Veteran arcade game designer Eugene Jarvis will receive the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences 2014 Pioneer Award during DICE's awards ceremony on Feb. 6 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Resort at Casino Las Vegas, it was announced today.
Jarvis is best known for his work on seminal arcade titles Defender, Robotron: 2084 and Stargate.
The Pioneer Award is reserved for industry heads whose work has helped shape interactive entertainment through technological leaps or the introduction of new genres. Next year's award will be presented by NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell, an associate of Jarvis' while at Midway Games.
"Eugene is simply the quintessential American game designer," said Turmell. "I joined Midway so I could work with Eugene, and I apply his teachings to my own games every single day. I learned more from my time with him than during my other 30 years of game making combined. His games have taught a generation of game developers how to innovate and succeed; the design elements and his approach to tuning are timeless."
"As we celebrate a new golden age of gaming at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit, it is only fitting that we acknowledge a key player from the golden age of coin-op who was so instrumental in establishing the interactive industry we enjoy today," said Martin Rae, president of AIAS. "Eugene Jarvis truly pioneered much of how we play now - from introducing dual joystick controls which are so familiar today to unleashing game play elements that challenged players in completely different ways."
Jarvis joins previouos award honorees including Activision co-founder David Crane, developer Bill Budge, Asteroids programmer Ed Logg and Zork creators Dave Lebling and Marc Blank.