Seriously, why hasn't a video game been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards?

Illustration for article titled Seriously, why hasnt a video game been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards?

Of all the landmarks in science fiction history that we predicted would happen in your lifetime, there's one that I really can't believe hasn't happened yet. Why hasn't a video game been nominated for a Hugo or Nebula Award? With games like Dead Space, Bioshock, Mass Effect and Portal featuring complex world-building and multi-layered storytelling, it's hard to imagine why science fiction's top awards haven't honored them yet.

I asked about this on Twitter, and we also had some dicsussions about this in comments yesterday — and reasons people brought up included uncertainty over whether a video game counts as "long form" or "short form" as a dramatic presentation. (I'd guess "long form.") Also, the perception that video games have derivative, unoriginal storylines — which is probably equally true of a lot of the movies that get nominated in the "long form" category. And just the notion that people haven't caught up to the evolution of video games yet.

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But why do you think video games have been passed over by the major SF awards? (And don't forget — Hugo Nomination season is now, so if you're a member of LonestarCon, you get a chance to rectify this oversight.)

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DISCUSSION

The very nature of story-telling requires a resolution of the main conflict. In a VG how many people do you know actually get to the end? Almost none, they either give up or can't get access to the game's conclusion because they can't get passed the participation requirements. And that is part of the problem. Is a story really a story as defined in the current categories if you have to continually perform complex task to continue the narrative?

Unless video companies want to create evaluation-only versions of their games that only contain the story parts, which would include the entire narrative up through the ending, then they do not belong in the current categories. A new category should be created.

I have nothing against video games but having a coherent story is only half of it. The other half is actually having someone SEE it, not claiming there is a story and only getting to see it after completing increasingly difficult interactive challenges.