“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances… but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale.”—Fox News correspondant Tucker Carlson continuing the trend of polluting the airwaves with utter idiocy and lunacy.
without[APOLOGY] without[REMORSE]: Dismantling the Spike VGA's
Right, let’s get this little sentiment out of the way: award shows are full of subjective, popularity-fuelled gobbledegook that really and truly do nothing more except leave a shit-tonne of people divided into numerous different factions and waging full scale verbal warfare on each other; all the while, transforming their opinions into weapons of mass destruction and flaming the absolute brown faecal matter out of each other. Then, when the dust finally does settle, they return to their respective camps to re-group, console each other over hot cocoa, while simultaneously trying to convince themselves that they are indeed the victor of the battle within the Great Flame War, all while awaiting the inevitable re-sounding of the klaxon which acts as the indicator to repeat this nonsense again and again… and again. How do I know all this, you ask? I’ve found myself on this battlefield at one point or another, that’s how. From time to time, I feel like I have to take to arms and school some of these knuckleheads. I mean if some of you would actually be honest with yourself, you’ll find that you do it too. It’s okay! We’ve all started something, done something, or participated in something mega-retarded at one point in our lives (*glares at the people supporting the Coalition Government and Americans responsible for the TEA Party*). But I digress… the topic here isn’t politics, per se; nor is this literary piece about award shows in general. It’s a particular award show I’m going to be talking about and it just happens to centre itself on one of my passions: gaming.
The question isn’t why does these stupid flame wars continue to happen. The question itself is of a different ilk: who is it that wields such a monstrous ability to consistently and constantly influence such a verbal bloodbath amongst members of an otherwise intelligent, open-minded, peaceful, fun-loving, fact-obsessed and rather opinionated group of people (also known to most as: gamers)? The VGA producers at Spike Network and the VGA Advisory Council, that’s who. Yes, these manipulative bastards are hell-bent on shaking the hornet’s nest with their massively over-rated drivel [they call the Video Game Awards] have spawned the very propaganda which leaves many a-gamer divided by someone else’s opinions & decisions and, ultimately, thoroughly pissed off. Since the very first VGA’s, you almost knew some dickheads got together and said: ‘OK, guys! Let’s see what we’ve got here: great game, awesome game, heavily underrated but awesome game, super-duper game, and high-selling game… well, this shit is easy! We’ll just overlook the good stuff and give it to the one thing that sold the most! Because high sales mean that it’s a better game! Oh and throw a shit tonne of celebrities who haven’t really got a clue about gaming in there! They love them!’
Whether or not the producers of the VGA’s, the VGA Advisory Council, Bobby Kotick of ActiVision, and all-around asshat Michael Pachter all have orgies over financial reports and certain trends; then proceed to partake in more corporate debauchery over a lengthy crack-smoking session is merely nothing short of conjecture, at this point. However, some of the decisions made in the past and present would almost confirm that the aforementioned activities probably do occur, because you have to be high on something to make such mind-boggling decisions and I, for one, believe that substance they are abusing to be crack. I can say, unequivocally, that the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards have gone TOO DAMN FAR this time. I will highlight some of the most appalling decisions and force-feed you my take as to why I think they are mind-numbingly horrendous decisions, indeed. So kindly shut up and pay attention because this is where I get medieval on all your asses.
EXHIBIT A: THE JOHN MARSTON CONTROVERSY
The problem here isn’t that Red Dead Redemption didn’t deserve the gong for Game of the Year. I, personally, would’ve liked to see Heavy Rain getting a Game of the Year nomination for how awesome it was… but that’s just me. Considering how insanely awesome Red Dead Redemption turned out to be , I’m certainly not disputing the decision to give Red Dead the highest honour. What I AM disputing is how John Marston – the protagonist of Red Dead and his story that is effectively the focal point and life blood to the game – failed to take Character of the Year (losing to Call of Duty: Black Ops’ Sgt. Frank Woods… yeah. I don’t understand that shitty decision, either) and how the human male that voiced him in Rob Wiethoff loses to Neil [fucking] Patrick [fucktard] Harris in the Best Performance by a Human Male category. John Marston is pretty much the year’s most memorable gaming character. His tale is utterly spellbinding and the man himself? Totally unforgettable once he graces your television/monitor and his gravelly voice floods your eardrums.
That said: who the FUCK is Sgt. Frank Woods compared to this guy?! Sgt. Woods is just one of Alex Mason’s cronies; nothing more, nothing less. Sure, he had an interesting personality but it’s the same old, dried-up, regurgitated action-movie bad-ass sidekick persona we’re already familiar with. Comparing Woods to Marston, it’s not just no-contest; it’s just ‘no-don’t-even-bother-mentioning-the-other-guy-that-isn’t-Marston.’ Marston is more interesting, more badass, and don’t even bother comparing the men’s stories or pitting them to an asinine cage match of some sort, because Marston will win that, too. No doubt about it. Then you give your host/emcee/master of ceremonies/leader-of-the-douche-patrol the award for voicing Peter Parker/Amazing Spidey in Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions. I don’t even know where to begin in how epic this fail is… but I’ll try. That’s all I can bloody well do: try to assess the level of ‘moron’ in this decision.
In a category where you had: the legendary Gary Oldman reprising [yet another] Russian character in the Call of Duty series (but doing it gloriously because – let’s face it – its Gary fucking Oldman); the legendary John Cleese bringing life to Jasper as only he can in Fable III; the legendary Martin Sheen providing the perfect vocal performance for a rather mysterious and intriguing character in The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2; Nathan Fillion doing a fabulous job as Sergeant Edward Buck in Halo: Reach; the main protagonist of Black Ops (not that random sidekick/cunt in Woods, who’s voice actor isn’t even worth mentioning… or nominating, for that matter *cough*) Alex Mason and his rather entertaining flesh-and-blood counterpart providing his voice in Sam Worthington; the incredible Rob Wiethoff who has left the name John Marston on the lips of every gamer that enjoyed Red Dead Redemption; somehow you manage to overlook all of these amazing actors/voice actors and their performances… and you go with Neil [what-the-fuck] Patrick [seriously-what-the-actual-fuck] Harris, who just so happens to be your host for the evening. That is one hell of a bogus, bogus, bogus decision to have made. It’s like telling the kids that you’re taking them to Walt Disney World and instead “surprising” them with a trip to The Wonderful World of Garbage Trucks. Not cool, Dad… not fucking cool.
EXHIBIT B: DANICA PATRICK
Le sigh. All I have to say about this one is thank The Almighty that this woman didn’t win Best Performance by a Human Female. I could go on and on about how utterly pointless her role in Blur was and I could even make the point that Danica Patrick isn’t fit to lick Dame Judi Dench’s regal and magnificent boots/high-heels. But on behalf of all racing fans worldwide, there needs to be a rule implemented:
Danica Patrick is not allowed to be nominated for ANY award until she does something noteworthy in her sport. That would be: win the INDY Car Championship. That means no ESPY’s, CERTAINLY no VGA Award… no nothing. Chick needs to focus on the sport she became the cover model of. I’m just saying… GoDaddy.com’s owner has enough Viagra and scantily-clad women to keep his jimmy stiff. Patrick, however, should focus on actually winning a championship in the sport she claims she’s good enough to win. Clearly, she’s not focused enough, so let’s remove all the distractions for her to help her out. That is all.
EXHIBIT C: NO WII OR PC GAME IN GAME OF THE YEAR CATEGORY
Since the inception of the Spike Video Game Awards, PC games have pretty much been treated like horse shit, quite frankly. Lo and behold, the 2010 VGAs produced no exception to that rule and continued the trend. In addition to that, consider the following: because the Nintendo Wii isn’t a high-definition graphics producing powerhouse like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are, certain Wii games – no matter how much universal acclaim they get and/or how awesome they are to play – get no love, either. Cases in point: Super Mario Galaxy 2, StarCraft II and Civilization V. I’m going to skip the part about how certain multi-platform games do provide a better experience on PC than that of the Xbox 360 OR the PlayStation 3… there’s enough flame bait in that debate to keep my fireplace going for centuries, if I’m honest. My point, however, is simple: Game of the Year nominations should cover ALL current generation platforms, not just 360 and PS3. I don’t care how popular the 360 and PS3 is compared to that of the Wii and PC (the numbers speak for themselves, really… in favour of the Wii and PC), plus I’ve owned all of them at one point and intend to do so again. Everyone has their preferences, yes… but for the love of all things good and pure, would it kill you all to do something – oh, I dunno… impartial for a change?!
Really, the omission of Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be blamed solely on the VGA Advisory Council, as they are made up of the gaming-related journalists that reviewed all the games the nominated. In the case of Super Mario Galaxy 2, that was definitely one of [if not THE] HIGHEST rated game of the year, regardless of platform that the likes of the VGA Advisory Council said, in no uncertain terms: ‘ZOMG! This is the most awesomest game of 2010!!! Like, buy this game right now!!!’ So when the inevitable conversation came up about games to nominate for Game of the Year, who was the douche-rocket that said: ‘Mmmm… Nah’ when Mario’s second romp around the Galaxy was mentioned?! Funny… I have their names right here: Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Kotaku, IGN, GameSpot; Game Informer (*snorts* Nooooo surprise, there), Penny Arcade, Joystiq, and WIRED. Simply put: you all fail at life and while we’re only human and we’re susceptible to making mistakes, mistakes like THAT in other jobs constitute getting awarded the P45 Award. In other words: you get sacked. You get fired. You get canned and if someone hasn’t gotten sacked for this yet, godammit, someone needs to be.
On to the PC Game omissions and… I have to be honest: I’m in the midst of an ActiVision-published game boycott at the moment, meaning that all ActiVision-published games in my library were bought used. Why? Because I didn’t like supporting greedy, repetitive, middle-of-the-road mentality having cunts that are – by their CEO’s own admission – trying to take the fun out of gaming. Having said that, I haven’t played anything beyond the beta for the game StarCraft II and that’s strictly because I haven’t summed up the nerve to throw my financial details and sanity to the wolves that roam around eBay and snag a second-hand copy of StarCraft II… if one exists, that is. There are many more reasons why I refuse to buy StarCraft II in particular but I don’t have time to mention them here. More to the point: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty should no doubt be in the Game of the Year category. If the beta is anything at all to go by, the final version should be nothing short of world class (considering, after all, this IS Blizzard we’re talking about here). If not StarCraft II, Civilization V should be there reppin’ the PC games contingent, as that game rocks out loud. But neither of them were nominated and that is a huge fucking problem. Sort it out, VGAs. Sort it out.
EXHIBIT D: THE SPORTS AND DRIVING GAME CATAGORIES
I figured I’d kill two VGA Advisory Co- I mean birds with one stone here. I, personally, am a big sports fanatic; so there might be some extra profanity-laced scrutiny that the muppets and muppettes on that damn-blasted Advisory Council. Oh, fuck it… not might be, will be. Seriously, these cunts do my friggin’ head in.
We’ll start with the Individual Sports Game of the Year category and right off the bat, I have two problems: Shaun White Skateboarding getting a nomination but NOT Skate 3 (what fucking sense does that make?) and - not one - but two MMA game nominees, which just so happen to be considered “rival” games. After all, UFC’s president once threatened to blacklist any UFC-registered fighter that provided their likeness and whatever-else-it-is-that-makes-a-psychotic-cage-fighter to EA Sports MMA. I guess they have to fight over awards, too. Not nominations, just awards. It’s pathetic, really.
Then, we move on to the Team Sports Game of the Year nomination stable and what do you know!? There’s more bullshit. I’m not even going to entertain the Madden inclusion… I’m so sick and tired of Madden games that I can’t even be arsed to complain about them. Maybe NEXT year, they’ll do something to differentiate the last releases and the upcoming one. I will say this though: NBA2K11 certainly deserves the gong, as it was one of the greatest basketball games I’ve ever played. However, that’s not my problem with the category, itself. There was one MAJOR nomination snub that I have a giant problem with: the exclusion of NHL 11.
NHL 10 was a fantastic game and NHL 11, for me, is even better than its predecessor. As far as Team Sports game experiences go – barring NBA2K11 – NHL 11 seriously raises the bar as to what a sports game should be like. It almost effortlessly encapsulates the spirit of the game and plays out like a dream. The action is non-stop (as many a-ice hockey fan will agree) and NHL 11 emulates its real-life sport counterpart so very well. Have I mentioned in this piece at all that the VGA Advisory Board sucks at life? Because they do… and they suck at life diabolically well.
Finally, the travesty that is the Driving Game of the Year category: look, I’m not saying Split/Second isn’t damn good because it is. Black Rock Studios made a very exciting game. I’m not saying that Blur isn’t fun because it is. Bizarre Creations did a great job… I just have a problem with Danica Patrick being in the game (she’s not all that great… the game would’ve sold well on its own merit) and ActiVision (who I think had a lot of influence on the inclusion of their game into this category). But these two games are easily overshadowed by two BETTER racing games to come out this year: F1 2010 and Gran Turismo 5. Firstly, F1 2010 is a stunning game, and Codemasters deserves every plaudit that they’ve gotten. In my mind, it’s better than Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - taking nothing away from NFS: HP but this instalment of NFS had to be good, considering the last few releases (especially Pro Street and Undercover). Sure, it’s an exciting game, but F1 2010 is on a whole ‘nother level of excitement. Much like NHL 11 does for ice hockey, F1 2010 captures the very essence of F1 and if you haven’t played this game, I’m begging you to do so. The exhilaration and intensity of just ONE race should be more than enough to make you say: ‘Holy downforce, Batman. This game is awesome.’
I’m not sure if GT5 would’ve made the deadline before the VGAs were due to go on, but if was eligible, it should’ve been nominated. It shouldn’t have won - F1 2010 should’ve won, like I said earlier – but it should’ve been nominated at the very least, and I think the vast majority of racing game enthusiasts would agree with my latter point. GT5 has left people divided in opinion but on the whole, the game is good. It could’ve been better, in my opinion, but I suppose the seven-year culmination that is GT5 is good enough for me to say to all PlayStation 3 owners that the game should be in your game library. If it isn’t, you need to do something about that.
I’m afraid I’ll have to stop here. If I go any further detailing my disdain for these appalling decisions, I’ll end up like that one stick character in that one GIF that gets frustrated with his computer and starts banging the keyboard until there’s blood everywhere. That being said, there is something severely head scratching about the VGA Advisory Council’s decisions. Its one thing to have not reviewed these games and then make nominations based on what you have… but the thing is: they did sit down and review the games that they’ve omitted and, for the life of me, I can’t understand what the point is of having a video game awards show when all you’re going to do is choose the games that either sold the most or are the most popular. I said in the very beginning: award shows are already built on a very subjective premise. Surely then if you’re already aware of this, you can leave the subjectivity to how good each nominee really is and ensure that you’ve got the absolute best vying for a certain award and/or accolade. Award shows shouldn’t be popularity contests… but the Spike Video Game Awards has consistently proven itself to be exactly that: a big ol’ jumped up popularity contest made to look like an awards ceremony.
Of course, it could be worse. The VGA Advisory Council could make decisions like The Academy. You know… where if you kiss enough Academy asses (and their butts), you win big. Wait… oh.
you make me want to nonchalantly explore every single inch of that watercolour painting God painstakingly created over twenty-something years yes… that body of yours is a work of art and that assessment was made before you got brave and decided skin and clothes at this point were better off going the way of the dearly departed.
now look at what you started… your brand of seduction is an incense candle it’s essence gently packed inside the confines your flesh, the smoke from the gently smouldering tip flash dancing in the same way that you meander in my direction:
full of intent as you slither on over like a sidewinder God, I pray i’m your prey
the earth’s rotation almost comes to a complete halt as you slowly craft the duvet into your makeshift trench coat the ashes of hope crumble and fall away from burning seduction leaving nothing but the scent of intense desire emanating from the passionate fires a-glowing
the whisper of the wind from beyond my open window caresses each moan you make as I caress you could I be blessed by you? in this moment, I know I haven’t died because right on the curvature of your midsection lie the gates to heaven and I’ve never felt more alive burn, burn seduction i ask you now: are we prepared to endure death born from human ecstasy; be liberated and reincarnated via the beautiful destruction of our insistence to resist each other? not even a moment, not even a second longer
tell me your hungry… then bite into this forbidden fruit with me for me… j’adore you say you adore me?
then fucking prove it.
…and so seduction burns away. …and this is how two become one.
“Journalists don’t uncover information about what the government does behind closed doors. They report it when someone else does, and then that person is declared a terrorist.”—Stephen Colbert on Julian Assange