Microsoft has launched the Kodu Game Design Challenge for young children, challenging youngsters to use its Kodu Labs game development package available for free on Windows (and for $5 on Xbox Live Indies) to develop a game. Children between the ages of nine and 18 years-old are eligible to compete.
The Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge is open now and runs through May 17. There are two age brackets (9 to 12) and (13-18). The competition is run by Microsoft, with support from Mercy Corps and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. This is the first year that the Imagine Cup has offered a category for young children.
Kids can use Kodu to create a game or an interactive story but they have to use the themes of the contest: "Water & People." Winners receive cash, grants, and other prizes. The finals will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia and Microsoft will provide international finalists with a free trip there. You can learn more about Kodu Lab here or download the software for Windows directly from Microsoft. Find out more about this year's challenge here.