Microsoft has announced a new partnership with social change/social issues group Games For Change to create the Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge, a global warming-focused XNA game competition it hopes will drive awareness for games based on social themes.
The announcement coincides with the fourth annual Games for Change Festival, which "brings together academics, game creators, nonprofit representatives, business executives and activists to discuss the impact of games on our culture and evaluate the potential for a new genre of socially minded video games."
The student-led Games for Change challenge will launch this summer for participants across more than 100 countries, all competing to create the best XNA Game Studio Express title based on global warming.
The two entities will award cash prizes and an invitation to visit Microsoft and present their winning game 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 Games for Change co-founder and president Suzanne Seggerman, "The current generation of gamers is among the most socially conscious in history. We know from experience that young people are looking for ways to help make the world a better place, and who better to support this effort than an industry leader like Microsoft?"
More information about the Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge is available at http://www.xbox.com/g4c