2020 Good Games Writing Awards nominees announced

by evkmcintosh

Feb 25, 2021

EDMONTON, ABGood Games Writing (goodgameswriting.com) is pleased to announce the nominees for most of the awards in the return of its games media awards, The Goodies, as determined by an expert panel of 15 external judges and three internal curators after a lengthy consultation and nomination process.

“These awards mark a return to form for Good Games Writing in our quest to recognize and promote the best writing and voices in this space,” said Evan McIntosh, founder.

“The sheer amount of quality writing, editing, production, and beyond in 2020 makes this a worthy endeavour. We read thousands of pieces last year and throughout this judging process revisited many more while discovering others for the first time. Narrowing the lists down was a Herculean feat but one the panel rose to at every stage of the process.”

That panel is made up of industry veterans and relative newcomers alike: a past Games Writer of the Year, the publisher of an upstart Indigenous publication, and a decorated reporter make up some of the membership, with panelists residing everywhere from Alberta, Canada to Australia.

The 2020 edition of the awards is unlike any other awards in the games media space.

New look

“We reached out to our community, we worked long hours beginning in November, asking ‘What do you want to see honoured?'” says McIntosh. “The answer every time was as many voices as possible, the hard work of our peers, and things other than reviews. These awards reflect that.”

Included among the awards revealed today are awards for Indie Game coverage, Sports Game coverage, and Ongoing coverage.

“These are beats that often don’t get a lot of attention outside a small niche on social media. We’re taking the first steps today to increase recognition of these areas. Of potential concern to us is the lack of attention to service writing–the people writing guides, commerce posts, games-as-service updates, and similar works–and so this is us beginning a dialogue on how best to find, serve, and promote those writers, those works”.

Other awards including Family Gaming Content, eSports coverage, Review/Criticism, Original Reporting, List, Feature/Other Written, AV – individual Achievement, Series, Extended Form, Experimental Form, Gamedev, Accessibility & Inclusion, Tabletop, and a Special Award for Pandemic Writing.

Top Honours

While each award is meant as a mark of respect and celebration, Good Games Writing considers three awards its marquee honours, celebrating bodies of work rather than individual pieces.

Best Indie Publication, Best Major Publication, and Games Writer of the Year are those awards, meant to embody the spirit of the nominees’ entire bodies of work, rather than any one piece.

Nominees in the Indie Publication include Bullet Points, Uppercut, Into the Spine, and Can I Play That? In the Major Publication category, GameSpot, USGamer, Fanbyte, and Polygon took home the nominations.

Games Writer of the Year nominations include a larger selection than the publications, naming 10 preeminent writers from 2020, including Kat Bailey, Natalie Flores, Cian Maher, Yussef Cole, Michael Higham, Nicole Carpenter, Stacey Henley, Courtney Craven, Elise Favis, and Aron Garst.


The first awards will begin to be unveiled later today with announcements coming over the next week. All the awards above have been selected by the judging panel while a handful of undisclosed awards will also be conferred by the Good Games Writing curators throughout the event.

“We can’t ask an outside panel to read a half-dozen books,” says McIntosh, “so awards like that are handled in house. We hope to delight, surprise, and bring joy with our own selections, and we hope you’ll enthusiastically support those winners as we know you’ll support the nominees above.”

A handful of fan choice style awards will also be unveiled over the weekend, called Friends of Good Games Writing Awards, allowing the community one last chance to honour writing that may have been overlooked.

“2020 produced no shortage of incredible content. We know it’s disappointing being passed over and we want to be clear — your work matters, you matter, and we want everyone to celebrate their work and their accomplishments, not just the nominees and winners.”

Nominees included Medium posts, pieces published in newspapers, essays, and even a poem.

Return of Good Games Writing

For the past year, Good Games Writing has been hosted on its sister site, Liftoff!, but beginning March 8th, the publication will return home to goodgameswriting.com as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Liftoff! was launched several months early to help support freelancers losing work pick up some of the slack and the team behind it overlaps with Good Games Writing.

The new goodgameswriting.com, still being finalized, will be home to the Good Games Writing Weekly round-up of content, irregular themed collections titled Behold!, games media book reviews, and a host of original content that doesn’t fit on Liftoff!

“We’ve been grateful to those that supported Liftoff!‘s vision, who came to check out Good Games Writing content while it was hosted there, and those who shared our work, but now that we have a rhythm between the two teams, it’s time for GGW to once again hold a distinct voice while allowing the Liftoff! team to thrive.”

Even though goodgameswriting.com won’t be fully functional until March 8th, winners will be announced through the site first and Twitter later, up to and including March 4th.

A full list of judge selected nominees can be found here or via this Google Form (please do not fill out).


Contact: Jaeger Basger, admin@goodgameswriting.com