and large considered "childish" or "geeky". Know your audience my friend, that's what it is all about. You do know that Snoop is putting out a GTA type game right?

Sheesh, geeks are so out of touch sometimes.

If Video Games Awards were like the Oscars... (1)

fliptw (560225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095695)

Nobody would watch it. It would be the like the Techinical Oscars. Games lack the celebrities talking heads the majority of people fawn over. In essence, such a show would be handing out awards to companies, and companies as a whole aren't pretty to look at, nor would be good things to fantasize about being.

Agreed (4, Insightful)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095697)

games will never be seen as equals to movies or television if they and the culture that surrounds them are represented the way they were last night.

I agree completely, I saw it on the channel bar and eagerly switched over expecting some real information, reviews, demos etc. I watched for about 5 seconds before I went back to what I was watching before. What I saw was so rediculous that I specifically avoided that channel for the rest of the night so as not to incur any more brain damage.

I am one 29 year old gamer of many in their 20s 30s and 40s who would request a bit more maturity and relevance.

Targetting specific demographics just alienates everyone else. Note to the producers: Next time try focusing on the games.

Get over yourself (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095699)

Noone in the world takes the "spike video game awards" seriously.

I saw no boxes on the shelves at Best Buy proudly proclaiming "Winner of 18 spike video game awards".

They have nothing to do with the industry. They're like the Blockbuster awards or the results of the Nickelodeon Kids election.

You're frankly a moron for wasting the time watching, let alone writing about it.

Horrible (1)

twocoasttb (601290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095701)

I flipped by the show a couple of times and it truly looked like a big embarassment. I'd expect better from the channel that produces "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge". Actually, MXC is pretty funny. And my wife loves it, which is a complete surprise.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095713)

You just need to drop it like it's hot!

The path to true art... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095714) lined with award shows.

This is the lamest thing to make it to the main page in quite a few minutes. And that is saying something.

Culture (2, Interesting)

Manan Shah (808049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095721)

In South Korea, video games are seen as an acceptable form of activity such as going to the movies, or hanging out with friends. Because of this, video games are much more ingrained in their culture, and you will find TV channels & televised tournaments for Starcraft and etc. You will often find a large group of friends playing together in one video game. It is seen a social activity where people meet at a central location and play games. In the US, there is a stigmata attached to playing video games. It is seen as something that either juveniles do, or something that people will 'no life' do. It is not seen as a very social thing where you and five of your friends head to some place to play games. Though that is slowly changing, games are simply not deep enough rooted as a form of entertainment for this attitude to take hold.

Agreed (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095729)

I didn't catch the show, but from the previews leading up to, I could tell that it would be nothing near what it could be. I think the stigmata the gaming industry has will take a long time to shirk. Remember current developers are gen-Xers anyway. One of the reasons the gaming industry is so scrutinized is because of the reasons taughted in the article, the image thats portrayed of the average gamer. I don't really give a flamin fuck what game was most fueled by Mountain Dew. What the hell did they contribute anyway? Other than some cash to put on the event to get their spot. I think whomever put this event on, had the intent not to present the games and hardwork done in their proper context, but moreso to appeal to a genre of consumer.

Quite frankly any awards show bores the hell out of me, but I would like to see the industry get the credit it deserves in some form other than a fat check or higher market share.

Redundant (3, Funny)

allenw (33234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095740)

Given that this was on SpikeTV, this editorial isn't really necessary, is it? [Does anyone actually watch that channel on a regular basis?]

What a dipshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095743)

And that, for me, is the biggest complaint I have about the awards last night. The show showed absolutely no respect to the games themselves.

Your biggest complaint was that they were having fun, and trying to be entertaining rather than providing you some sort of affirmation for basing your whole lifestyle around playing everquest?

Most people, even those who play them a lot, don't take video games "seriously". What are people supposed to cry and shout lame political cliches like the Oscars?

This zonk guy is a total douche.

Explaining (0)

v3rgEz (125380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095744)

<i>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.</i>

So ... yours is not only the type of family that watches "Award" ceremonies on SpikeTV, but also takes them as a serious representitive of anything more than trailer-folk entertainment and corporate spin? Listen buddy, if that's the case, pick your fights... a +5 lightning defense ShadowDoomKnight seems like an easier target for you then your kin.

Spike TV as a whole is moronic. (5, Informative)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095755)

It's not just that one show. Spike TV changed format about a year ago to male-oriented programming from its roots as The Nashville Network (TNN). TNN originally showed some country music-oriented programming, but became more mainstream in its latter years as it began to compete with TBS and other national entertainment channels.

Apparently someone at Viacom (owners) got a bee in their ass that the Lifetime Oh-My-God-Judith-Light-Is-On-AGAIN Network and the Oxygen (deprivation) women's oriented networks needed some competition. I think, however, that like some women claim about us men, that the Viacom men were caught programming with the wrong head.

Spike TV is a travesty of programming for men with moronic tastes, and I mean STOOOPID. They could not take the tack that the Fine Living Channel took, or even pair up with known good magazine formats and features such as that found in "Mens Health", "Esquire", "GQ" or even "Playboy" magazines, opting instead to rot our brains with tripe that makes "Maxim" and "Stuff" magazines seem like professional and academic thesis journals.

WTF were they thinking? The only thing good on Spike are spoadic episodes of "Star Trek-TNG", but you have to dodge commercials of the recanned and redubbed Japanese game shows to watch it.

Not even Comcast fucked up this big when they acquired TechTV, ripped a few vital organs from it for G4, then killed TTV. At least you can see a little TTV in the Frankensteinian G4.

Sorry (0, Flamebait)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095886)

If you review SpikeTV without a single mention of MXC, that massively cuts into your credibility. I doubt you have have even watched the channel beyond the name of the shows on your guide.

Nobody cares (1)

alnjmshntr (625401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095758)

about awarding quality, it's just WWF wrapped up in something else, re-packaged for dumb teenage brats.

I saw no reason to watch... (2, Funny)

scotay (195240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095761)

...without any hope ODB might bum rush the podium and take the Gamey from the Half-life 2 team while drunkenly proclaiming Wu-tang had the engine with the best dynamic lighting and physics.

Games shouldn't = Movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095771)

If you want a game to be seen as equal to a movie, then perhaps you ought to make a movie instead...

That's MY problem with the game industry. Stop the hollywood in the game and focus ON the game damnit!

Webb a gamer? HAH! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095775)

No she's just some good looking woman who's there for the money/adoring fanbase. Apparently all her lines are wrote for her and she really has no clue what she's doing. So saying that she's a gamer? BWAHAHHA and you write for Slashdot Games? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA god help us all if this is the quality of writer taco can find now.

Re:Webb a gamer? HAH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095833)

Oh just kill yourself.

Incorrect assumptions. (5, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095780)

The 'editorial' assumes 2 things which are largely incorrect.

Firstly, that we actually respect the Oscars, and that they themselves aren't completely shallow renderings of that industry. Awards shows aren't respected anymore. They've become popularity contests at best, and an annual soap opera at worst.

Secondly, that Spike was actually targetting the gamer culture, which they weren't. Remember that the most played game of all time is Windows solitare. Deer hunter, myst, and roller coaster tycoon are among the top selling pc games of all time.

Just goes to show (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095794)

Niggers will steal anything.

Been there... (2, Interesting)

kanotspell (520779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095795)

I accidently got into last years awards as a seat filler and was not all that impressed. The whole show was just a marketing circle jerk for some game companies and SpikeTV. Every table had a rep from the game company, a big name celeb, and a spiketv celeb. At my table Ray Liotta was extremely adgitated to be there, John Henson was nervously studdying his lines, the rep for GTA was on the phone with his family the whole time, and sadly Jenna Jameson never sat in here assigned seat next to me.

Having worked in the Record industry... (2, Insightful)

noblesse oblige (840634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095804)

I was lucky enough to have worked in a startup record company headed by one of the major players in the Emmy awards. I remember one company meeting where the twenty five year old CEO of the company announced some good news... (I paraphrase)
...and three of our bands have made it. We feel pretty good that they were accepted
even before we started working on the awards promoters
Wow, the behind the scenes politics were a real revelation about awards shows. Now, more cynical and jaded I watch them as contests of politics among some of the shmooziest that the good ol' USA has to offer. Its a contest of promoters and record companies. This could be, as Zonk points out, a real ticket to the mainstream zone. But as for myself, I echo the comments of a member of the Who during an MTV music awards 'Rock and Roll has really grown up. Here we are in tuxedos and ties. What a bummer'.

Here's an answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11095823)

They are appealing to their audience -- 15-22 year old males who live in the parents' basement. It's not a slam, it's true. That type of stupid lingo is what I hear all the time from the obvious "gamers" who I pass on the street, so why shouldn't it permeate a spectacle that will be watched by the same "gamers"?

Do you expect to see a heavily multisyllabic, philosophical discussion over the merits of Blood Realm XVII versus Blood Realm VIII? Come on. Video game players aren't usually lumped in with the great minds of history.

Paid Advertisement (2, Insightful)

Malicious (567158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095827)

With all of the money floating around to promote videogames, I can't help but figure the fix was in. There's no acadamey, we don't know who voted for these games specifically. I say it was fixed.
There's not a single Internet reviewer or published magazine who doesn't get their palms greased to give a good review now and then. EA has proven that they're willing to sell out in their games, and now they're buying awards as well.
Spike's award show was nothing more than a paid advertisement complete with titties to lure the average jock into wanting to buy stuff.. uh.. yeah.. huh...

Awards shows (1)

wuice (71668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095845)

All awards shows are whorish and pander to the lowest common denominator. Now great video games can be trivialized like great movies, music, television, etc.

For Those Who Don't Get It (5, Insightful)

Obiwan Kenobi (32807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095856)

I love the Katz haters, the young ones, the immature out there ready to beat down this editorial with the typical "They're just games! Stop taking them so seriously!"

Well, that's what people have said about many professions and artistic ventures. The fact is, many years of work and people's lives are wrapped into these games.

When you do a $40 million (yes, forty million) dollar game project, you run your dev team in the ground to ship it (see: EA Wife), you struggle with design and features and usability and publishing it on 3 different platforms...well, to sit back and trash it out with Tara Clueless Reid and basically say that all games are just rap videos with an's disheartening.

It doesn't encourage growth in the industry toward more unusual and original IP/ideas because one of the best things about the Grammys and Oscars is that it recognizes Dark Horses that usually get a huge boost in record sales or box office because they were recognized.

I see a classy, well done and thoughtful award show on video games as a good thing. Let's just face the facts: Spike TV isn't going to provide it.

What's best about this situation is that both of these shows could coexist. You can have your cake (Spike TV) and eat it too (nice, classy show attended by actual important game designers and developers).

I think it would be amazing to have a true video game award show with a host to provide funny banter but at the same time shuttup and let John Carmack accept his Landmark Award (or whatever it would be called) for his achievement in the art of programming and making game technology.

We need this type of recognition so that big games can get the recognition they deserve and little games can get their due limelight.

There is nothing wrong with doing a classless show. But there is also something to be said for having a show full of it, complete with respect, something that the Spike TV show simply refused to provide.

Celebrity... (1)

rzkb07 (663377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095860)

You know you're an irrelevant award show when ol' muskrat eyes Tara Reid is there....

Its an awards show! (3, Insightful)

bludstone (103539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095862)

Awards shows are worthless.

All of them.

Always have been, always will be.

Expecting more from a Televised awards ceremony is fairly foolish. You would be better off spending your time actually playing the games.. or, heck, even spouting worthless drivel in a thread _ABOUT_ awards shows on tv.. on slashdot. ...what?

I mostly agree with this article. (1)

zwilliams07 (840650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095865)

Personally I found the VGAs to be nothing more than a bunch of promotions stuffed in 2 hours of time. Out of that two hours, 1 hour and 50 minutes was given to music (mostly [c]rap) and commercials. The rest of it had to do with poorly executed awards. I voted and tuned in to see Awards given to games and their creators. Not to listen to a bunch of people rape the use of English and make fools of themselves. Worst off, that stupid GTA:SA took GOTY. Oh and if Marty O'D or anyone from Bungie is reading this. C'mon man what was that, you got on and basically turned around and left. GNOP still pwnz.

So what, there was a lot of rap involved! (1, Offtopic)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11095875)

On MTV whenever they show a rapper's house, almost without exception they show the PS2 or XBox connected to a big ass TV set. Rappers are really into video games. Some of the best game soundtracks include rap music. From the Wu Tang Clan's fighting game to the Def Jam Vendetta series there have been several games that centered around rappers as central characters.

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