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BAFTA GAME Award shortlist revealed

Vote for your top title of 2010.

The 10-game shortlist for this year's public vote prize at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards was announced this morning.

Revealed on stage at BAFTA's London HQ by TV presenter Mikey Underwood, gamers can now vote online for their favourite game of 2010 with the winner to be announced at the main Awards bash on 15th March.

The shortlist includes: Call of Duty: Black Ops; Super Mario Galaxy 2; Heavy Rain; FIFA 2011; Red Dead Redemption; Halo: Reach; Dance Central; Mass Effect 2; Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit; and Limbo.

Notable this year is the inclusion of Limbo, the first ever download-only title to feature, and Red Dead Redemption, which is absent from all of the main Awards categories because Rockstar didn't put it forward for consideration. Last year's GAME Award was snagged by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The shortlist was settled upon after a heated debate among a 13-strong panel of experts, which included Awards host Dara O'Briain, Mikey Underwood, Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury and various games media (including Eurogamer, so if you're angry that something's missing, we're 1/13th responsible. Apols).

Chatting to us at this morning's event, PlayStation UK boss Ray Maguire – who also chairs BAFTA's games committee – said: "We make our games for the public, they enjoy them, so why not give them a little bit more enjoyment alongside the main awards by giving them their say? It's really important."

He added: "We're not looking for commercial success, we're looking for innovation and excellence. Just because they haven't sold in big numbers doesn't mean to say they're not valuable games."

Another committee member, Nintendo UK's Rob Saunders, chipped in: "There are very few awards that allow the general public who play the games day in day out to vote.

"What's really great this year is if you look at the list there's the usual suspects that you'd expect to be there, but also some titles that you might not, like Limbo."

"I want everyone to campaign and get their mates to do it and really get behind their favourite game," urged Neil Ashurst of GAME, which sponsors both this prize and the overall Awards. "Don't just assume it's going to be a Red Dead or a Black Ops. If you have a favourite vote for it.

"We'll have the same as last year where people will be asking, 'Why isn't that on the list?' And they can blame you and the other 12 members of the panel!"

Yeah, thanks for that. Voting is now open at www.baftagameaward.com - with the chance to win a load of Microsoft goodies for your trouble.

Who's getting your vote?