Published June 11, 2007
New York—Microsoft and Games for Change (G4C) announced a joint commitment to explore new ways to bring together the world of digital gaming with the world of social change at the fourth annual Games for Change Festival at Parsons The New School for Design.
Microsoft has outlined an all-new socially minded global gaming competition, the "Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge." This worldwide competition, set to launch this summer to participants in more than 100 countries, will challenge college students to come up with the best game based on the theme of global warming. Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, made the announcement during the 2007 Games for Change Festival Expo Night, following an introduction from Bob Kerrey, president of The New School and former Nebraska Senator.
Microsoft and Games for Change will award cash prizes to the best entries, which can be applied to the students' education. Winners will receive an invitation to present their entries to the Microsoft games management team for possible inclusion as a download in the popular Xbox LIVE Arcade service. Finally, the first place team or individual will also win the opportunity to become an apprentice at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business as part of its internship program.
The students will develop games based on global warming using Microsoft® XNA™ Game Studio Express software. Launched in December of 2006, XNA Game Studio Express has democratized game development by leveling the playing field for smaller game developers, non-professionals, and academics who wish to be involved in driving innovation and creativity in the game design process.
"The current generation of gamers is among the most socially conscious in history," said Suzanne Seggerman, co-founder and president of Games for Change. "We know from experience that young people are looking for ways to help make the world a better place, and who better to support this effort than an industry leader like Microsoft?"
"Microsoft is very happy to work with Games for Change in taking video gaming to a whole new level by bringing in brand-new concepts and people to the game-making process," said Bell. "We are passionate about the potential games have in expanding horizons, creating networks, and helping design real-world solutions."
Games for Change provides support, visibility and shared resources to individuals and organizations using digital games for social change. Now in its fourth year, the Games for Change Festival brings together academics, game creators, nonprofit representatives, business executives, and activists to discuss the impact of games on our culture, and evaluate the potential for a new genre of socially minded video games.
XNA Game Studio Express enables hobbyists, academics, and independent game developers to easily create videogames for Windows and Xbox 360™ using optimized cross-platform gaming libraries based on .NET. Combined with an active membership in the XNA Creators Club (available from Xbox LIVE® Marketplace), you can also create, debug, and play games on your Xbox 360 console.