Hades becomes the first video game to win a Hugo Award


Image: Super Giant Games

Last year, Supergiant Games’ Hades, the roguelike inspired by Greek mythology about Hades’ son Zagreus who escapes from the underworld, released to almost universal acclaim. If it wasn’t praised for being an inviting step into the roguelike genre, it was praised for being characters and story. If it wasn’t for that, it was for the music, you get the idea. More than a year later and now on all major consoles and PC, the game is still making a significant impact, and it is sure to grow again as it won a Hugo Award this weekend and is the first video game to do so.

Every year, the Hugo Awards recognize the best brightest literary works of science fiction and fantasy. In recent years, they’ve branched out into categories like Best Fanzine or Best Fancast (basically podcast or video series). For 2021, the Best Video Game category was created after an idea had been floating around for years, according to the website announcement in 2020. Of course, it probably helped that a lot of people had time in the past year to just play video games.

Hades’ writer and creative director Greg Kasavin, who was unable to attend the Hugo Awards, posted a thank you note on behalf of Supergiant on Twitter. “We’re so grateful that our work on Hades stands out,” he said, “and we hope the Hugo Awards continue to recognize the great work being done in the video game field.” In addition to thanking the staff and their families, he praised the Greek gods from top to bottom for “inspiring people like us for thousands of years now, and may they continue to do so for a long time to come.”

Hades had some pretty good competition to beat: Unsurprisingly, the AAA contenders were The Last of Us Part II, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. And on the indie side, there was the beloved management of the afterlife, darling Spiritfarer and the fake (?) baseball sim Blaseball. This award was created as a one-off, but hopefully it will last, as video games are a pretty big part of sci-fi and fantasy right now.

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