Organizers from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced that from this year the organization’s video games awards will be given the same status as their prominent film and television awards.
The new BAFTA video game awards will seek to reward artistic and creative innovation within the industry, as one of the principle contemporary art forms – becoming a “third arm” in the organization’s award system. As a result the British Academy Video Games Awards ceremony has been moved to October, to be positioned as the climax to the London Games Festival.
The changes have been driven by a newly formed BAFTA Games committee of representatives from a wide range of publishers, developers, middleware companies and trade associations, including ELSPA; TIGA and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
BAFTA’s chairman, Duncan Kenworthy, added “Video games constitute a hugely significant new, moving image art form that sits alongside film and television in its power to entertain and educate, and the Academy is determined to encourage its development. The British Academy Video Games Awards are a key part of our strategy to define, articulate and reward excellence in the sector, to the benefit of those who create games and those who play them.”
In addition, the initial details of the 2006 London Games Festival week have just been announced, after being organized by both ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) and TIGA (The Independent Games Developers Association) and will combine key events throughout the capital from October 2nd. Two business events are already scheduled for the week, with the London Games Summit on the 4th and 5th and the Content Market on the 3rd and 4th.
Fred Hasson, CEO of TIGA commented: "The festival has the potential to become the 'Cannes' of the games industry, fittingly so since the UK is the most important centre for the games sector in Europe in both consumer and business terms. London Games Festival 2006 will be predominantly trade focused, but it is foreseen that cultural, artistic, educational and consumer elements will evolve as part of the activities in the future."