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Taking time to appreciate the important things in life

Sarah Vabulas | Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Honoring one of the more socially acceptable activities you can perform in a darkened room by yourself, Spike TV will present the first Video Game Awards Dec. 4 at 9 p.m., hosted by comedian David Spade. The awards ceremony will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and taped Dec. 2.

This unprecedented and non-traditional awards show will celebrate the many accomplishments of the past year in video “gamedom,” while also looking to the future of games in 2004 and beyond.

Awards in 16 wide-ranging categories will be presented in the culmination of Spike TV’s first annual “Video Game Awards.” Nominees and winners of Spike TV’s “VGAs” are tallied from gaming industry experts, public opinion via Spike TV’s website and Spike TV’s editorial board.

The categories are: game of year, best sports game, best action game, best animation, best diving game, best game based on a movie, best music, best performance by a human, most anticipated, most addictive, best PC game, best online game, best handheld game, best fighting game, best first-person game and best fantasy game.

Spike TV hosted online voting on their website to find the winners of the Viewer’s Choice awards – “Most Addictive” and “Most Anticipated” – which are completely determined by online voting.

Spike TV reports that the show will take place on a set that is “part ‘next-century Tokyo’ and part ‘Minority Report.'” In lieu of recorded clips from the games, the show will feature animation sequences intercut with actual game play by trained professionals. Spike TV’s “Video Game Awards” will feature no podiums, no presenters and no acceptance speeches. The “VGAs” will replace drawn-out “presenter-reading-prompter” segments with “advocate” introductions. These “advocates” are fans of the nominated video game, and that can mean a celebrity, musician or actual character featured within the game itself.

As “advocates” they can bash and/or brag all they want in support of their game, immediately followed by an intimate look at the nominated game itself. When winners are announced, the awards will come to the “Winner’s Circle” of tables where Celebrity Toastmasters will offer boasts and roasts to the newly minted winners.

“The VGAs celebrate those games that have blistered our fingers poised on the joystick and kept us up all night,” says Albie Hecht, president of Spike TV. “We’re throwing out all the boring and stagnant elements of traditional awards shows and focusing on what matters – the characters, game play, animation, music and performances that have made an impact on the video game community throughout the past year.”

Hecht will serve as the “VGAs” executive producer. Casey Patterson is co-executive Producer with Scott Fishman as producer and Greg Sills as supervising producer. g-Net, a leader in video game content, serves as consulting producers. Jim Burns is the executive in charge of production for SpikeTV.

Spike TV, America’s network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.