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XPRIZE Announces Video Game Design Challenge for Students

XPRIZE Announces Video Game Design Challenge for Students

XPRIZE — the organization known for designing and managing major prize competitions to spur major technological advances — is launching XPRIZE Connect, a new program to get young people to pursue careers in STEM (and eventually become XPRIZE competitors themselves).

The first challenge incorporates video game design. "Code Games: A Global Game-Making Challenge," invites students ages 10 to 18 to come up with a video game following one of three themes: exploration, environment and human equity. There will be two age categories, for entrants between 10 and 13 and entrants between 14 and 18. Tracks have been designated for individuals and for teams, which can have up to four people.

In the first phase, contestants can win one of numerous $1,000 prizes by taking on the challenge of designing and developing an original video game. Entry is free and submissions are due by Oct. 14, 2020. The submission must either be a playable game made using any tool fitting into the guidelines or a written video game design document that clearly describes the overall vision for the game.

The guidelines state that entries must follow one of these "streams":

  • It must be a written game design; or
  • It must be playable via Gamestar Mechanic, Scratch, The Endless Mission, Unity or any other video game platform.
  • The entries will only compete against other entries in the same stream.

Following the submission deadline, a panel of independent judges consisting of video game experts and leaders in culture will identify the competitors whose submissions qualify to move forward. In the second round, grand prizes of $2,000 will go to the best games in each of the thematic categories. Those will be scored based on creative vision, engaging gameplay, balance and technical execution.

Support is coming from Endless Network, which focuses on making technology accessible, fun and safe, and E-Line Media, a video game developer that wants to help its gamers to explore meaningful themes.

"We live in a moment in time when we have a unique opportunity to re-imagine the future, and who better to do that than the ones with the most active imagination, our young generations," said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE, in a statement. "This new learning challenge will help us cultivate the vital skills of our next generation of innovators, those who will be the inventors and creators of the radical breakthroughs that will enable us to build the hopeful and abundant future we all want to live in."

"Most of the trends and critical questions about the future of learning have been accelerated by COVID-19," added Emily Church, executive director of education and learning at XPRIZE. "We want young go-getters around the world to be inspired to learn about and shape new technologies that can help build a better future for us all."

Check the Code Games challenge website for specifics on the rules and to register to participate.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.