WGA’s first Videogame Writing Award announced

The group responsible for months of reruns and unfunny late night shows revealed their first ever Videogame Writing Award last week.

The Writer’s Guild of America held their 2008 Writers Guild Awards on February 9th and featured, for the first time, a Videogame Writing Award. With so many blockbuster titles such as Halo 3, Uncharted, BioShock, etc., it is quite the surprise that the honor of this award went to a game that didn’t make as much noise as those other blockbuster hits. This year’s winner was Dead Head Fred for the PSP from developers D3Publisher of America and Vicious Cycle Software. Writers Dave Ellis and Adam Cogan went up against the scribes for Crash of the Titans, The Simpsons Game, The Witcher, and World in Conflict for the award.

The developers and publisher of Dead Head Fred were excited about being the first recipients of this award and D3PA’s executive vice president and chief operations officer Yoji Takenaka commented:

"D3PA and the entire Dead Head Fred team at Vicious Cycle are all very grateful and humbled by this award. We look forward to bringing fans many more top quality games and continuing to elevate the standard of game writing in the industry."

"Being nominated along with so many top caliber writers for the first WGA Video Game Writing Award was an honor in itself, so it’s fantastic that we won," said Eric Peterson, president and chief executive officer, Vicious Cycle Software. "Dead Head Fred was something we had a lot of fun with and we are glad that players and fans are enjoying the game as much as we do."

The Videogame Writing Award was created by the WGA and was spurred by the Guild’s New Media Caucusto in order to promote storytelling excellence in videogames, improve the status of writers, and foster uniform standards within the gaming industry. Although this is great for the gaming industry to get mainstream recognition, it is not a sure thing that most videogame writers are part of the WGA, which may be another reason why bigger blockbuster titles as the ones mentioned above did not receive consideration for the award.

Writers and nominees Dave Ellis and Adam Cogan draw players into Dead Head Fred’s original 1940’s-inspired alternative universe where players take on the role of Fred Neuman, a private detective who has been brutally murdered and then brought back to life by a bizarre scientific experiment at the expense of his memory and his head. Players set out to solve their own murder by using the severed heads of enemies as replacements for the one missing on the game’s cranium-impaired hero.