Editorial: Writers Guild Holds Game Award Hostage, Nobody Cares

The Writers Guild of America has decided to take the video game award portion of its show hostage, and who the hell cares?

In case you weren’t aware, the Writers Guild of America has a video game category of its award show that shows the respect and acknowledgement to great writers in the industry and frankly I can’t finish this sentence with a straight face. In reality, the video game portion of the Writers Guild award show is about as fair as the annual “Hideo Kojima is my best friend” award that Geoff Keighley hands out at The Game Awards every year. Take a gander back at the last ten years of the WGA awards show and you’ll see a common name pop up: Sony.

Yea, Sony and a small handful of other developers are the only people who qualify to be considered for a WG award because to be considered you have to be a Writers Guild writer, and since Sony is generally the only competent writer in the bunch, they have won roughly eight years out of the last ten. After all the Writers Guild Awards is all about recognizing talent, and that means telling those subhumans who don’t pay union dues to take a hike and go [expletive deleted] themselves. Oh and you folks who want to be in the union, good luck getting any representation or respect from your union leaders.

What has the Writers Guild done for video game writers? Two things: Jack and squat. The Writers Guild does not do anything on behalf of video game writers except demand those monthly checks, and furthermore doesn’t even allow them to vote as a full member of the guild because video games aren’t real writing in their eyes. What the Writers Guild wants is dues. They want more dues, and they are holding an award hostage that 99% of the gaming industry doesn’t care about hosted by an organization that many developers/publishers don’t respect, until it gets more cash money. As stated to USGamer:

“There won’t be a Videogame Writing Award in 2020; however, the category will be reinstated when there is a critical mass of videogames covered by the WGA in order to provide a meaningful award selection process.”

Translation: We’re not getting bribed enough to show a paltry amount of attention and hand an award out once a year.

It might seem like I’m angry about the whole ordeal, but I’m not. If anything this move will lose the Writers Guild what few video game centric writers that they have, whose only reason for staying in the union is because that’s what made them eligible for the award. Hell, maybe more of them will realize what a gigantic waste their union dues have been and they’ll make sure to warn other writers not to funnel money into a protection racket.

The Writers Guild is angry that the video game industry is massive, bigger than television and film combined. Not only is it massive, but because the unions ignored the industry during its early formative days as inconsequential trash, it is now too big for the union to put their boot over its neck and demand a ransom. There are hundreds of other game awards that have more prestige, respect, and attention than the Writers Guild. I’m confident that few outside of Sony’s studios care much to check in on the Writers Guild submitting its latest “Sony’s check cleared” award.

Hell even Sony barely seems to care. I took a gander at the websites and press releases for the games that won awards, and good luck finding Sony flaunting their Writers Guild award in promo material. Given the flurry of incoming referrals I see on a weekly basis, MMO Fallout’s editorials have more acknowledgement in the gaming industry than a Writers Guild award.

The Writers Guild pulling out its video game award is like a Twitch streamer who averages three viewers announcing he’ll no longer be streaming because Twitch doesn’t acknowledge its biggest supporters. Nobody. Cares.

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