Word on the street is that ratings for Spike’s Video Game Awards (covered here) were waaaay down this time around, especially in that “dumbass single male who watches Manswers unironically” demo that Spike typically targets. I shouldn’t need to say it but that Manswers link is probably NotSafeForWork.
If a show on Spike can’t increase its audience in spite of a big-name host and boobs galore, its future is probably in jeopardy. Why weren’t the VGAs paid more attention to this year? Could it be that the omnipresent Jack Black, the very poster child for the ill-groomed man-boy, has finally worn out his welcome, lost some of his allure? People aren’t getting tired of video games, are they?
In my more optimistic moments, I think I’d like to call this one a victory, if a small one. It could be that there are people who play games who don’t buy in to the cheap garish spectacle of the VGAs, perhaps because they want to avoid all the unfortunate stereotypes it represents. Gamers are not all unwashed womanizers chugging mountain dew in between rounds of Halo, their many gigabytes of pornography safely stored on their pimped-out rig’s external RAID array.
I doubt Spike is going to change the format into something more respectable as a result of lowered ratings – they’ll either throw in more boobs or cancel the show altogether. However, the poor reception of the VGAs as-is could make someone realize that there’s a place for a game awards show that trades in the t-shirt and jeans for something a little more upscale. Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later.