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What’s wrong with the VGAs

Posted December 11, 2011

Ah, the VGAs. Renowned for being absolutely awful and targeted to some weird demographic we’re not sure even exists, the VGAs manage to pull out some major exclusives and tie them into a show that’s probably only around 20 minutes long (if you take out all the ridiculous advertising).

Yet last night I watched the whole thing – again – in a vein hope that it could get slightly good.

It didn’t.

The problem isn’t with the production or budget but the actual implementation. It’s just that they’re broadcasting an award ceremony that penalises the winners for opening their mouths. In fact, if they can avoid any of the developers talking then I’m very sure they would.

Health bar joke, anyone?
The main problem is that the VGAs cater to a very small American and celebrity obsessed audience when it should actually be catering to a large international audience. Most gamers don’t give a shit what LL Cool J thinks of Mass Effect 3, what robot Blondie #4 is blowing off and which NFL dude is going to star on the front cover of yet another football game. Gamers tune in to check out the world exclusive trailers and to actually see developers and hear what they have to say.

Instead, we get respected developers being t-bagged for talking too long, awkward charity mini games with faux-celebrity Felicia Day and a really awkward pretend fight between some youtube user who loves him some Zelda and some guy who runs the VGAs. Oh, and some cringe worthy AR moments. They could have been so good, too. It’s frustrating because the platform is there to do something really cool.

Maybe I’m just not getting American television but there are plenty of US Twitter users having a right old moan. What’s most upsetting is that this is coming from Geoff Keighley, a journalist who is often idealised by the gaming public. He should know better than this.

Below is a short conversation between Screened.com writer Alex Navarro and Geoff Keighley that I think explains how we’re all feeling.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2011 2:20 pm

    Yup. That pretty much sums up everything that I’ve been thinking since the beginning. Also, people still idolize Geoff Keighley? I don’t get it. He is the biggest joke in the video game industry, yet so many game studios and journalists love him. Maybe I’m just a minority, but I live in the U.S., and I think that that whole show was junk. They just don’t get it, and they won’t, either.

  2. December 11, 2011 4:32 pm

    Total Biscuit also made a good point. A lot of the awards are garbage. They’re just: BEST GAME IN THIS GENRE. Film awards have, best actor, best special effects, best stuntman right?

    Awards that actually matter and encourage people to get better in their field. If they want to be taken seriously. They need to pay attention to little things like immersion, game mechanics or design aesthetics. Where are those awards? Aren’t those the things that are important in gaming? Those are the things that should be having attention drawn to them.

    The awards shouldn’t be just a massive circle jerk for the gaming community. They should be drawing attention to innovations and achievements that way have been overlooked. Isn’t that what awards ceremonies are meant for anyways? To draw attention to people’s achievements? The Spike VGAs pretty much just give awards to the best selling games, as it’s Joe public who votes for them.

  3. December 11, 2011 4:42 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Probably the worst two hours of TV I’ve ever endured, and I love games!!!

  4. December 11, 2011 6:24 pm

    the show was a piece of sh*!

    I won’t look forward to next year and future shows.

    everything is just wrong about it.

    the premier with Uncharted 2 was the good VGA

  5. December 11, 2011 7:51 pm

    I started watching the VGAs like I did last year with the hope of seeing some great announcements, although I actually ended up falling asleep because of the terrible stream and awkward style of the awards, I almost felt embarrassed at some of the stuff at the awards.

    In the end I just watched through the trailers I didn’t see last night this morning, and read who won what awards, I think I may just do that next year.

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