Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gamers Care More About the "VGX" Than the Show Did. That's the Problem. By Sam Stafford

So apparently the VGAs are still a thing, except now it's the VGX, and apparently some people who play games still feel that a televised awards circus slash marketing hype exercise is in some way relevant to their interests. Maybe because "legitimate" forms of entertainment like movies have award shows, and so gaming needs an award show that gamers can use to defend their favorite pastime against imaginary assailants, because look, we have our own award show? I don't even know.

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You know that gorilla at the zoo who is unhappy and doesn't care if you know it?

Game journalism is a joke. Award shows are everything that is wrong with game journalism, multiplied by itself.

I didn't watch the whole VGX, because if I had three spare hours to spend on doing something game-related, I'd play Gone Home again. And I will give credit to VGX's award committee for giving Gone Home not just "Best Indy Game", which everyone is going to ignore anyway, but "Best PC Game". Hot damn. I bet some heads rolled after that one was announced. Look, let me tell you something about Gone Home. This is an industry where people will praise a thoroughly mediocre game to high heaven because it had a story or art or voice acting that is good "for a game", but it's considered gauche to compare any of those elements to other mediums, because making games is hard or something. Right? But I played Gone Home, and I wept, like not just a little moisture around the eyes, but sobs that wrenched my entire body, and that is not good "for a game," that is something that no movie or book or any other work of art has gotten out of me in at least a decade, and I don't think that story would have worked as well if it were told any other way.

Anyway. I did watch a "lowlight" reel that will probably be Viacomed and reposted a few times between when I type this and when you read it, so go seek it out for yourself; it's pretty entertaining. I have to give Joel McHale mad props for treating the whole exercise exactly as seriously as it deserved to be treated. Look into that man's eyes. "Can't we be done with this bullshit?" they seem to be pleading. Not as long as people keep tuning in, buddy. But we can hope.

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