Spike TV Video Game Awards Nominees Missing One Big Thing: Social Games

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Spike TV has announced its nominees for the 2009 VGA awards show, which honors the year's best video games. As an official VGA Awards judge, I get to vote on the nominees, which include a heap of fantastic games, such as Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Grand Theft Auto, Batman: Arkham Asylum and the like. I'm especially pleased to see to see PopCap's "hard casual" game Plants vs. Zombies made the list.

However, I can't help but notice that there's some big gaping holes in the nominees, namely FarmVille, Mafia Wars and other social games.

spike tv video game awards, no farmville

This could easily lead to a huge debate on how these awards are for the "core" gamer and not for casual player, but I know plenty of people (including myself) who play Modern Warfare 2 will then turn right around and play FarmVille and Mafia Wars on Facebook.

Also take into consideration that FarmVille boasts roughly 60 million active players a month (World of Warcraft has about 12 million players). Based on that statistic alone, social games deserve to be recognized for the hours of entertainment they bring to gamers -- both core and casual -- lives on a daily (sometimes two or three times a day) basis.

So to my hard-working pals at Spike TV, I implore you to consider including a category for Best Sociable Games next year (or at the very least, an honorary tip of the hat). Millions of virtual farmers, mobsters and pet owners will thank you.

If you're interested in checking out the awards, they will air live on Spike TV, Saturday, December 12 at 8 p.m ET/PT. The show also has a fan favorite category -- so go to the official site to place your vote.

See the complete list of this year's Spike TV Video Game Awards 2009 nominees after the jump >

GAME OF THE YEAR
• Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Publishing / Infinity Ward)
• Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)
• UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment / Naughty Dog)

STUDIO OF THE YEAR
• Infinity Ward
• Naughty Dog
• Rocksteady Studios
• Valve

BEST SHOOTER
• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Publishing / Infinity Ward)
• Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft Game Studios / Bungie)
• Killzone 2 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Guerrilla Games)
• Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)

BEST RPG
• Borderlands (2K Games / Gearbox Software)
• Demon's Souls (Atlus / FromSoftware)
• Dragon Age: Origins (Electronic Arts / BioWare)
• Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (Nintendo / AlphaDream)

BEST FIGHTING GAME
• BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (Aksys Games / Arc System Works)
• Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny (NAMCO BANDAI Games / Project Soul)
• Street Fighter IV (Capcom / Capcom/Dimps)
• Tekken 6 (NAMCO BANDAI Games)


BEST INDIVIDUAL SPORTS GAME
• EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 4 (Electronic Arts / EA Canada)
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Electronic Arts / EA Tiburon)
• UFC 2009 Undisputed (THQ / Yuke's Media Creations)
• Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)

BEST HANDHELD GAME
• Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Rockstar Games / Rockstar Leeds)
• Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (Nintendo / AlphaDream)
• Professor Layton and The Diabolical Box (Nintendo / Level-5)
• Scribblenauts (Warner Bros. Interactive / 5th Cell)

BEST GRAPHICS
• Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Publishing / Infinity Ward)
• Killzone 2 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Guerrilla Games)
• UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment / Naughty Dog)

BEST GAME BASED ON A MOVIE OR TV SHOW
• Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Atari / Terminal Reality)
• South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! (Microsoft / DoubleSix)
• The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (Atari / Starbreeze AB)
• X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (Activision Publishing / Raven Software)

BEST MUSIC GAME
• DJ Hero (Activision Publishing / FreeStyleGames)
• Guitar Hero 5 (Activision Publishing / Neversoft Entertainment)
• LEGO Rock Band (MTV Games – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Traveler's Tales Games - Harmonix)
• The Beatles: Rock Band (MTV Games / Harmonix)

BEST DRIVING GAME
• Dirt 2 (Codemasters)
• Forza Motorsport 3 (Microsoft Game Studios / Turn 10)
• Gran Turismo (PSP) (Sony Computer Entertainment / Polyphony Digital)
• Need for Speed SHIFT (Electronic Arts / Slightly Mad Studios)

BEST ACTION ADVENTURE GAME
• Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft / Ubisoft Montreal)
• Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
• Brütal Legend (Electronic Arts / Double Fine Productions)
• UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment / Naughty Dog)


BEST TEAM SPORTS GAME
• FIFA Soccer 10 (Electronic Arts / EA Canada)
• Madden NFL 10 (Electronic Arts / EA Tiburon)
• NBA 2K10 (2K Sports / Visual Concepts)
• NHL 10 (Electronic Arts / EA Canada)

BEST SOUNDTRACK
• Brütal Legend (Electronic Arts / Double Fine Productions)
• DJ Hero (Activision Publishing / FreeStyleGames)
• Guitar Hero 5 (Activision Publishing / Neversoft Entertainment)
• The Beatles: Rock Band (MTV Games / Harmonix)

BEST XBOX 360 GAME
• Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
• Forza Motorsport 3 (Microsoft Game Studios / Turn 10)
• Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft Game Studios / Bungie)
• Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)

BEST Wii GAME
• MadWorld (SEGA / Platinum Games)
• New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo)
• Punch-Out!! (Nintendo / Next Level Games)
• Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)

BEST PS3 GAME
• inFAMOUS (Sony Computer Entertainment / Sucker Punch)
• Killzone 2 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Guerrilla Games)
• Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (Sony Computer Entertainment / Insomniac Games)
• UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment / Naughty Dog)

BEST PC GAME
• Dragon Age: Origins (Electronic Arts / BioWare)
• Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)
• Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap Games)
• The Sims 3 (Electronic Arts / The Sims Studio)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
• Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft / Ubisoft Montreal)
• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Publishing / Infinity Ward)
• Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft Game Studios / Bungie)
• UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment / Naughty Dog)

BEST MULTI-PLAYER GAME
• Borderlands (2K Games / Gearbox Software)
• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Publishing / Infinity Ward)
• Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft Game Studios / Bungie)
• Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A HUMAN MALE
• Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Atari)
• Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (Activision Publishing)
• Samuel L. Jackson as Afro Samurai / Ninja Ninja in Afro Samurai (Surge)
• Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Activision Publishing)
• Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (Atari)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A HUMAN FEMALE
• Eliza Dushku as Rubi Malone in WET (Bethesda Softworks)
• Kristen Bell as Lucy Stillman in Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft)
• Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen / Activision Publishing)
• Tricia Helfer as Dare (Halo 3: ODST / Microsoft Game Studios)

BEST CAST
• Brütal Legend (Electronic Arts / Double Fine Productions)
• Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (D3 Publisher / Vicious Cycle)
• Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Atari / Terminal Reality)
• South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! (Microsoft / DoubleSix)
• X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (Activision Publishing / Raven Software)

BEST VOICE
• Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn in Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
• Claudia Black as Chloe Frazer in UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment)
• Jack Black as Eddie Riggs (Brütal Legend / Electronic Arts)
• Mark Hamill as The Joker in Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos Interactive – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
• Nolan North as Nathan Drake in UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves (Sony Computer Entertainment)

BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME
• Battlefield 1943 (Electronic Arts / DICE)
• Fat Princess (Sony Computer Entertainment / Titan Studios)
• Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap Games)
• Shadow Complex (Microsoft Game Studios / Chair Entertainment)

BEST DLC
• Fallout 3 – Broken Steel (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
• Fallout 3 – Point Lookout (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
• Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Rockstar Games / Rockstar North)
• Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned (Rockstar Games / Rockstar North)

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME FUELED BY DEW
• 'Splosion Man (Twisted Pixel)
• Flower (ThatGameCompany)
• Osmos (Hemisphere Games)
• Trials HD (RedLynx)

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME
• Bioshock 2 (2K Games / 2K Marin)
• God of War III (Sony Computer Entertainment / SCE Studios Santa Monica)
• Mass Effect 2 (Electronic Arts / BioWare)
• Starcraft II (Blizzard Entertainment)
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