FrontierVille maker joins AIAS, or 'People Who Make Cool Things', board

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Zynga Brian ReynoldsEven if you've no idea what the word "Civilization" capitalized implies, you probably know Brian Reynolds. The lot of you have played one of his more recent games, FrontierVille by Zynga. Now, the iconic game designer has joined the board overseeing The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), an organization seeking to advance the artistic value of interactive entertainment (i.e. video games).

Reynolds is chief game designer at Zynga, and was key to the creation of FrontierVille, now known as Pioneer Trail to its 4.5 million monthly players. "Their awards program has always been a gold standard of recognition and career advancement for game makers and I'm honored to have a chance to help advance it," Reynolds said in a statement. "Likewise, the D.I.C.E. Summit blows me away every year with the quality and caliber of developers they bring together. I believe this opportunity is an important step in the continuing assimilation of social games into the broader game community."

AIAS, which represents over 22,000 members of the largest game creators from Nintendo to EA, Sony and Microsoft, hosts the D.I.C.E. Summit annually. This conference honoring all things high brow in gaming culminates with the Interactive Achievement Awards, recognizing the past year's gaming achievements. This year, Zynga's CastleVille is up for the "Social Networking Game of the Year" award, along with The Sims Social, Triple Town, Army Attack and Gardens of Time.

This is quite an achievement for Reynolds, whose history in the games goes far beyond Facebook's Wild West to genre-defining games like Civilization II, Alpha Centauri and Rise of Nations. Alas, the FrontierVille maker did have to weather the recent storm of copycat claims lobbied against Zynga, to which he denied it was an issue. In the grand scheme of things, we seriously doubt that's going to change his image as one of the greats in gaming.

Are you a fan of FrontierVille or any of Reynolds earlier games? Which Facebook game do you think deserves the award this year? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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