Television Award Shows
G-Phoria: Finally, a Real Video Game Awards Show
By Jon Minners
I have discovered the magical world of digital cable and my favorite channel right now is G4 TV. On this channel, you have hot girls reviewing games, guys that actually make being a geek look cool on Attack of the Show, Gungrave and other great anime, hard hitting pieces about video game censorship and the only real video game award show worth seeing anywhere. Yes, I am talking about G-Phoria.
Yes, G4 TV and its website may actually be our competition one day, but we wouldnít have created this website if we didnít love magazines like Maxim, Vibe, Cargo, XXL and Wizard; websites like IGN or www.ybfree.com or television stations like MTV and G4 TV, so it is a pleasure to discuss such a great show like G-Phoria, after having to once sit through the allegedly rigged atrocity that was Spike TVís Video Game Awards show. Oh, sitting here just thinking about that show makes me throw up a little in my mouth.
I had been anticipating the Third Annual G-Phoria Video Game Awards show due to some rather interesting commercials that seemed to parody the www.one.org commercials that we were all inundated with before and after the big Live 8 concert that was aimed at saving impoverished nations and yet, made no money whatsoever. Those funny spots, followed by even funnier spots featuring the different G4 TV show hosts had me counting down the days until the award show became a reality. Having been hurt in the past by Spike TV, I was expecting the worst, but I was very pleasantly surprised and am now looking forward to possibly attending next yearís big event.
Why was G-Phoria such a great show? Well, for starters, the fans voted for the winners. More than one million votes were cast online or via text, so you didnít get something stupid like the Sports Game of the Year loser somehow finding a way to win Game of the Year, which miraculously happened at the Spike TV VGAís. You also didnít get WWEís Smackdown winning Fight Game of the Year on the same show that somehow featured two big WWE matches. In fact, on G-Phoria, WWE Diva Stacey Kiebler awarded the Alt Sports Game of the Year to the deserving NBA Street Volume 3 even though WWE: Day of Reckoning was a nominee. Nothing fishy there. Already, I can respect the good folks at G4 TV.
Now, we are all going to have our favorites and believe one game is better than another, but this yearís winners were not unbelievable. Damn, I thought Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was going to take home Game of the Year, but couldnít understand why Halo 2 won the award? Halo 2 was a hot game and deserved all its big wins, including Game of the Year, Best Shooter, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Sound Design, Best Original Soundtrack, Best Boss and Best Male Voice Performance. As for GTA, well, it most certainly deserved and won Best Licensed Soundtrack.
The other big winner, God of War, which was reviewed on this site, took home awards for Best Action Game, Best Cinematic, Best Original Game and Favorite Character for Kratos. In fact, Kratos even made an appearance to accept the award, proclaiming his love for the award before jumping up and down on a couch and then brutally killing an Oprah impersonator to the delight of the blood thirsty fans. This segment was funnier than Scientology.
As for the rest of the awards, Half Life 2 was not forgotten about, winning Best Graphics and Best Female Voice Performance. LEGO Star Wars took home Best Adaptation, making me want to buy the game. Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap won Best Handheld Game. Katamari Damacy won for Best Innovation, but Iím still not buying the game. Burnout 3: Takedown surprised me, winning Best Racing Game. I was surprised Forza Motorsport didnít even get nominated. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords won Best RPG. Madden NFL 2005 won Best Traditional Sports Game.
The EB Gamers Choice Award went to World of Warcraft, a highly addictive multiplayer online game that also took home an award for a hilarious video called Leroy Jenkins. I was actually surprised to see the video mentioned. I will not discuss it. This video must be downloaded and enjoyed in the privacy of oneís home. Finally, William Shatner presented the Jeep Legend Award to Ralph Baer for essentially creating the first video game.
Not all was golden. Performances by Tony Yayo, The Bravery and a flat Black Eyed Peas did not translate well on television and probably didnít live either. We really didnít need those anyway. I was just happy with the awards for this yearís games and then surprised to discover what could be future award winners as G-Phoria also served us exclusives on the Half Life 2 expansion, Peter Jacksonís King Kong, the latest in the Need for Speed series and the new 50-Cent game about to come out, just to name a few.
G-Phoria is a great concept that takes the decision making process away from overpaid critics and gives it back to the fans, the ones who buy the games. What the viewer got was a real award show, with real winners and real excitement that truly honored the video games as more than just games for our amusement, but as the true works of art they have become.
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