BAFTA game nominations open

The British awards body announces the 13 categories for this year's event and invites entry submissions.

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This year's British Academy Video Games Awards is a 'streamlined' affair, changing the number of categories available for nomination to 13 from 17.

The 13 main award categories this year are Action and Adventure, Strategy and Simulation, Sports, Multiplayer, Casual, Use of Audio, Original Score, Technical Achievement, Artistic Achievement, Gameplay, Innovation, Story and Character, and Best Game. Any game is eligible as long as it was (or will be) released in the UK between October 6, 2006, and December 31, 2007.

Entries for all the main 13 awards will be grouped into categories, and voted on by a team of industry members and BAFTA members--the organisation is expecting a record number of entries this year. The deadline for entry is July 6, and nominations will be announced September 25.

This year there will also be two new awards. The BAFTA Ones to Watch, in association with the Dare to be Digital competition, will be awarded to a student game designer team. The second extra award will be The Fellowship, the "highest accolade the Academy can bestow," which will be given for outstanding achievement and contribution to the industry. The recipient of The Fellowship will be announced "shortly."

The Children's Game category will this year get a separate event, the BAFTA Children's Awards in association with Electronic Arts, which will take place at the Hilton in Park Lane on November 25. The deadline for submissions for this award is July 12.

This year's BAFTA awards will take place at Battersea Evolution in London on October 23, and the organisers are expecting some 2,000 attendees, compared to the 700 who attended last year. Games which were honoured with gongs last year included Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, which won Best Game; Guitar Hero, which won Best Soundtrack; and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy for Best Gameplay.

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