Petition Started for Video Game Hugo

Nana Amuah has started a petition at Change.org calling on MidAmeriCon II to run a special Best Video Game Hugo category next year.

That is something the con could do under WSFS Constitution Section 3.3.17 which allows a committee to create one special category.

This was my first year nominating and voting on the Hugo Awards. One thing that bothered me was why video games were not honored. Sure, games can technically be nominated for Dramatic Presentation, but do you actually ever see that happen, as opposed to movies and TV shows? There has been considerable debate over the years about this. There WAS a trial “Best Video Game” category in 2006, but only 58 people nominated for it. However, I believe that we are long overdue for a category like this. Within a decade, games have grown in stature, offering more complex storytelling and gameplay that is resonating with mainstream culture and fandom (including that of SF/F works). This very year we’ve had stellar SF/F games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bloodborne, Kerbal Space Program, Pillars of Eternity, serialized games like King’s Quest and Life is Strange, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. None of these have a significant chance of getting recognition fron the Hugos. You might be thinking that due to recent controversy surrounding the Hugos, that this shouldn’t be a priority. However, more people than ever signed up to the WorldCon to vote this year, which I believe presents an opportunity; there may just be more people that are at least aware of what good games have been released in the speculative genres. That is why I believe that MidAmericon II should, 10 years after the fact, instate an additional one-time category for “Best Video Game” (or if you want to be more formal, “Best Interactive Presentation”)

At this writing the petition has only one signature.

As Amuah mentions, the 2006 Worldcon attempted a special Hugo of this type (“Best Interactive Video Game”), and cancelled it due to lack of response from the voters.

[Thanks to Mark (yes, you, not the other one) for the story.]

91 thoughts on “Petition Started for Video Game Hugo

  1. Hmm. I can certainly see that working better now than it did a decade ago. Certainly the art of good storytelling in video games has advanced a great deal since then, and there are plenty of examples to choose from.

    I do wonder how many really good examples appear in a given year, though, and there are probably questions of eligibility that would need to be addressed. For example, if I got the opportunity I would probably nominate Dragon Age: Inquisition for the award – but it was first released in 2014, and so wouldn’t be eligible unless the fact was taken into consideration that its last installment was released this year.

  2. I’m not surprised that the petition has only one signature given that she has chosen to mount her campaign at a general mundane site rather than among the people within the community who could discuss and possibly promote it

  3. Mike Glyer: Yes, you with the Gravatar holding….what is that anyway?

    It’s a Siamese SJW credential. I’m shocked at your ignorance.

  4. After the lengthy discussion on here roundabouts May (I have unfortunately been unable to locate the thread), when numerous Filers who are avid videogames said that they felt hard-pressed to come up with 5 truly outstanding videogames for each of the last 10 years, I would cede to their expertise and would not support a Best Videogame category.

  5. JJ: Of the limited possibilities that came back in my search, Kevin Standlee’s comment about a video game Hugo in this post most resembles what you are looking for. Maybe that’s the right timeframe to look for more.

  6. @Mike Glyer

    Kitteh?

    How often does the special Hugo power get used? If I were deciding this, like JJ I’d want to be persuaded that this was a great year to get some exemplary games nominated. As the only thing more shameful than my TBR pile is my unplayed Steam library, I really don’t know what’s out this year.

  7. JJ –

    After the lengthy discussion on here roundabouts May (I have unfortunately been unable to locate the thread), when numerous Filers who are avid videogames said that they felt hard-pressed to come up with 5 truly outstanding videogames for each of the last 10 years, I would cede to their expertise and would not support a Best Videogame category

    You could probably come up with 5 for this year. Metal Gear Solid V, The Witcher 3, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (if they’re count a remake that does add some significant differences as eligible), Batman Arkham Knight, and, uh, hmmm. Mad Max maybe? I heard the story wasn’t very good in the game. Fallout 4 is coming out, though some of the best moments of Bethesda games are the personal adventures you end up having that aren’t strictly scripted so that might be harder to express.

  8. A good Hugo category shouldn’t have five eligible works out in a year, it should have 15 or 20 or 25 possible eligible works so the nominees are the cream of the crop, not the crop itself.

  9. I don’t play videogames. But I know a lot of people who do, as well as people who write and design them, and I know they care deeply about the stories and put a lot of work into them.

    So it seems like a category worth honoring, if there’s interest enough among people who’d vote in the category. As such, I’ve got no business signing the petition but I wouldn’t vote against them.

    On the other hand, should it be videogames only, or would Best Interactive allow for tabletop RPGs like Numrnara, and other game forms?

    That might solve the problem with the size of the field, too.

  10. Mark: The special Hugo category rule isn’t used a lot, but I would say it has most often been used for trial runs of new Hugo categories that already have a first passage and are in the ratification process.

    However, I think the attempted 2006 Best Interactive Video Game may have originated with the committee — at least, it wasn’t related to any passed rules change.

  11. Problem with video games is they’re expensive and they take a long time to experience even if you’re good at them. DP Short? Half hour of “Doctor Who”, or one hour of “Game of Thrones”, and you’re done. DP Long? 2 to 3 hours of movie. You could see all the nominated movies in a theater for the price of one game, in less time.

    Short stories are short, and even novels don’t take as long as a game (modulo reading speed vs. fast twitch speed). Plus, all the written and dramatic works come in just one format, whereas the video games are going to run to 4, and who can afford the hardware to play them all? My library will lend me books and DVDs, but I can’t borrow an Xbox.

    I just don’t think we have enough time and money to rate those, generally speaking.

  12. @lurkertype,

    God/The Devil is in the detail isn’t it? I have the same issue with the proposed Best Series Hugo: how will voters squeeze in the reading/playing time to properly assess the finalists before voting?

  13. I can easily spend over 100 hours playing through an RPG. (At 200+ hours on Atelier Shallie right now, it requires two playthroughs.) A full category of such games would be like reading through Wheel of Time all over again.

  14. I’d hate to see a special video game Hugo bring more GamerGaters into the process while our nominating system is not protected from bloc voting.

    But after EPH is in place, I’d support the idea.

  15. Honestly, and I say this as a former video game developer, I don’t think this is the best use of the ability to create a one-time Hugo category.

    I’d much rather see the special one-off Hugo used for something like “Best Series since 1965”, or a trial of “Best Young Adult” (yes, I understand that both of those may be third-rails, but we’re talking about a one-off here).

  16. When I first saw this, I thought it was a video game about the hugos. I was thinking a cookie clicker for Hugo votes.

    You can make n argument for Dwarf Fortress for best related work. At its heart its a story engine. Alot of people have written stories about getting crushed in that game.

  17. On a related note check out crpgddict. The guy has a goal to play evey RPG ever made. Very detailed reviews and he includes old reviews to discuss them in context.

    Also check out the youtube channel Matt Chat. He interviews RPG develeopers. Most of the interviews are old school developers from the 80s and 90s.

  18. Well personally, I think there are probably about 30 worthwhile works that come out of the various Ludum Dare style contests each year (which is, I guess, closer to the Short Story category than Best Novel), and even something as specialised as the Xyzzy awards for IF have entries that deserve much wider audiences.
    Meanwhile, I will be nominating Sunless Sea when I can figure out which fiction category it should be in. (Since Best Related Work is just wrong, and Dramatic Work is not right either.)

  19. A video game Hugo sounds like a great way to guarantee GG shitting on the Hugos instead of telling VD to go to hell.

  20. I think it would work if interactive novels got slid into the mix. A LOT of those come out, but they’re not on the radar of most hardcore gamers. There’s amazing stuff being done (and I myself am sporadically poking one, so I’m not unbiased.)

    But…I don’t see it as a good fit for the Hugo. And I LOVE gaming. Love. Love like the tree in Last Unicorn loves Schmendrick the Magician. But I just don’t think we’re at a place where it’s gonna get a solid voter base with enough solid nominees.

  21. @RedWombat A hugo catagory for stuff like Long Live the Queen and Hate Plus? Sounds great except for GG coming in to crap on it, but how do you word it so you don’t end up with the Witcher or Call of Duty?

  22. Dave Weinstein on September 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm said:

    I’d much rather see the special one-off Hugo used for something like “Best Series since 1965″

    That would violate WSFS Constitution Section 3.2.1 (emphasis mine):

    3.2.1: Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year.

    …unless there was a book published in the series in the eligibility year.

    If you ask, “But what about the last time we had “Best All Time Series”? the answer is, “The rules were a lot less restrictive about Worldcon committees could do back then.”

  23. @Matt Y:

    I don’t play near enough video games, but when looking for best story, I think that is an area where indie developers would really shine more than the blockbusters.

    @Dave Weinstein:
    Although I think in principle it would be nice to recognize that video game writing can be strong storytelling as well, I agree that this isn’t a good idea for a one-off. The practical issues alone are massive. Either Best Series or Best YA trial runs would be far more workable as well as useful in the long run. Not to mention, they have already had a significant degree of thought given to them.

  24. I will admit that I can’t think of 5 works off the top of my head, that were SFnal (well, SF or Fantasy), that were worthy of nomination from the past year, but I could think of works and I did submit one on my nomination ballot – Wolfenstein: The New Order, to be specific. I considered Alien: Isolation, but I didn’t play that game because, well, I saw a trailer with one of the death animations, and my response was that of the Nope Llama, and consequently I gave the game a miss.

    See also: Five Nights At Freddies. I can’t even watch streams of that one. That franchise surpasses the Nope Llama to my singing “Nope” repeatedly to the tune of “For I Am Happy To Be Going Home (The Trolololo Song)”

    However, to be fair, there are definitely some games that are incredibly conductive for creating your own story that are probably worthy of consideration that, well, I didn’t think of because I was focusing on games with a particular story in mind – Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, and Kerbal Space Program are definitely great examples of this.

    Ultimately, though, while I do love video games as a medium for entertainment and storytelling, I would not consider including them in the Hugos at this time to be as pressing a concern. Unlike YA novels and Graphic Novels (where any awards in those fields are juried, with little to no fan input), and even SF Television, there are a glut of awards given out for excellence in video games, and frequently SF games win awards for best story.

    Also, I can’t imagine the hand-wringing that would happen over figuring out how to handle re-releases or re-translations. For example, there are these questions (assuming, for the moment, that the category was in existence when these games came out):
    1) Does Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions count as a separate game as Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1? The gameplay and main story beats are the same, but the presentation of the story is changed dramatically.
    2) What about the new version of Final Fantasy VII? As with FF Tactics, the story is probably going to be the same, but the presentation of that story (and likely the gameplay) is going to be changed dramatically.
    3) There wasn’t a Best Video Game Category when Shadow of the Colossus came out, so is the re-master of Shadow of the Colossus eligible?
    4) Minecraft was in beta for years before it was officially “released” – was it’s year of eligibility the start of its open beta, or the year it left beta and became a release version?)
    4a) How are Steam Early Access games handled?
    5) Are we focusing more on story, or on the game as a total package: story + gameplay?
    5a) How does that focus games without a written narrative, but which are definitely works of SF or Fantasy, like Dwarf Fortress, Kerbal Space Program, and Galactic Civilizations.
    5b) How does this effect works where there is a written narrative, but aside from an intro cutscene, it’s presented through lore in the environment, or is otherwise missable (like the Dark Souls series)?

    These aren’t exactly edge-cases either. This kind of stuff covers things that happen all the time in video games.

    At the moment, aside from a “Best YA Category”, as one of the young-whippersnappers, I can’t really see a need at the moment for a “Best Video Game” category. I’d be more inclined to advocate in favor of a “Best Animated TV Program” or “Best Season of TV/TV Series” category over a Best Video Game category.

  25. @RedWombat A hugo catagory for stuff like Long Live the Queen and Hate Plus? Sounds great except for GG coming in to crap on it, but how do you word it so you don’t end up with the Witcher or Call of Duty?

    Just like those! But…argh. I don’t actually know that you’d want to, honestly, given that some of the big studio releases are also excellent–I may have screamed WHY IS IT ALWAYS ALIENS during the second installment of a certain Ubisoft franchise, but I still loved it, and I would put Okami against anything ever.

    Problem is that you’re asking the electorate for a different skill set than they traditionally have. You can evaluate Best Graphic Novel with the skills from reading books, but get into Best Game and there stops being a direct translation. And we have expense, time, and skill involved. There are no non-readers in the Hugo voting, but there’s a lot of non-gamers.

    I just think it’s too different. Which pains me a lot, because I love games and I love the Hugos, but…it may be two great tastes that don’t go great together. I also like rum and red wine, but I don’t think they belong in the same bottle.

  26. If you think puppies make a lot of noise when their favorites don’t get nominated/awarded, wait until you see what gamers do if MGS V loses to Life is Strange.

    Which it totally should, if we’re basing it entirely on story.

  27. I don’t think there’d be enough votes for the category to be viable. And we sure don’t want it this year with all the GG boys still hanging around.

    YA would be a good thing to trial, again, after we Febreeze the place.

  28. Maybe the wording of graphic story can be changed to make it clear that visual novels are welcome?

    And interactive story category? Visual novels are sort of everything choose your own adventure books of bygone days were supposed to be.

    Edit. It would be kind of cool to see a Hugo go to Hatoful Boyfriend V: The most hatoful ever!

  29. @JJ,

    It’s a worthy exercise which bears repeating:

    2014:
    Shovel Knight
    Farcry 4
    Valiant Hearts
    Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Bayonetta 2

    2013:
    The Last of Us
    GTA5
    Bioshock Infinite
    Beyond Two Souls
    Assassins Creed 4

    2012:
    Mass Effect 3
    The Walking Dead S1
    Dishonored
    FTL
    Journey

    2011:
    Dark Souls
    The Witcher 2
    Minecraft
    Portal 2
    Batman: Arkham City

    2010 (Imo a very strong year)
    Heavy Rain
    Mass Effect 2
    Alan Wake
    Red Dead Redemption
    MGS: Peacewalker

    2009:
    Uncharted 2
    Batman: Arkham Asylum
    Dragon Age: Origins
    FFXIII
    Borderlands

    2008:
    MSG4: Guns of the Pat’s
    Fallout 3
    GTAIV
    Dead Space
    Persona 4

    2007:
    Portal
    Super Mario Galaxy
    God of War 2
    Bioshock
    Halo 3
    The Witcher
    Mass Effect
    Uncharted
    Assassin’s Creed

    2006:
    Okami
    ES4: Oblivion
    TLoZ: Twilight Princess
    Gears of War
    FFXII

    2005:
    Shadow of the Colossus
    RE4
    Destroy All Humans
    Civ4
    F.E.A.R.

    …and lest people don’t think the hits can continue, I offer a glimpse at 2020’s choices:

    2020:
    GTA7
    Assassin’s Creed 5
    Metal Gear Solid: Solid Snake’s on a Plane
    God of War 5
    The Sims: “The Sims” for Your Sims DLC
    FFXXMCVIII

    Silly But True

  30. I think we can easily come up with 5 finalists, but the last time it was discussed, it was noted that 5 is not enough – you need to have a fairly competitive and deep bench – ie, 20-30 items or so.

    I don’t think we’re there for an ongoing category, but a one-off….games are fairly varied. I’m trying to come up with a reasonable list to see how deep the bench is, and what I have thus far (that is, games that are both genre based and feature exceptional storytelling):

    Life is Strange
    Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
    Dragon Age: Inquisition (originally out in 2014, but the last DLC – an epilogue/ finale of sorts – came out this year)
    Pillars of Eternity

    Over at the SP4 site, people have suggested some MMO episodes/ events (Star Trek Online: The Iconian War? – I don’t do MMO, so can’t speak of it. Fallout 4 is a likely candidate, as is perhaps Halo 5

    Any others for this year?

    I still see it as insufficient, which is why I’m ok to nominate Witcher 3 for BDP next year.

  31. Silly But True: It’s a worthy exercise which bears repeating

    I’ll paraphrase what ULTRAGOTHA said: Coming up with 5 works in a given year is not nearly sufficient.

    Coming up with 20-25 works which are all quality works would be sufficient (note that this is not the same as coming up with 5 quality works plus 20 mediocre works).

  32. Silly But True –

    2014
    Farcry 4

    Really? I had tons of fun with that game but that’s not a game that could hold it’s own on the strength of its narrative, especially since the end message is that things might’ve turned out better if you hadn’t played the game at all. That was a game that was good in spite of it’s story, not because of it.

    And Heavy Rain? for story?! Minecraft? Not sure that, Red Dead, GTAV and Uncharted would count as SFF games really. Others like Minecraft and Super Mario Galaxy aren’t exactly known for their narrative.

    Ken Marable –

    I don’t play near enough video games, but when looking for best story, I think that is an area where indie developers would really shine more than the blockbusters.

    I agree, partially because there’s a way stronger focus on theme with a smaller team. It’s a bit harder to write a great story for a game when there’s 1000 people working on it and the narrative isn’t as important as making sure there’s no technical bugs and that the textures look good, much less submitting to whatever the publisher thinks would sell better and trying to pass through any creative choices through a bureaucracy. Can you imagine a Sci-Fi book written by a team where a creative director could change the whole theme based on what beta readers or what someone in corporate decides might sell better tomorrow?

    I find games made by smaller teams to be more focused, which shouldn’t be surprising in the least.

  33. Hi all,

    This suggestion was raised with the MidAmericon II Chairs.

    Given that we’re already going to be administering two sets of Hugo Awards, we’ve decided not to add an additional category.

    If there’s community support for Best Video Game as a Hugo category, I’d suggest approaching the Worldcon75 team to consider it for 2017.

    Cheers,

    PRK,
    On behalf of the MidAmeriCon II Social Media Team

  34. I don’t think this is a good category for the Hugos because a significant portion of good game titles are not very accessible to voters: platform games. A voter who doesn’t own the latest Wii/Xbox/Playstation would first be required to purchase the platform and then the game on top of that in order to play the nominated work and make an informed decision.

    I like the idea of the category, but I question whether the Hugos are the right place for it.

  35. DEVICE 6
    Monument Valley
    Professor Layton (best game writing ever… Possibly)
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series
    Puzzle Agent
    Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
    Papers, Please (not played, but heard good things about)

    I don’t think any of these are eligible this year, but they’re definitely recent video games with a cool storyline. Braid was also pretty revolutionary story-wise, when it came out. Loads of people are writing interactive stories in Twine too.

  36. I really think this is something better handled as its own awards – computer gaming achievements with an emphasis on storytelling, as evaluated by people who may have a whole lot of genre fiction and related background.

    When you’re in a thriving online environment like this, it’s easy to underestimate just how large a fraction of Worldcon’s part of fandom aren’t online in a general way and very much wish to keep it that way. Take, oh, George R.R. Martin or Our Gracious Host or Teresa Nielsen Hayden or Jo Walton or some other suitable incarnation of trufandom and remove all enthusiasm/interest for dealing with anything like a computer game, or a computer capable of running current games. Even simple audio podcasts are controversial, as witness the separate Best Fancast category, created at least in part to get the noisy things out of the allegedly decent and wholesome and for sure text-based tradition of Best Fanzine.[1]

    1: Impartiality not guaranteed.

    There’ll be a large section of Hugo voters who Do Not Care, and a smaller but significant ones who View With Alarm any such development.

    As a practical matter, darned few Worldcon con committees will have expertise on tap with which to resolve edge cases and uncertainties, too.

    So I’d start by gathering a population exclusively of people who actively want such a thing and build from there.

  37. Well, this signal boost has resulted in a 300% increase in signatures.

    @PRK I think there are some Finns thanking you through gritted teeth right now.

  38. @PRK

    Aaaaaaw. You could’ve let us at least run around on this for another day or so….

    @Matt Y

    True, but it was still better than the storyline of Far Cry 3 though.

    Ahhh, FC3. Superb gameplay. Abominable story.

  39. I believe the upshot of the discussion in May(?) was that no, not even the dedicated gamers could come up with 15-20 works per year that were exemplary, no-one could agree what counted as exemplary (just storyline? Interactive elements? Gameplay?), the barrier to entry for console games was potentially a huge problem, and that they’re all eligible under Dramatic Presentation anyway so if there was enough support we’d see it in things getting nominated there first, which isn’t something that’s troubled the Dramatic Presentation categories so far.

    I’d rather see test cases for YA or Series before Video Game, and I say that as someone who likes games a lot. They’re just a better fit for the Hugo’s.

  40. @JJ
    My initial post was in response to yours. If we move the goalposts, I can easily come up with 20-25 _good_ games. It’s rather egotistical to suggest in any given year there are not 20-25 good fantasy or scifi games. I the Indie freeware market alone, that bar probably gets met.

    @Matt Y,
    Now you’re just hashing out matters of taste. Games are not books or movies or podcasts, and can’t/shouldn’t be measured on those standards but their own. Minecraft was the GotG of its year — massive pop culture appeal. But I don’t see how you can’t allow a game that allows you to recreate the Taj Mahal _and_ http://m.ign.com/articles/2012/07/09/westeros-recreated-in-minecraft

    I mean what does narrative matter when you have produced something that allows 9 year olds the ability to recreate any environment they might read about in any other Hugo award. Narrative? Message? Story? Gameplay? A game is a game; different people need. It parse these. The nature of the problem is no different that what makes a good [any other category]. Minecraft wasn’t just a good game, millions said it was a great game even if the player had to supply 100% of the narrative.

    Things like “what is a game” or “what makes a good game” are good points to discuss academically, and people like Greg Costikyan have been trying to answer it. But need not have to bog down an award.

    But it’s moot point now I suppose.

    Silly but True

  41. Things like “what is a game” or “what makes a good game” are good points to discuss academically, and people like Greg Costikyan have been trying to answer it. But need not have to bog down an award.

    An extremely good point, and one well worth remembering. The very best, most successful, most playable and enjoyable and even enriching games may have bugger-all narrative to them. But the fact of the matter is, when it comes to Hugo voters, narrative may be what they weight most heavily on, like it or not. My own preference is certainly for games with strong narratives, but I don’t think I’m a typical gamer. Then again I’d like to see games with strong narratives rewarded. What I’m saying is, you are right, but the nature of the award will determine the types of games that get rewarded. Perhaps they may come to value the worldbuilding – and narrative building? – properties of some games?

  42. SbT

    As JJ has said, then what would be worth asking is “What would a Hugo Award for Best Game” be valuing? Combat mechanics? Graphics? Storyline? Characterisation? Level Design?

    To me, a Hugo-winning game would have to be SF (no GTA V) and in large part at least, about exemplary storytelling – whether by narration, characterisation and/ or world building.

    Note that this does nothing to address the technical issues that Meredith has raised –

    >realistically how to get nominators to experience the game – many games require significant investment in time, pricing, and/ or require a specific platform

    >how to handle cross platform eligibility – if a game is released on PS4 in 2014, but PC in 2015 (ie, Shovel Knight and GTA V)? What about DA:Inquisition, which came out last year but had a DLC this year?

    The more often this comes up, the more I’m convinced that a specific Game award for the Hugos is pretty much trying to put a square peg through a round hole.

  43. Silly but True –

    Now you’re just hashing out matters of taste

    No I wasn’t, I was hashing out matter of eligibility and what metric a person could use to determine such. That the player maybe could re-create Westeros in Minecraft form (and have!) doesn’t make it Sci-Fi/Fantasy related anymore than a box of paint that you could use to paint a picture of Westeros is. That it has the potential to be used as a tool to create such isn’t a point in its favor. Minecraft is undeniably one of the most influential games since it came out. Is it a SFF game? I don’t see how. Much less GTAV or Red Dead Redemption even though I love those games.

    Now something like Brothers? That’s a game that has no dialog but absolutely tells a Fantasy story and does it in a way that’s not only very poignant but does it in a way that can’t be done in another media form. Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Portal, etc are the same way so I’m with you there.

    Moot point but as someone who likes SFF and video games it’s a fun thought experiment.

  44. @RedWombat

    I think it would work if interactive novels got slid into the mix. A LOT of those come out, but they’re not on the radar of most hardcore gamers. There’s amazing stuff being done (and I myself am sporadically poking one, so I’m not unbiased.)

    I absolutely agree, and just came across Sub-Q Magazine, which at last may raise the profile of the IF community – a large and enthusiastic one, but it somehow always fails to appear on any radar. IF is cross-genre but, in practice, the Venn diagram intersect with SF/F is massive (reflects its origins – Colossal Cave/HHGTTG/Zork/The Hobbit, to name but a few). Worth noting too that a number of their authors have published regular SF/F, for example, Natalia Theodoridou.

    I also think that Twine, as an authoring system, lowers the bar to entry for those who want to focus on the writing rather than game design, unlike systems like TADS and Inform which involve a lot more coding. (These tools are absolutely brilliant, and I’ve spent a lot of happy time playing with them, but it’s pretty easy to find yourself designing puzzles when you really just started out wanting to tell a story.)

    Anyway, I’m not advocating a separate Interactive Fiction Award, at least not for the Hugos, I think it’s maybe just a bit too niche. But I think that Sub-Q, if they maintain that standard, might well be a candidate for Best Related Work.

  45. Matt Y,

    Is Minecraft a toy or game? That question’s been posed about other groundbreaking games in the past. Opinions vary. It’s always a worthwhile thought experiment though.

    Easily call GTA “urban fantasy” or contemporary alternate universe.

    If there were a novel set in fictitious dystopian city ruled by anarchist criminals and bounded by impervious limits at the city’s border, it would very much be scifi without question.

    But these really aren’t existential barriers to an award or their rules; I just don’t think they need to be so rigidly delineated.

    Silly but True

  46. @Silly but True

    If there were a novel set in fictitious dystopian city ruled by anarchist criminals and bounded by impervious limits at the city’s border, it would very much be scifi without question.

    Fictitious dystopian city, check. But impervious limits is surely just a game mechanic that’s there to restrict dev time/money and RAM usage. Having said that, it’s not always built into the game engine. Bethesda’s RPGs actually encompass a much wider game world than the vanilla limits, and many users have learned to make that available early on by changing one line in the .ini file (not available to console users, sadly). As a result many game modders have expanded the vanilla games way past these boundaries (some more than others). Dunno if you can do that with GTA, though, not my sub-genre (I pretty much stick to TBS and RPG).

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