BAFTA has appointed a new VP for games, a high level position that sits alongside VPs for film and TV, directly beneath the charity's president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge. David Gardner OBE will be the first person to take up the role and will be an ambassador for the company throughout the games industry, as well as co-chairing its council.
Gardner is the cofounder of London Venture Partners and started his career as one of the first 11 employees at Electronic Arts at the age of just 17. He stuck around for 25 years before leaving to become CEO of Atari in 2007, after being awarded an OBE for his service to British business in America. All this makes him a perfect fit for the role, as someone who has survived the industry since the early days and no doubt knows it inside and out.
VPs at BAFTA can serve a term of up to six years and Gardner's main role during that time will be to further the charity's Global Games Strategy and put emphasis on growing its games membership both in the UK and abroad. By building a collection of passionate and influential games professionals, BAFTA hopes to promote the games sector and positively affect the next generation of the games industry. We're already seeing this being done through campaigns such as the Young Game Designers competition and Breakthrough Brits.
"BAFTA is a fabulous organisation that helps advance the art of gaming, film and television," Gardner says. "It is unique in that it brings so many storytelling mediums together, and has established itself as a globally recognised charity for peer review, advancement and education. I view my role as helping to expand the game industry's participation in this tradition and look forward to the breakthroughs that will follow from sharing our craft."