Storytelling was celebrated at one of the video game industry’s top awards shows Thursday night. The D.I.C.E. Awards, which honour creative accomplishments in interactive entertainment, crowned Naughty Dog’s dystopian re-imagining of the zombie thriller The Last Of Us with 10 awards at the 17th annual event held in Last Vegas.
The post-apocalyptic game took home the industry’s top prize — game of the year — as well as outstanding achievement in story, outstanding innovation in gaming and adventure game of the year, among others. It has been widely praised for excellent writing and character development, which shows that narrative-driven gaming is the future of the medium.
Hosted by actress/producer/gamer Felicia Day and gamer/filmmaker Freddie Wong (both pictured), this year’s D.I.C.E. Awards also introduced a new category: online game of the year. The award went to Wargaming’s multiplayer online game World of Tanks, which is free to play online as well as on Xbox 360 (starting Feb. 12), but asks users to pay in micro-transactions for premium elements. The new award is symbolic of the evolution and growth of gaming that’s transpiring online.
“This year’s winners range from deep, story-driven epics and massive interactive worlds to realistic sports action and engaging mobile experiences. They paint a broad picture of the new golden age we’re currently experiencing in the video game industry,” said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
“Tonight’s big winner, The Last of Us, is a prime example of how today’s modern video game studios expertly blend art, game play, and storytelling to transcend the traditional notion of video games,” he said in a release.
The full list of award winners can be found on the Academy’s website.