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Hugo Awards go gaming

01/01/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Fans of science fiction, fantasy, and horror will be able to nominate and vote for the Best Interactive Video Game as part of the 2006 Hugo Awards, fandom's version of the Oscars, to be held during the 64th World Science Fiction Convention in August, 2006.

In making the announcement, Craig Miller, vice chairman for L.A.con IV, said, "We believe that interactive video games have become an important part of the tapestry that is science fiction and, for that reason, we have decided to include them among the Hugo Award categories for the first time."

Miller declared that qualifying members may begin nominating choices for all 14 Hugo Awards categories after January 1, 2006. As with previous Hugo Awards, nominations are accepted only from individual members who attended or were a supporting member of the prior year's Convention or who have registered for the 2006 Convention as a member by January 30, 2006. Attendance at the conventions are by "membership" instead of an admission fee.

"Certainly video games are not something that only science fiction fans do," Miller said. "From games designed for the Xbox to massive multiplayer online gaming, video games are now played by half of all Americans and Europeans, and in even greater numbers in Japan and other nations."

"This additional category recognizes the amazing quality and quantity of genre-related video games," he added. "That's because a majority of the most popular and creative interactive video games use science fiction and fantasy themes, images, characters, and story lines."

Since 1953, the Hugo Awards have been granted each year for excellence in science fiction and fantasy in novels, short stories, at work, movies, television, and other categories. Event organizers are allowed to add categories periodically at their discretion.

The Hugo Awards ceremony is just one of over 400 programs offered during the 64th World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, to be held from August 23-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The programs also will include science fiction & fantasy literature, films, television shows, science & space, costuming, and include panel discussions, speakers, autograph sessions, readings, discussion groups and a writers' workshops.

For more information on the activities of the convention, surf on over to

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