The Anti-Awards 2009

During the process of becoming the capitalistic Godzilla of game publishing we know today, Activision inherited numerous titles it had no interest in owning. Whether it be Ghostbusters or Chronicles of Riddick, if it couldn’t be spun-off, annually sequelized or compatible with a plastic instrument, the folks behind Guitar Hero and Call of Duty wanted no part in it. Brutal Legend was axed in the shortsighted purging, in spite of the millions of dollars Activision had already invested in the project and considerable anticipation from people who actually buy games to actually play them.

Luckily, creator Tim Schafer and Double Fine carried on, and the game eventually found a publisher in the form of EA (Ironically, now known in some circles as “The Old Activision”). Even though the company had basically cast Brutal Legend to the wolves to wither and die, Activision decided it was still entitled to its profits and sued to prevent the game from being published… which is sorta like showing up to the foster home of your orphaned child and demanding he mow your lawn. You may’ve knocked the girl up, Activision… but EA married her!

Runner-up – Activision buys the competition

An Activision sweep! Back before we knew the public would respond to turntable peripherals with all the enthusiasm of a USB pottery wheel, Activision purchased the developers of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, the only competition to its upcoming DJ Hero back in April ’09 before either game was finished. Lawsuits flew this way and that, and just to prove that Activision’s intention was primarily to undermine its competitor, and not to utilize the talent, half the staff of 7 Studios were summarily dismissed last October. Oh Activision, you dicks…

Above: Telling the difference between DJ Hero and Scratch is tricky-TRICKY-tricky-TRICKY!

Everyone is in agreement that being unhealthy is bad. If you spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting on your ass then you're going to get clogged up with fat and increase your chances of an early death. But the Change4Life campaign - funded by the UK Government's Department of Health - seemed intent on singling out video games as public enemy number one in the battle against blubbery children and premature deadness. After a TV ad stopped just short of shouting "GAMES WILL KILL YOUR KIDS," this advert showed up in magazines:


It's not hard to see why companies like Codemasters, Konami, Sega and Sony (especially Sony given the style of controller) were a little pissed. Not only does the kid look bored out of his tiny mind, but any Average Joe Dumbass taking a cursory glance at the advert would arrive at the ill-informed conclusion that playing games equals death in BIG BLACK CAPITAL LETTERS. Sure, encouraging a healthy lifestyle is well worth promoting, but persistently portraying video games as the villain is complete bullshit.

Runner-up – PlayStation palmar hidradenitis

What better way to stir up a little anti-game propaganda than by naming a newly discovered skin disorder as 'PlayStation palmar hidradenitis'. This is after one 12-year-old girl suffered sore hands caused by prolonged gaming. Inevitably, news sites made the isolated case sound like an outbreak of the plague with predictably sensationalist headlines. Gamers at risk from 'PlayStation rash' / Excessive PlayStation gaming causes new skin condition / Game consoles 'cause skin sores.'

This year we're expecting nothing less than Xbox herpes.

Yes, we’re mentioning Nolan North in our Anti-Awards. A site which consistently bemoans the dearth of good quality story-telling in video games is bringing one of the most talented and charismatic actors currently working in the medium into its official tribute to all that is crap. Why? He’s being worn far too thin.

Above: Please use him sparingly 

We can understand why. After the first two Uncharted games it was obvious that this guy was a star. His performance coupled with Naughty Dog’s sharp script made for an immensely likeable hero, so it’s only natural that every game company under the sun now wants a slice of the Nathan Drake magic. But the problem is that while North excels when given a fun and snappy hero to work with, he can’t do anything to make a dull character any better.

In fact, by blindly signing him up for what feels like every game ever made this year, the games industry is merely ensuring that a whole lot of titles get themselves unfavorably compared to Uncharted. He was in 19 games in 2009, and he already has Alpha Protocol and Dark Void imminent this year. That latter one involves him exploring a tropical island, and thus is doing itself no favors at all.

Runner-up – Horde Mode(s)

We remember when we first played Gears of War 2’s Smash TV-alike co-op mode. It was great. But we also remember that on that very same day, Cliff Bleszinski joked with us that maybe soon every other shooter would lift the idea, just like they did with Gears’ cover system.

Nazi Zombies. Firefight. Gold Rush. Spec Ops’ sniping missions. And soon we’ll have Borderlands and Aliens vs Predator doing it as well. Co-op killing is great, we get it. But please devs, have a new multiplayer idea.

According to Rolling Stone, Courtney Love’s chief concern about Cobain’s role in Guitar Hero 5 was his appearance. Activision’s Vice President of Music Affairs commented, “Courtney supplied us with photos and videos and knew exactly what she wanted Kurt to look like…she wanted him to have that sort of athletic definition but not overly so.” Either Love isn’t particularly serious about preserving her husband’s memory (shock!), or no one mentioned that Cobain’s likeness would be squawking like a jukebox commanded by a drunk suburban high school girl. It’s possible she didn’t know - she apparently went on a partially-nonsensical Twitter tirade in which she threatened to sue Activision - but regardless, we now get to enjoy watching Cobain cover a song by a man who thinks clocks are ironic.

Runner-up – Johnny Cash singing No Doubt

And then there’s this. It’s funny - No Doubt sued Activision over their avatars singing non-Doubt songs in Band Hero, but the estate of The Man in Black is apparently not miffed by the reverse. Goodnight, sweet prince; and sing Gwen Stefani to thy rest.


  • Oddeh7 - May 27, 2010 7:26 p.m.

    "It’s an awful game guys, every major reviewer has given it a poor score, don’t buy it, trust me on this. – 5.0/10 – 2/5 Your kids will be immensely disappointed. 6.1 Cat says: 12/17/2009 at 5:54 PM Well, I have to respectfully disagree with you and the other reviewers. As you can see from the video, my son (who is 8 by the way) absolutely loves the game. He’s not an adult, serious gamer, but a child that enjoys the ability to skateboard in our home in a safe environment. From a parental perspective, I enjoy it as much as he does. There’s no violence and he’s getting physical activity. 6.2 Alakazam says: 12/17/2009 at 6:06 PM I suppose children ARE easily amused,,,,, 6.3 Cat says: 12/17/2009 at 6:08 PM Yes sir, they are." I actually found this on the site's review for this. LOL. Also, who scores games by just saying if you should buy it? reCaptcha: penwell would Yes he would. (soz for long post)
  • ActiveCancer - March 26, 2010 4:29 a.m.

    That seslers rant was hilarious "do you F*** your mother" i haven't got a ps3 and if i were to get one and a game i would look at killzone
  • theres1dentevil - February 13, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    sessler had me in stitches, he had a right to be pissed off.loved the inventive put downs when having a go at the nobs who wrote to him. brilliant.
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  • TheHolyHandGrenade - January 18, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    I dont know whats worse. The Great Killzone debate or the MAG Argument. seriously, on every single youtube video of MAG theres sombody who says the games crap and somone how compares it to COD6 and somone who says both games suck. Its starting to annoy the hell out of me
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  • WrathLord03 - January 12, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    I honestly think the Eye of Indra Comic Book Series by Naughty Dog should be mentioned in the Shameless Grab for Cash. I mean, they release the first and second comic one week and then the third and last one the next. The first one is free, and the other three are $1.75 AUD each. Then, one week later, they introduce a pack that allows you to buy all four comics along with TWO exdclusive multiplayer skins for $4.25AUD! Shameless!
  • country1st - January 12, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    if you have to glitch to win a game or get kills your a pussy and have no life. which means you must search the internet to find them too, that's fukin sad!! :(
  • country1st - January 12, 2010 3:50 a.m.

    ok for starters i own a 360 but killzone 2 looks bad ass. hell i want it my brother does and says its bad ass so people need to get over their bias bullshit. for all i care do all reviews for games on just ps3 or 360 unless there is an exclusive. their both fine systems and they both may have their drawbacks.Bias my ass.
  • venomman01 - January 10, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    I hate MW2 so fucking much reCAPTCH:medicine flushed
  • marioman50 - January 10, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    Oh god, the only thing I ever saw Rourke in was Sin city. Now I can totally picture Marv singing on stage at a jazz club, lol.
  • holiday7291 - January 9, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    hahaha, great killzone 2 video. couldnt stop laughing. and that guy is an idoit
  • AndyGiff93 - January 8, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    The Adam Sessler thing is brilliant, but he's right, the whole fanboy thing really became ridiculous around Killzone 2. Good article though, probably even more entertaining than the actual awards... lol
  • speno93 - January 8, 2010 3:18 p.m.

    Finally i was waiting for someone to confirm my 2 year sequel release suspicions and i was right!. Good article by the way.
  • reaperman22 - January 8, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    lol in that killzone vid the guy spelled stupid wrong, i love irony
  • inconceivable - January 8, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    The Wife Arm is never going to not be funny. I was just thinking that if his arm is his wife's essence, what does that make masturbation? (Please note: I'm a little bit drunk, but that does not affect the rest of my comment). Anyways, hilarious article. I was LOLing often, which led to me trying to explain to my mom what was so funny about the Anti-Awards. That didn't really work out.
  • ghostx101 - January 8, 2010 3:39 a.m.

    hahahahah on the video for killzone the guy, cliptag, said, "call me stuped" haha he spelled stupid wrong
  • FETALJUICE - January 8, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Ha! Even before the whole awarding giving began, I just KNEW what game would be the worst of 2009, JUST by looking at the award icon. lol Anyways, IMO all of these awards were dead on. Great article GR!
  • Samael - January 8, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    @crumbdunky Dude, no offense, but if you need to rant that much, start a blog. Please stop clogging the comments. Great list, both funny & depressing.

Showing 1-20 of 69 comments

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