DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, announced on November 23, 2020 that they will include a Best Video Game category in the 2021 Hugo Awards.
As stated in their announcement:
An eligible work for the 2021 special Hugo award is 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 subjects.
For these purposes, a game is defined as a work wherein player choice, interaction, or participation significantly impacts the narrative, play, meaning, or experience. A major gaming platform means that the game is available on personal computers such as Windows, Mac, or Linux computers (including, but not limited to, via Steam, Epic, itch.io, browser, or direct download), iOS, Android, Switch, PlayStation, and/or Xbox systems. This definition will be provided as part of the nominating and voting ballots.
Members of the 2020 Worldcon (CoNZealand) and the 2021 Worldcon (DisCon III) as of December 31, 2020 may nominate works for the 2021 Hugo Awards, including for the special Best Video Game category. In general, including this special category, works first published in 2020 are eligible for the 2021 Hugo Awards. Nominations open in early 2021. Those works receiving sufficient nominations will go on to a final ballot, where only members of the 2021 Worldcon (DisCon III) may vote. Both attending and supporting members of Worldcon may nominate and vote on the Hugo Awards.
The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) bylaws (section 3.3.19) allow Worldcons to add one special category to the Hugo Awards presented by that Worldcon. The special category is administered like all of the permanent categories, and is treated the same as all of the permanent categories, including the winner receiving the same trophy as all other categories. A special category does not create an ongoing new category. Permanent categories can only be created by the members of WSFS voting at two consecutive WSFS Business Meetings (held at each Worldcon, and open to all attending members) to add a new category.
While there is no permanent category for video games in the Hugo Awards, a committee of the WSFS Business Meeting has been studying the possibility of adding such a category for several years now. The 2006 Worldcon (L.A.con IV), offered a Best Interactive Video Game category using their special-category authority for the 2006 Hugo Awards, but dropped it from the final ballot due to lack of interest.
Each Worldcon administers the Hugo Awards presented at their convention. The Hugo Awards are not administered by the Hugo Awards web site. Direct any questions about the Best Video Game category or anything else about the 2021 Hugo Awards to the Discon III 2021 Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee.
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