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Game Developers Choice Awards to honor Smithsonian video game exhibit curator and Spacewar! creator

The 13th Game Developers Choice Awards will honor Chris Melissinos, curator of the Smithsonian's "The Art of Video Games" exhibit and Steve Russell, creator of Spacewar! next month, according to a press release from the conference's organizers.

Melissinos will receive the Ambassador Award, which is given to "those who have helped the game industry advance to a better place." Russell will receive the Pioneer Award, bestowed to "developers for creating breakthrough video game genres or concepts."

For more on Spacewar!, which is considered to be the world's first digital computer game, be sure to watch our hands-on at the Museum of the Moving Image. To learn more about the Smithsonian exhibit, which featured items cataloging the first four decades of video games, hop over to our interview with Melissinos from last year.

Past Pioneer Award winners include Dave Theurer, creator of Missile Command, and Yu Suzuki, creator of After Burner, Out Run, Virtua Fighter and more at Sega. Past Ambassador Award winners include Ken Doroshow and Paul M. Smith, a legal duo who led a team resulting in a court ruling that content-based restrictions on games are unconstitutional, and Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik and Robert Khoo, of Penny Arcade fame.

GDC organizers announced the games nominated for the Game Developers Choice Awards in late January. GDC will be held from March 25-29 in San Francisco, and Polygon will be there to deliver the news to you.