The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced this week their choice of the next honoree of the BAFTA Fellowship award, and it is none other than legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and more fun than a monkey barrel could ever dream of being.
The Fellowship is the esteemed Academy's highest honor and isn't strictly related to video games, but Miyamoto will be presented with the award during the GAME British Academy Video Game Awards on March 19.
Miyamoto expressed in a statement that he's pleased as punch, but acknowledges that he is but one man on a team of many:
I am very grateful to be able to receive such an honorable award from the British Academy. Our video games cannot be created by one person; since Donkey Kong until the most recent New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I have been working closely with a number of friends for three decades in order to develop fun and enjoyable games. I would like to receive this honorable award on behalf of all of these dependable colleagues.
What a stand-up guy. So think we, and so thinks Academy chairman David Parfitt:
The Fellowship is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for their creative work and we are honoured to have Miyamoto with us to accept his award.
With previous honourees including Hitchcock, Kubrick and Pinter, it is only fitting that Miyamoto be recognised alongside these other pioneers for his groundbreaking work. He helped to develop an entire creative industry and is still a major force in its continuing success.