Unpacking, the narrative organisation simulator from Australian studio Witch Beam, has been nominated for a highly prestigious Peabody Award for Interactive Media. While the awards have celebrated innovative, impactful media since the 1930s, this is the first year the organisation has extended an olive branch to the games and interactive media industries.
Frankly, it’s delightful to see a deserving Aussie studio named in the inaugural class of nominees.
The 83rd annual Peabody Awards will air on 9 May 2023, with the aim to celebrate stories that matter. In the newly-minted Interactive Media award category, designed to highlight ‘diverse, interdisciplinary forms of meaningful storytelling’, a range of unique games and experiences have been nominated alongside Unpacking.
The nominees include:
- Contrapoints (YouTube)
- Motto (Mobile)
- Un(re)solved (Web)
- Coronavirus in the Classroom (Web)
- Reeducated (Oculus, Mobile, Desktop)
- Unpacking (Desktop)
- Life is Strange: True Colors (Desktop and Console)
- The Uncensored Library (Minecraft, Desktop)
- Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls (Oculus)
Read: The making of Unpacking: From bullet-hell to domestic heaven
Unpacking joins a starry cast of international projects recognised for their impact, with the wider array of Peabody Award nominees including: Disney’s Andor, Better Caul Saul, Atlanta, Severance, and Our Flag Means Death, alongside deep news packages, hard-hitting documentaries, and an array of insightful podcasts.
A brief snippet on the Peabody website indicates Unpacking was nominated for its innovative approach to storytelling, as its ‘hidden’ narrative contains a sweeping, queer love story within the bounds of a simple moving simulator.
‘This zen puzzle game transforms the mundane experience of unpacking items out of boxes after a move into an extraordinary storytelling device, allowing the player to get to know the main character at an intensely intimate and personal level without ever seeing her over 21 years of her life and eight different moves,’ the Peabody website reads.
Recognition for this innovative approach is well deserved – and we look forward to seeing Witch Beam celebrated when the Peabody Awards 2023 air on 9 May 2023. Regardless of a win, we congratulate Witch Beam on this nomination.
The full list of nominees can be found on the Peabody website.