A gamer’s view of the VGAs
Samuel L. Jackson is a good actor, heck, a great actor. He doesn’t take himself very seriously and he seems to be up for a laugh. But my God, how often can you tell one joke? We get it, the man has a “bad-ass” reputation, but simply stating that over and over isn’t being funny. With the “goofy” and fun-loving tone of the VGAs, it can be easy to forget that it’s supposed to be an award show dedicated to the best and brightest of the gaming industry. Why can’t they just do that?
I can hear some people already saying; “What? Do you just want a boring, solemn award show like the Oscars or the Grammys?”
Well, yes. Yes I do (and don’t tell me the Oscars can’t be funny).
The VGA’s seems to have a problem with identity, as it’s fine following the Pony to the Award show, but then decides to take another direction once it gets there. Maybe the reason that award shows are solemn affairs is so the people receiving the awards are given the respect and kudos they deserve, instead of squeezing an award in-between a couple of bad poop jokes.
Gaming has always felt like it’s following behind the movie industry, desperate for approval. Remember when Roger Ebert said he didn’t like games and didn’t consider it art? People were devastated. There is no real reason as to why we should care what a movie critic of an older generation feels about games but people are still talking about it. This trend continues by having B-lister and yesteryear actors show up on stage, pretend to like games, then leave with their paycheck. Why not have people from the industry, maybe even voice actors, give out the awards instead?
This brings up an interesting point. One of the main reasons that people watch award shows is to see the stars. Plain and simple. At least a quarter of people surveyed admit they’re main priority for watching the Oscars is to see what people are wearing. We all know at least one person who says “I don’t care about Cinematography or Make up! Just get to the actor awards already!”. The simple truth is that the hard-working people who make games aren’t celebrities. This is no bad thing, but it is when you insist on inviting semi famous names along to try to give your show credibility.
There are definite ways to improve the show, mainly by sticking to a formula that already works, but if the VGAs are unwilling to do that, why is it even bothering? In fact, why do we even need an award show at all? Having the industry’s top journalists be in the nomination council is an attempt at credibility, but all these people have their own websites with which to do their own GOTY award. Maybe if members of the industry itself actually got to cast a vote there would be more of a reason to take interest, but as it stands it’s just another GOTY but with more delusions of grandeur.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to take the VGAs (and therefore their awards) seriously. The humour is dreadful and I’m not even talking about the fact that it makes gamers look like immature, sexist, violence obsessed assholes (although I will admit the Walking Dead sketch with Samuel L. Jackson was a little funny), it’s just simple, repetitive and tiresome. Bringing people who don’t know much about games certainly isn’t helping (GARY Newell is it?) but it just doesn’t feel like we need an award show, as putting trailer exclusives and “celebrities” on board makes it feel forced and even more unnecessary as it’s clear that the awards themselves don’t seem to be the draw and the producers know it. If we wanted a GOTY, we’d go to our favorite websites who actually take this stuff seriously. If we wanted to be spoon-fed a bunch of Samuel L. Jackson quotes, then we’d just watch his movies.