Writers Guild of America to celebrate videogame writing

The Writers Guild of America, the organization for all those people who try to write movies (myself included), has announced that they will be presenting a video game writing award at the 2008 Writers Guild Awards. The ceremony, to be held on February 9th, is meant to “encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, to improve the status of writers, and to begin to encourage uniform standards.”

“Videogames are written and many are written very well. By recognizing the skill and craft of videogame writing, the Writers Guilds intend to raise the profile of these writers so that they can get WGA contracts and benefits for this work. We aim, we shoot, we score,” commented WGAW President Patric M. Verrone.

The submitted scripts will be judged by peple in the WGA’s New Media Caucus and some of the WGA’s veteran members, all of which will have had some experience in videogame writing. Right now, they are accepting submissions for anything that was put out in the last year, and will accept material that was produced by non-WGA members. In the future, though, they want videogame writers to join the WGA, and will only accept submissions from members.

Submissions can be made by not only the writers themselves, but their representatives, as well as the developer or publisher. Now, which stories do you readers want submitted to this award? Also, do you think this is a major move for the industry towards shutting up critics like Ebert?

If you want to know more about the submission guidelines, check out the full press release after the jump.

[Via GamesIndustry.biz]

LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK — Recognizing the essential role of writers behind the creative, cultural, and commercial success of the videogame and new media industries, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced the creation of the WGA’s inaugural Videogame Writing Award to be presented for the first time ever at the Los Angeles ceremony of the 2008 Writers Guild Awards on February 9, 2008.

Developed by the WGA and spearheaded by the guild’s New Media Caucus “to encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, to improve the status of writers, and to begin to encourage uniform standards” within the gaming industry, this new award aims to spotlight a wide range of quality work by videogame writers, raising their profiles and validating their contributions to this rapidly maturing medium.

“Videogames are written and many are written very well. By recognizing the skill and craft of videogame writing, the Writers Guilds intend to raise the profile of these writers so that they can get WGA contracts and benefits for this work. We aim, we shoot, we score,” commented WGAW President Patric M. Verrone.

“Writers are finally being recognized and valued in the videogame industry. Both artistically and financially, videogames matter – and videogame writers matter to the WGA,” commented WGAW New Media Caucus member Jay Lender.

 “This is the first time game writers have been honored by their peers in the writing community, and it’s an important step toward the WGA’s goal of covering everything that moves on a screen,” added fellow caucus member Micah Wright. Both Wright and Lender were instrumental in making the Videogame Writing Award a reality this year.

Qualifications to be eligible for the WGA Videogame Writing Award include:

  • The award will go to the writer(s) of the best qualifying script from a videogame published in the previous year. To be eligible for entry, games must have been released between 12/1/2006 and 11/30/2007. Submission deadline is November 21, 2007 – 12:00 p.m. (Noon) PST.
  • This year, work that was not produced under WGA jurisdiction may be submitted.
  • Submitted games must have separate credit for writing (i.e., Written By, Story By, Writer, Story Designer, etc.). While there is no limit on the number of credited writers a particular game may have, credits not specifically tied to videogame writing are not acceptable (i.e., Lead Designer, Designed By, Produced By, etc.). Note: Writers of source material are not eligible for awards consideration.
  • All submissions must be made in the name of the credited writer(s), and not the game itself. Scripts may also be submitted by the developer/publisher of the game, or by writer representatives, i.e., agents, managers and publicists.
  • At the time the script is submitted, the credited writer(s) of the game must be, or apply to become, a member of the WGA’s New Media Caucus.

Preliminary judging for the Videogame Writing Award will be done by panels comprised of New Media Caucus and/or WGA members active in the field of videogame writing. Final judging will be handled by a special panel of writers from the New Media Caucus and/or guild members who have been active in writing for videogames.

The 2008 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2008, simultaneously at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Broadway Millennium Hotel in New York City.

For complete information about the 2008 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, visit WGA.org’s Awards section  or www.wgaeast.org.

Further inquiries about the WGA Videogame Writing Award may be directed to Melissa Gage in the WGAW Awards Department at (323) 782-4571; email: Melissa Gage, or to Marsha Manns in the WGAE Awards Department at 212-767-7805, email: Marsha Manns.

For press inquiries about the 2008 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at: (323) 782-4574, email: Gregg Mitchell.

For press inquiries about the 2008 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Sherry Goldman in the WGAE Public Relations Department at (718) 224-4133 or email: Sherry Goldman.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news.

8BitBrian