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Games writers now eligible for Nebula Award

Writers also able to apply for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America membership

One of the world's longest-running writers associations will recognise quality in games writing with its prestigious awards.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has added a Best Games Writing category for the 2018 Nebula Awards, GeekWire reports. This is not only part of the SFWA's evolution as an organisation, but also in recognition of how far storytelling has come in video games.

The SFWA has been operating since 1965, has over 2,000 members and its Nebula Awards are among the most coveted for writers in these genres. SFWA president Cat Rambo hopes the award will help identify consumers identify games with quality writing.

"I would think that one of the things a Nebula imprimatur would mean for a game is that is a game that really has some story to it," she says. "That it's a game that can achieve that sort of immersive wonderful experience that only text can bring."

However, judging by Rambo's comments, it may not be that every game will be eligible off the bat. Her reference to the importance of text implies that games such as Rime, which tells a story with no dialogue, may not qualify for a Nebula.

It's also worth noting that the Nebula awards are peer-voted, rather than decided by the public, so depend primarily on the judgement of SFWA members.

The SFWA's Nebula Awards is not the only event to recognise games writing, with the Writer's Guild of Great Britain including our sector in its awards for several years.

The SFWA also began admitting games writers as members last year, a move Rambo says proved to be more difficult than the games industry might think. The internal campaign for the admission of games writers was actually the third in as many decades.

Nonetheless, it's good to see games writing receiving broader recognition from peers in other industries given that scripts for titles such as The Witcher III and Dragon Age rival epic fantasy novels in both size and scope.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was