British Empire Honors Industry Veterans
All around the world, different countries are handing out a variety of 2006 awards. In the UK, it's the New Year's Honours List, where the Queen recognizes those professionals who garnered both praise and distinction in their respective industries. This year, two video game veterans were honored, much to the delight of the gaming world.
The first was Jane Cavanaugh, who received the title of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for her work in the game business. She founded SCi Games in 1988 and until the company's flotation in 1996, she had owned 100% of the stock. SCi continued to grow and expand under her command, and in 1999, the company officially landed on the London Stock Exchange. SCi then acquired Eidos Interactive in May of 2005, thereby adding several popular and influential titles to SCi's repertoire: Tomb Raider, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Hitman.
The Queen also recognized Andrew Hopper, founder of Acorn Computers, for his services to the computer industry. Hopper now enjoys his new title of Commander of the British Empire (CBE), and is currently the head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He created Acorn back in 1978, and designed and produced a number of home computers, including the Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, and Acorn Archimedes.
The British have these fancy names, and of course, there is a hierarchy here. The Commander is one rank above Officer, and just for the record, the two highest ranks are Knight (or Dame) Grand Cross or Knight/Dame Commander. Only then are you allowed to use the title Dame or Sir before your name. But even though Hopper and Cavanaugh can't call themselves a Knight or a Dame, respectively, they should be proud of their achievement.
1/3/2007 Ben Dutka