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Promotional Consideration: Why we're not watching the Spike Video Game Awards tonight

Eric Caoili

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

American cable channel Spike premieres the 2007 edition of the Spike Video Game Awards tonight at 9:00 PM (likely re-airing it a dozen times over the course of the next couple of months). Despite the scorn it received from gamers in its previous years, the show lives on, now in its fourth year.

There are many reasons one could give for refusing to watch the two-hour program tonight -- the event really is as ridiculous as you'd expect a video game award show to be -- but one specific flaw brought about our decision to avoid the production ...

Halo. Assassin's Creed. Sports.

Notice anything missing from that promotional piece for the Video Game Awards? Not one single frame of that minute-long clip is from a Nintendo DS game. Actually, there aren't any Wii or PSP titles in that montage, either. Spike has four other similar commercials that regularly interrupt America's Next Top Model the shows we've been watching on MTV and other Viacom-owned channels, and, while two of them accidentally include clips from Wii Sports, DS games are absent from all of the commercials.

For an award show meant to highlight the best consoles have to offer, how is it possible that the Nintendo DS received nary a single mention? It is the fastest selling console in all three major territories (United States, Japan, and Europe), and its games consistently top the video game sales charts. Also, as the numbers from Thanksgiving week prove, the system shows no signs of giving up its dominance over the console market anytime soon.

Yes, sales aren't indicative of quality, but the software library's quality and diversity are major factors behind the DS's unprecedented levels of growth. So, why has the Spike Video Game Awards ignored that rapidly growing community?

*Not an actual quote

Simply put, portable gamers aren't the target audience for the Spike Video Game Awards (or G4's similar G-phoria event). Handheld titles weren't dropped into the advertisements because the award show paid only lip service to handheld titles. According to the released results, of the show's 20+ categories, only one Nintendo DS game received an award -- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the Best Handheld Game. The other nominees were Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. The PSP fared even worse, failing to win in any of the categories.

Only one other Nintendo DS game appeared outside of the Best Handheld Game category -- Jam Sessions for Best Rhythm Game. We're sure the Ubisoft-published game didn't mind stepping to the side for Rock Band to take that award, especially considering that Jam Sessions isn't a rhythm game at all.

Head over to Joystiq's recap to check out the complete list of award winners without actually having to watch the Spike Video Game Show Awards. Unsurprisingly, aside from Phantom Hourglass and Super Mario Galaxy (voted Best Action Game and Best Wii Game), all of the winning games were developed by western studios.

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