A writer I have come respect, Chris Perry, who first got my attention because of his poignant and rather direct letters to very prominent and respected people such as George Lucas and Frank Miller, has decided to respond to my article about the Spike Video Game Awards. Now while I am flattered, I am only mildly popular in my small circle of friends and respect is relative. Nevertheless I am, well…flattered.
I don’t want to rewrite his response, so take a gander at it and form your own opinions.
Recently, NuyoRiquena (our own NfamousGamers.com maven) posted an article on OpposingViews.com regarding the Spike TV Video Game Awards. (You can access it here.) In it, she responded to Cliff Bleszinski’s comments on Facebook, in which he stated, “It’s just marketing. Like the MTV Movie Awards or the Scream Awards, it was never meant to be our “Oscars”. The trophy is a MONKEY, even!” My distaste for ending sentences with a preposition aside, Cliff is completely wrong and completely right, simultaneously. First of all, nothing is the Oscars! It is the grandam of all awards shows so, that point is moot. And making the core of your argument a false equivalency is a sign that you’re either neoconservative or insane, maybe both. The end. Let’s move on. Secondly, why is the award being a monkey trophy a huge bone of contention?!?! I remember a very obscure video game that featured a simian character, way back in the day…oh, what was that called? Hmmm…the name escapes me for the moment…wait…ah, yes! I remember now. It was called…DONKEY KONG! ‘Nuff said.
The one statement where Cliff did get it right was the one concerning marketing. It is “just marketing”. But does it have to be? The second and third questions I would ask regarding that prescient point are these; what were the numbers? And how did the ratings this year compare to last year’s? If they were the same, nothing will change because these shows are inexpensive to produce. If they were lower, nothing will change because these shows are inexpensive to produce. But if they were higher, expect more buxom blonds bobbing for cupcakes because who doesn’t love that? (Er…I mean…I don’t!!! No, sir! Whew!) And by the way, these shows are still inexpensive to produce!
As I watched the Twitter feed during the show, I wondered to myself why the people making such venomous comments didn’t just turn the damn thing off? You want to show your disdain? Then stop watching it! Then again, based on that previous paragraph, that would do no good either so…what’s the point? The point is this. There needs to be a two-point plan. First, all the members of the Uber-Nerd Corps (including myself) must start a letter-writing campaign, and by that I mean emails. In those emails we must stress that this show has no business being on Spike TV. (And if you could also mention Star Trek: Voyager no longer being on the schedule, I would greatly appreciate it!) Second…STOP WATCHING SPIKE TV ALL TOGETHER!!! If we want to make some change, we have to bite their advertising revenue in the ass. Besides, their programming is a crap shoot (heavy emphasis on the word “crap”!) at best and I think we can all live without shows like 1000 Ways to Die and Flip Men. (Sorry, NuyoRiquena, but I just don’t dig this network. Hugs.) Not to mention the fact that they feature infomercials an average of 4 ½ hours every day. Hours, during which I am still awake, I might add! We should add the Spike TV Video Game Awards to that number because it is an infomercial, too!
NuyoRiquena is exactly right to question the choice of presenters, as most are picked based on the current projects they are shilling, projects that have nothing to do with video games! Would Neil deGrasse Tyson show up on the Grammys as a presenter? Hell, no! It seems that they aren’t going after the astrophysicist demographic for that one. Who knew? All of the worst awards shows are promotion machines and continuing to stare at them while hoping things will get better is an exercise in futility. (I’ve tried the same technique with a rash, which I don’t recommend.) The only true solution is to boycott and hope they self-correct.
Now back to an earlier point I made, which is the question of why this particular show is even on Spike TV in the first place. Is it just me, or is that kind of insulting to female gamers? We all know plenty of women who can work a joystick just as proficiently as men, if not more so. (And please keep your sexist comments about that last sentence to yourself, thank you very much!) This show belongs on G4, pure and simple. G4 is ripe for this kind of content and is a much more appropriate network that, I am confident, will book the kind of presenters and guests that we’ll all appreciate. I mean, they don’t broadcast the ESPYs on the Disney Channel, do they?
So what does all of this mean? Simply, I have no idea. I drank a lot of Vicks ®Nyquil before I wrote it but, I do know this; lodging your complaints on Twitter is a great way to get the ball rolling but it’s only a first step. Let’s get that email campaign going as well. And, come to think of it, why not inundate Spike TV with snail mail in addition to that? Nothing will open the eyes of the marketing geniuses over there more than a metric ton of wordy diatribes from us nerdy intellectual types.
So get to it. Put pen to paper and let the avalanche of letters fall down upon them. It will work. I know this because I watched Miracle on 34th Street recently and if it worked for Santa, it will work for us…
In the spirit of transparency, Mr. Perry recently started writing for my site, Nfamous Gamers and because of this I am forced to sit back and pat myself on the back. He is a hell of a writer, sure, but he isn’t afraid to “tell it like it is” even if it means disagreeing with me – I admire that quality. So Chris, don’t worry; you still have a job – for now.