Saw SpikeTV’s Video Game Awards last night, boy was it a travesty, although I probably only have myself to blame for expecting anything more.
The nominees were selected based on sales, I believe, and then the winners were voted on from the VGA website.
Between David Spade’s stripper jokes, NFL cheerleaders, ska bands, and gratuitous wrestling fights, you can guess what kind of demographic they are appealing to…
In short, the kind of demographic that would vote DOA Beach Volleyball for Best Animation, WWE Smackdown for Best Fighting Game, and Nascar Thunder for Best Racing Game (aka, the “Pontiac GTO Driving Award”).
However, I now have hope that, someday, I will be People’s World’s Sexiest Man, because if Enter the Matrix can win an award other than “Best $70 Frisbee Which Is Green”, I surely have a chance of one day seeing my non-existent biceps flexing in supermarket newsstands everywhere. which Yes, it beat out Star Wars: KOTOR for the “Best Movie Game” award. I was shocked and dismayed that Deer Hunter 2004 wasn’t given a trophy. Amusingly, Matrix was the only game that wasn’t shown onscreen after it won; I guess none of the VGA staff could tolerate playing it long enough to make a decent video capture.
KOTOR, having been snubbed of the the Best Movie title, did grab the Best Fantasy award, although this may have something to do with Atari/Bioware spamming their mailing lists to urge players to vote.
It was disappointing to see GTA: Vice City receive the dubious distinction of “Best Performance By A Human” – Ray Liotta, who seemed embarrassed to be there, appeared for about 20 seconds – while Madden 2004, a football simulation which frankly hasn’t changed much since 1995, got the “Best Game” award. Although even this is odd, as the award goes to the PC port of Vice City, not the PS2 original from 2002.
Nominee selection was strange. There was Battlefield 1942, a first-person multiplayer game, vying with subscription-based MMORPGs such as Final Fantasy XI in the ambiguous Best Online category. The rest of the RPGs were lumped in the equally vague “Best Fantasy Game” category, although Xenosaga ended up in the “Best Animation” slot. To make things even more nebulous, The Sims: Superstar expansion pack, which isn’t even an actual full game, was on the Best Game shortlist. XIII was also nominated, even though it was only released in late November.
In the end, they didn’t even invite the actual game developers to the shindig. When an award as announced, the camera just panned off to a random table and showered the occupants with confetti.