Spike TV Video Game Awards 2012 has gained my respect

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I’ve never been a fan of Spike TV’s annual Video Game Awards (VGA) show. I had to push myself to make it through the Spike TV Video Game Awards 2012 this year. The over-the-top immaturity, giving away awards for mere commercial success instead of design quality, and just all around misrepresenting the gaming community. Ever since it began back in 2003 this has been the message it’s been conveying, but this year was a little different. But this year I actually felt a small sense of respect for the award show. The operative word being small.

Aesthetically, the VGA’s wasn’t much different this year. Grandiose light shows, jokes and skits that attempt to be funny and witty, and a group of celebrities who are hit or miss in actually grasping the attention of gamers.

But, the one thing the award show differently this year were the games. When the best first-person shooter category started out the night, I set myself up for the usual announcement of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to hear Borderlands 2 being announced. Indeed, it was also a commercial success, but it was nice to see the Call of Duty series finally be toppled after all these years.

In the action genre an unexpected winner ended up taking the award. I was sure Assassin’s Creed III would’ve taken the prize, but once again I found myself taken aback when they announced that Dishonored. Many would still consider the game overrated, but the game managed to accomplish the ability to complete the game in any manner you chose. Other games have merely touted this feature and failed to follow through. It was nice to see a game that was so experimental to receive some recognition.

Half-Life 2 even earned some recognition as the show’s Game of the Decade. I know, the game has received plenty of recognition elsewhere, but finally seeing it being presented on such a mainstream award show felt like something that we as entrenched gamers always knew was a great game, could be shared with a wider audience.

I can’t say if the wider audience is pleased with these winnings, but this is ultimately what developed my very small amount of respect for the VGA’s: these games won for their design choices not just their commercial and monetary success.

Spike TV’s VGA’s still digs under my skin with its glitzy presentation, but I’m happy to see that the games are truly starting to matter. We’ll have to see if the award show will continue to reward games in this manner, but for now, I have to admit the VGA’s gained a little bit of my respect. Kudos VGA’s, kudos.

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