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 Uncharted 2 ,  Assassin's Creed II  Among Writers Guild Noms
Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed II Among Writers Guild Noms
January 14, 2010 | By Kris Graft

January 14, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II, and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are among the games under consideration for the Writers Guild of America's Video Game Writing Award this year, the organization's East and West arms said Thursday.

Also nominated is Bethesda-published action game Wet and Activision's movie-licensed game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Winners will be announced on February 20, 2010 during the 2010 Writers Guild Awards, simultaneously held in Los Angeles and New York.

2010 marks the third year for the WGA's Video Game Writing Award. Last year, the award went to Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford, and Cameron Suey, who wrote LucasArts' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The first WGA Video Game Writing Award went to Dave Ellis and Adam Cogan, who wrote Dead Head Fred.

The WGA said that the Video Game Writing Award is meant to "encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, to improve the status of writers, and to encourage uniform standards within the gaming industry."

In order to be eligible for the award, credited game writers are required to have been members--or applied to be members--of the WGA's Videogame Writers Caucus at the time of submission. Games also must have separate credits for the writer or writers, and have been released between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009.

Below are the video game writing nominees, including individual credits:

Assassin's Creed II, Story by Corey May, Script Writers Corey May, Joshua Rubin, Jeffrey Yohalem; Ubisoft Entertainment

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Written by Jesse Stern, Additional Writing Steve Fukuda, Story by Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Mackey McCandlish, Zied Rieke, Jesse Stern, Jason West, Battlechatter Dialogue, Sean Slayback; Activision

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment

Wet, Written by Duppy Demetrius; Bethesda Softworks

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Script Writer Marc Guggenheim; Activision

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Tyler Peters
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Which 2 of these five do not belong on this list? I'll let everyone decide.

What this tells me is that they had five legitimate submissions, and that was it.

Huck Terrister
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They gave it to Fallout 3 last year so I'm not sure how much credibility they've got.

Kris Graft
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Fallout 3 was a nominee last year, but it did not win the award. As the article says, it went to The Force Unleashed.

Keith Nemitz
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My game was a nominee last year, and someone complained that only five scripts were submitted. The WGA claims the number of submissions doubled this year. So there were at least ten. :-) I was even picked to judge a subset of the entries and none of them were nominated...

Me-thinks the game industry knows that more press is good press, even if they live in terror of game writers organizing. Yeah, right. The WGA awards are good press. I bet there were at least a hundred submissions.

Glen Watson
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The key thing to focus on is "and to encourage uniform standards within the gaming industry." If you know anything about the WGA, they are looking more technical things in writing than a good game, which is different from most and they tend to forget that the story narrative comes from both dialogue and game-play mechanics.

I'm going to root for AC2, I enjoyed the subtle transitions between English and Italian without the loss of comprehension and subtext, which is hard to do in a video game without much body language.

Roger Boerdijk
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Definately WET - loved the game, story was fun too imo.

Hope they plan a second part.

Micah Wright
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@Glen Watson; your commentary about the Guild's aims is way off-base. We aren't interested in technical things, we're interested in promoting good writing in games. The sentence "and to encourage uniform standards within the gaming industry" is talking about the fact that 20 years on, there's still no standard script format in the games industry, making it difficult to estimate the amount of work involved in writing different types of games. It also refers to the hateful dictate by many developers that writers work in Excel, a program designed for mathematics equations, not for writing scripts or dialog -- forcing writers to write in Excel because it makes the recording supervisor's job easier would be like forcing the game designers to use the Unreal 2 engine in 2011 because it would make the background artist's job easier. At a certain point, the industry has to realize that the game-making tools need to be suited to the specific needs of the person using them. Writers use Final Draft... forcing us to accommodate peoples whose work depends entirely on our work is backwards. This is the type of fight that the WGA is taking on (and winning, incidentally) in games production. I also find it odd that although we now represent a clear majority of professional working game writers, people can make weird statements like "[the WGA] tend to forget that the story narrative comes from both dialogue and game-play mechanics" -- well, sure, we know that because we work in games every day. This award is judged exclusively by game writers. If you don't see your favorite game in our list of nominees, it's because either (a) the game didn't have a credit for a writer (we are a Guild of WRITERS, after all, we can't very well be expected to reward companies who can't be bothered to acknowledge our contributions to their games -- you'd never see a game not list the composer, for example), or (b) the writer didn't submit their game for whatever reason, or (c) the Developer/Publisher wouldn't let their writer submit their game script out of fear of unionization, which is utterly retarded... but is exactly EA's position. Thus, no entries this year for Dragon Age -- their loss, too, because they would have likely won.