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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences announced this morning that Microsoft’s Visual Basic would receive the Technical Impact Award at the 19th annual D.I.C.E. Awards next week.

The Technical Impact Award celebrates innovations that contribute to the ongoing progress of interactive media, and celebrates technical achievements that are expanding the gaming industry. When Microsoft’s Visual Basic first launched in 1991, it was quickly recognized as one of the most powerful programming languages. Development lead and architect of the original Visual Basic, Scott Ferguson, will accept the award.

“The influence of Microsoft’s Visual Basic extends beyond the programming and design features of this game-changing toolset,” said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “Visual Basic inspired and spawned a new generation of coders and programmers thanks to its simplicity, laying the foundation for creative experimentation. Microsoft’s philosophy to provide free access to all lowered the barriers of entry and inspired some of the most successful platforms today to similarly make their tools available without restrictions. It is this mentality that allows our industry to flourish, and much of it can be attributed to Microsoft Visual Basic.”

Alan Cooper is often regarded as the father of Visual Basic and developed the drag-and-drop feature when Microsoft and Bill Gates approached his company to expand it into a form building application. Since it did not include a programming language, Microsoft decided to bundle it with BASIC, and thus Visual Basic was born.

Visual Basic is the second recipient of the Technical Impact Award, joining previous winner, the Apple App Store. The 19th annual D.I.C.E. Awards will take place next Thursday, February 18th, and be streamed from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Comedian Pete Holmes has been tapped to host for the second year in a row.


About Ray Carsillo

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Ray has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as,, Classic Game Room on YouTube,, and before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Find him on Twitter @RayCarsillo