"The Spike Video Game Awards are not everyone's ideal version of a video game award show, and complaining about them has become an annual event, like the show itself." Totilo wrote that over the weekend, and I agree 100%. Complaints over the show and its format are getting as tiring as the show itself, so let's spare each other the routine of throwing our arms on our hips and pontificating as to how we'd drastically change the thing, turn it into something "we" think "our" industry somehow deserves.
The Spike Video Game Awards are a TV show crafted with advertising in mind, and in terms of what it does, it does that pretty well. In a time of year where gaming news has all but dried up, it provides classy trailers and big game reveals, two of the things a video game audience laps up above all others.
For all the show's flaws, and it still has many, it was all the gaming quarter of the internet was looking at and talking about over the weekend, so from an organisational point of view, Spike won't be a rush to change a damn thing about how it was structured or run.
As someone who doesn't work for Spike, though, can I at least ask for one slight change?
Change the name.
You don't need to change the format, you don't need to change the need for celebrities to awkwardly attach themselves to the event, you don't need to alter the charade of there being awards at all to justify the marketing dollars coming in from big publishers.
The "award show" format works well in presenting the stuff, and is a good excuse to get everyone in the same room.
It's just the name that needs to go, and for two reasons. One, it's a little demeaning, not to the industry or its followers or somehow the medium itself, but to those nominated. Two noted voice actors took to Twitter to complain over the weekend, and I understand part of their concerns. The seating, that's, whatever, but the fact a show with only thirty awards can't show them all being presented, or even offer a montage, is a bit of an insult to those actually "honoured" with receiving them.
The second reason is for Spike's benefit. This show has never been about the "awards". It's about the big spend, the trailers, the marketing. That's the only reason people are actually paying attention to them. If Spike dropped the "awards" part from the name, they might actually get more viewers!
I'm only half-joking with that headline. Pitching this as a marketing event with an awards show attached (instead of the opposite as it is now) isn't just being honest as to why people are caring about it, it's selling the show for what it actually is, which may do better business for Spike than the current charade is managing. I know "shitloads of new trailers and game reveals" is more exciting a main event than "people getting up on stage to make speeches".
At the very least it'd put an end to the annual bouts of hand-wringing over the show, and that must count for something, right?
(Top photos by various | Getty)