Drunken Condom-Flicking Mars U.K. Games Awards

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Drunken Condom-Flicking Mars U.K. Games Awards


Last night's U.K. Games Media Awards were sabotaged by flying condoms, drunkenness, physical and verbal intimidation and more - all thanks to the event's primary sponsor.

Ever heard of Grainger Games? Probably not; it's a small videogame retail chain in the U.K., but it doesn't seem to be particularly well-known even in its home country. Which is precisely why it chose to sponsor the Games Media Awards held last night in London: to raise its profile with the consuming public. And Grainger's profile is certainly much higher now than it was 24 hours ago, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

The GMAs started off with a simple ode to tastelessness in the form of a bright orange, Grainger-branded Hummer parked in front of the venue, with a pair of scantily-clad booth babes and a couple of dwarves hanging out around next to it. Once inside, guests found condoms, in similarly bright orange packages, scattered across their tables. And then things started to get ugly.

Greg Davies, a comedian and actor who's apparently well-known in the U.K. [sorry, I've never heard of him] opened the festivities, but his routine was mercilessly heckled by the Grainger's Games attendees, who, as Gizmodo put it, were "pissed out of their heads." And while heckling a comedian isn't all that terribly unusual, the antics continued even as the awards were handed out.

"The awards were given out by the dwarves. Speeches were uncharacteristically short, for games journalists. This was their moment in the spotlight, but no one spoke for longer than 30 seconds," according to the report. "Perhaps it was something to do with the jokers from Grainger Games, who at one point had invaded the stage to do a silly 'dance' just as someone was receiving an award."

The intended highlight of the evening, a Games Media Legend Award for Colin Campbell, was also marred by slow clapping and boos during his speech. And in case that wasn't awful enough, "Several attendees at the event witnessed the Grainger Games table flick their branded condoms into other attendee's food," according to GamePolitics, while Xbox Live editor Daniel Maher tweeted that "two of them attempted to physically and verbally intimidate me after I'd told them to shut up." Later in the evening, a couple of the Grainger gang were caught by security snorting cocaine in the bathroom.

Fun is fun and I'm all for a healthy dose of rowdyism, but by all reports this was an absolute train wreck. It was bad enough that Stuart Dinsey, the managing director of Intent Media, issued a statement "apologizing wholeheartedly" and banishing Grainger from future GMAs or other Intent Media events.

"Grainger approached us a few months ago and explained that their intention, through association with the GMAs, was to get closer to the games media. What they have done, in spectacular fashion, is alienate the entire games media in one night. Good work, guys," he wrote on MCV. "Grainger Games' behaviour and attitude was the antithesis of what the GMAs are about. Next year we will give the event back to the media and work only with partners we know understand what the event is about."

Grainger eventually responded to the uproar with an apology that came off as a little less than heartfelt. "We wholeheartedly apologize if we offended anyone at last night's GMAs," the company said in a message posted on its website. "It was never our intention to upset anybody. We sponsored the awards to show our support for everyone involved in games media and we continue to value and appreciate all their hard work and commitment."

The Games Media Awards, for the record, is a fairly serious and even prestigious event. Grainger was the primary sponsor, but other sponsors included Electronic Arts, Codemasters, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Nintendo, Konami and Gamecom. Up to 350 guests, including almost 200 members of the media, were slated to attend, while "a limited number of trade tickets" were available at £99 - that's 160 bucks - per person. That doesn't much like a condom-flicking shindig to me.

via: JamSponge


Well, I didn't know who Greg Davies was either until I clicked his wikipedia page. I shall forever know him as "the guy who was in Inbetweeners" now. On topic, yeah... who the hell are Grainger Games and what do they even make? Oh, wait, they sell games? Well, still not heard of them until now.

god i love that "we are sorry we offended you" line. Basically a polite way of saying "you guys are way to sensitive." Not really an apology.

Sounds like my freshmen homecoming dance.

Never heard of Grainger Games, I suppose they got the high profile they wanted, not sure if I'll buy from them though.

Always a shame when people ruin an evening for other people. I would be pissed off if I was getting an award for something I worked hard for only for it to be tarnished by morons.

What, they didn't even use the condoms before putting them in people's food? Amateurs.

If there's no semen involved, I don't want to know.

BAAHAAAHAAAHAAAA! I can't believe that they could be so amazingly terrible. Even without their behaviour advertising a prestigious awards show with a Hummer and dwarves handing out awards along with branded condoms is the stupidest marketing move I have ever heard of. These guys should work for EA.

Granger games isn't all that big a chain, and while they DEFINITELY will get some attention from this I don't think it will do them any favours.

And I thought the stunt that Kayne West pulled was bad enough but this is utterly shameful and disgraceful. I really hope that the head CEO owner fired them all the people involved in the award ceremony.

And here I was thinking this kind of stuff only happens in B-rated movies with pretend potheads.

Sounds like a good laugh to me.

Whats the big deal? I thought booth babes snorting cocaine off a half naked dwarves in bright orange Hummers strewn with condoms was what gaming awards events were all about. /durr

Seems more like a publicity stunt more than anything. This company probably blew their next 10 years in marketing by hosting the event. So they likely wanted to make sure people noticed them.

I would never call Greg Davies "Well-known". That would be like calling Brian Blessed "fairly attractive".

As for Grainger Games. There's one in Liverpool. I find it cheap, tacky and overpriced.

Grainger Games is the only game shop within 50 miles of where I live, I have had a pretty good service from them and there prices aren't bad so please don't think that they are a company of morons. But still this was a completely stupid thing to do and I hope these people were fired.

Grainger games originated from newcastle and i wasnt aware it had spread much out of the north of england at all.
But then theres a gamestation down the road from the newcastle one and that tends to be a better shop.

Wait, hold on a sec. This sounds like the party Michael Scott would throw if he ever had a budget for the Dundies. Nice job guys.

from the UK and never heard of Grainger Games, and it seems it will stay that way.

Greg Davies.

Not really well known yet, but working on it.

Still better known than Grainger Games.

To follow on from Dickywebster, they get their name from Grainger Market in Newcastle (Upon Tyne, UK).

Back in the day they were a lot cheaper than the competition (mostly imported I believe) and to my young self were a Godsend as a result. Had a tendency to put stickers on the disc itself however, bad way to loose a console.

Don't even have the price advantage anymore really so I'm not sure what leg they're trying to stand on currently...

Oh and shouting "Toon Army"? Really? "Cini!" Would have been a better choice.

Grainger Games sounds like the best place ever. Who doesn't want their game store clerks snorting hardcore drugs and drinking, all the while flipping condoms at the customers? Not I!

There is a Grainger Games in Huddersfield and they are fantastic every time I've gone in, the staff know their games and are alright to chat to. Sounds like a bunch of drunken idiots got a bit too carried away and they should be given a spanking and probably sacked for that. They are good for import games and yeah can be a bit over priced but if the service is good i don't mind paying a bit extra.

Sounds like a blast! I bet I could out-condom-flick the guests. 50 points for nailing the award recipient in the forehead. Getting bored? Well their's some Class-A in the bathroom and we can always strap the dwarves to the hummer and ram the main stage! Just when this rainy old country of mine seems to getting me down it pops out a little nugget of joy. Rule Britannia and Queen bless Grainger Games. :D

This is why we can't have nice things :(

I'm sure these guys set respect for video game rewards, what little there existed, back about 10 years. I think a good portion of the blame should be rested on whoever let these guys sponsor this thing without checking them out.

Andy Chalk:
"Several attendees at the event witnessed the Grainger Games table flick their branded condoms

Grainger Games brand condoms.


Wow. This is pretty bad. I hope they feel inadequet now.

What, they didn't even use the condoms before putting them in people's food? Amateurs.

If there's no semen involved, I don't want to know.

The article didn't deny it, I don't think...

Davies is a great comedian, saw him live a while back. This entire thing stinks and a few people should have just had the shit beat of them. Should have done it in the north where they would have too.

I love Graingers (Its mainly foudn in the Northen UK area.. slowly working its way down south) just for its stupid cheap games and deals!

So this article made me lol

f'king Northern monkeys

I always presumed Grainger games was a one off independent store. One I often walked past but never really wanted to go inside of coz it looked pretty shabby & I was a piss poor student.

I live in the UK and I've never heard of that shop chain. They made themselves look pretty idiotic with this, so if I ever come across them I'll be sure to avoid buying from them.

Grainger Games is a brilliant chain of shops, but they are hard to find. They sell games for ridiculously cheap prices; first and second-hand.

One of these opened up where I live and everyone relentlessly mocks it for being shit, this proves that everything about it is utter shit.

Ugh, what idiots. Whether the actual shops are good or not, I'm going to avoid them.
But this isn't such bad marketing. This way, they got much more press than they would have gotten if everything had gone smooth. I doubt that there would have been any real news about them in that case. Even though I said, I'm going to avoid them, press like this one, does attract customers and I'm pretty sure that the number of customers is going to rise in the next few weeks.

I didn't even know these shops existed!
Much like with most of the residents of the UK...

Also, Greg Davies is AMAZING.
Don't be dissing the giant now, or he will destroy you!
(reference from his stand up)

I've been to the Grainger Games store in Leeds once, and it made my eyes bleed with the sun-orange colour scheme they have going. Other than that, they have nothing to offer to me that I can't get from, say, CEX. After this little escapade I shall not darken their door again.
This was their big chance to raise their stance in the UK retailers market, and with this, they haven't just shot themselves in the foot, they went ahead and cut the whole leg off with a chainsaw.

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