The Big Picture: If the Oscars Were the VGAs

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Weeeeeell... Miyamoto da Vinci of gaming... The guy is good, but let's not jump ahead of ourselves there.

Dear MovieBob,

Highschool was a long time ago, get over it already.

p.s. You and Nintendo should just do it already so we can get all of this sexual tension out of the way.

Alright, I see the problem here.

Bob, I think there's a really big difference between who Spike TV THINKS makes up the majority of gamers...and who actually does. I'm pretty sure they're marketing to an audience that, rather then being a majority, is actually just a very vocal minority.

Short Version: The people at SpikeTV don't really know a whole lot about videogames or the people who play them, and they don't care. The VGAs are nothing but cash cows, and are not in any way a commentary about the modern gamer.

Wow, that actually wasn't that short. Oh well.

My thought process while watching the video:
1. "Hmm, didn't care at all about VGA's because I don't watch Spike TV"
2. "Totally agree on that Travis Touchdown comment"
3. "I'm pretty sure Miyamoto was just happy to be there, not really sure about what was going on and just happy to get that award"
4. OMG PINKIE PIE
5. "The horror...."

Anyway, yesterday I read this really good article by Jim Sterling about how maybe the problem with the VGA's is that maybe we should just stop caring about them and leave them to the kind of audience Spike TV is aiming at. Good read, IMO:

http://www.gamefront.com/the-spike-video-game-awards-dont-need-to-change-you-do/

"If the Oscars were the VGAs, Brett Ratner would still be directing"

- This part hurt the most. Casual bigotry is so rampant in the gaming community (at least, the portion of the gaming community that actually watches the VGAs with anticipation). We can be so much better.

Also, if the Oscars became the VGAs, would that make the Golden Globes into whatever award show the bastardized network formerly known as G4 does?

Bob is totally right. I watched the VGA's last year and and the only moment that made me go, "Wow, I'm glad I watched this garbage," was the Arkham City and Skyrim trailers.

Also, I hope that the VGA's go to G4 at some point. At least they have some gamer cred leftover from when it was Tech TV.

Sixcess:
*teabagging is no better or worse than spamming FUS RO DAH or arrow jokes in forums, but I'm betting if they'd swapped the FPS references for Skyrim references they'd have got a different write up.

This is so true. Have a cookie.

I like to imagine that the writers at Bethesda spent at least a week going "I bet we can come up with something stupid and nonsensical that gamers will yell constantly."

And thus Fus ro Dah was born.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, would all the indie films be old school spectacle films?

That would be actually very awesome! I love them old school styles!

*puts on cap backwards, turns on the boombox

CommanderKirov:
Weeeeeell... Miyamoto da Vinci of gaming... The guy is good, but let's not jump ahead of ourselves there.

Name me other people who had more influence in the video game industry than Miyamoto.

___

Good episode Bob, but too short :/

Didn't Extra Credits already do this? :P

If the Oscars were the VGAs
Micheal Bay would be in the Hall O' Fame

jackanderson:

Jeff Gerstmann and Alex Navarro both wrote excellent pieces on the VGAs over at Giant Bomb if anyone's interested.

I'd really like to read those but I don't seem to be able to find them, especially since I don't visit Giant Bomb a lot (more like once a year or so).

Other than that: Good vid, Bob.
One problem with such rewards is always that it is very questionable who is actually fit for handing out rewards. To me it seems like many possible candidates (big gaming news sources) are just on the payroll of big publishers and others just aren't known a lot.
I think the Penny Arcade guys would probably be good candidates for doing something like that but those already have their hand full with a lot of other stuff.

Nice jab at the Mark Hamill fiasco. I refuse to ever watch the VGAs, I'm not giving the drivel ratings, but I heard about Tara Strong's super angry tweet about what they did to him. Which brings up two questions: why would you disrespect MARK FUCKING HAMILL, and what in the living hell was the cast of the Jersey Shore even doing there?

Wait... They disrespected Ms. Day?

*grabs his torch pitchfork, and sword*

TO WAR! TO WAAAAR! STORM SECURITY! RAZE THE STUDIO! BURN THE CEO AT THE STAKE!

TO WAR MY BRETHREN! TO WAR!

Totally justified reaction ignored for the moment we still need to destroy the VGAs. A show like that is ok when the entire medium gets good coverage but when it caters to one demographic like that it doesn't belong as the top show.

Now...

The Brett Ratner zinger wins you a shiny golden star, Bob. Kudos.

Tell me about the Red Dawn remake.. they spent a year filming around the Detroit area, even putting a Chinese tank though K-mart's former headquarters and putting Chinese propaganda in downtown Pontiac and so far we've seen nothing, no trailer, no release date, not even a teaser. As a person living in the Detroit area this ticks me off.

As something of a reaction to a random unhappy thought: Bob, I like all of your shows. Please stay on the Escapist.

You know what really pisses me off? Is that there is an infinitely superior videogame award event called the Interactive Achievement Awards, but that event isn't nearly as popular as the VGA.

Yeah, there is a Videogame award show that actually respects the media, doesn't just give awards for the most popular game, doesn't have stupid categories like most anticipated game and doesn't fill the show with trailers, advertisings and booth babes and instead, people just go and watch the VGA.

Is this kind off thing that makes me think that the world should end.

By the way, take a look at the Interactive Achievement Awards: http://www.interactive.org/

Didn't/don't watch the VGAs, though really the acronym fits well with Video Game Announcements. It's a bunch of schlock but remember that the VGAs are a reflection of the gaming media in general, in a sense just another arm of marketing. Is it really to anyone's surprise that many of the games, even if they aren't very good, are nominated? It's the reason they show trailers. One only has to remember that Geoff Keighley is one of the founders of the Spike VGA's and he's been a schill for the industry even back when G4 was a Comcast exclusive channel (before they bought TechTV). It's all about access and money, same with the reviews.

Gametrailers - I spit on thee.

Does anyone think the VGAs still qualify as any kind of awards show? It's 80% direct marketing with 20% award marketing (slapping GOTY on somthing so the people that didn't buy it yet might be enticed to do so). I'm not against hyped up marketing, heck I'd prefer to take E3 in a 2 hour edited special than jumping through a ton of net videos, but don't hide your commercial behind a cover of legitimacy.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, you'd still have to release your movie shortly before the awards cutoff to have a hope of winning.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, a film with obviously poorly done and incomplete special effects would still win best picture (hey, I love me Skyrim, but any game that needs patches to fix serious game breaking issues probably shouldn't have been up)

If the Oscars were the VGAs, they'd be twice as long to stuff in a dozen lames blue screen skits.

If the Oscars were the VGAs M. Night Shyamalan's achievement curve would be bending the other way :P

But yeah... i didn't watch the VGAs this year either. Can't say i take much pride in having to be associated with what is apparently their target demographic :/

Anoni Mus:

CommanderKirov:
Weeeeeell... Miyamoto da Vinci of gaming... The guy is good, but let's not jump ahead of ourselves there.

Name me other people who had more influence in the video game industry than Miyamoto.

___

Good episode Bob, but too short :/

Easy one, Sid Meir, Gabe Newell and Chris Avellone

If the Oscars were the VGAs: The blind Side would have more chances to win best picture then Inglorious Bastards and Distric 9

Bayushi_Kouya:
Why does everyone act so surprised that awards shows are bullshit? They're about ART, pretty much the most subjective thing in the goddamn universe. The entire concept of the award show is chicanery. The VGAs are far more honest than the Oscars, because we can all acknowledge that we don't care who won what award -- we came here to see trailers, because they're all penned up in one place.

I have to say as someone who (like MovieBob) is passionate about both games and movies... You have a point. I rarely agree with who wins the VGA's, and even when I do I still don't really care. The only reason I bother to keep track is to see the hype for stuff I might want coming soon, or catch any stuff I might have missed out on, much like the Oscars. They're both a joke, it's just that one of them is a pretentious joke which your only allowed to join in with if your from the same background as everyone involved, and one is an immature joke which you can only find funny if you're from the same background as everyone involved.

So yeah, if they Oscars were the VGA's... Sure, The Hurt Locker wouldn't win, but on the plus side, neither would Shakespeare In Love.

Sixcess:
As much as I enjoy Bob's work I feel his hatred of jocks and bro culture is getting out of hand.

MovieBob:
An illustration of how VGAs are ruining our image.

The VGAs don't ruin our image. We ruin our image.

The Escapist is often very idealistic about gaming and gamers, a stance personified by shows like The Big Picture and the former ur-example, Extra Credits. It's a nice stance to take, but it is, deep down and at its worst, as narrow minded as the worst caricature of the online FPS community.

Because it's based on a lie. It's based on the lie that popular franchises from big soulless publishers crush struggling but deserving indies underfoot while drawing in a horde of jocks who ruin our gaming utopia with their crude, uncivilised ways. When I watch Bob sometimes I hear this subtext of "I liked it better when the dudes that bullied me at school didn't like what I like."

Why is it a lie? Because they're not the jocks. They're us.

Nerds/geeks/gamers/whatever used to be a minority, who would have to go out of their way to meet others who shared their interests and would treasure those rare meetings of minds. Then the Internet happened and suddenly we were knee-deep in 'our kind' and we didn't have to be friends with everyone anymore, so we split up into niches and started hating people who were in slightly different niches. You know, just like sports fans do. Just like the jocks do.

The Escapist is not representative of gaming culture. Fucking 4Chan is more representative of that, or would be if there was such a thing.

We became what we hated, and now we get the awards shows we deserve. A shallow, superficial parade of emptiness, hype, stupidity and memes* - just like the rest of the internet, and just like most games.

*teabagging is no better or worse than spamming FUS RO DAH or arrow jokes in forums, but I'm betting if they'd swapped the FPS references for Skyrim references they'd have got a different write up.

An enlightening...if very depressing read. thank you.

However, I will have to argue that Arrow to the knee is a bit more respectable then Tea bagging.

I was going to watch the VGAs, but then I took an arrow in the knee.

...

Ok, no I wasn't going to watch them. Besides not having cable TV, I already knew thanks to the nominees that it was going to be a terrible joke on the gaming community.

It's just too bad it gets aired on Spike. Would be nice to see a proper VGA show aired on proper networks like CBC and BBC.

Redd the Sock:
Does anyone think the VGAs still qualify as any kind of awards show? It's 80% direct marketing with 20% award marketing (slapping GOTY on somthing so the people that didn't buy it yet might be enticed to do so). I'm not against hyped up marketing, heck I'd prefer to take E3 in a 2 hour edited special than jumping through a ton of net videos, but don't hide your commercial behind a cover of legitimacy.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, you'd still have to release your movie shortly before the awards cutoff to have a hope of winning.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, a film with obviously poorly done and incomplete special effects would still win best picture (hey, I love me Skyrim, but any game that needs patches to fix serious game breaking issues probably shouldn't have been up)

If the Oscars were the VGAs, they'd be twice as long to stuff in a dozen lames blue screen skits.

Ed the Sock. You win the internets. I automatically have to agree with you.

If the Oscars were the VGA, they would comepletely overblown, sponsor hoars, with celebrties who've never seen a movie in their life (I'm sure there must be some), and only the most popular kind of movies, particularly the ones that appeal to the "Michael Bay" crowd, would get all the attention.

You know this better than anyone that the Oscars aren't taken seriously by the audience or directors like Nolan, Scorcese, Tarantino, Spielberg, or any of those people.

Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, INCEPTION, Toy Story 3, UP, all lost out to Oscarbait. And these movies are considered to be some of the best movies ever made.

Also, I don't believe that video games and movies can be compared at all. And also that video games overtook movies a long time ago. BioShock, Portal, CoD:4, L.A. Noire, Gears 3, Grand Theft Auto: IV, Shadow of the Colossus, Red Dead Redemption and so many others are proof that Video Games are a different medium now.

As for the VGAs, I don't think anyone really cares. I think the industry cares more about trailers than it does for the actual awards. Websites can use the trailers for content, Companies can show off projects, and people can come together and discuss important stuff with others in the business. I think it's basically a convention, disguised as an award show.

As for the popularity of video games. Well those days are gone. Times have changed. Hundreds of people are involved in video games that take years to produce and you have games breaking $1 billion in a fortnight. It's a different industry than it was 10 years ago, and there's nothing we can do about, except reap the benefits while filtering out the bad stuff.

teh_v:

brazuca:
The end was hilarious, but didn't other show on the Escapist adressed this issue. That show who got canceled about two guys and a chick who was on thursday for a year or something. Uh...

There is still DICE awards anyway.

Hey I think your talking about extra credits and they moved over to PATV on the penny arcade website. I don't know why they moved but that's where they are.

I know why. They moved because the Escapist did not pay them. It got messy later. I was being polite, cause bob defended them and I would not like bob to get into trouble, especially because I love his show (this one, more than escape to the movies).

The fact that the target demographic for the VGAs isn't far removed from what a typical gamer is pisses me off. They could have devoted this show to a retrospective of the year and they showed that they could be decent with Miyamoto and the Zelda montage. Seriously, pay attention to the AIAS Awards if you want something that treats the medium with dignity (even if even gamers don't at times)

Anyway:

If the Oscars were the VGAs Red Dawn would have been a multi-billion dollar franchise for DECADES

If the Oscars were the VGAs too many films from before the present day (like the Godfather, The Dollars Trilogy, Easy Rider, etc) would be considered "overrated" and "remembered only because of nostalgia"

If the Oscars were the VGAs Ehren Kruger would have at least two Best Adapted Screenplay Awards

If the Oscars were the VGAs they would try to throw a pie in the face of Spielberg for taking too long for an acceptance speech

If the Oscars were the VGAs they would put Jeff Dunham on stage to crack his racist jokes. And the crowd would love it

MacNille:

Anoni Mus:

CommanderKirov:
Weeeeeell... Miyamoto da Vinci of gaming... The guy is good, but let's not jump ahead of ourselves there.

Name me other people who had more influence in the video game industry than Miyamoto.

___

Good episode Bob, but too short :/

Easy one, Sid Meir, Gabe Newell and Chris Avellone

Completly disagree. Gabe Newell is the Valve guy right? You really think his influence surpasses Miyamoto's? Heck, even his favourite games are Doom and SUPER MARIO 64.

Besides Miyamoto was responsible for helping saving the industry after the 1983 crash.

Wolfram01:

Redd the Sock:
Does anyone think the VGAs still qualify as any kind of awards show? It's 80% direct marketing with 20% award marketing (slapping GOTY on somthing so the people that didn't buy it yet might be enticed to do so). I'm not against hyped up marketing, heck I'd prefer to take E3 in a 2 hour edited special than jumping through a ton of net videos, but don't hide your commercial behind a cover of legitimacy.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, you'd still have to release your movie shortly before the awards cutoff to have a hope of winning.

If the Oscars were the VGAs, a film with obviously poorly done and incomplete special effects would still win best picture (hey, I love me Skyrim, but any game that needs patches to fix serious game breaking issues probably shouldn't have been up)

If the Oscars were the VGAs, they'd be twice as long to stuff in a dozen lames blue screen skits.

Ed the Sock. You win the internets. I automatically have to agree with you.

Just a note: I'm not Ed. I just use him for my avatar.

Anoni Mus:

MacNille:

Anoni Mus:

Name me other people who had more influence in the video game industry than Miyamoto.

___

Good episode Bob, but too short :/

Easy one, Sid Meir, Gabe Newell and Chris Avellone

Completly disagree. Gabe Newell is the Valve guy right? You really think his influence surpasses Miyamoto's? Heck, even his favourite games are Doom and SUPER MARIO 64.

Besides Miyamoto was responsible for helping saving the industry after the 1983 crash.

So because you disagree that makes him wrong? Don't get me wrong, Miyamoto has done great things but what's the last Nintendo released a great game that wasn't another Mario/Zelda/Metroid? I'm not saying they're not great, but they're not "The One" of gaming either.

OT:Hold up...I thought the Men in Black trailer looked decent. Although I am curious as to why Will Smith doesn't seem to age.

MovieBob:
If the Oscars Were the VGAs

An illustration of how VGAs are ruining our image.

Watch Video

if the Oscars were the VGA's - Michel Bay would win best director, every year

if the Oscars were the VGAs - Sepharoth would win 'greatest villain of all time'

if the Oscars were the VGA's - i still wouldn't watch it :D

its an awards show, Oscars, VGAs, Grammys, w/e none of them are really worth sitting through, not when i have a movie i could be watching, or beating the crap out of a raid boss or something worth staying awake for.

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