[Over at big sister site Gamasutra, we've just opened nominations for the 2008 Choice Awards, so if you're a developer and would like to vote on the best games of the year, with winners showcased at the big GDC ceremony in March - now's the time.]

The 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards has now opened nominations for the best games of 2008, with awards given out at GDC 2009 and Gamasutra members able to help decide nominees.

Next year’s 9th Annual Award Ceremony, will be hosted on March 25th, 2009 in the Esplanade Room in the South Hall of San Francisco’s Moscone Center, as part of Game Developers Conference 2009.

The Choice Awards, the most prestigious honors in video game development, are now available for you to nominate, after logging on with your main Gamasutra.com user ID. (You can register for free if you do not currently have one.)

The Game Developers Choice Awards recognizes excellence in the art of game creation in any genre or platform. Last year's event saw Valve's Portal the recipient of three major honors, including Game of the Year, with three awards also going to 2K Boston/2K Australia's BioShock.

The 2009 award categories currently open for nominations until January 5th, 2009, are:

- Best Audio
- Best Debut Game
- Best Downloadable Game
- Best Handheld Game
- Best Game Design
- Best Technology
- Best Visual Arts
- Best Writing
- Innovation Award
- Game of the Year

In addition, the first part of this year's voting process, three special Choice Awards - the Ambassador Award, the Pioneer Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award - is still open for nominations for a limited time. Ralph Baer (Pioneer), Jason Della Rocca (Ambassador), and Sid Meier (Lifetime) were the Special Award winners for 2008's ceremony.

The Game Developers Choice Awards are unique in that nominees and winners are voted on entirely by game professionals, and there are no entry fees. It is produced by the Game Developers Conference and presented by Gamasutra.com and Game Developer Magazine.

The nomination ballot and further details about the Choice Awards are now available online at the official Game Developers Choice Award website. For further information and to register for GDC, please visit the official GDC website.