President Obama Announces Educational Game Challenge
President Obama has announced the launch of two videogame design competitions as part of a drive to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The National STEM Video Game Challenge consists of two separate competitions, a Youth Prize aimed at middle school students and a Developer Prize for professionals.
The Youth Prize challenges students to make an original title that can be submitted as a paper-based game design or in playable form if made using free game creation tools. It has a prize pool of $50,000 made up of laptops, game design books and other tools to support skill development.
The Developer Prize challenges emerging and experienced game developers to design original games for young children that teach key STEM concepts and foster an interest in STEM subject areas. Developers will be competing for a grand prize of $50,000, while prizes of $25,000 will be awarded to the top entry submitted on the collegiate level, as well as to the top entry for reaching underserved communities.
"Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation," said Obama. "I applaud partners in the National STEM Video Game Challenge for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America’s leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math."
Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher added: “Videogames are improving and advancing the way Americans are living, working and playing. The acknowledgement and appreciation of President Obama, our partners in this campaign and leading child advocates, is a strong endorsement of the amazing potential and benefit that games can have on children.”
The National STEM Video Game Challenge will accept entries from October 12 until January 5, 2011.