Pitfall Creator Honored With AIAS Pioneer Award

Illustration for article titled Pitfall Creator Honored With AIAS Pioneer Award

Activision co-founder and Pitfall! creator David Crane isn't just a pioneer in the gaming industry. He's also a pioneer award winner, having been named the first recipient of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Pioneer Award.

David Crane is more than just the father of the platforming genre. The creator of classic titles including Pitfall!, Little Computer People, Freeway, and A Boy and His Blob has been in the business longer than most. He started off with Atari, helping to design the Atari 800 operating system and the Display Processor Chip before co-founding Activision in 1979 with Alan Miller, Jim Levy, Bob Whitehead and Larry Kaplan. In 1986 he joined Garry Kitchen's Absolute Entertainment, kicking out A Boy and His Blob and Amazing Tennis for the NES during his stay.

He's still active in gaming today, acting as chief technical officer for Skyworks technology, a multimedia developer specializing in casual games.


The advances and memorable experiences Crane has produced over the past three decades are the reasons why the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has chosen him to be the first recipient of its Pioneer Award.

"The Pioneer Award recognizes contributions made by the original men and women whose efforts helped to create the interactive entertainment industry that we know today," said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. "For most of these people, their work is done and they have retired from the industry."

Crane's compatriot Garry Kitchen will present the award to David at the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, taking place at the 2010 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas on February 18th.

As much as I admire David's work, I still think they should make him jump across crocodile heads to accept the award.

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It's the first side-scrolling game I ever played, even though technically it wasn't side-scrolling. A different screen appeared. When your character walked off screen, but the effect was enough to make me feel, like I was running through a world I could explore. Before Pitfall most games stayed on one screen.