Queen awards titles to game industry veterans

Founders of SCi and Acorn recognized in New Year's list for distinction in the gaming industry.

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The UK's New Year's Honours List, in which the Queen recognises individuals who have achieved distinction in their respective industries, is usually replete with business giants and sporting heroes alike. But this year two video gaming industry veterans, Jane Cavanagh and Andrew Hopper, have been awarded titles in the Order of the British Empire.

Cavanagh, who was given the title of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the computer game industry, founded SCi Games in 1988. Until its flotation in 1996, she owned 100 percent of the company's stock. In 1999, SCi moved to the official London Stock Exchange list.

SCi acquired Eidos Interactive in May 2005, which added several franchises to its asset list, including the Tomb Raider series, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and the Hitman games. Eidos was also responsible for creating one of the most recognisable video game characters ever, the British adventurer Lara Croft.

Acorn Computers founder Andrew Hopper was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to the computer industry. The IT innovator is currently working as a professor of computer technology and is the head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.

Acorn was a British company established in Cambridge in 1978. It produced a number of popular home computers, including the Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, and the Acorn Archimedes.

The two awards are ranks of the Order of the British Empire, with Commander being one rank above an Officer. Only those who are awarded one of the two highest ranks, that of a GBE (Knight or Dame Grand Cross) or a KBE/DBE (Knight/Dame Commander) can use the title Dame or Sir before their name.

Other games industry executives who have previously received honours include Amstrad founder Sir Alan Sugar and Eidos executive Ian Livingstone, OBE.

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