is a free, Windows-based program that anyone can use to create video
games without writing code. The drag and drop interface relies on users
being able to manage “if/ then” scenarios to design a rich gaming
experience. Kodu users create the setting (trees, mountains, rivers,
etc), specify roles for characters, and place characters in their games. Finally, students program
what players can and cannot do in their games.
To encourage game development through Kodu, Microsoft is hosting a new Imagine Cup.
This Imagine Cup is a contest for kids between the ages of nine and eighteen. The contest asks entrants to design games that explore the relationship between water and people. The contest has a category for 9-12 year old students and a category for 13-18 year old students. First prize in both categories is $3,000. The submissions will be accepted until May 17, 2013. Get the complete contest details here.
Applications for Education
Microsoft offers a classroom kit for teachers who are interested in using Kodu in school. That kit will help you get started using Kodu with your students. Designing games for this particular contest could be a good activity to use as part of a lesson on environmental science.