Mark Hamill, Tara Strong (aka The Joker And Harley Quinn) Both Miffed About The VGAs

Mark Hamill, Tara Strong (aka The Joker And Harley Quinn) Both Miffed About The VGAs

The two lead voice actors from this year’s Batman: Arkham City ripped the Spike Video Game Awards on Twitter last night. They both lost in their respective categories, but, they said, that’s not why they’e complaining.

Mark Hamill, doubly famous for his roles as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and as The Joker in Batman cartoons and the recent, acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games, groused over twitter that he had “lousy seats” and didn’t even realise the award in his category had been announced.

Hammill had been nominated for Best Voice-Acting (Male) for his role as the Joker in Arkham City and had lost to Stephen Merchant who did the voice for the robot Wheatley in Portal 2. Tara Strong, who has played Harley Quinn in the Arkham games had been nominated for Best Voice-Acting (Female) but lost to Ellen McClain, who voiced the computer GlaDOS in Portal 2.

Neither award was presented on-air. As with several other VGA awards, their winners were announced in montages.


Strong slammed Spike on Twitter for putting her and Hammill in the bleacher seats and for announcing the Voice Acting winners in passing, with no presentation and no mention of the nominees: “if you weren’t going 2 announce the nominees, y have us come 2 the show? VO may not matter 2 u, but it sure does to us.”


At left: This is the image Strong Tweeted 10 minutes before complaining about her seats.


Strong’s complaints about the show being “just a big commercial” likely stem from the fact that the VGAs have been used as a showcase for trailers that announce new video games. Two years ago, Arkham City was announced to the world during its own VGA-exclusive trailer.

The Spike Video Game Awards are not everyone’s ideal version of a video game award show, and complaining about them has become an annual event, like the show itself. Complaints have often come from members of the gaming press and game development community, who have said the VGAs show too many celebrities, not enough video game developers and cater to stereotypes that gamers are crude fools.

In this case, it’s two celebrities — both of them hailed for their work on a video game series — who are complaining. To put it in context, though, this year’s VGAs included both the things people complain about and the things complainers say they want. There were skits with celebrities, lots of hype for new games and awards given off-camera. There were also featured moments that put game developers such as Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto on stage. The creative leads on the Arkham games even got to go on stage to receive an award for Best Action Adventure. The lead developers at Platinum Games, whose new Metal Gearproject was announced at the end of the show, sat in the front row at the event.

For the record, Kotaku‘s Brian Crecente and I are both judges for this awards show. Neither of us attended. We’ve reached out to the VGA team for comment about the Arkham actors’ complaints.

Tara Strong and Mark Hammill Twitter Feeds [via Michael French’s Twitter]


  • The VGAs have always been a complete joke for anyone actually vaguely interested in games, I was going to say industry, but I suppose that’s exactly what it caters to, business. When you put your nominees in the wrong freaking categories, you know you’re not to be taken seriously, let alone the criteria for the winners…. which is what exactly? This game sold the most copies and seems popular?

  • Tara Strong is awesome. I can recognize her voice instantly, and it happens quite often… She’s in freaking everything.

  • Why wouldn’t you show that part / have that part as part of the ceremony? That’s the chance you get to have some actual celebrities on camera, and they replace it with a montage? Crack, that’s what they’re smoking.

  • Why can’t the industry do a proper and prestigious award show like the BAFTAS? If studies are correct, the average gamer is around 25 years old, and award shows like the VGA is reminiscent to the Nickelodeon slime award which is totally not their interest.

    For an industry earning gazillions every year, its pitiful that we are forced to award some deserving games in such a juvenile setting and drag it on with celebrities who probably only play angry birds.

    • I don’t see how they’re washed up, especially when you consider that Tara Strong does a ton of voice work and Mark Hammill is still doing voice work while he writes various different projects.

      Their treatment at the VGAs is nothing short of disgusting; they were both nominated or awards, at the very least they should’ve been seated with the guys at the Rocksteady table.

  • “Neither award was presented on-air. As with several other VGA awards, their winners were announced in montages.”

    And that’s the problem with the VGA’s. It’s not an awards show.

  • Thats wierd! Best voice actor is a HUGE award, why the hell would they not do that on camera?!?!?!!>>!>!>!>!?!?!?!?!?!>!!?!>?!!!?!??!?!?!

  • She only just now realised the VGA’s were only a big commercial? I could have told her that years ago.

    The ONLY reason that gamers pay attention to the VGA’s at all, is to rip it to shreds afterwards. We let you poor bastards sit through the damn thing and then read your reports later. We’ll watch the reveal trailers after the show when they get posted on every gaming website on the internet so we don’t have to actually watch the VGA’s.

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