Late last year, the Hugo Awards announced it would honor a video game for the first time. This week, it revealed the list of six finalists the community will consider before announcing a final winner at the 79th World Science Fiction Convention in August.
The list is interesting, to say the least. The Hugo Awards is known for honoring the best in science fiction and fantasy writing, so it’s something of a headscratcher to see a game like Animal Crossing: New Horizons make the shortlist. That’s not to say it isn’t a great game, but there were plenty of genre standouts from 2020 that could have made the list instead, including Half-Life: Alyx, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim or Umurangi Generation. Still, between finalists like Hades, Spiritfarer and The Last of Us: Part II, it will be interesting to see which one comes out on top.
Despite ongoing calls for the Hugo Awards to recognize the medium, the World Science Fiction Society only decided to experiment with a video games category after so many of its members ended up gaming a lot during the coronavirus pandemic. There isn’t a guarantee there will be an interactive experience category moving forward, but at least it’s something the Hugo Study Committee will consider making it a permanent addition.