Technology Visionaries Recognized In Queen’s Honors List
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Some of the UK’s top technology pioneers, including the founder of video game publisher Eidos Interactive, are among those being recognized by the Queen as part of her annual New Year’s Honours list.
Ian Livingstone, who created the company behind the popular Tomb Raider and Hitman series of games in 1990 and served as its president up until its takeover by Square Enix in 2009, has been made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), according to Chris Smith of Tech Radar.
“I’m genuinely humbled to get something,” Livingstone, who currently holds the title Life President of Eidos and was also the co-creator of the Fighting Fantasy book series, told BBC News Technology Reporter Leo Kelion on Friday. “My life has been all about games, and I think we learn an awful lot through play.”
“Writing Fighting Fantasy books with Steve Jackson in the 1980s seemed to have got a whole generation of children reading again. And I’m delighted that what we created not just manifested itself in interactive books but it’s actually inspired people to join the computer games industry,” he added.
Livingstone has also been an advocate for restructured information and communications technology (ICT) classes in the UK, Kelion said. Earlier this year, he co-authored a report highlighting the “poor quality of computer teaching” in British schools and helped convinced education officials there to place greater emphasis of programming skills development.
“It’s so much better to teach children to create technology rather than just being passive users of it,” he said of his efforts. “At the moment ICT does nothing more than simply teach children what are effectively office skills. We teach them effectively how to read but not how to write. If we get them to code that’s brilliant — it’s not just about writing games. It’s fighting cybercrime, and about creating the next jet propulsion engine.”
Like Livingstone, Martha Lane Fox, the government’s digital champion and the founder of online travel and leisure retail website LastMinute.com, will become a CBE, according to computing.co.uk‘s Stuart Sumner.
Sumner also notes that Hossein Yassaie, CEO of multimedia company Imagination Technologies, will be knighted for “services to technology and innovation,” and Smith added that Kenneth Grange, “the brains behind the Kodak Instamatic camera, the creator of the InterCity 125 train and also the UK’s first parking meter,” will also be recognized in that manner.