Presented at Edinburgh Interactive today, the award recognises the game that the Edge team feels did the most this year to blaze a trail for new interactive experiences for players.
We felt that the remarkable Motionscan performance capture technology used in LA Noire has helped to push videogames another step towards mainstream entertainment.
Edge publisher James Binns presented the award to Mondo Ghulam, animation director at Rockstar North, which worked on the game with beleaguered Team Bondi.
"I'm a little bit embarrassed, a bit worried even," Ghulam said. "Eight years of my career have been spent producing very boring cutscenes. Anyway, LA Noire has many qualities, and people have focused on Motionscan. What people maybe don't know is how much my colleagues and myself worked at Rockstar North, and travelled round the world with Team Bondi to produce this game. Working several years, in fact, to make this game what it is."
LA Noire's use of Motionscan, which was developed by Sydney-based Depth Analysis, has swept away the boundary between developers' intentions and players' experiences. It allows games to be dramas, with all the feeling and undertones that come so naturally to film and TV.
This means that games can introduce new themes and emotion into play, so stories – and players' actions – feel more meaningful, and it helps to steer them away from the uncanny valley, making them more inviting and inclusive to non-gamers. While PopCap and Zynga develop new audiences on one end of the spectrum of videogames, Rockstar and Team Bondi have done the same on the other end.