This year's pioneer award (which will be handed out during the DICE 2011 Interactive Achievement Awards on February 10) will go to Bill Budge, an illustrious creator of engines for other people to create their own games and experiences, such as the 3-D Game Tool and Pinball Construction Set -- one of EA's earliest titles. He's also done stints with Sony Computer Entertainment and EA, and he currently works at Google, helping to improve the world of browser-based gaming.
Also, he knows the proper way to open and neutralize a rattlesnake bite. We think. Probably.