Person of the year for computer games guru

University lecturer, Dr Mark Eyles has won the Person of the Year award at the annual awards by the Games industry organisation, TIGA. TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry.

The award recognises someone who has made an important contribution to the work of TIGA and to the industry. It was presented to Mark at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London on 2 November 2017.

Dr Mark Eyles

Dr Mark Eyles

Mark has been involved with TIGA since 2009, supporting a number of initiatives including setting up and running the TIGA Accreditation Scheme for university games courses. The award also recognises his work in setting up and running the well-respected games courses at the University of Portsmouth and for the role he undertakes in promoting game development courses and education in the UK.

He said: “Receiving the Person of the Year 2017 award is a real honour and was completely unexpected. I have been committed to the games industry for over 36 years, first in industry and then setting up and running the game development courses at the University. Since 2009 I’ve had the opportunity to help TIGA promote and support effective game development education, which has allowed me to work at a national level. I have worked with, and continue to work with, brilliant and supportive people. I am in awe of what the next generations of game developers are coming up with!”

The award is also an acknowledgement of Mark’s 36 years of involvement in the games industry, including as Creative Director of Quicksilva, one of the first game UK game developers in the early 1980s, through to his role as Head of Design (1999 – 2003) at one of the UK’s most successful game developers, Rebellion. The award also recognises his work in promoting diversity in the games industry by setting up the Women in Games initiative in 2004 and running the first Women in Games conference that year at the University of Portsmouth.

As well as receiving an award Mark also presented the Diversity Award, sponsored by the University of Portsmouth and an initiative that Mark is passionate about.

“Handing the Diversity Award was a complete pleasure. They deserved this award for their continuing commitment to supporting and promoting diversity in the games industry, an issue close to my heart. Supporting diversity in this way is incredibly important and necessary.

“The University has always been a great supporter of diversity and our students are recruited on their merit, qualifications, competence and talent, not on their background. Our courses follow TIGA’s guidance of having balanced imagery on their course websites, with a more equal mix of gender and ethnicity that reflects games industry priorities.”

UoP News © 2017 All Rights Reserved