It's awards nomination season! And so authors of my acquaintance are assembling lists of their eligible works, to helpfully remind their adoring fans what to put on the nomination ballots.
Well, I thought, perhaps I should do that.
But Lucy Smokeheart, while fun, isn't really Hugo-winning material and I know it. A couple of thoughtful posts about Worldcon don't make me a notable fan writer. And as much as I'd love a rocket one day, lobbying for something I know damn well I haven't earned isn't the way. So scratch that.
The big chunk of serious writing I did this year was for The Walk, which is an audio-driven science fiction fitness game (and it bears noting, by the way, that I was writing under the lead of Naomi Alderman, and in production with Six to Start; I don't deserve all the credit for it, and I'm not speaking on behalf of the company, etc., etc.)
Now, The Walk falls under the category Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). Unless you want to nominate an individual episode, in which case it's Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). But the game hasn't been out long enough for much of anyone to have played it through yet (I think?), so determining if it's earned an awards-worthy amount of enthusiasm by the time the nomination period closes is unlikely at best. Still, this all got me to thinking...
It's time to get a game on the Hugo ballot. Past time. Let's do this thing.
io9 commented on this last year, and the post still bears reading. Games like Mass Effect and Portal have had a tremendous impact on the genre of science fiction as a whole, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Likewise works from Legend of Zelda to Shadow of the Colossus have been lasting works of fantasy.
So here are a list of games I'd like for all of us to consider nominating this year under Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form):
- The Last of Us by Naughty Dog
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag by Ubisoft
- Mass Effect 3 DLC: The Citadel by Bioware
- Bioshock Infinite by Irrational Games
I'm probably overlooking any of a hundred gorgeously executed indie games. If you can think of more and better games to nominate, please do comment.
My own money would be on The Last of Us, which I found unexpectedly touching and human; it's a work of art, no question, and deserving of recognition for its portrait of the complicated webs of humanity under duress. Your tastes may vary.
Now, Dramatic Presentation is a crowded field. It encompasses films, TV shows, games, podcasts, and more. But great work in science fiction and fantasy is happening in interactive media, too, and it's time to represent that enormous influence on the field in our genre's major award. And if the field becomes so crowded that we can't fit everything we feel is award-worthy onto one ballot, then surely that means it's time to split Long-Form into its distinct media. There's a whole lot more to our beloved genre than writing and ~~everything else~~ these days.
C'mon, folks. Games are important to our subcultural discourse, just as important as all of those episodes of Dr. Who and Game of Thrones that got nominated last year. Let's recognize that truth.