While Spike’s annual game awards are more akin to the MTV Movie Awards than the Oscars, it is one of the only televised game award shows around, especially now that G4 has been deep-sixed. And much like the serious movie buff in me can cool my cynicism for a few hours each year and enjoy a lighter, sillier movie award show, I also don’t mind checking out the Spike VGA’s each year – although this year, they’re being called the Spike VGX Awards. While there seems to have been an attempt to make the awards seem a bit more legitimate this year, dropping categories like Character of the Year, Best Graphics, and Best Downloadable Game, the highly dubious Most Anticipated Game “award” remains. Interestingly, platform-specific awards now have the broader titles of Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo, which suggests that for next year’s show, PS3 and PS4 game can share a category, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games will be nominated together, and Wii U and…well, I think that’s only not being called “Best Wii U Game” for consistency’s sake.
Among the list of nominees this year, we were proud to see a few locals up for awards. Cardboard Computer’s Kentucky Route Zero is nominated for Best Independent Game, and not one but two Chicago developers are duking it out for Best Fighting Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us by NetherRealm, and Iron Galaxy’s Divekick. Don’t let the fact that they are nominated alongside the yet-to-be-released Killer Instinct take away from your excitement for the strong Chicago representation in that category. On a personal note, I was thrilled to see “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” be nominated for Best Song in a Game. Not only is it great to see more diverse selections in this category, that song has meant a lot to my family going back several generations, so it touched me that it got a nod.
The show will not air live on the Spike cable channel. Instead, it will be live streamed beginning at 5:00pm on Saturday, December 7th on Spike’s website and the websites of MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, and BET, as well as through Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and on iOS and Android devices.