Recognizing the essential role of writers behind the creative, cultural, and commercial success of the videogame and new media industries, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced the creation of the WGA’s inaugural Videogame Writing Award to be presented for the first time ever at the Los Angeles ceremony of the 2008 Writers Guild Awards on February 9, 2008.
Developed by the WGA and spearheaded by the guild’s New Media Caucus “to encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, to improve the status of writers, and to begin to encourage uniform standards” within the gaming industry, this new award aims to spotlight a wide range of quality work by videogame writers, raising their profiles and validating their contributions to this rapidly maturing medium.
Now, bear in mind that WGA has a nefarious background plan here, which is to gain new members from the video game world of things, and to extend its influence into that area. That said, it’s nice someone is going out of their way to point out something which should be obvious, which is that good writing matters to games and will become even more important the more certain games leave the “twitch and shoot” school and develop real stories and have genuine objectives for their narratives.
Also, I would personally nominate Marc Laidlaw for this, since, as I’m fond of saying, the Half-Life games are ones I re-read on a frequent basis, and I’m itchin’ to see what happens next in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Indeed, I’m more excited about the story there, then I am for the story of any upcoming film or TV show I can think of. That’s what good writing does for you — and, to tie in to yesterday’s Funky Winkerbean musing, reminds us that good writing can come at you from any angle.