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Hades becomes the first video game to win a Hugo Award

Supergiant Gains

Supergiant Games' gay, Greek gallivant, Hades, is the first video game to receive a Hugo Award. The awards which celebrate literary works in the science-fiction and fantasy genres, added a special one-off 'Best Video Game' category this year, which is where old Zagreus picked up his accolade. Our short king's battle out of the underworld beat out its closest competition, cosy escapism simulator, Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the polls by almost fourfold.

145 games were nominated by the public with six - Hades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Last Of Us: Part II, Spiritfarer, Blaseball and Final Fantasy VII Remake - making it to the finals. Despite only coming fifth, Blaseball deserves recognition as a so wild-it-works gaming experiment. This text-based browser version of baseball gone batty, allows players to vote to alter almost anything they imagine, from number of limbs to random incinerations. Blaseball's nomination opens the doors to narratives created through fiction and art by the players rather than the game.

While the Hugo Awards are unsure if the category will make a permanent appearance, it is pleasant to see the work by the Hades' team be recognised. This is not only because Hades contains thousands of lines of meticulously researched dialogue steeped in accurate Greek mythology across almost 30 characters taken from legend and subsequently charmingly fleshed out, then brought to life diegetically though the minutely detailed environments; but also because game stories are cool. There are plentiful stories enhanced through interactivity and it's uplifting to see that supported.

Hades story intertwines with its gameplay to create its narrative. Meeting with characters opens up dialogue and gifts you keepsakes integral to your escape. The game is made possible through the power of friendship. Equally, discovering more about your family's mixed up history provides the motivation to attempt the damned battle out again and again. Making friendly with your heavenly relations gifts you powers which can produce some battle synergies which are very sensually pleasing as they are pulled off pleasingly. All the elements go hand in hand to tell our award-winning story.

The first Hugo Award was bestowed in 1953 by the World Science Fiction Convention who allowed its members to vote, with the effort beginning annually from 1955 . However, 2021 is not the first time the Hugos attempted to introduce games into the literary parlour room. In 2006 they introduced the "Best Interactive Video Game" award. While 52 playable stories received nominations, the ballot only attracted 98 votes total. This disheartening turnout was not enough to enter the category for an award, and the idea of including video games in the storied honours was quietly forgotten. Before the category was quietly dropped, World Of Warcraft was topping the charts while receiving a disappointing 13 votes.

Fingers crossed we start to see more games recognised for their storytelling expertise.

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