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How to get an MBE? Create addictive games that lead to divorce…
Four gaming luminaries received an award in the New Year’s Honours this year.
- CBE for Rod Cousens, CEO of Codemasters and formerly of Acclaim
- OBE for Paul Jackson, former Director-General of ELSPA, the publishers’ association and now CEO of RailSimulator.
- MBEs for the Paul and Oliver Collyer, founders of Sport Interactive and developers of Championship Manager/Football Manager.
Congratulations to all the recipients. They join other gaming luminaries such as Peter Molyneux (Lionhead), Richard and David Darling (Codemasters), David Gardner (Electronic Arts), Geoff Heath (NCsoft) and Jez San (Argonaut) in the ranks of those recognised by the UK government as making a meaningful contribution to society.
And that’s really important. As the government starts to make these awards, it is recognising the vital cultural, critical and commercial impact that video games make in the UK. Every time our industry receives an Honour, it makes it harder for ill-informed MPs and journalists to deride it as a pointless pastime for kids.
So how do we get more of them?
SImple. Nominate people. The Honours system may be opaque, but it relies on the industry nominating those people it wishes to see honoured. Go to the Cabinet Office, and start creating citations for people who you think have made a difference to the industry. Realise that this will take work: you need to make a case that is accurate and persuasive, and it helps to get other respected people in the industry to write in and support your citation too.
But I think it’s worth it. After all, if we don’t nominate our own, who will?