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Producers Guild of America Honors 'The Sims' Designer Will Wright

by Rainier on Dec. 14, 2006 @ 12:48 p.m. PST

The Producers Guild of America announced that the 2007 Vanguard Award, outstanding achievement in new media and technology, will be presented to game designer Will Wright whose creative vision has inspired some of the most critically acclaimed and popular video games in the short history of the medium.

The Vanguard Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in new media and technology, will be presented to Wright at the 2007 Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 20th at the Century Plaza.

Deemed by Entertainment Weekly to be one "the 100 most creative people in entertainment" Wright draws on academic and artistic sources as the original producer of games such as the

classic urban planning game, SimCity, and most notably, The Sims, which became the best selling PC game in history. As the originator of the "God Game", Wright introduced the concept of allowing players to control simulated individuals or groups of individuals by serving as an omnipotent entity that influences various scenarios within a game. This innovative perspective changed the face of the video game model and revolutionized the gaming industry. He is currently developing Spore-an epic journey that takes players from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and technology and eventually all the way into the deepest reaches of outer space.

PGA Awards co-chairs, Mark Gordon and Hawk Koch commented, "Will Wright is the icon of the gaming industry and one of the great producers of entertainment content. His creations have transcended into feature films and continue to entertain a global audience. We are proud to have him be the first Vanguard recipient from the gaming universe."

"The PGA's decision to honor a game designer is a big moment for game designers such as myself, and those who would like to follow in our footsteps. The PGA is signaling that games are an integral part of the entertainment industry, and an art form worthy of recognition," said Wright. "For that reason, I am incredibly honored to be the first game designer to receive the Vanguard award."

The PGA will also honor Ron Meyer with their Milestone Award. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will receive the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer will receive the Norman Lear Producers Guild Achievement Award in Television. Ken Ehrlich will be honored with the Visionary Award, and the Stanley Kramer Award will be presented to An Inconvenient Truth.

Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award include George Lucas, James Cameron, Pixar Animation Studios and AOL Chairman and CEO Jon Miller.

The Producers Guild will announce their 2007 nominees for Producer of the Year in Theatrical Motion Picture, Animated Film, Long-Form and Non-Fiction Television on January 4th, 2007.

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