a portfolio of videogame writings
This year was the tenth anniversary of the annual Spike TV Video Game Awards (VGA’s), and by many accounts it continued the show’s slow but steady incline of iterative yearly improvements. Noteworthy positives included orchestral performances of a selection of the year’s best videogame scores, the wise decision to reflect the stature that smaller and independent games now hold within the industry by recognising The Walking Dead and Journey in more than just the Best Downloadable Game category, and a reduction in (sadly not abolishment of) the number of crass jokes about the ridiculousness of gaming.
Despite such progress, however, a number of persisting issues returned to tarnish what is the most mainstream videogame awards show, disconnecting it from the very industry it is supposed to be celebrating.
The most glaringly obvious problem was the lack of presence that actual videogame creators had on the show floor. Their on-screen time was minimal, with more focus instead being given to celebrities from other entertainment mediums. Tenacious D, Linkin Park, Snoop Lion, Jessica Alba and Zoe Saldana all took to the stage to present and/or perform, and whilst each of them did a fine job, not a single one is best known for their direct affiliation with the videogame industry. It begs the question of why more videogame creators from within the industry weren’t handing out these awards. Peer to peer is how it works at the Oscars and the Grammys, so why not the VGA’s?