Since the British Academy of Film and Television Arts started honoring video games in it own ceremony in 2003, the annual gaming BAFTAs have become the top gaming awards handed out in the UK.
Today, the 2010 awards kicked off in earnest with the release of the shortlist for the People's Choice award, with 10 of the year's best titles offered up for public voting. While the rest of the gaming BAFTAs are decided behind closed doors, the people's choice award is decided by public voting, conducted on the BAFTA Game Award website.
This year, the nominees are Call of Duty: Black Ops, Dance Central, FIFA 11, Halo Reach, Heavy Rain, Limbo, Mass Effect 2, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Red Dead Redemption, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. The shortlist is decided by a panel of industry experts, who choose from games released in 2010.
Call of Duty has strong form in the People's Choice award, with the franchise having taken home the award in both 2008 and 2009, through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and its sequel Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In 2007, the award was taken by the 2007 iteration of Sports Interactive's perennial favorite Football Manager.
The rest of the nominations will be released next week, on February 16, with the awards themselves handed out a month later on March 16. Last year's awards were dominated by Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which took home five awards, but was pipped at the post to the Game of the Year award by Batman: Arkham Asylum, which also won Best Gameplay.