Game Developers Team With USDA On Apps For Kids

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is organizing game jams in half a dozen cities on the weekend of May 21 to tap the creative and technical capabilities of video game developers in support of the Apps for Healthy Kids competition.

Announced by First Lady Michelle Obama on March 10, 2010, as part of her Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity, the Apps for Healthy Kids competition challenges software developers, game designers, students, and others to develop innovative, fun, and engaging tools and games that help kids and their parents to eat better and be more physically active. Prizes totaling $60,000 will be awarded to the entries that are voted the best by a panel of expert judges.

The game jams will bring game developers, graphic artists, and local youth together to brainstorm ideas and produce video game prototypes from scratch in 48 hours. The prototypes will be displayed at the sixth annual Games for Health Conference, to be held May 26-27, in Boston.

“This unique partnership provides a fun way for our members to focus their creative energies towards the goal of the Apps for Healthy Kids competition. Game jams, like our very successful yearly Global Game Jam, are a great way to do that. We’re looking forward toward generating some amazing entries for the contest,” said IGDA Board Chair Gordon Bellamy.

Game Jam Challenge Details:

*All jams take place from May 21-23 (Friday-Sunday).

*Current plans call for the Game Jam Challenge to include Boston, Albany, San Francisco, Atlanta, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Fairfax. As IGDA chapters find locations and set up participation structures, details will be posted online.

*Games must incorporate USDA nutrition data, aim to motivate kids to eat better and be more physically active.

*All sites are encouraged to involve local youth, health experts and nutrition experts in their plans when possible.

*Sites are asked to promote and provide healthy foods and snacks for all participants. Screenshots and, where possible, game demos as developed will be made available for public access though the Health Games Challenge website.

By Mike Sachoff

Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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