Monday Gaming Diary: The VGAs

Samuel L. Jackson VGAsI admit that I watched the VGAs this year, and no, I wasn’t watching them “ironically.” I’ve always found the VGAs to be fun, and I’ve never really understood all the geek hatred for the award show. To be honest, gamers should be happy there’s a televised award show at all, but that’s a tirade for a different day.

Many people say that the VGAs are silly and don’t fully honor how deep video games can be. What I witnessed on Friday could not be further from the truth. While I am still sorely disappointed thatSpec Ops: The Line didn’t receive any game nominations (Nolan North’s nomination for the voice of Captain Walker, while extremely honorable, does not count), the awards were not tossed at games who deserved anything less.

In fact, the two games who received the most honors wereJourney andThe Walking Dead, two games which are extremely deep.The Walking Deadis actually my personal Game of the Year, despite how much it made me cry and gave me horrific nightmares. I could not have been happier to see that episodic game win Game of the Year and TellTale, the developer, win studio of the year.Journey also cleaned house a bit with PS3 game of the year, best original score, and best independent game.

Did anyone notice thatCall of Duty: Black Ops IIdid not win best shooter? That award went toBorderlands 2, a game I have sadly not played yet, but I was thrilled to see it topple CoD. (For the record, ifMedal of Honor won, I probably would not be writing this at all.)

Maybe the VGAs was overly silly and didn’t honor games it probably should have in the past, but I didn’t see that at all this past Friday. I laughed at Samuel L. Jackson’s introductions and his twists on video games (especially how he was incorporated intoStar Wars: Angry Birds), clapped for the award winners, and felt chills from hearing a live orchestra play the selections of video game music. The only thing that would have made it better was if there were more awards given at the show–I didn’t really like having to look up who won certain awards, such as RPG of the year, which went toMass Effect 3, by the way.

Seeing next year’s video game trailers is always fun too, especially for games I had no idea were even in development, such asDark Souls II. I’m sure many fans were disappointed to see nothing ofHalf-Life 3, especially afterHalf-Life 2 received the honor of Game of the Decade, but given Valve’s track record, that really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

All in all, I’m pleased with the awards. I was not happy that something as buggy as Skyrim won last year, but at least this year, the awards went to the games that truly deserved them.

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