The British Academy of Film and Television Arts said this week it will present a BAFTA Fellowship to game design luminary Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo mainstay who created games including Super Mario Bros. and Zelda.
The BAFTA Fellowship is not video game-specific; film and television icons are also considered, reflecting Miyamoto's impact on the overall entertainment industry. But even though Miyamoto is the Nintendo creator most often in the limelight, he says he will accept the award on behalf of the people who supported him over the years.
"I am very grateful to be able to receive such an honorable award from the British Academy," Miyamoto said in a statement. "Our video games cannot be created by one person; since Donkey Kong until the most recent New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I have been working closely with a number of friends for three decades in order to develop fun and enjoyable games. I would like to receive this honorable award on behalf of all of these dependable colleagues."
The BAFTA awards are set to take place on Friday, March 19 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. For the second time, comedian and gamer Dara O'Briain will host the BAFTA Video Game Awards, sponsored by UK-based retailer GAME.
In a statement, film producer, actor and BAFTA chair David Parfitt said, "The Fellowship is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for their creative work and we are honored to have Miyamoto with us to accept his award."
"With previous honorees including Hitchcock, Kubrick and Pinter, it is only fitting that Miyamoto be recognized alongside these other pioneers for his groundbreaking work," Parfitt added. "He helped to develop an entire creative industry and is still a major force in its continuing success."
Last year, gaming pioneer Nolan Bushnell became a BAFTA Fellow for his contributions to the game industry. SimCity and The Sims creator Will Wright received a BAFTA Fellowship in 2007.