Will Wright to receive fellowship

BAFTA is to bestow its highest honor, the fellowship, on Yank vidgame pioneer Will Wright, the first time the org has given the award to someone from the games biz.

The creator of “The Sims” and “SimCity” will be handed the kudo at the Oct. 23 British Academy Video Games Awards.

Wright also has designed “Raid on Bungling Bay” and the upcoming “Spore.”

BAFTA has handed out only 67 fellowships since it was inaugurated in 1971, when Alfred Hitchcock picked up the prize. Fellows have included Charlie Chaplin, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.

The academy said it was extending the fellowship to include the vidgame trade in recognition of the impact it has had on films and pop culture.

Hilary Bevan Jones, chairwoman of BAFTA, said: “Will’s immense, creative body of work and his continued contribution to the industry make him a most worthy recipient of the fellowship and being such a pioneer, we are thrilled that he will be the first person to receive this honor.”

Nintendo’s “Wii Sports” leads with seven nominations, followed by “Gears of War” from Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios with six nominations. “Crackdown” from Realtime Worlds and Microsoft Game Studios, “God of War II” from SCE Santa Monica Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and “Okami” from Clover and Capcom have five noms each.

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