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Braid creator disagrees with Writers Guild Awards

Braid creator disagrees with Writers Guild Awards

Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, claims the Writers Guild awards are more of a slimy membership drive.

Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, has openly disagreed with the Writers Guild of America's videogame awards system, calling it more of a slimy membership drive than an actually meaningful ceremony.

Specifically, Blow disagrees with the fact that only games written by members of the WGA's Videogame Writer's Caucus are eligible for consideration of the awards and that in order to join all you have to do is be credited in the game as a writer and front $75 USD to the guild. Despite the fact that this automatically disbars the vast, vast majority of games the WGA awards are still presented as being official.

Going further, Blow then condemns the entire structure of the WGA, looking at how the Videogame Writer's Caucus does not give writers any other benefits than consideration for an award. Members of the Videogame Writer's Caucus do not get any of the other benefits that come from being in the guild and are not actually considered guild members. They do not, for example, have the right to vote at WGA elections or to attend any meetings.

Blow implies that this makes the entire awards ceremony an incestuous love-in, with writers only signing up in order to try and get an award and the WGA only having awards in order to draw in more members.

"It’s just slimy, and if the public were to assume that these awards were chosen based only on quality, then it would be fundamentally corrupt," commented Blow on his blog.

He continues to point out that a fundamental problem with the requirements stipulated by the WGA is that there's no true presentation standard for videogames, with many games not having credited roles, WGA contracts or design documents written by a single person.

The contenders for the awards this year are Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!, Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Braid, while undeniably one of the best written games of last year (and you can read our thoughts on why in our Best Gaming Moments feature) has not been entered.

Share your own thoughts on writing in computer games and how important it is in the forums.

6 Comments

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Dr. Strangelove 26th January 2009, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!,
Now why has this obviously very important game not been reviewed here on Bit??

hahahahaha :D
DougEdey 26th January 2009, 14:22 Quote
Fully agree with Blow here (always wanted to have a sentance like that ;)) the WGA have always seemed a bit ridiculous to me.
Paradigm Shifter 26th January 2009, 14:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Fully agree with Blow here (always wanted to have a sentance like that ;)) the WGA have always seemed a bit ridiculous to me.

Any sort of award where you have to be a member of the awarding body to even be considered for the 'prize' is ridiculous. ;)
AndyFielder 26th January 2009, 14:54 Quote
Red Alert have goto be in for a bloody good chance of winning it this year!

Andy
mayakovski 27th January 2009, 00:00 Quote
If C&C 3: Red Alert had been released 2 or 3 years ago then it would have been great. As it stands it boring, uninspired and looks like a kids cartoon. Great game for the under 10 crowd.
Cadillac Ferd 27th January 2009, 07:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Any sort of award where you have to be a member of the awarding body to even be considered for the 'prize' is ridiculous. ;)

Well just to revise your statement I'd have to say that the root of the problem is not that the members of the awarding body are the only ones considered for the prize, the problem is that the 'prize' is presented as representing the absolute best of the videogame writing community while in fact only representing the few folks who paid the membership fee.

It does seem a bit ridiculous that the videogame writers aren't allowed to even attend meetings (or really even considered guild members!). It seems to me that this 'guild' is more a collection of blokes who paid $75 to enter into a writing contest :|
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