ChicTech's Games for Girls Programming Competition

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ChicTech, an outreach program of the University of Illinois' Department of Computer Science, extends an open invitation for college women to participate in the third annual Games for Girls Programming Competition (G4G). Applications must be submitted by December 22, 2006 and completed projects are due by March 16, 2007.

G4G was conceived in response to research indicating that boys enjoy a relatively greater degree of confidence with computers because they spend more time as children playing computer games. The research suggests that this difference in confidence contributes to the gender imbalance seen in the field of Computer Science.

Designed to encourage the development of computer games that appeal to middle- and high-school aged girls while fostering the development of communities of college women majoring in computer-related disciplines, G4G is a contest that invites teams of women to design and implement a computer game for younger girls.

The competition is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Morgan Stanley, and State Farm. G4G will award each member of the winning team $1000. Other cash prizes will be presented to second and third place teams. Projects will be evaluated on technical merit, entertainment value, and creativity.

The winning entry will be a collaborative effort involving up to five college women. It can be created using GameMaker, a game design platform that supplies design flexibility and requires minimal programming. GameMaker has worked well; the competition is opened up for development on other platforms. Another platform with similar characteristics to GameMaker is the Scrolling Game Development Kit. Please visit site for other options and complete competition details.

The competition is open to all college women currently residing in the United States. Each student team must submit an on-line application by December 22, 2006. Visit the Web site to complete an application: www.cs.uiuc.edu/g4g



Sonya Harris is Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Recruitment, Retention, and Outreach at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.