The Hugo Awards are a series of awards that are given annually to the best works of science fiction and fantasy. They have been delivered since 1953 and began with a category, “Best novel”, although over the years new ones have been added, such as “Best fanzine”, and eliminated many others, such as “Best professional magazine”.
2021 has been a special year for the awards. And it is that, for (almost) the first time in history, videogames have had the opportunity to compete for one of these awards. And what has been the winning game? Neither more nor less than ‘Hades‘, a 2020 roguelike that has won infinite awards since its launch and now adds one more to its backpack.
A single category (for now) by 2021
The category of “Best video game” does not seem to be here to stay, at least for now. In fact, when the DisCon III committee made it known the category noted that “this special category [es] only for the year 2021, as established by the regulations of the World Society of Science Fiction “.
In the committee’s words, “there is no permanent Hugo Award category to recognize this interactive form of storytelling that so many fans of the genre create and engage with.” But nevertheless, he claimed that “is also considering” Best Game “or” Interactive Experience ” as a potential permanent category“. We will have to wait.
According to the Hugo Awards specification, the video games eligible for the award were any game or substantial modification of a game first released to the public on a major gaming platform in the previous calendar year in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, or related topics. According to the organization:
“For these purposes, a game is defined as a work in which the choice, interaction or participation of the player significantly influences the narrative, the game, the meaning or the experience. An important game platform means that the game is available on personal computers such as Windows, Mac, or Linux (including, but not limited to, via Steam, Epic, itch.io, browser, or direct download), iOS, Android, Switch, PlayStation, and / or Xbox systems. “
Based on these definitions, any video game related to science fiction or fantasy could, regardless of the platform, opt for the award. The nominees were ‘Hades‘, ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘, ‘Spiritfarer‘, ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake‘, ‘The Last of Us: Part II‘and’ Blaseball ‘.
— DisCon III – The 79th Worldcon (@worldcon2021) December 19, 2021
Although it is the first time that a video game has won one of these awards, it is not the first time that the category has been shuffled. Back in 2006 it offered a category for “Best Interactive Video Game”, but removed her from the final vote due to lack of interest.
More information | The Hugo Awards