Folks! Can you feel it? In just a short few hours we are going to have our annual games award show. A chance to acknowledge the best that video games has offered over the past 12 months. And while this year do have some strong contentions, not all the time do we feel that the games involved are worth it. Whether it's the categories, the games, or most of all the selected winners, there is always something that can cause a divisible remarks on whether the winner select was actually the right one, especially when you have to look back at the very first video games award.
Not many award shows were dedicated to video games at that time. Most of it were done on gaming magazines or internet websites. G4 TV has done a video games award in 2003, but they call it the best of 2003, not so as an award show. But for the first time, video games were able to get their recognition on a cable network that slowly gaining its popularity. However, what we got is a showcase as to why we ought to leave it to critics and fans of said hobby, ones who knows a lot about video games and what makes them great, and not some group that has a single minded on what the network is all about. Let's see how they screwed things up.
Looking at the list of awards it seems as if things look like another other award show you find on websites or magazines, especially up to this date. With awards such as Fighting Game of the Year, Action Game of the Year, and Shooting Game of the Year, along with the convenient Game of the Year award, it feels as if things would be properly set for a fun show. Except for some odd awards such as Best Game Based on a Movie award and Most Addictive Game of the Year. Saying that title really didn't age well folks when you think about it. The show presents the nominees for each award along with trailers and performances to keep the crowd entertained. And while I have yet to find the show nor their performance I will do my best to judge the show off the the winners of certain awards.
For starters, things do look pretty well and accurate. Halo winning best PC game may a bit tough since it was against titles like Warcraft III and Command and Conquer: Zero hero. Showing how strong Halo is on PC with their online multiplayer and use for the popular show Red vs Blue. Jedi Knights of the Old Republic winning Fantasy game of the year was on the mark since Star Wars was at its peak at that time and Lucas arts games were making great games, also being able to roleplay as a Jedi sounds cool. Call of Duty winning Shooting game of the year gave us a precursor of the games popularity and what lies ahead of the series capability before it goes down the drain. Awards like Handheld and Performance of the year was able to acknowledge for the hard work that the men and women have done into making these games, well before some award shows were able to pick up these awards.
Then...there are these awards. Best Animation of the Year gives a great excuse to award DOA Xtreme Volleyball with the award. Apparently, tits and ass outbeats anime and comic style any time of the day. The driving game of the year is given to Nascar. No disrespect to the racing genre but seeing this list makes the award feel very underwhelming, as racing wasn't really at its peak at this time. Best fighting game of the year award is given to a wrestling game. Yes. WWE Here comes the Pain trumped power house Soul Calibur II, SNK vs Capcom 2, Def Jam Vendetta, and Virtua Fighter 4 for the award. I wonder if the award has to do with the fact that WWE Raw was on Spike TV at that time. Although these awards would raise an eyebrow, nothing speaks controversy then the biggest award of all, Game of the Year award. Why?
Ladies and Gentlemen, your game of the year is…..Madden 2004 ...Seriously. In what would become on of the most laughing and most questionable moment to this date, Madden 2004, a game that did not win Sports Game of the Year, mind you, was able to beat GTA Vice City, Legend of Zelda Windwaker, Star Wars, Socom, and yes, the game that beat the title for Sports Game of the Year, Tony Hawk Underground!! Won Game of the Year award. Why?! What makes this so special? Don't get me wrong, I don't think Madden is a bad game nor do I believe it was terrible to be included, but to overlook such popular games as what I have listed above feels like these people who run the award show has no idea on what gaming is all about. What makes it painful was the demographic mindset at that time and their motto. Spike TV was not a great place to host a video games award since the ideal of the channel was everything for Men, meaning that video gaming at that time wasn’t strongly manly at that time. While I can be wrong at this theory, the verdict stands that these people aren’t capable of selecting the right categories or winners at this show.
To it's credit the award show did have categories that would go on to be reused to this date, including the best music and best actor. They were able to capture ideas that no magazines are willing to cover or haven’t covered at that time and even capture the thoughts and minds of the people who are involved. The award shows did improve over the years with Spike TV embrace video gaming fully in 2006. However the quality of the show varies, some saying it was good to meh, to others describing why it sucked. The award shows now have it's own premise location on sites like YouTube and Twitch and has never looked back to going on television network. While it has improved over the years, it comes with a great reminder that not all award shows are going to bat a 100% and there will be some missteps along the way, but be glad we wouldn't have to deal with a fumble like the 2003 yet again.
I'm Xeno and you all have an awesome day.