January 17, 2008

You Really Excluded Me

Via the new dude at Shacknews, the WGA's nominees for their first-ever video game writing award. I wish I hadn't broken the site yesterday so I could have had this up earlier. I know how you rely on Hit Self-Destruct for your hard-hitting news.

Radical Entertainment's Crash of the Titans (PS2, PSP, Wii, X360)
Vicious Cycle's Dead Head Fred (PSP)

EA Redwood Shores' The Simpsons Game (DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, X360)

CD Projekt Red Studio's The Witcher (PC)

Massive Entertainment's World in Conflict (PC, X360)

The rationale behind this frankly insane list is that the writers in question have to be WGA members. Makes sense since it's the WGA's contest, but I question the point of this award when it's forced to select its nominees from an extremely shallow pool, one that just so happened to exclude the best written games this year.

Perhaps the idea is to wave a shiny new award in Ken Levine's face to entice him into joining the guild, so the WGA'll get to recognise the 2010 equivalents of BioShock, Portal and Mass Effect but also further consolidate gaming with the film industry. That's a whole other post. I don't want to write it. Maybe you can. I only want to complain about things. I'm having a bad day.

I don't want gaming getting this close to a "legitimate" award culture. I don't want to see gaming get its own Academy Awards, as if the industry isn't driven enough by marketing already. And things aren't particularly great right now: we already have three hundred little versions of the Academy Awards, and I'd gladly jettison the Spike TV horror show, but I'm not terribly enthusiastic about replacing them all with one ostentatious money sink/popularity contest. Gaming doesn't need E3 to return in self-congratulatory award show form.

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