Good question

kunkel2

“Why?”


I’ve heard that question a lot, ever since I proposed national awards for video game journalism. But I’ve never heard it from video game enthusiasts or journalists.

Those who play, buy, and cover video games already know why…

  • People: 155 million Americans “regularly” play video games. Only 126 million voted in the 2012 presidential election.
  • Money: The U.S. video game industry raked in more than $22 billion last year. That’s more than the NFL ($11 billion) and Major League Baseball ($9 billion) combined.

Yet there are no national awards for video game journalism.

Political reporting awards? Scads of those. Everything from the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism to something called the Hanns Seidel Foundation Patronage Award for Political Journalism. (No, I never heard of it, either.)

And not only does SPJ’s vaunted Sigma Delta Chi Awards have a “sports column writing” category, there’s even an awards program for fantasy sports coverage.

So you can win an award for covering fantasy football, but not Final Fantasy.

It took some persuading, but SPJ has warily authorized the Kunkel Awards for Video Game Journalism  only for one year, though. If the Kunkels recognize excellent and ethical reporting without too much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, I suppose it’ll survive another year.

Meanwhile, journalists can win an award for writing the year’s best obituary. It’s called a Grimmy. Can’t make that shit up.

So that’s why.

Honest questions? Withering criticism? Wanton praise? Comment below or contact me.


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