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Writers Guild Of America Gets Rid Of Video Game Writing Award

Video games aren't deserving of writing awards; at least, not enough of them, according to the Writers Guild of America. Since 2008, the organization has been recognizing game writers like Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann for their outstanding stories told through the medium of gaming. And last year, to no one's surprise, God of War was honored with the Videogame Writing Award.

For the 2020 ceremony, however, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has decided to drop the award entirely, citing a lack of qualifying titles. 

This isn't to say that the award is permanently scrapped. Speaking to Gamasutra, a representative of the WGA said that the award will, "be reinstated when there is a critical mass of video games covered by the WGA in order to provide a meaningful award selection process." In order to be considered for the award, a script must be submitted to the WGA with certain crediting requirements; namely the inclusion of a credited writer from the WGA's Videogame Writers Caucus. So the issue here may be more along the lines of a lack of membership rather than a lack of good game writing. 

The industry is predictably disappointed by the decision, with Neil Druckmann himself — who received the award back in 2014 for his work on The Last of Us – taking to Twitter to call the decision, "A misguided slap in the face for writers in games." Similarly, Cory Barlog, the director of God of War said, "This is kind of sad news. Going to the WGA Awards this last year I could not help but feel like the work we all do was continuing to gain both respect + acceptance within the entertainment industry at large. This certainly makes me feel like I was wrong." 

Fans have also pointed out that in the past, the WGA award has largely only recognized the biggest and brightest AAA titles, leaving deserving indie games in the dust, forgotten. We do still have The Game Awards to look forward to in December, but as Barlog points out, this news comes as a disappointment to those who felt like the medium of video games was gaining legitimacy and recognition by mainstream media.