Last night, an expo was held at the 2008 Games For Change event in New York City, to showcase the six finalists in Microsoft's Imagine Cup competition. Students from around the world were challenged to build games around the theme of environmental sustainability, using Microsoft's XNA community tools
The winner will be chosen at an upcoming Finals event in Paris next month.
"This is just our small part we're playing," Microsoft XNA general manager Chris Satchell told us. "It's really a broader challenge to the industry."
Microsoft can provide tools and a platform to support the development of socially-conscious games and to help them reach an audience where they're already playing, Satchell said. "But no magic happens without the creators... it's the stars that really produce."
You can see a compilation video of the six "star" finalists above, and hit the jump to see video of the games, along with more info about the concepts and the teams behind them.
2008 Imagine Cup Finalists
Team Members: FlorianMaetschke, Jens JochenIsensee, Martin Wahnschaffe
Game Name: Image Earth
Game Description: Single player earth simulation game. Your central goal is to build up a strong, growing population and healthy environment •To achieve this you can build cities, power plants, farms and industry areas and place them on a 3D earth which is segmented into many fields. •In the course of the game pollution will become a big problem. Some of your buildings pollute the surrounding ground, others pollute the air. •Research opportunities come up along the way to help develop new technologies that reduce this pollution.
Team Members: Kenny Deriemaeker, JeroenVan Raevels, FilipVan Bouwel, Timothy Vanherberghen
Game Name: Future Flow
Game Description: Single player 2D and 3D arcade puzzle game that teaches players about environmental sustainability and ecological issues •Transform existing (unsustainable) cities into sustainable ones by upgrading or creating buildings with environmentally friendly features. •Use 3D views to build and upgrade your city. Use the 2D view to manage the connections between buildings that will help improve your city's environment.
Team Members: Frédéric Pedro, Nicolas Gryman, Anthony Chen, Maximilien Paitel
Game Name: ECOThink
Game Description: Single player 2D campaign of an over polluted universe that needs to be rebuilt. •Rebuild the universe one city at a time by making smart choices for power that won't pollute your community. •Tools throughout the game help you make the right eco friendly choices for power. Choose the wrong source and your community will not flourish. •Succeed by rebuilding each community by increasing population and decreasing pollution.
Team Members: Dong HoonKim, KiHwan Kim, Min My Park
Game Name: Clean Up
Game Description: Single player 3D campaign to create and maintain your own cube (living space) with the help of cleaners, nanomachines that have the ability to turn pollutants into energy. •Protect your cube by removing pollution and turning it into useful energy so your cube can sustain itself. •3rdperson view lets you control your character as you use your cleaners to remove pollutants in your cube •Gather the appropriate cleaners from Earth, Air, Water and Energy to help you clean a particular pollutant.
Mother Gaia Studios
Team Members: Rafael Costa, Guilhermr Campos, Helena Van Kampen, Tulio Marques Soria
Game Name: City Rain
Game Description: In this single player 3D "SimCity meets Tetris" learn about Urbanism, Ecology, and maintaining a Sustainable Environment. •As buildings drop from the sky, strategically place them on the grid so the community can grow while still being ecologically mindful. •Encounter challenges throughout the campaign that will help your community thrive.
Team Members: Florian Leckebusch, Frank Goetz, Ingo Koster
Game Name: Megalopolis
Game Description: Single player game takes control of a robot who has control over the ecological and economical growth of an island. •The player tries to get the highest score by managing an island for 10 virtual years •Build power plants and the most efficient living conditions for the human inhabitants. •Keep a good balance between quick expansion, income and environmental sustainability. In the end the number of people living on his island and the carbon dioxide emission are the keys to beat the highscore.