Microsoft has announced the winners of its first U.S. Kodu Cup, a competition that asked children ages nine through 17 to develop a game using the Kodu Game Lab development tool.
The grand prize winner of the competition was 10-year old Hannah Wyman from Leominster, Massachusetts, who created a platformer title that tasks players with collecting hearts and planting trees. As Wyman said, "My game is about how the environment is getting polluted, and we need to help shut the factories down and cause less pollution."
As a prize for winning the competition, Wyman received $5,000 for her and her school, as well as a trip to the worldwide finals of Microsoft's Imagine Cup
student technology competition, among other prizes.
Other winners in the Kodu Cup included 15 year-old Jacen Sherman, who created a mini-game collection set against an apocalyptic backdrop, and nine year-old David Gardiner, who made a hide-and-seek platformer with a visually surreal game world.
The Kodu Game Lab
is a free toolkit using an icon-based programming language, which aims to provide an accessible game development environment for children.