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Notch and Tracy Fullerton to receive GDC Awards honors

Minecraft - behind you Notch!
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Markus “Notch” Persson and Tracy Fullerton will be honored with special awards at this year's Game Developers Choice Awards.

Persson, the creator of Minecraft (but you already knew that) will be presented with the Pioneer Award (which was for some reason formerly known as the First Penguin Award), which "celebrates those individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history—paving the way for the myriads who followed them."

Fullerton, an associate professor and director of the USC Games program, will receive the Ambassador Award recognizing her work helping games “advance to a better place through advocacy or action.” Her name isn't as instantly recognizable as Notch's, but she has “played an instrumental role” at the Game Innovation Lab, where she was involved in the creation of games including Cloud, Flow, and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom.

They reacted to the announcement on Twitter in slightly different ways:

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Just kidding. Notch was honored, too.

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We suggest buying everyone in the room nachos.

Fullerton and Persson will be honored alongside Todd Howard of Bethesda, this year's recipient of the GDC Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Game Developers Choice Awards, which will be held on March 16.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.