The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has today announced that pioneering game developer and computing advocate David Braben OBE will be presented with the Fellowship at the British Academy Games Awards ceremony at the Tobacco Dock, London, on Thursday 12 March.

Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.

Fellowships previously bestowed for groundbreaking work in games include Rockstar Games, Gabe Newell, Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Will Wright.

As founder of Frontier Developments, David Braben’s work in games began in 1982 when he co-authored the seminal Elite and since rose to become one of the most prominent British programmers in the world, whose portfolio of titles includes games based on theWallace & Gromit franchise, Thrillville and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Braben is a trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity that promotes the study of basic computer science in schools and is responsible for developing the Raspberry Pi.

David Braben said: “I am absolutely delighted to be receiving a BAFTA Fellowship; it is an incredible honour. I have a truly great team behind me at Frontier, and without them I would not be receiving this, so the honour is effectively for all of us.”

Harvey Elliott, Chairman of BAFTA’s Games Committee, said: “As Elite nears its 20thanniversary this September, David Braben’s enthusiasm for the medium remains as undiminished today as it was back then. David is a genuine pioneer, not just in terms of game design or cultural significance but also in the field of computing, having championed the Raspberry Pi that recently became the most successful British computer of all time. The Academy Fellowship could not be more appropriate.”

The British Academy Games Awards takes place on Thursday 12 March at the Tobacco Dock, London, and will be hosted by actor Rufus Hound for the first time.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!