The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced a new category for its British Academy Game Awards. The 'Game Beyond Entertainment' category will start in the news BAFTA Game Awards in 2018.
According to the press release, the new category will "recognise the best game that capitalises on the unique and maturing medium of games to deliver a transformational experience beyond pure entertainment." The category will look at games that engage with real-world problems. It will also look at games using these issues that create an empathic and emotional response to raise awareness around them, and games that just try to make a better world.
The judging for this category will be solely focused on the games content, emotional impact, thematic fit and innovative of the video games medium. Each entrant to the category much also supply a short statement along with their entry, identifying its agenda and how it is realised in-game.
"We are living in a time of unprecedented change, with our economic, political, environmental and technological landscapes in flux," said Phil Stuart, who is a BATFA Games Committee member as well as the creative director of Preloaded games, who make video games with the express purpose of improving real life in areas such as training, health and education.
"As society seeks answers in the media they trust, never have the creative industries been needed more to create credible and authentic content, which can help audiences better understand and reflect on the world around them.
BAFTA has always championed the power of moving images to do this - from awarding news coverage from war zones, to celebrating documentaries that give a voice to lesser-known cultures and undiscovered worlds, to recognising educational children’s content. The introduction of this new category into BAFTA ’s Games Awards acknowledges the important role games have in reflecting and commenting on the world around us."
To read more about the new award and to read a feature by Phil Stuart on the category, please visit the BAFTA website. The deadline for applications to the awards is December 8th, 2017.