Mojang Specification’s Minecraft has been awarded with the inaugural arts prize at the GameCity videogame culture festival in Nottingham.
The smash hit indie title, which has been sold just under four million times before official release, beat Valve’s Portal 2 and EA’s Ilomilo to the award.
"It's a great honour to be compared to those games," said Mojang founder Markus ‘notch’ Persson to the BBC.
"Winning this award helps us to try to make Minecraft the best game it can be."
The prize was awarded to Minecraft by a panel of non-industry judges that included MP Tom Watson, artistic director of the Southbank Centre Jude Kelly, presenter Ed Hall and comedian Charlie Higson.
"It just wasn't like anything else... it felt like it had an expanding life of its own. It had an organic nature," said Ed Hall.
"It's simplistic and addictive, and there's an element of beauty in what you are doing."
Minecraft and its creator Persson have won a number of awards for the indie world builder, including the Download IP, New Studio and Micro Studio prizes at the Develop awards in July.
The full version of the game is currently due for release on 18th November and will be coming to Xbox 360 in 2012.