It’s early December here in Montana, and the chill has turned from a quaint, fun reminder of the approach of Christmas, to a biting, full-body shivering reason to stay in bed. As I’m writing this, I’m huddled in two layers of blankets, patiently waiting for the furnace to warm my apartment. I can’t say the weather’s entirely to blame; I just noticed the other day that the thermostat has been pegged at “50” since, perhaps, July. Oops.
Speaking of full-body shivering reasons to stay in bed, it’s just about time for the VGAs! Yes, the VGAs, Spike’s recurring attempt to gain cred among gamers with an arbitrary award show. They’ve been uniformly awful ever since their debut in 2003, when David Spade acted as host, and Madden 2004 won Game of the Year over Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Good times, dear readers. Good times.
To the credit of the VGAs, though, they have improved steadily in the interim years, slowly becoming a platform for gaming companies to debut exclusive trailers for their ginormously popular franchises. The award portion has also received a bump in cred, with nominees that, with each passing year, seem like they actually belong in the vicinity of the word “best.” Of course, the program is on Spike, which means a hefty chunk of pandering to its imaginary “Male” demographic, but you can’t win ‘em all.
The thing is, despite the flailing quality of the VGAs, I still like them. Mostly, it’s because I like awards shows; a good friend of mine has significant emotional investment in the Oscars, and I’m always happy as a clam to help with guessing nominees or discuss past ceremonies. I also appreciate what the VGAs try to do: function as an entertainment award show, à la the MTV Video Music Awards. Not every awards show needs to be the Oscars, and a quality entertainment-focused event could do wonders for helping mainstream gaming popularity. Of course, the VGAs of the past have never been noteworthy for their quality, but that’s just splitting hairs.
In preparation for the VGAs, which will broadcast this Saturday at 8:00pm EST on Spike, MTV2, and Spike.com, I made a list of my predictions for Gamer’s Guide to Life. I feel reasonably confident in my guesses, and I’ll be doing a follow-up article on whether or not any of them panned out sometime next week. In the meantime, feel free to use my guesses for any gambling purposes you may have.
Title: “Guessing games: predicting the 2011 VGA winners”
Outlet: Gamer’s Guide to Life
Publish Date: 12/5/11
“Spike has rolled out its nominees for this year’s VGAs, everyone’s favourite awards show based largely on what Spike thinks gamers like.
Disregarding the actual quality of the show (which, when discussing something like the VGAs, is probably for the best), this year’s nominees list looks pretty solid, one that Geoff Keighley and everyone involved can be proud of.
Since the best part of any given awards show is speculating who will win, I thought I’d run through the nominee list and give my predictions about who will walk away victorious. The VGAs aren’t intended to be a prestigious, designer-focussed event like the Academy Awards (those are the AIAS Awards), which can make them trickier to make guesses about. Still, I feel pretty confident about my choices, and if you wanted to use them as a basis for your choices in this year’s VGA pool (you guys do that too, right?), I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you.“