Ken Levine has been awarded the Golden Joystick award for Lifetime Achievement in the gaming industry.
Levine said of his award, 'It’s both incredibly flattering and strange to be honored with an award for lifetime achievement for an industry that didn't exist when I was born'
Levine continued commentary on the future of the gaming industry, 'The one thing I know about the future, is how little we know about the future, and that's what I love about games'
The 31st annual Golden Joystick awards were presented by CVG as it is commonly abbreviated, or Computer and Video Games, and streamed live as the event played out on the outlets YouTube channel. CVG's Golden Joystick Awards are an industry event, awarding trophies to games and figures within the gaming industry for accomplishments across the year such as 'Best Storytelling', 'Best Newcomer of the Year', and 'Best Indie Game' The event was sponsored in part by Green Man Gaming, an online marketplace for PC games.
Ken Levine got his start with Looking Glass studios and worked on the stealth action title 'Thief: The Dark Project' before breaking off to form Irrational Games. Following his work at Looking Glass, Levine oversaw the production of 'System Shock 2', an action role-playing game with horror influences. System Shock 2 was a critical success for Irrational, and helped fuel the studio to upcoming titles such as two 'Freedom Force' strategy games, 'Tribes: Vengeance', and SWAT 4, a police tactical action game.
In August of 2008, Irrational released Bioshock to both critical and commercial success. Bioshock was a story driven first person shooter which, at the time, was a welcome refresh to a genre populated by generic shooters. Bioshock served as a spiritual successor to 'System Shock 2' and was set in the underwater utopia of Rapture, designed to rid the inhabitants of the restrictions of the surface. Things become apparent quickly upon arrival that this intended utopia has become dystopian due to recent events. The game explores issues ranging from objectivism, to stem cell research and the moral implications that follow. Levine was quoted in an interview with IGN as stating 'With BioShock, I wanted to build a world where [things] would happen and be believable and not in the far future, but something that we could speak to, like something we're dealing with now -- with stem cell research and the moral issues that go around'.
In March of 2013, Levine and Irrational released Bioshock Infinite to equal if not greater critical and commercial success. The game received glowing reviews and was universally lauded by critics for attention to detail, immersion, and overall story narrative that truly pushed the genre forward. Examiner.com's own Alex Hebert stated in his review; 'BioShock Infinite takes great effort to surround you in the game's world and bring you in'.
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