Not judged by conventional gaming experts – although they do select the crop of this year’s best, or most interesting, games involved in the competition – the prize itself is actually awarded by a diverse group of non-gamers who play the games over the summer.
And this year Minecraft was declared the winner, beating out the likes of Portal 2, Limbo, Child of Eden and Pokemon Black.
Those judging included the band You Me At Six, Labour MP Tom Watson, comedian Charlie Higson (of Fast Show fame), TV presenter Ed Hall and actor Frances Barber.
Minecraft is an indie developed game which emphasises creativity and world building, having become massively successful over the past couple of years since its was first pushed out.
It’s now out on mobile platforms such as Android, and the official full release is due next month. Minecraft is also set to hit the Xbox next year, where it will be even more innovative with support for Kinect controlled world building.
Markus Persson, the founder of the developer of the game Mojang, told Edge: “We’re very excited to have won the first GameCity prize, especially since the nominees contain some of our favourite games recently.”
“It’s a great honour to be compared to those games. Winning this award helps motivate us to try to make Minecraft the best game it can be.”
Minecraft has two different modes of play: a creative mode, with unlimited resources where the idea is to build, build and build, and a more challenge oriented survival mode in which the player has to deal with hunger and roaming monsters.