Spike TV’s 10th annual Video Game Awards (VGA) lit up Friday night as celebrities and video game professionals mixed at Sony Picture Studios in Los Angeles to celebrate a year of some memorable gaming.
Attending the VGAs were ce0lebrities such as Snoop Lion, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Alba, Zachary Levi, Johnny Galecki and several cast members from “The Walking Dead,” including Danai Gurira and Norman Reedus.
South Park’s Eric Cartman gave Jackson a hand, opening up the show with lights, pyrotechnics, music and a dead hobbit.
The VGAs didn’t allow for a conservative Jackson, whose untethered personality underlined the show’s explicit content.
It was Jackson’s fourth time hosting the show, and he certainly gave the group in charge of the bleep button a workout. It was a difficult task, to be sure, and some “m-fers” did slip through the gate.
The biggest winner of the evening was developer Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead: The Game,” which took home the Game of the Year award, along with Best Downloadable Game and Best Adapted Video Game.
Telltale also took home the award for Studio of the Year.
Multiple award winners included “Halo 4,” which walked away with Best XBOX 360 Game and Best Graphics, and “Borderlands 2,” which won Best Shooter and Best Multi-Player Game.
Dameon Clarke, who voiced the villainous Handsome Jack in “Borderlands 2” took Best Performance By a Human Male, and Melissa Hutchison, who voiced Clementine in “The Walking Dead: The Game,” took Best Performance By a Human Female.
The show featured premiere trailers for some of the most anticipated video games of 2013, including Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us,” Epic Games’ “Gears of War: Judgment,” Square Enix’s “Tomb Raider” and 2K Games’ “BioShock Infinite.”
The VGAs introduced unparalleled interactivity with the audience, allowing viewers to affect how the show ran by letting them vote for upcoming videos, music, environmental effects and props.
Several games had their world premieres during the VGAs. The audience was shown never-before-seen games such as Moby Dick Studios’ “The Phantom Pain” and From Software’s “Dark Souls II,” which should presumably put some fear in the hearts of gamers who have not yet recovered from last year’s crushingly difficult original.
The recently released Wii U by Nintendo also had a presence. The best game of the console was Nintendo’s own “New Super Mario Bros. U.” Bethesda’s “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” walked away with another award for the second year running, after taking Game of the Year in 2011 with Best DLC for its “Dawnguard” expansion pack.
Jackson gave a shout out to the men and women in uniform fighting overseas before welcoming Linkin Park, which performed “Castle of Glass,” a song featured in “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.”
Nearing the end of the show, the VGAs gave out an award to the best game of the decade. Fans voting at the Spike TV website chose Valve’s groundbreaking “Half-Life 2.”
Several videos during the show starred a digitized Jackson playing, well, himself, as a game character. Jackson was seen being hunted by zombies in “The Walking Dead: The Game” as well as smack-talking a ship captain in “Halo 4.”
The event was rounded out by a performance by Tenacious D, led by a wild-haired Jack Black.
Spike TV’s website has the entire two-hour show available for those who missed out on watching it live. The show can be watched at www.spike.com/events/video-game-awards/full-show/p3dnl6.