Saturday, 14 June 2014

Raspberry Pi pioneer honoured in Birthday list

Video game veteran David Braben has been appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. 

The honour was given for the work he has done for both the UK's video game and computer industries. Mr Braben got started in video games as a teenager as one half of the duo that created the hugely successful Elite space trading game.

More recently he was instrumental in helping to get the Raspberry Pi bare-bones computer project up and running. He helped to set up the Foundation that did the development work on the £25 credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer.

The tiny computer was developed in a bid to get young people interested in computer science and coding but has proved a bigger hit with older people who have put the device to all kinds of uses.

Mr Braben got his start in the computer world during the early 1980s when the first cheap home computers became available.

He wrote the Elite video game with friend Ian Bell which gave players the chance to pilot a spaceship around an open-ended galaxy trading and fighting off pirates. In late 2012, Mr Braben ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to develop Elite: Dangerous - a modern-day update of the game.

The campaign raised £1.5m and the game is due to be released towards the end of 2014. Mr Braben was one of several technology entrepreneurs and innovators who received awards in the honours.

Dr Paul Hawkins was made an OBE for his work to create the "Hawk Eye" ball-tracking system used at major sporting events such as Wimbledon.

Also honoured were Belinda Parmar, founder of Lady Geek, who was appointed OBE for services to women in technology; Dr David Gow becomes a CBE for creating the prosthetic I-Limb Hand that has helped people with upper limb injuries and Alastair Lukies, founder of Monitise, was appointed a CBE for his entrepreneurial work.

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