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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Mario leads Joystick nominations
Mario Kart
Mario Kart can be played online on the Nintendo DS
Handheld games console title Mario Kart DS leads the nominations for the Golden Joystick awards 2006.

The Nintendo DS game has six nominations, including game of the year, while role playing game Oblivion is short listed in five categories.

Quiz game Buzz and Xbox Live's marketplace, where gamers can download demos, lead the innovation category.

The winners - voted for by gamers - will be unveiled at a ceremony in a London hotel on 27 October.

Votes can be cast on the Golden Joystick awards website and organisers are expecting more than 250,000 ballots to be cast.

Different categories

There are 16 different categories, including handheld game of the year, family game, girls' choice and online game of the year.
Oblivion
Oblivion has been praised for its immersive world

Other contenders for the title of game of the year include Resident Evil 4, Call of Duty 2, Guitar Hero and Pro Evolution Soccer 5.

Lara Croft, who turns 10 this year, is in the running for the favourite character award. Croft made a successful return in Tomb Raider: Legend this year.

Also nominated are Mario, Agent 47 from Hitman: Blood Money, Alyx Vance from Half Life: Episode 1 and Prince of Persia from the Two Thrones title.

The Golden Joystick awards were founded in 1982 when Atari, Commodore and Spectrum were the dominant players in the market.

The industry is now worth $25 billion (14bn) a year and the big players include Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Game development has grown in complexity to rival the work of Hollywood studios with high-profile titles costing up to $20m (12m) to produce and involving years of work and hundreds of staff.

This year the awards ceremony will be webcast on the Computer and Video Games website.


SEE ALSO
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