Something has been as been bothering me about SPIKE TV’s Video Game Awards this year. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t really bothering me until my boss mentioned it, but now I can’t stop thinking about it.
Did Half-Life 2 deserve to be crowned Game of the Decade?
Half-Life 2 was a great game and you’ll never hear me say otherwise, but we’re talking about an entire decade’s worth of games here. And I just don’t think that HL2 deserves to be king of that mountain.
Even if we stay within the realm of Valve games, Counter-Strike had a much more long-lasting impact on the gaming industry than Half-Life 2. Sure, HL2 introduced the Source engine, which was a big deal at the time, but even that tidbit is only tangentially related to the game itself. HL2 didn’t make Source important, it was the other way around. Perhaps the Source engine should have won an award instead.
I mean, if the award had been for Studio Of The Decade, I would instantly change my tune. Valve has released some of the most important titles in gaming history. Plus, they created Steam and the Source engine. And if that’s what they’re being honored for, I’m all for it. But Half-Life 2 was only a cog in Valve’s success machine, and it wasn’t even the biggest one.
We’re talking about a decade that has seen releases like Halo 2, Modern Warfare, Wii Sports, and World of Warcraft. Every one of these games has had a significantly larger impact on the industry than Half-Life 2, but several weren’t even nominated. So, it seems like the folks behind the VGA nominations might not have their fingers on the pulse of the gaming industry.
Either that, or they’re all PC gamers.
Also, and this is just a personal complaint, why are we awarding a title called “Game of the Decade” on a non-decennial year? I understand that it was the VGA’s tenth anniversary, but it still feels wrong. The gaming industry doesn’t measure time by the VGA’s calendar.
Okay. I feel better now.
Date: December 13, 2012