In November, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science named former Sony Computer Entertainment chairman and CEO Ken Kutaragi as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, to be given at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit in February. At the second developer commune for the month--the Game Developer's Conference--legendary game designer Sid Meier will receive his own Lifetime Achievement Award, the CMP Game Group announced today.
Meier's career in the gaming industry spans back to 1982 with the founding of MicroProse, where he created the seminal empire-building turn-based strategy game Civilization, as well as the business strategy sim Railroad Tycoon. In 1996, Meier cofounded development outfit Firaxis, where he further iterated on the Civilization franchise and created other acclaimed titles such as Alpha Centauri and Pirates! Meier has received numerous other awards over the years, including being inducted into the AIAS' Hall of Fame in 1999.
"Sid Meier has served as one of our industry's greatest role models for more than 25 years, creating fun and intelligent games for a diverse public long before it was popular," said GDC executive director Jamil Moledina. "Now that the rest of the industry is actively targeting the broader audience, it's fitting to honor him with our highest award and thank him for his continuing example of inspiration for the video game community."
Meier won't be the only industry frontrunner to receive an award during the Game Developers Choice Awards. Ralph Baer will be given the Pioneer Award during this year's ceremony. Heralded as the "father of video games," Baer is credited with creating the first gaming console suitable for a mass-market audience, the Magnavox Odyssey.
The CMP Group will also be honoring International Game Developers Association executive director Jason Della Rocca with the 2008 Ambassador Award. According to the CMP Group, Della Rocca is being honored for "connecting developers with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues such as quality of life, creative freedoms, workforce diversity, and credit standards."
The Game Developers Choice Awards is slated to run in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival at this year's GDC on February 20. San Francisco's Moscone Center plays home to this year's conference, which runs from February 18 to 22.