The 2011 Spike Video Game Awards: A Retro Diary

15m — “From the upcoming film Battleship, a woman we’d gladly pause any game for … Brooklyn Decker.” I have no idea why that sentence cracked me up the way that it did, but it’s time to present the award for Best Action Adventure Game. The winner? Batman: Arkham City. I can dig it.

As the folks from Rocksteady walk to the stage to accept the award, we’re told that the game also won Best Xbox 360 Game and Best Adapted Video Game. Alrighty, then. At least they’re saved the indignity of a teabagging courtesy of “Sergeant Lipton” by rushing their acceptance speech.

20m — In a joke 17 minutes ago that I’ve already forgotten, Levi noted that over 40% of gamers today are women. Spike flies in the face of this by running an ad for Dr. Pepper Ten, which explicitly says it’s not for women. This diet soda really puts hair on your peaches, I guess.

26m — LL Cool J, who hasn’t released an original studio album in five-and-a-half years and currently stars in a show your dad watches, is up to present two BioWare trailers.

We lead with Mass Effect 3 and its sexy new gameplay trailer — thresher maws and reapers, oh my! ME3 is looking groin-grabbingly good so far, and in three short months it will be MINE.

Next is the mysterious new BioWare game that has been teased for weeks, which turns out to be a trailer for Command & Conquer Generals 2. It’s super-short, but the Frostbite 2-powered in-game footage is impressive. I can’t pretend to know anything about C&C beyond it being an RTS, though it seems a strange fit for BioWare. They have an all-new studio working on it, though, so who knows. We’ll just have to wait until 2013 to see how it pans out.

30m — Levi cuts to Felicia Day, who’s in a different area playing silly versions of popular video games to raise money for Child’s Play, a charity that gets games in the hands of kids in hospitals everywhere. First up, a Spider-Man: Edge of Time-themed game where she and Kevin Jonas (???) throw themselves at a velcro wall.

The result — 200! Wait. Dollars? That’s it? That can’t be it. Are the values on the wall in thousands? They have to be. Right?

32m — Another Dr. Pepper Ten ad. Is Felicia Day allowed to have one of these?

38m — Kevin Jonas makes his way to the main stage to present an award a trailer for Rainbow 6: Patriots. I don’t know what disturbs me more: Kevin Jonas presenting a trailer for a tactical military shooter, or the switch from “Rainbow Six” to “Rainbow 6”. Moving right along.

41m — Colonel Sanders kills some irritable douchenozzle at an unidentified multiplayer game as a precursor to the Trailer of the Year brought to you by KFC. It’s an utterly unimportant moment, but that’s definitely the only time I’ll ever get the chance to type a sentence like that, so I’m taking it.

48m — “From Comedy Central’s Workaholics …” four loud-mouthed asshats I’ve never seen before, and will never see again. They’re here to present a trailer for the new Alan Wake Xbox Live Arcade game, presumably as punishment for putting up with all of the Thermos, Energizer, and Verizon ads in the original game.

50m — Seth Green comes on-stage to introduce The Legend of Zelda’s induction into the Video Game Hall of Fame. Against all odds, this is beautifully handled, with a quick montage of Zelda footage before Shigeru Miyamoto walks out to appropriately rousing applause.

If — and it’s a big “if” — the VGAs ever mature into something more than a marketing blitz for the next year’s games, this will be a major reason why. It was a genuine moment, celebrating not only one of gaming’s premier franchises, but one of its greatest visionaries and creators. The unbridled enthusiasm radiating not only from Miyamoto, but also from the people present in the audience, shows that maybe the show can have a heart after all.

54m — And just like that, it’s back to nonsense as Felicia Day is playing real-life some Fruit Ninja, with a real sword. It’s a fun idea, except that an awful lot of people are nearby, and each successful strike is obviously splashing fruit juice all over her sword handle. At least the “Workaholics” tossing her the fruit are in the most danger.

“It’s getting slippery!”