BAFTA games awards back in 2009

British Academy announces March 10 as the date for its next games bash; calls for entries.

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After sitting out 2008, the pre-eminent UK games award ceremony has been confirmed for 2009 and will be hosted at the London Hilton in Park Lane, Mayfair. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is now accepting submissions in for its Video Games Awards in 13 categories: overall best game (won by BioShock in 2007), action & adventure, artistic achievement, casual, gameplay, multiplayer, original score, sports, strategy (formerly strategy & simulation), story & character, technical achievement, mobile, and use of audio.

Gone for 2009 is the innovation category and the publicly voted PC World Gamers Award. The BAFTA Ones to Watch Award (in association with Dare to Be Digital) award will be making another appearance. A new handheld category has also been announced, which will encompass PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, GBA, and mobile phone games.

BAFTA will also be handing out the Gift of the Academy Prize "for games or gaming technology worthy of special recognition," as well as its prized Fellowship, described as "the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for outstanding achievement and contribution to the industry through a body of work." Previous winners of the Fellowship include Will Wright.

A shortlist of games for the 2009 British Academy Video Games Awards will be compiled by first-stage voters consisting of professionals within the industry and BAFTA games members. This list will then be presented to juries for each category who will decide the final nominees and winner.

Nominations will be announced on February 10, a month before the awards take place. The full list of 2007 winners is available here.

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