Writers Guild to honor gaming scribes

New award intended to encourage storytelling excellence, uniform standards in the field; first winner to be named in February.

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Game developers have for years increasingly stressed the importance of having good stories to complement canny gameplay. And although those efforts might be appreciated by players of tautly scripted role-playing games or especially engaging action games, they've gone largely unheralded by the nongaming world.

That's set to change, given that the Writers Guild of America has announced plans to give out its first Videogame Writing Award at next year's Writers Guild Awards, scheduled for February 9 in Los Angeles. Championed by the guild's New Media Caucus, the award is intended "to encourage storytelling excellence in video games, to improve the status of writers, and to begin to encourage uniform standards."

To be eligible, writers must submit work for consideration before noon Pacific on November 21, and the credited writer must be or apply to become a member of the New Media Caucus at the time of entry. Further regulations state that the games in question must be released between December 1, 2006, and November 30, 2007, and that the writer must hold a credit specifically related to writing. Those whose credited position includes other duties (such as lead designer or producer) will not be eligible.

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