Back in the day, taking home a gold (or lucite) trophy may have meant something, but awards shows don’t always have a lot of credibility in recent years. Ceremonies have increasingly become little more than multi-hour marketing extravaganzas, featuring performances and testimonies by artists who just happen to have relationships with show advertisers or promoters, award categories seemingly crafted to highlight a particular release, and—of course—ads. Lots of and lots of ads, run right in the middle of the awards and not-so-subtly disguised as “montages” and “year-in-review” features designed to spur sales of currently titles.
So when a U.S. basic cable network best known for appealing to the lowest common denominator of young, male television viewers decides it’s doing to give out video game awards…a little skepticism might be in order.
Taking top honors at Spike TV‘s 2007 Video Game Awards was the underwater action thriller Bioshock, which has generally earned praise for its immersive story and high production values. The “Best Shooter” and “Best Military Game” awards went to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, while “Best RPG” went to Microsoft’s space epic Mass Effect.The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass took hom the Best Handheld Game award, Crysis earned top marks for Best Graphics, and The Simpsons Game took home the award for Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show.
Some of the other categories may seem a little artificial, but awards were handed out anywy: Best Driving Game? DiRT. Best Rhythm Game? Rock Band. Best Action Game? Super Mario Galaxy. Best Team Sports Game? Madden NFL 08. Best Individual Sports Game? Skate.
And what about the game that was touted as the hottest release of 2007, a veritable pop culture phenomenon of gargantuan proportions? Halo 3 took home the Best Multi-Player Game award, along with the “Most Addictive Video Game Fueled By Dew” award. We knew there was something sticky in that box.
Spike TV is a division of MTV Networks, which is itself a division of Viacom.