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City Rain Tops Eco-Minded XNA Student Game Challenge

Games for Change has announced the winners of its international global warming-themed XNA game development contest on environmental sustainability, part of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2008, with Brazil-based Mother Gaia's City Rain taking the top prize
Games for Change has announced the winners of its international global warming-themed XNA game development contest on environmental sustainability, part of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2008. First place went to City Rain (pictured) from Brazil-based Mother Gaia Studio, with second place going to Future Flow from Belgium's Drunk Puppy, and third place to Clean Up from South Korea's Gomz. Microsoft and Games for Change describe City Rain as a single-player 3-D "Sim City meets Tetris," where falling buildings need to be strategically placed on a grid "so the community can grow while still being ecologically mindful." Future Flow is described as a single-player 2-D and 3-D arcade puzzle game that teaches players about environmental sustainability and ecological issues, while Clean Up is a single-player 3-D campaign "to create and maintain your own cube (living space) with the help of cleaners, nano machines that have the ability to turn pollutants into energy." First announced in June, the challenge asked entrants to "imagine a world with a sustainable environment" with over 200,000 students from over 100 countries taking part. Judges including managers from Microsoft’s Xbox and Research teams reviewed the finalist games through a series of presentations and public showcases. Entries were judged on aspects including fun factor, innovation and adherence to the theme. 160 game entries were reduced to six finalists, and the best three teams were awarded over $50,000 in prize-money and an invitation to visit Microsoft and present the winning games to Microsoft management for possible inclusion in a future Xbox Live Arcade update, as well as a possible apprenticeship at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. Said Suzanne Seggerman, president and co-founder of Games for Change, “What’s most exciting about this game contest is that not only are the brightest young people from around the world engaged in creating these new games, they are also laying the foundation for a new genre -- socially-responsible video games. And this is where it all begins.”

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