Monday 15th October/... Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, the world's best selling PC gaming franchise with more than 90 million units sold, will shortly join an exclusive number of household names from TV and Film as he becomes the first recipient of the Fellowship from the video games industry at the British Academy Video Games Awards 2007. The Fellowship is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for their creative work.
Until now, the much lauded Fellowship has remained an exclusive part of BAFTA's more established pillars, TV and Film. But today's British Academy recognises the massive impact of video games on popular culture and their huge contribution to the whole art form of the moving image.
Hilary Bevan Jones, Chairman of the Academy said "Will's immense, creative body of work and his continued contribution to the industry make him a most worthy recipient of the Fellowship and being such a pioneer, we are thrilled that he will be the first person to receive this honour".
Wright, who is widely accepted as one of the world's leading visionaries in the field of video game design, has been passionately creating games for more than twenty years. Although he has worked on a number of hugely successful games, among them Raid On Bungling Bay (1984), SimCity (1989), SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCity 3000 (1989) and SimCity 4 (2003), he is best known for bringing to fruition one of the best-loved games franchises in history, The Sims - a game whose inspiration sprang from a combination of the aforementioned titles.
Other 'firsts' at this year's Awards include the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award in association with Dare To Be Digital which recognises up-and-coming talent, and the PC World Gamers' Award, the only publicly-voted award of the night ( www.obsessedwithgames.co.uk). This year's Awards will be held at London's Battersea Evolution on 23 October. Music acts will include the indie rock band Athlete with another act being confirmed this week. The show will be broadcast on E4 on November 4 at 11pm and repeated the following weekend on Channel 4.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is the UK's leading organisation dedicated to the recognition and promotion of excellence in the fields of the moving image. Renowned for its high profile Film & Television Awards ceremonies, the prestigious BAFTA mask has long been seen as a symbol of excellence.
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