The refrain about how tacky and misrepresentative the Spike VGAs are is so prevalent now that I can't believe anyone still asks me what I think of the VGAs or did I watch them or blah blah blah. But miraculously people still ask; I haven't responded in a structured way since 2008, so it's a good thing Jeff Green played appropriate complainant this year, saying what I would have said if I felt it'd make a difference.
We spend a lot of time saying "video games aren't like this" and yet the stereotypes persist. Maybe video games are like this, and we're a vocal minority. Isn't that a terrifying thought?
This fascinating New Yorker profile of Shigeru Miyamoto may not tell you anything much you fans don't already know about Nintendo's heart and soul, but the tone and word choices are illuminating: The article illustrates the bizarre paradox between the seriousness of people who make games and the way they're generally perceived by others, with the product an inscrutable plain lying in between.
For the most part, the piece refrains from judgment, but does contain one particularly damning quote: "The best analogue for [video games'] combined disreputability and ubiquity may be masturbation." And if you don't know where the author gets that, and if your instinct is to splutter and argue and ignore what elements of our business and culture might have led him to that conclusion, you're in denial.
So what's the big deal about the Spike VGAs and aren't I excited about the marketing-coordinated super-reveals of pre-rendered cinematic trailers of games that are at least a year away and aren't I so happy we're getting any mainstream celebration at all? Tch.
It's a marketing blitz; it's an advertising show. But can't we sell the scale, scope and excitement of new video games without being like this about it?
Also, to throw levity on the concept of Being A Total Douche, reflection on this parody "GDC commercial" that Mega64 did last year might be in order. It never stops being funny.
Finally, for other, bigger disappointments in the game industry's year, check out my colleague's retrospective today. On Friday, I contributed a piece on 2010's biggest surprises, and the picture is very cute.