Is the WGA Wrong?
The Writer’s Guild of America has made an offical decision to remove the game writing category from their list of awards for 2020. While the category has featured several mold-shattering titles like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series, the WGA views the category as not having enough contenders to justify it. Video games have come a phenomenal way since their conception. Literature has long been a generally accepted intellectual expression of art to be honored.
Society tends to not view video games in the same manner. They’re a hobby. They’re trivial and childish. Ask my mom and she could give a whole sermon on it. The WGA helped change that perception by letting them compete against more accepted platforms. It was a huge step in the right direction towards a greater acceptance of gaming. All of that progress is now lost, unfortunately. Without the chance to recognize the hard work of game writers, their craft becomes undervalued.
Is the WGA Right?
The awards aren’t excluding game writing for just 2020. The WGA wants to maintain the removal for the foreseeable future, but the ruling can be revoked under the right circumstances. Is the WGA right? Officially, the decision has taken place because of a lack of decent nominations. It’s costly and pointless if there are no nominees. I can’t remember the last game that truly broke my heart. Maybe that means that I have a heart of stone or maybe the fault lies in game developers shying away from their earlier focus on storytelling.
There were indie titles that fit the buck, but not enough were general mainstream releases. The difference between these is exposure. Critics primarily review mainstream works, but the decreasing number of AAA story games has hindered exposure. At that point, it’s understandable that the WGA would choose to drop it. If authors quit writing books, then that category would fade as well. In the end, it all comes down to the question of whether the WGA has ignorantly dropped an emerging art form or if developers are done putting love into their crafts.