The Nebula Award for Best Game Writing is one of the Nebula Awards, presented each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) for science fiction or fantasy game writing. The Nebula Awards have been described as one of "the most important of the American science fiction awards" and "the science-fiction and fantasy equivalent" of the Emmy Awards. The Game Writing category is the newest category of the Nebulas, which were originally awarded in 1966 solely for printed fiction. The Nebula Award for Best Game Writing has been awarded annually since 2019. The drive to create the Game Writing category was promoted by then SFWA president Cat Rambo after game writers were made eligible for SFWA membership in 2016. According to a statement by SFWA when the category was announced in 2018, it was added to reflect how changes in technology had expanded the media used for science fiction and fantasy storytelling.
|Nebula Award for Best Game Writing|
|Awarded for||The best science fiction or fantasy game writing published in the prior calendar year|
|Presented by||Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association|
|Most recent winner||Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin for Elden Ring|
To be eligible for Nebula Award consideration, a work must be published in English in the United States. Works published in English elsewhere in the world are also eligible provided they are released on either a website or in an electronic edition. A game is considered by the organization to be "an interactive or playable story-driven work which conveys narrative, character, or story background". Works in this category have no set word count and must have at least one credited writer.
Nebula Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of the SFWA, though the game writers do not need to be members. Works are nominated each year by members in a period around December 15 through January 31, and the six works that receive the most nominations then form the final ballot, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Soon after, members are given a month to vote on the ballot, and the final results are presented at the Nebula Awards ceremony in May. Writers are not permitted to nominate their own works, and ties in the final vote are broken, if possible, by the number of nominations the works received.
During the 5 nomination years, 27 games by 78 writers have been nominated. These have primarily been video games, but also include seven books for role-playing game systems and an interactive film. The first year's award was won by Charlie Brooker for the interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch; the second year's award was won by a team of nine writers led by Leonard Boyarsky for the video game The Outer Worlds; the third year's award was won by Greg Kasavin for the video game Hades; the fourth year's award by a team of six writers for the role-playing game Thirsty Sword Lesbians; and the fifth year's award by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin for the video game Elden Ring. Only four writers have been nominated more than once, with two nominations each for Dominique Dickey, Kate Dollarhyde, Kate Heartfield, and Natalia Theodoridou. Interactive fiction developer Choice of Games has had the most games nominated with a total of six over four years.
Winners and nominees edit
In the following table, the years correspond to the date of the ceremony, rather than the game's release. Each year links to the corresponding "year in video games". Entries with a blue background and an asterisk (*) next to the writer's name have won the award; those with a white background are the other nominees on the shortlist. Entries with a gray background and a plus sign (+) mark a year when "no award" was selected as the winner.
Winners and joint winners
|2019||Charlie Brooker*||Black Mirror: Bandersnatch||House of Tomorrow|||
|Matt Sophos||God of War||Santa Monica Studio|||
|Richard Zangrande Gaubert|
|M. Darusha Wehm||The Martian Job||Choice of Games|||
|Natalia Theodoridou||Rent-A-Vice||Choice of Games|||
|Kate Heartfield||The Road to Canterbury||Choice of Games|||
|2020||Leonard Boyarsky*||The Outer Worlds||Obsidian Entertainment|||
|Kelsey Beachum||Outer Wilds||Mobius Digital|||
|Kate Heartfield||The Magician's Workshop||Choice of Games|||
|Robert Kurvitz||Disco Elysium||ZA/UM|||
|Elsa Sjunneson-Henry||Fate Accessibility Toolkit||Evil Hat Productions|||
|2021||Greg Kasavin*||Hades||Supergiant Games|||
|Stephen Bell||Blaseball||The Game Band|||
|Joel A. Clark|
|Jake Elliot||Kentucky Route Zero||Cardboard Computer|||
|Phoebe Barton||The Luminous Underground||Choice of Games|||
|Sam Kabo Ashwell||Scents & Semiosis||Sam Kabo Ashwell|||
|Yoon Ha Lee|
|Nicolas Guerin||Spiritfarer||Thunder Lotus Games|||
|2022||April Kit Walsh*||Thirsty Sword Lesbians||Evil Hat Productions|||
|Connor Alexander||Coyote & Crow||Coyote & Crow|||
|Balogun Ojetade||Granma's Hand||Roaring Lion Productions|||
|Jay Dragon||Wanderhome||Possum Creek Games|||
|Nate Austin||Wildermyth||Worldwalker Games|||
|2023||Hidetaka Miyazaki*||Elden Ring||FromSoftware|||
|George R. R. Martin*|
|Ben McCaw||Horizon Forbidden West||Guerrilla Games|||
|Ajit George||Journeys through the Radiant Citadel||Wizards of the Coast|||
|F. Wesley Schneider|
|Justice Ramin Arman|
|D. Fox Harrell|
|Felice Tzehuei Kuan|
|Miyuki Jane Pinckard|
|Terry H. Romero|
|Kate Dollarhyde||Pentiment||Obsidian Entertainment|||
|Steven Lerner||Stray||BlueTwelve Studio|||
|Natalia Theodoridou||Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires||Choice of Games|||
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- "Nebula Awards 2020". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus. Archived from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- "Nebula Awards 2021". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus. Archived from the original on July 6, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
- "Nebula Awards 2022". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus. Archived from the original on December 12, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
- "Nebula Awards 2023". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023.