Yesterday, Microsoft announced the full availability of Microsoft Kodu Game Lab for the PC and the launch of the nationwide Microsoft Kodu Cup 2011 competition.
Microsoft Kodu Game Lab is a free game design tool that enables kids to easily build their own video games for the PC within minutes by dragging and dropping images and simple icons, rather than using complex programming languages. The tool builds real-world skills by encouraging kids to analyze a problem and develop a solution. They do this by building virtual cartoon characters and the worlds in which those characters live.
The full release of Kodu Game Lab for the PC includes new features, such as an interactive system that guides users through each step of making games — creating terrain, adding characters and programming them. It also includes a community feature that allows users to share games with other PC-based Kodu Game Lab users.
Kodu Cup Competition details:
- Submissions will be accepted through May 10, with winners announced in late May.
- The competition will be broken into two age groups; 9 to 12 years old and 13 to 17 years old — with a grand prize winner and first and second runners-up from each group.
- The grand prize winners receive $5,000 for themselves and their respective schools, as well as a trip to the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York.
- All entrants under the age of 13 must have a parent or guardian’s consent to participate in the competition.
In a Microsoft Press release, Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences Labs stated that;
Our research has shown that Kodu Game Lab appeals equally to girls and boys and helps promote creativity, self-confidence, critical thinking and technology skills.