From Oscar Pistorius to Oscar Night- Beware the Disappointments of February [California Seething]...

Look, we all know the world is a disappointing place. Sure, we wish that we lived in a world where the sun shines all the time (but not because of global warming), our favorite teams always win and Oscar Pistorius doesn’t murder his girlfriend, but that just ain’t the case. The fact is, we live in a world of blizzards and hurricanes (and not just because of global warming); the only thing that our favorite team wins is ESPN’s “Worst of the Worst” every Friday when they show the fucking butt fumble clip on the “Not Top 10”; and Oscar Pistorius became the single most disappointing disabled role model since the now infamous “Is Stephen Hawking gonna have to choke a bitch?” incident of ’97- as chronicled on his hip-hop album A Brief History of My Foot Up Your Ass. While no month has a monopoly on disappointment, February seems to have more than it’s share. The days are short and the weather is cold but the goodwill, glitz and gluttony of December’s merry holidays have long since been replaced by bigger waistlines and broken promises of a better you. Even the laziest, and drunkest, dads have finally emerged from their Two and a Half Men, Bud Lite, Papa John’s coma long enough to throw the desiccated brown corpse of their once proud Christmas tree out on the street like a kid who flunked out of El Camino Community College, where it lies around hoping that if it just looks pathetic enough, someone will take pity on it and haul it away like the goth-chick scowling in the back of math class, who hopes that if she just looks sad enough the quarterback will see the Disney princess hidden behind the black eyeliner and will...

Why the Video Game Awards are NOT the Oscars [Gamer by Design]

So what we’re gonna talk about today is, the eternal question of “Why don’t game awards carry the weight of the Oscars?” I’m gonna delve mostly into the content of the games, rather than the peripheral questions like the history of the Oscars, the budget of each show, etc. First of all, let’s get all the nit-picking out of the way. This is a column and not a 30 page dissertation. So in fairness to you, let’s assume these things: What are the Oscars: The Oscars aren’t perfect, and what we define as a “good” movie award show also differs from person to person. Some people think they’re too commercialized, some think the opposite. So let’s assume the most neutral point of view: The Oscars reward their industry as a whole in various categories, and their top awards are for commercialized movies that have what the industry considers great artistic achievement. Which game Awards Most game awards honor the same group of games, and I personally like the Developers Choice Awards the best, but we are gonna examine the Video Game Awards because they are by far the most widely-known. This year’s Game of the Year Game of the year this year, as listed by Spike: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Batman: Arkham City The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Portal 2 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception What do we see here?  All blockbusters, in the biggest most blockbusting sense of the word. I’ve worked on blockbusters from time to time, and most of my friends do (if you read my column, you saw my earlier interview of Red Dead designer Danny Bulla). So before we get into the details, how about this next part… I love the Fast and the Furious Yes I just...

(Not the) Best Picture, or The Indiscreet Charm of THE ARTIST [On The Contrary] Feb22

(Not the) Best Picture, or The Indiscreet Charm of THE ARTIST [On The Contrary]...

February rolls on, and now that the Punxsutawney Phil is back in bed, the Valentines are opened, and the Presidents commemorated, the only big event still looming for the month is the forced pageantry of the 84th Academy Awards. I wrote a column last year about breaking up with the Oscars after having a devoted relationship of over 15 years, but somehow the split has not slowed Oscar’s social life. She (or he) just keeps going on, as though I was never needed to begin with. So, in the spirit of stalking an ex, I’ve been thinking a lot about the movies Oscar sees fit to bestow its highest honor on. The Best Picture award might be the most controversial award given, since very rare is the year when everyone can agree upon what was the best movie. We can disagree on the other awards, but ultimately at least someone is happy to get the golden statue, and we can feel good about the joy of another person on a human level. The best picture award is the only one of the major awards that is bestowed upon a thing—not a person. Yes, the film’s producers receive the award, but the record lists the movie, not the people. It’s hard to feel good for a winner you didn’t like when it’s not a person, even if the Citizen’s United decision wants us to think of companies as people too. Anyway, we wait the whole show to see what wins Best Picture, and we are either bored (because we expected it, as with most recent years) or shocked that that they could pick such a turd (as with CRASH). In the case of the latter, there is the lingering feeling that we wasted an entire...