The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), an independent charity that recognizes visual artists — including filmmakers, TV producers, and game developers — for their contributions to the arts, has announced that its highly prestigious Fellowship Award will this year go to John Carmack.
The Fellowship Award is, for all intents and purposes, a lifetime achievement award and in the past has been given to Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Steven Spielberg, and Christopher Lee, but this year it will go to Doom creator John Carmack.
The long-time game developer came to prominence in the ’90s, with the founding of id Software, the development of the Doom Engine and subsequent games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. His entire career has seen him developing graphical technologies to advance the visuals and efficiency of games and he has also been hailed as a pioneer of the latest virtual reality revolution, by his early championing of the Oculus Rift headset.
All of that has resulted in BAFTA announcing that he will become the latest winner of the Fellowship Award. Despite being among many great names from other industries, though, Carmack will also be in good company when it comes to game developers.
Gabe Newell, CEO and founder of Valve, was handed the award in 2013; Peter Molyneux, founder of Bullfrog and creator of games like Dungeon Keeper and Black and White, was awarded it in 2011, and back in 2010, Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong and many other Nintendo characters and their original games, received it also.
Carmack will officially be inducted into this hallowed list on April 7 at the BAFTA awards ceremony at Tobacco Dock, London.
Following the news, he released a statement thanking everyone involved, and further extolling the virtues of games:
“Receiving a BAFTA Fellowship is a great honor. Over the course of my career, I’ve remained passionate about the potential for engineering and technology improvements to expand the range of human creativity. Graphics, networking, extendable platforms, and now virtual reality; each has enabled magnificent new things that delight millions of people. I am as excited about the future today as I was when I started.”