The Video Game Awards (VGAs) give lesser-known developers recognition on a larger scale. Big names like Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, Cliff Bleszinski, and Peter Molyneux receive their due, but the smaller guys usually languish in obscurity.
It was nice to see Rocksteady Studios co-owners Jamie Walker and Sefton Hill walk onstage at this year's VGAs and receive their award for Batman: Arkham City. High-sales figures mean a great deal less than recognition by one's peers.
Sometimes we need a little pat on the back. Let’s face it: The public doesn't always portray our industry in a positive light. And we often deserve the criticism…EA's "Your mom hates Dead Space" campaign is indefensible. But a majority of negative media coverage is baseless. And Spike TV's award show is ultimately a boon for the industry.
The VGAs are the MTV Movie Awards of the gaming world and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I enjoy the spectacle of the Movie Awards far more than the stuffiness of the Academy Awards.
In the past couple of years the VGAs featured premiers and exclusive trailers. They announced Skyrim at last year's VGAs, and the popular Bethesda RPG won 2011's Game of the Year award.
The 2011 VGAs awarded Skyrim with the Video Game of the Year award.
The celebrities were a huge improvement over last year. Felicia Day hosted a number of segments where she ran contests to raise money for the Child's Play charity. Child's Play deserves as much support as possible, and I implore you to donate if you can.
But I did have some problems with the show. The VGAs don’t represent gaming 100% accurately. Lately, pomp and circumstance has taken precedence over actual awards. The developers ought to be recognized, so it doesn't make sense to give out most of the prizes off camera.
The VGAs also have an image problem: Core gamers usually dismiss the show as a mainstream distraction.
We have to stop hating anything that's popular. Geoff Keighley (executive producer of the VGAs) has mentioned on numerous occasions that the show isn’t just for the hardcore. Why is that statement so damning? I play games just as much as anybody, but I don’t turn up my nose at something which appeals to as many people as possible.
Call of Duty was the highest-trending topic with the VGA hash tag. COD achieves high sales numbers, but it's popular to hate the series. A larger crowd than core gamers loves COD, and we shouldn't divorce ourselves from that part of our community. Gaming is no long an exclusive club, and we ought to embrace a larger audience.
The VGAs have many issues, but we should work with it. We need to give constructive criticism and refrain from useless vitriol. The VGAs have the potential to expose gaming to a wider audience, and we should strive to make the show a success.