Spike’s Video Game Awards is set to take place live next month on December 10. The idea behind the whole shebang is admirable: an event to honor the most laudable games and developers of the year. Unfortunately, Spike does not seem to know about a plethora of games that have had a huge impact on the gaming community.
First off, let’s go over the process of how games are nominated and chosen for the VGA’s. The nominees and winners of of almost all the categories are picked by an advisory council of twenty five people. A majority of these people are editors and journalists from gaming magazine and online video game sites. Yes, the same video game magazines that get paid by big companies to write good reviews on their AAA titles. It’s a darn shame that the winners of these awards aren’t voted by the fans at all. Instead, fans can choose to tell the advisory council of who they think should win which, I suppose, offers an illusionary feeling of believing that your opinion has actually affected the voting of the advisory council. If Spike really cared about the gamers’ opinions, they should make the winners be votable by the fans themselves. However, gamers are able to vote for the trailer of the year and the most anticipated game.
Now you would think that a such a big event like the Spike Video Game Awards would be aware of all the video games that have been released throughout the year. I mean, it is their ninth time hosting this. Well, let’s take a look at one of the categories, shall we?
Best Fighting Game
- King of Fighters XIII
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
- Mortal Kombat
- WWE All Stars
Anyone in the fighting game community can immediately point out what’s missing in this list: Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. I mean, it’s not like it’s the main event at a majority of local tournaments or anything… When I saw that they used Marvel vs. Capcom 3 instead of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, I immediately thought that perhaps games that were released in November do not count towards this event. Then I saw that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 were nominees in other categories. So not only did Spike fail to include the most popular fighting game of this year, they also seem to have missed the fact that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out this month. How quaint. Well, that’s just one mistake, right?
Let’s take a look at another category:
Best PC Game
- Battlefield 3
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- Portal 2
It seems once again that Spike has very limited knowledge on PC exclusive games. There’s only one game on that list that is PC exclusive. Apparently they are unaware of games such as DC Universe Online and The Sims Medieval; two PC games that were released this year. I would even argue that StarCraft 2 and League of Legends would be good candidates; especially since LoL surpassed World of Warcraft in amount of active players this year.
Let’s look at yet another category:
- Dark Souls
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Dragon Age II
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
All of these choices are great picks (some would argue about Dragon Age II). Look at this list though: there isn’t a single JRPG on this list. In fact, if you look at a majority of the categories, Japanese games are largely missing. Even when they do put a Japanese game on the list, they manage to botch it up (see Marvel vs. Capcom 3). Has Spike missed out on the fact that Japan creates games as well? For instance, a Japanese company by the name of Nintendo developed Pokemon Black/White this year which sold more than 2 million copies. Some other great JRPG’s that appeared this year include Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation. It seems that the only Japanese game that Spike is aware of is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Other than that, they are quite ignorant of the fact that Japan exists and still makes games. Though it’s true that Japan is in a slump right now when it comes to the video game industry, it doesn’t give Spike an excuse to write them off as unimportant. Let’s not even get into their paltry, reprehensible list of nominees for their Game of the Year category.
I will praise Spike and its advisory committee for one thing: the fact that Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 aren’t on almost every category. Instead, you can easily tell that there’s a major bias towards Portal 2. It’s in nearly every category. In fact, it’s on one category twice because Spike was too lazy to find another game to put in that category.
I recently saw a video game awards video that piqued my interest. What I found very piquant about the whole ceremony was that I could hardly tell the difference between that awards ceremony and Spike’s Video Game Awards. Make sure to check out the video to your left.
If you’re looking for a real video game award ceremony where its hosts aren’t narrow minded and where all the winners are chosen by the fans themselves, check out the Golden Joystick Awards. At least their team has the motivation to actually research all the various games that exist and add it to their comprehensive list of nominees.
TL:DR – Spike’s VGA is lame because they fail to realize that games aren’t just developed in America, the winners are chosen by random journalists rather than the gamers themselves, and they feed the stereotype that American gamers are ignorant of all other video game genres except 1st and 3rd person shooters .
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