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Joystiq presents

Promotional Consideration: Why we're not watching the Spike Video Game Awards tonight

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

American cable channel Spike premieres the 2007 edition of the Spike Video Game Awards tonight at 9:00 PM (likely re-airing it a dozen times over the course of the next couple of months). Despite the scorn it received from gamers in its previous years, the show lives on, now in its fourth year.

There are many reasons one could give for refusing to watch the two-hour program tonight -- the event really is as ridiculous as you'd expect a video game award show to be -- but one specific flaw brought about our decision to avoid the production ...

Halo. Assassin's Creed. Sports.

Notice anything missing from that promotional piece for the Video Game Awards? Not one single frame of that minute-long clip is from a Nintendo DS game. Actually, there aren't any Wii or PSP titles in that montage, either. Spike has four other similar commercials that regularly interrupt America's Next Top Model the shows we've been watching on MTV and other Viacom-owned channels, and, while two of them accidentally include clips from Wii Sports, DS games are absent from all of the commercials.

For an award show meant to highlight the best consoles have to offer, how is it possible that the Nintendo DS received nary a single mention? It is the fastest selling console in all three major territories (United States, Japan, and Europe), and its games consistently top the video game sales charts. Also, as the numbers from Thanksgiving week prove, the system shows no signs of giving up its dominance over the console market anytime soon.

Yes, sales aren't indicative of quality, but the software library's quality and diversity are major factors behind the DS's unprecedented levels of growth. So, why has the Spike Video Game Awards ignored that rapidly growing community?

*Not an actual quote

Simply put, portable gamers aren't the target audience for the Spike Video Game Awards (or G4's similar G-phoria event). Handheld titles weren't dropped into the advertisements because the award show paid only lip service to handheld titles. According to the released results, of the show's 20+ categories, only one Nintendo DS game received an award -- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the Best Handheld Game. The other nominees were Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. The PSP fared even worse, failing to win in any of the categories.

Only one other Nintendo DS game appeared outside of the Best Handheld Game category -- Jam Sessions for Best Rhythm Game. We're sure the Ubisoft-published game didn't mind stepping to the side for Rock Band to take that award, especially considering that Jam Sessions isn't a rhythm game at all.

Head over to Joystiq's recap to check out the complete list of award winners without actually having to watch the Spike Video Game Show Awards. Unsurprisingly, aside from Phantom Hourglass and Super Mario Galaxy (voted Best Action Game and Best Wii Game), all of the winning games were developed by western studios.

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


12-09-2007 @ 3:18PM

Alec said...

i,m still watching it


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12-09-2007 @ 3:31PM

Jacob said...

The Spike awards have always been a joke. Who really cares their awards seriously?


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12-09-2007 @ 4:37PM

nintendolink007-entertainment said...

I'm not surprised....every year its obiously a Xbox 360 game that is gonna win. I think the award show is paid off to help promotion of the games that are winning despite how crappy or old they are.


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12-09-2007 @ 4:42PM

Croove55 said...

Kanye West, you are Grade-A meme fodder, made from idiot concentrate and other natural flavors.

I wasn't planning on watching it, though. It is pretty skewed toward the stereotypical "gamer" that owns every copy of the NFL games and the Halo series, and not much else. I'll pass.


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Pizza Pasta5

12-09-2007 @ 6:34PM

Pizza Pasta said...

Kanye West probably knows way more about video games than any of us do.

And yes, an anvil HAS recently fallen on my head.

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12-09-2007 @ 5:01PM

L said...

I'm not watching it. I think it's absurd that Super Mario Galaxy and/or Zack & Wiki weren't nominated for best game of the year. Both were better than Halo 3 imo. The decisions of who to nominate were clearly biased in wanting to appeal to the teenage American gamer. There's no meritocracy in this award show, it's just too influenced by hype and popularity rather than whether or not a game deserves praise.


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12-09-2007 @ 7:02PM

Croove55 said...

Excellent. You win. A+.

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12-09-2007 @ 7:32PM

JKAntwon said...

I've never watched it, because it makes gamers seem like thugs that only like games like Grand Theft Auto and First Person Shooters. Actual GAMES that take longer than a drug induced high to play never get any credit. RPG's are where its at, and Spike doesn't care about that.


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12-09-2007 @ 7:39PM

raindog said...

Honestly, the way those awards have been handled to date, even if Nintendo had swept the awards it would have just made me think Nintendo paid them off. But there was little chance of that since this and the G4 awards are both really the "Video Games For Teenage Boys Awards".


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12-09-2007 @ 8:51PM

Ivan said...

Handheld games always get the short end of the stick. The "hip-hop experts" behind this show probably think the DS is only played by 8-year-olds and would not draw in the crowds that they're looking for.


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12-10-2007 @ 11:54AM

velocitystrike said...

Any cynical Brit would just complain that the whole show was drowned in typically shallow American culture and thus would neverthink to include much about the wacky Wii and daring DS.

I might be cynical. British.

But that's not the point. I literally think this awards show is probably just a waste of time, made simply to get revenue and ratings instead of truly recognising gaming as a viable, serious and varied industry. Heck, I've never played a Madden game, nor have I even heard of the 306. Or whatever it's called.


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12-10-2007 @ 2:57PM

Don said...

Yeah, this show is a complete waste. One of my favorite games is, guess what, a JRPG (Which is, by the way, Dragon Quest VIII), something they don't even bother to take a look at. If they can't even recognize one excellent game from the eastern hemisphere, they don't deserve any of the ratings they get, the commercials do.


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12-10-2007 @ 3:29PM

Bluebreaker said...

Does it really bother anyone that what they show is what "THEY" think a real gamer is? That's sad. The audience they want is the audience that won't listen.


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