In 2021, the prestigious Hugo Science Fiction Award will be replenished with an important new category - video games. For a long time, a purely literary award, the award is changing under pressure from society. In particular, when hundreds of millions of people were locked up at home this year, they did not read books, but mainly began to play various video games. It is no longer possible to ignore this paradigm shift, which has been undertaken for decades.
At the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Washington this August, co-chair Collette Fozar said that if games are on par with books for fans of the genre, it should be recognized and celebrated. Fans must be able to appreciate the works they like and thus give credit to their creators. Large-scale projects such as Half-Life Alyx and Cyberpunk 2077 reach a huge audience and have a tremendous impact on the worldview of people.
The new nomination is limited to the genre of science fiction or fantasy, while the organizers openly say that this is just an experiment, a reaction to the current situation. Such maneuvers are not new to the Hugo Awards - for example, in 2000 and 2005, the best websites were nominated, but this trend has not been fixed. However, it may not be the case with video games because the Hugo Research Committee also considers them in the Best Interactive Experience category. The evolving genre of virtual and augmented reality is the best fit for this vocation.