Brilliant - I've argued before that we need prizes to celebrate the best of British talent. That's what the Turner (best British visual artist under the age of 50) and Mercury (best album from the UK and Ireland) prizes are about, and the Booker prize is for Commonwealth authors writing in English. The jury for the prize is fantastic, and the announcement comes with the following comment from Iain Simons, the brains behind GameCity:
The GameCity Prize is about videogames gaining cultural confidence and expressing their value in something other than financial terms. If games are worth almost £3 billion a year in the UK - then surely they're worth thinking about too.
Yes, absolutely! Let's make a fuss and show off the best of what's made in the UK! Let's show that we're not just about GTA.
Except. Except except except. The finalists announced for the GameCity prize are from the following countries: Norway, Denmark, USA, Japan (twice), Canada and Sweden. All worthy games, no doubt, and they'll all win countless awards from other places. But they'll all win countless awards from other places.
TIGA and UKIE spend all their time talking up the UK industry to anyone and everyone who will listen, and yet neither BAFTA nor GameCity (arguably the only other UK organisation that could give such a prize the credibility and platform it requires) are taking the opportunity to celebrate the industry.
Or is our industry not as good as we claim?