The Nominees for Writing Achievement in Games... Really?
Maybe the problem is that the writers need to be members of the WGA Videogamer Writers Caucus. Whatever the reason, this list is a little ridiculous.
Although interactive entertainment has a way to go in the world of writing and storytelling, we did see some fantastic accomplishments in 2013. So, when the Writers Guild of America announced the nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for video games, I figured I could predict the list.
Uh... guess not.
The nominations, strange though they may be, are:
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- The Last Of Us
- God of War: Ascension
- Lost Planet 3
That's not a great representation of top-tier game writing
Lost Planet 3? Really? Really? I can understand TLoU, certainly, and ACIV has its moments, but the others really aren't that astounding. There wasn't anything special about the writing in Ascension or Arkham Origins, as far as I'm concerned, and I can think of much better selections.
While it felt a tad disjointed, I still think Beyond: Two Souls should be recognized for excellence in writing, and I definitely believe Bioshock Infinite should be nominated as well. Even Grand Theft Auto V had better writing in the sub-stories than most of those Guild selections.
Obviously, it's because not enough writers are members of the WGA Videogamer Writers Caucus. Why the hell else would we see freakin' Lost Planet 3? There are also a few RPGs that escaped notice, including Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I wasn't as enamored with that story as other people (I found it a touch amateurish), but at least it was better than the narratives we find in most video games. The writing in Tomb Raider wasn't too bad, either; better than Ascension, I think.
The bottom line is that we're not looking at very good examples of the best in video game writing. That list is kind of insulting, actually.