Game Writers to be Recognized by Guild Award

By Nick Breckon, Oct 03, 2007 11:55am PDT With games reaching new heights in the category of writing, the Writer's Guild of America has finally taken notice.

The WGA today announced the creation of a Videogame Writing Award, to be presented at the guild's Los Angeles ceremony on February 9, 2008. According to the WGA, the idea is "to encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, to improve the status of writers, and to begin to encourage uniform standards."

"Videogames are written and many are written very well," said WGAW president Patric Verrone. "By recognizing the skill and craft of videogame writing, the Writers Guilds intend to raise the profile of these writers so that they can get WGA contracts and benefits for this work. We aim, we shoot, we score."

The award is a product of the WGA's New Media Caucus, a panel created to bring the WGA out of the 20th Century--and, of course, bring more paying members to the guild in the process.

"Writers are finally being recognized and valued in the videogame industry. Both artistically and financially, videogames matter--and videogame writers matter to the WGA," added WGAW New Media Caucus member Jay Lender, a former writer and director on the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants, and writer of games such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of General Lee.

This year the entry requirements will be open to anyone with a videogame writing credit, although entrants must apply to become members of the New Media Caucus. In future years, only work produced under WGA jurisdiction will be considered eligible.

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  • I wonder how many game writers are actually in the Writers Guild? Other than the always-brought-up "Hollywood screenwriters brought in to polish up the script," of course. I mean, how many game writers who actually write for games, you know, in a way that actually adknowledges and improves on the interactive experiences games offer, and is also actually great writing, instead of cliche genre-movie schlock to fill the time in lavishly-wrought-but-totally-irrelevant cutscenes... I wonder how many of them are in the WGA?

    Given that you can count the number of games writers actually doing what I described above on maybe one person's fingers and toes -- and even then your list would be pretty liberal -- I bet the number of those guys appearing in the WGA's membership scrolls are pretty slim.