Best Writing - Drama: The Blackwell Convergence
It's a rainy, bleak day in New York City. Rosangela Blackwell and Joey Mallone are in a deserted office, and a solitary man stands on the ledge outside, ready to jump to his death. But he's already dead. Like Joey. And this is what Rosa and Joey do: help listless souls find their way to the beyond. But how can you help someone who doesn't even remember who he is; perhaps doesn’t want to remember? How can you reach them, how can you convince them to let their feeble grasp go? Will you be gentle, firm but reassuring, or will you force them to choose the hard way, slapping the dire truth in the faces of these lost, wounded souls?
Deep, emotional dilemmas like this are where Dave Gilbert's script truly shines in The Blackwell Convergence, making it an apt choice for our top dramatic writing award. It’s the refusal to treat ghosts like mere plot devices or simple, single-minded foes, instead highlighting their hurt humanity, the spark of life that still flickers inside them, their bittersweet memories of a past that has been unkind. This game’s ghosts are alive. Though the premise may not be original, the writing is undeniably powerful: tender and melancholic when depicting the suffering of these tormented spirits; heartfelt and sincere when it shows how important friendship and human warmth is in a potentially depersonalizing city like New York. And yet the mood is lightened skillfully by the sassy, sharp dialogue between Rosa and Joey, reluctant partners clearly forming a bond that their banter can’t entirely conceal. All these elements combined to earn the game its Best Dramatic Writing award, proving yet again that you don’t need a big budget or glitzy graphics to tell a story successfully.
Runners-Up: 3 Cards to Midnight, Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper
Readers’ Choice: The Blackwell Convergence
Death was a common theme among the dramatic contenders, as The Blackwell Convergence’s pixelized paranormal investigators were in tough against some serial killing mystery opposition. But while the wisecracking Joey might prefer the comedy Aggie, Dave Gilbert’s third ghost story struck all the right emotional chords for staff and readers alike, presenting an ever-deepening, often touching human drama on multiple fronts.
Runners-Up: Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper, Still Life 2
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Next up: Best Gameplay... the envelope, please!