This morning, the Writer’s Guild of America unveiled its annual list of best writing nominees. The Guild covers almost every form of media, from films to television to zero-budget web series’ and as you might expect this includes video games. Based on the WGA’s list though, we’re not entirely convinced that the Guild is all that familiar with the medium.
We’ll get to our complaints with this list in a moment, but first let’s take a look at which games the WGA considers to be the best examples of games writing to emerge from 2012:
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING
- 007 Legends, Written By Bruce Feirstein; Activision
- Assassin’s Creed III, Story By Alex Hutchinson, Corey May, Matt Turner; Multiplayer Story By Richard Farrese, Jeffrey Yohalem; Lead Scriptwriter Corey May; Scriptwriter Nicholas Grimwood, Russell Lees, Matt Turner, Danny Wallace, Ceri Young; Ubisoft
- Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Scriptwriting by Richard Farrese, Jill Murray; Ubisoft
- Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Writing Consultant Marv Wolfman; Disney Interactive Studios
- Halo 4, Narrative Design Christopher Schlerf; Microsoft Studios
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Written By John Garvin; Sony Computer Entertainment America
From these six titles, the WGA plans to select one shining, golden example of video games writing to hoist as winner. That game will receive its honors at a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 17.
That does little to explain how the WGA came up with its list of nominees, but it raises one very important point: The WGA has only been judging games for the past six years, so it wouldn’t be totally surprising to find out that it’s still fine-tuning whatever metrics it uses to rate a game’s script. Hopefully this is the real culprit behind the WGA’s baffling collection of nominees because it indicates that future lists might be more credible. If not, if the WGA legitimately considers those six games to be the best examples of script writing to emerge from the medium in 2012, then perhaps the WGA ought to stick to watching action flicks and sitcoms.
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