Earl is an LA-born actor/improviser that wants desperately to be loved. Hah, not really. He'll eat all your leftovers if you're not careful. He's done it before. Tweets at @earl_baylon. Earl Baylons at earlbaylon.com. Tumblrs at Nerdoholic.


Spike’s rebranded VGX awards: Yup, that happened. Unfortunately it just wasn’t good. I guess they hoped that scaling down and going online would bring in more, newer, and younger viewers. I’m not sure how they did on that front – #VGX was trending on twitter during the live stream, so that’s good, right? As far putting on a good show, however… it just didn’t quite deliver.

Look, I understand the massive undertaking a multi-hour live show like this can be. It takes a lot of people that are on-point for the entire 3-4 hours to make sure things run smoothly, transitions are seamless, the pace and energy of the show are maintained, and that all guests and honorees are represented well. Admittedly, I didn’t tune in for the entire show. I caught about two hours in the middle somewhere. What I did see, however, was a mixed bag of interesting/funny moments with a large glut of “What the hell.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL4hrg49oTg (Woops. Looks like the YouTube copyright vultures got to it. Here’s a different one.)

Oh, the hosting. I don’t understand why Spike didn’t announce Joel McHale would be co-hosting earlier than they did. He was announced the day before the awards – that’s not good. An earlier announcement could have lent some credence to the show and garnered more viewership. I, myself, had missed the announcement, and was surprised when McHale showed up on screen when I tuned in. Being a Community fan, I probably would have made it a point to start watching earlier if I knew Joel was co-hosting. Perhaps they had lost a co-host, or maybe Geoff Keighly was meant to solo host all along, but in a last minute grasp of “Oh shit, no one’s going to watch! We need star power!” they added Joel McHale to the mix. I wonder how it would have turned out with Geoff hosting by himself. My instincts say it would have turned out like the live-stream E3 press conferences, minus the large crowd. Unfortunately, it’s the large crowd reactions that really make those things work. Judging by the wide crane shots of the loft used by the VGX awards, there werent’t very many people in attendance. Most people there seemed to be crowded around the bar, which meant very few people were even watching the main part of the show. This became readily apparent every time we were met with nigh-dead air when there would have normally been a round of applause. Every time Joel and Geoff (Joeff?) sent off a guest, or announced an award, it was always followed by a thin smattering of forced applause, which I’m guessing had to come from guests on deck or the crew themselves.

It being what it was, I’m happy Joel McHale was there. At some point in my partial viewing, I realized that he was the only reason I was even watching anymore. The constant calling out of how bad things were going and the downward spiral to Joel saying IDGAF was pretty darn hilarious. He wasn’t even being particularly vehement. He was just calling out bullshit where it lay. I understand that mindset as a performer. Yes, for the most part, you try to make the best of a bad situation on set or on stage. There is a limit, however. When something is too far gone, it breaks your willingness to work, to even try and salvage the project. It becomes a waste of time and money, and all you can think about is when you get to leave. Pretty much how I’ve felt at most 9-5 jobs I’ve held. I saw that in Joel McHale during the VGX awards, and I appreciated the hell out of it. I could feel too, whenever he felt like he had overstepped. So it’s not like the guy was remorseless. He was a prisoner of the VGXs and was lashing out at his captors.

There’s a reason why people hire experienced production teams to run the big award shows, like the Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys. There’s a reason why these shows have a team of writers and hire audience members, and seat fillers, and directors that don’t think constantly trucking the camera back and forth is a good idea. No matter the size of the audience, the problems/tasks that need to be dealt with production-wise remain constant. Your script can’t suck, your transistions have to be tight, your talent has to all be on the same page, things have to be rehearsed… etc. You don’t get to throw together a production of this scale and expect it to be something worth watching. And that’s what it felt like. It felt thrown together, and haphazardly at that. It wasn’t a complete debacle, though. The general framework of the show was there, it’s just that the details were lacking. Things were working on the technical side for the most part, which is a good thing. Nothing important crashed and left us with 10 minutes of dead air. Good job.

A few really cool things were announced too, so that rocks. Things I saw that I’m looking forward to: Telltale Games working on a Game of Thrones game, Broken Age (I love me a good adventure game), and Tomb Raider Definiteive Edition (because I’m biased).

And hey, at least it wasn’t the Jamie Kennedy’s KDOC News Year’s Eve special from last year. Wow.

Live Leak link

I suppose I applaud Spike for the effort, in trying to do away with the massive, crazy televised awards show, in favor of a more intimate, more content dependent, online-only program. I just hope that maybe they’ll see enough success in it to try again next year, maybe.

Seriously though, what the hell was us with the camera? Why was it moving all over the goddamn place?

At least we got this:

Oh, you probably care about who won what. Here goes! I know, no love for Tomb Raider! Come on, I thought at least Camilla would have gotten the statue for Lara Croft, right? Ah, what do I know?  But yeeeahhhh Naughty Dog!


Game of the Year

Winner: Grand Theft Auto 5

BioShock Infinite

Super Mario 3D World

The Last of Us

Tomb Raider


Studio of the Year

Winner: Naughty Dog

Irrational Games

Rockstar North

The Fullbright Company


Most Anticipated Game (voted on by fans)

Winner: Titanfall Destiny

South Park: The Stick of Truth

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Watch Dogs


Best Shooter

Winner: BioShock Infinite

Battlefield 4

Call of Duty: Ghosts Metro: Last Light


Best Independent Game

Winner: Gone Home

Kentucky Route Zero

Papers, Please

The Stanley Parable


Best Action Adventure Game

Winner: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Grand Theft Auto 5

The Last of Us

Tomb Raider


Best Sports Game

Winner: NBA 2K14


MLB 13: The Show

NHL 14


Best RPG

Winner: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Pokemon X/Y


Best Fighting Game

Winner: Injustice: Gods Among Us


Killer Instinct

Tekken Revolution


Best Driving Game

Winner: Forza Motorsport 5

F1 2013

Grid 2

Need for Speed Rivals


Best DLC

Winner: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall

Mast Effect 3: Citadel


Best Xbox Game

Winner: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

BioShock Infinite

Grand Theft Auto 5

Tomb Raider


Best PlayStation Game

Winner: The Last of Us

Grand Theft Auto 5

Rayman Legends

Tomb Raider


Best Nintendo Game

Winner: Super Mario 3D World

Pikmin 3

Rayman Legends

The Wonderful 101


Best PC Game

Winner: Gone Home

Battlefield 4

Papers, Please

The Stanley Parable


Best Handheld Game

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Pokemon X/Y



Best Casual Game

Winner: Plants vs. Zombies 2

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Disney Infinity

Skylanders Swap Force


Best Voice Actor

Winner: Troy Baker (as Joel in The Last of Us)

Troy Baker (as Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite)

Steven Ogg (as Trevor Philips in Grand Theft Auto 5)

Willem Dafoe (as Nathan Dawkins in Beyond: Two Souls)


Best Voice Actress

Winner: Ashley Johnson (as Ellie in The Last of Us)

Courtnee Draper (as Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite)

Camilla Luddington (as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider)

Ellen Page (as Jodie Holmes in Beyond: Two Souls)


Best Soundtrack

Winner: Grand Theft Auto 5

BioShock Infinite

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

The Last of Us


Best Song in a Game

Winner: “Will the Circle be Unbroken” performed by Courtnee Draper & Troy Baker (BioShock Infinite)

“A.D.H.D.” performed by Kendrick Lamar (Grand Theft Auto 5)

“Sleepwalking” performed by The Chain Gang of 1974 (Grand Theft Auto 5)

“Survival” performed by Eminem (Call of Duty: Ghosts)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *