The Pioneer Award, given to developers for creating breakthrough video game genres or concepts, will be given to Dave Theurer, one of Atari Inc.'s arcade game designers from the 1980s. Theurer created classic titles such as Missile Command, Tempest and I, Robot, which helped create modern game genres and define the early days of gaming.
Following on from this in 1981, Theurer created the iconic, vector-based tube shooter release Tempest, the original psychedelic shooter, which inspired a slew of other innovations in arcade video games and was an early title to use 3D perspective in gameplay.
As his final title in the game industry before moving to a successful career in enterprise software, Theurer designed cult, groundbreaking arcade title I, Robot. This 1983 arcade game, not commercially successful at the time, is legendary for being the first commercial video game with filled 3D polygon graphics, as well as being the first video game to feature camera control options.
The Ambassador Award, given to those who have helped the game industry advance to a better place, will recognize Ken Doroshow and Paul M. Smith, the First Amendment lawyers in the landmark US Supreme Court case Brown, et al., v. Entertainment Merchants Association, et al., for their support and their fight for game developer rights.
Ken Doroshow is senior VP and general counsel of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in Washington, D.C. As the ESA's general counsel, he oversees all of the association's legal matters, including litigation, business affairs, and intellectual property policy.
The lead external lawyer on the case was Paul M. Smith of Jenner & Block LLC, chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and co-chair of the Media and First Amendment, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices at his firm. He has had an active Supreme Court practice for nearly three decades, including oral arguments in 14 Supreme Court cases involving matters ranging from free speech and civil rights to civil procedure.
The 12th Annual Choice Awards ceremony, produced in association with the Game Developers Conference (GDC) will take place on Wednesday, March 7, at the San Francisco Moscone Center. It is open to all Game Developers Conference attendees.