Members looking to raise vidgames as org's 'third arm'

Those lights you see burning in the middle of the night at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts’ headquarters might be bleary-eyed members glued to their Xbox or PS2.

While BAFTA is best known for nurturing and feting film and TV talent, it’s now looking to raise videogames as BAFTA’s “third arm.”

“We have moved to re-emphasize videogames as an art form of the moving image on a par with film and TV as a result of a strategic review we conducted last year” says BAFTA chairman Duncan Kenworthy.

Part of the plan is to raise the profile of the British Academy Video Game Awards, which has been moved from March to October, to cap London Games Week, the industry’s premier European event.

Kenworthy concedes the game biz lacks the star power that fuels BAFTA’s film and TV ceremonies.

The org’s reconstituted Gaming committee is mulling plans to tweak the game bash’s 17 categories and inject some glamour.

Still, some traditionalists balk. “After all, it is the British Academy of film and television arts,” points out one disgruntled member.

Even so, the U.K. videogame industry is booming. In 2005, it was worth $2.35 billion — almost one and half times the size of U.K. box office.

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