Today, XPRIZE — the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges — announced XPRIZE Connect, a new learning initiative that will democratize access to learning through technology, and allow a new generation of innovators to follow their interests and develop needed skills for the oncoming, fully digital world.
The first major XPRIZE Connect initiative will be the launch of Code Games: A Global Game-Making Challenge that invites young people ages 10 to 18 years old to design and/or develop a video game across the themes of Exploration, Environment, and Human Equity. Supported by Endless Network, which leverages philanthropic initiatives, partnerships, and educational games to make technology accessible, fun, and safe for all, and developed in collaboration with E-Line Media, entrants could win one of multiple $1,000 prizes when taking the challenge to design and develop an original game about any topic made with a variety of freely available creation tools as well as written game designs.
A global collection of partners have joined the Code Games mission to motivate the next generation to learn critical skills for the future, including the TGR Foundation, Games for Change, Global Game Jam, BuildBox, Internet of Elephants, LA County Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs, Teach the World Foundation, University of Texas, Dallas, Dreams Uncorporated, Internews, and FilmAid.
Code Games is inspired by a roster of past and current global incentivized competitions from XPRIZE that have accelerated breakthroughs across the industries of private space travel, ocean health, global education, and more. Imagination is the first step in creating change, and Code Games provides competitors a chance to imagine the future they want to create.
“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. “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.”
In addition to Code Games, XPRIZE Connect will provide year-round opportunities for learners to create and experience an equitable, sustainable, and positive future through challenges, resources, and experiences. XPRIZE Connect will also integrate Youth Challenges into each XPRIZE going forward, packaging the themes and missions into mediums better suited to reach the innovators of tomorrow.
“Most of the trends and critical questions about the future of learning have been accelerated by COVID-19,” said 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.”
“Endless is proud to partner with the XPRIZE foundation to launch the Code Games challenge. Tech literacy is a tool for equalization and stepping stone towards a brighter future — and the Code Games competition is designed to inspire the next generation of talented creators to unlock their potential,” said Endless Network Founder Matt Dalio. “We can’t wait to see the competitors’ designs!”
Entrants can win a prize package featuring one of multiple $1,000 USD cash prizes when taking on the challenge to design and develop an original video game about any topic made with a variety of freely available creation tools as well as written game designs. Grand prizes of $2,000 USD will be awarded to the best games in the following topic areas: Equity, Exploration, and Environment. Entry is free and submissions of one of the following are due by October 14, 2020:
- A playable game made using any tool provided that tool is consistent with the requirements of the guidelines.
- A written video game design document that provides a clear description of the overall vision for the game, target audience, genre, core gameplay, timing/pacing of play experience, visual style, and (if applicable to the game) characters and storyline.
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 to phase two, which will include a formal review and scoring process based off of the following criteria: Creative Vision, Engaging Gameplay, Balance, and Technical Execution.
Additional details about the competition can be found at codegameschallenge.org.
XPRIZE designs and operates multi-million-dollar, global competitions to accelerate the development of technological breakthroughs that benefit humanity. Active competitions include the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE and the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, and the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.
Founded in 2011, the Endless Network is an independent collection of companies and initiatives focused on improving technological literacy, expanding internet access, and promoting coding education. By leveraging philanthropic efforts, partnerships, and impact gaming, the Endless Network seeks to meet the technology needs of underserved and unconnected communities while making learning fun and safe for all. Learn more at www.endlessnetwork.com.