Game Developers Choice Awards to honor Miyamoto, Tetris creator

Nintendo's mad genius to get lifetime achievement trophy; Alexey Pajitnov will receive casual-game pioneer prize.

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Last week, CMP Media revealed the nominees for the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards. The awards, which are held in conjunction each year with the Game Developers Conference, are selected by members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). The two most nominated games were Okami and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, followed by Gears of War and several offerings for the Wii, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Sports.

In addition to honoring specific games, the ceremony will award several game-industry luminaries for their cumulative bodies of work. This year, the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto will receive a Liftetime Achievement award. Over three decades at Nintendo, Miyamoto created the Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and Legend of Zelda franchises. Most recently, he helped design the Wii console and several of its most popular games.

Other award winners are as follows:

Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov will receive the first Penguin Award for "diving into unknown territory." Pajitnov created Tetris in 1985 while working for the Computer Center of the Moscow Academy of Science in the Soviet Union.

Sound designer George "The Fat Man" Sanger will receive the Community Contribution Award. Since he entered the industry in 1983, Sanger has helped create the sound effects and soundtracks to more than 250 games, including Wing Commander and ATF.

Game retailer, designer, and writer Greg Costikyan will receive the Maverick Award for "taking risks by experimenting with unconventional methods." Costikyan is the founder and proprietor of Manifesto Games, an online store where independent designers can hock their low-budget PC wares.

The 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will be emceed by Tim Schafer, head of Double Fine Productions and designer of Psychonauts.

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