Organisers of the Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate the cream of songwriting, will introduce a gong for "best original video game score" for the first time to reflect the changing world of music.

The 55th awards ceremony will recognise the growing use of big budget scores on video games and the specialist skills which their composition entail.

Judged and presented by the writing community, past recipients of the coveted awards include superstars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna and David Bowie.

This year's ceremony will award a score for a video game that was commercially released in the UK during the year ending December 31 2009.

Entrants must submit a selection of extracts "to best show the musical content of the game".

There is no limit to the number of extracts, but the overall duration must be no more than 10 minutes.

Mark Fishlock, director of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and a member of The Ivors committee, said: "The Ivors has always sought to reflect the ever-changing world of songwriting and composing.

"The video games market has matured beyond recognition and big budget orchestral scores are regularly being commissioned.

"Writing music for games also requires a number of specialist skills compared with conventional film scoring, such as non-linear and multi-layered composition.

"This is a very exciting development and one which hopefully will be fully embraced by the rapidly growing games world."

The award will be one of six categories, including best song musically and lyrically, best contemporary song, the album award, best original film score and best television soundtrack.

Under standard Ivor rules, all entries must have a British or Irish composing contribution of at least one third.

Non-British or non-Irish nationals are eligible for nomination, provided the writers were ordinarily resident in the UK during the year ending December 31 2009.

Nominations close on February 5 and the award ceremony will take place on May 20 in London.

The Ivors are presented by BASCA in association with PRS for Music.