Did VGX Show a Split In Modern Video Game Culture?
In the aftermath of VGX, it seems people’s opinions on the event have been divided to say the least. Some have condemned the whole show as crude, poorly made, and utterly irrelevant; some merely viewed it as passable; others enjoyed the whole show from beginning to end. It’s strange that a show aimed at one large audience–the gaming audience–has garnered such a mixed reaction. But is this a good thing? Does it display the range of people who play videogames now? Or is it something a little less easier to bear?
The main point of criticism most people have being dwelling on is the style of presenter Joel Mchale. His off-key jockish humor has a number of people upset or straight-up disgusted. For those unaware, during the show, he made a number of comments (which, to me, came off as playful but ill-placed) towards videogame players, which of course were met with negative reactions. His jokes about transgenders has got a fairly sizeable amount of people riled up, and with good reason. This isn’t merely a small Youtube/Blip TV show; it’s a Gametrailers-produced event, the same Gametrailers that’s owned by Viacom. It’s the big fish in the ocean. Sensitive topics such as transgenders have no place being made fun of at such a large-scale event, and yet people somehow still found the jokes funny.
The videogame culture of today is hugely different from what it was less than ten years ago, and thus people are much more varied. It’s a simple matter of fact for anything going mainstream, and videogames are no different. Like it or not, some people would have found VGX entertaining and enjoyable, regardless of how badly it portrayed the industry and culture for the hours it was on air.
I don’t recall any videogame-related show or media event that has created such mixed reactions. The majority of people that enjoyed the show seemed to be young males who have only been interested in videogames for the last generation or so, or at least that’s how it appeared from my perspective. Those annoyed with the show appear to carry much more in-depth passion for the industry and its fruits. It seems there are people that identify the harm VGX could cause, in terms of the industry and its consumers’ image, and those that see it as harmless fun.
If there is one thing VGX has shown us all, however, it’s that videogame culture has changed, and will continue to change, as games become more and more mainstream.