IGDA Names the Recipients of First Penguin Award, Community Contribution Award

First Penguin Goes to Founding Members of Activision for Redefining the Business Structure; Community Contribution Recognition Goes to Doug Church

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - February 25, 2003 - The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) will give two prestigious awards to honor outstanding industry contributions at the Game Developer Choice Awards, Thursday, March 6, in San Jose, Calif. The founders of Activision will receive the First Penguin Award and developer Doug Church will be honored with the IGDA Award for Community Contribution at the ceremony held during the Game Developers Conference.

The First Penguin Award acknowledges developers who have taken risks to break new ground in the game industry. This year's recipients David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Jim Levy, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead will be honored for establishing the first third-party developer of video game software. In an industry challenged by consolidations, buyouts and complex relationships between publishers and developers, the Activision pioneers were the first to model a solution which has become a business standard -- the independent development house.

Activision was founded when Crane, Kaplan, Miller and Whitehead left Atari and joined former music industry executive Levy to form a new company in Mountain View, California. The startup's first game was Dragster, the first game independently released for the Atari VCS, in 1980. Between 1980 and 1988, the company launched 52 games with the designers' identities prominently featured in all packaging and advertising.

"The founders of Activision broke the ice in the truest sense," said Jason Della Rocca, Program Director, IGDA. "So many independent developers would simply not be making games today, nor would they be getting credit for their endeavors, if it were not for these five pioneers."

The IGDA Award for Community Contribution is presented to a developer who has made significant efforts in building community, sharing knowledge and advancing the art form of interactive entertainment. Doug Church, technical director, Eidos, will be acknowledged for his team focus, his efforts to build community and to improve the industry over the past 12 years. An inspiration for both veteran and aspiring developers, Church has been instrumental in developing relationships between industry and academia by serving as co-chair of the IGDA Education Committee and helping develop curricula to train the next generation of game developers. He has been an advocate of developing a common language of game design and improving design methods. Church has also written articles, delivered talks at the GDC and served on the GDC advisory board.

A veteran of Looking Glass Studios, Church is emblematic of the Game Developers Choice Awards' call this year to honor the talent "behind the game." The widely respected video game creator is credited with programming, production and design on such games as Deus Ex, Flight Unlimited, Flight Unlimited II, Frequency, System Shock, Thief: The Dark Project, Thief II, Ultima Underworld, and Ultima Underworld 2.

"It is an honor to be recognized among my many peers who are working to improve game development," said Church. "As we continue this trend, we attract more quality people, evolve our methods of development, and end up with better games."

The recipients of the First Penguin Award and the IGDA Award for Community Contribution are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Board.

The 3rd annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer-recognition in game development, will take place at the Game Developers Conference, March 6, 2003. Produced by CMP Media's Gama Network, GDC is the world's largest conference and exposition dedicated to video game development and related industries.

The Game Developers Choice Awards are proudly sponsored by NVIDIA and RenderWare.

About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit membership organization that advocates globally on issues related to digital game creation. The IGDA's mission is to strengthen the international game development community and effect change to benefit that community. For more information on the IGDA, please visit www.igda.org or e-mail [email protected].

About the CMP Game Group

A core provider of essential information and community to the professional game industry, the CMP Game Group includes the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, the Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. For more information, please visit www.cmpgame.com.


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