Add a special "Best Video Game" category for the Hugo Awards at MidAmeriCon II

Add a special "Best Video Game" category for the Hugo Awards at MidAmeriCon II

September 15, 2015
Petition to
Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc.
Petition Closed
This petition had 7 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Nana Amuah

A proposal regarding the Hugo Awards:

This was my first year nominating and voting on the Hugo Awards. One thing that bothered me was why video games were not honored. Sure, games can technically be nominated for Dramatic Presentation, but do you actually ever see that happen, as opposed to movies and TV shows? There has been considerable debate over the years about this. There WAS a trial "Best Video Game" category in 2006, but only 58 people nominated for it. However, I believe that we are long overdue for a category like this. Within a decade, games have grown in stature, offering more complex storytelling and gameplay that is resonating with mainstream culture and fandom (including that of SF/F works). This very year we've had stellar SF/F games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bloodborne, Kerbal Space Program, Pillars of Eternity, serialized games like King's Quest and Life is Strange, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. None of these have a significant chance of getting recognition fron the Hugos. You might be thinking that due to recent controversy surrounding the Hugos, that this shouldn't be a priority. However, more people than ever signed up to the WorldCon to vote this year, which I believe presents an opportunity; there may just be more people that are at least aware of what good games have been released in the speculative genres. That is why I believe that MidAmericon II should, 10 years after the fact, instate an additional one-time category for "Best Video Game" (or if you want to be more formal, "Best Interactive Presentation")

As stated in the WorldCon constitution, Section 3.3.17: "Additional Category. Not more than one special category may be created by the current Worldcon Committee with nomination and voting to be the same as for the permanent categories. The Worldcon Committee is not required to create any such category; such action by a Worldcon Committee should be under exceptional circumstances only; and the special category created by one Worldcon Committee shall not be binding on following Committees. Awards created under this paragraph shall be considered to be Hugo Awards."

Yes, I know that if the people at MidAmericon II do decide to run with this category, they'd be required to place it on the Retro Hugo Award ballot, but hear me out. According to a study released by the Entertainment Software Association, 155 million Americans play video games, with two in each household, and the age of the average purchaser standing at 37. The numbers have grown since 2006; things are not the same as they were a decade prior. And, again, with a record-setting amount of people buying memberships, I feel that there is a significantly large chance that the category will stand, and perhaps continue to stand, like Best Fancast has. If this petition does well and there is a large amount of people calling for this category's addition, hopefully MidAmericon (or at the very least, the people in charge of future WorldCons) will be convinced to make it a temporary category - the first step in its ratification. Until then, the lack of recognition given to video games seems, to me, like a disservice.

I suggest something close to this wording: "Any electronic game, released on any console or mobile device, in any medium of science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present interactive form during the previous calendar year, and is designed in a way that has its story and/or gameplay controlled by that of a human player."

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