Tom Watson MP Leads Big Name GameCity Awards Panel

It's the Booker and Mercury prize of gaming

Posted by Staff
Tom Watson MP Leads Big Name GameCity Awards Panel
Games awards ceremonies are about to get a lot more meaningful. Cultural festival organiser GameCity has announced The GameCity Prize, an event that aims to be the "Turner / Booker / Mercury Prize of the videogame world."

Labour MP for West Bromwich East, and staunch supporter of the video game industry, Tom Watson will be one of the nine high-profile judges on the panel that will seek to look at a selection of games from an artistic and cultural perspective. GameCity hopes that its Prize event will "ignite a broader, ongoing conversation about the role that gaming plays in 21st century culture."

Fellow panellists include Heavenly Sword composer Nitin Sawhney, Southbank Centre artistic director Jude Kelly OBE, comedian and novelist Charlie Higson, FT Comments Editor James Crabtree, presenter Ed Hall, actress Frances Barber, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree and rock group You Me At Six.

GameCity proudly describes the panel as a team of 'non-games specialists' - but any argument that a group of non-gamers would know what makes for great interactive entertainment is batted away by Frances Barber.

"Im not a huge video game player yet but as an artist Im very interested in all forms of cultural expression," Barber said. "Im thrilled to have this opportunity in the GameCity Prize to discover what the World of videogames might hold for me, what kind of worlds, characters and emotions they can create. I cant wait to start playing."

The GameCity Prize really seems to be grounding itself on the basis that games are most definitely art. And Director Iain Simons makes no bones about that fact. "I'm bored of the debate of whether games are art' or not - the question isn't if' they're interesting, but how' and why'.

"The GameCity Prize is about videogames gaining cultural confidence and expressing their value in something other than financial terms. If games are worth almost 3 billion a year in the UK - then surely they're worth thinking about too."

A list of games for the judges to consider have been hand-picked by "an international academy of game experts throughout the industry." The nominations are: Minecraft; ilomilo; Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP; Pokemon Black; Portal 2; Child of Eden and Limbo.

Which would you pick as the GameCity Prize and why? Let us know your thoughts - and whether a 'Turner Prize for the games industry' is a good idea or not - in the forum below.


gingineer 15 Sep 2011 12:13
I like it. I think games with some thought style and effort are often high risk so it will be a nice reward for one game.
I haven't played enough of them to comment on the winner. I do think Limbo is particularly lovely though.
TimSpong 15 Sep 2011 12:22
What about that judging panel though?


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