Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AMD Foundation to Sponsor Video Game Design Category for The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

amd logoAMD today announced the AMD Foundation, in support of AMD Changing the Game, has awarded a grant to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The $65,000 grant will be used to help fund the Alliance’s new video game design category for the 2010 and 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a nonprofit organization that runs The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the most prestigious and longest-running competition in the United States recognizing teenagers’ intellectual creativity, innovation and artistic talent. Through this competition, scholarships and other activities, the Alliance annually reaches more than three million students in seventh through 12th grades, and 400,000 Art and English teachers. Including the new video game design category in the competition increases the reach of the program to math and science teachers and presents video game production as an art form requiring imagination, technical skill, planning and storytelling.

AMD’s partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers will help to significantly broaden the reach of the AMD Changing the Game signature education initiative to its target audience. The AMD program is designed to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills.

“The Alliance’s addition of a video game design category to its annual competition validates the growth of game design as a creative learning tool for teens,” said Allyson Peerman, President, AMD Foundation. “Digital gaming is the universal language of teens, and teaching them in that language can result in more engaged and better prepared students.”

“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have always represented the cutting edge of student creativity,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “That tradition is well-represented with the addition of the video game design category.”

During its 87-year history, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has recognized more than nine million creative teenagers, including Andy Warhol, Robert Redford and Sylvia Plath. For the 2011 program year, the Alliance anticipates receiving 700 student submissions for the video game design category. The AMD Foundation grant also will help the Alliance host game design workshops and help fund cash awards and summer program scholarships for students. Each year top video game submissions will be showcased online.

“The ability to design computer and video games taps into a deep-seated passion for today's youth and fosters critical 21st Century skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking,” said Alan Gershenfeld, Chairman, Games4Change. “The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards video game design competition is a phenomenal outlet to spotlight teens’ passion and talent for shaping this powerful new medium. I tip my hat to the AMD Foundation for recognizing that when kids are motivated to learn they can move mountains.”

AMD Changing the Game
AMD Changing the Game is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills. The initiative is rooted in AMD’s commitment to and experience in supporting education, and the company’s passion and expertise in the graphics processor and gaming industries.

Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has:
  • Funded 13 organizations that enable youth game development
  • Funded the development of a youth game development curriculum with PETLab and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Earlier in 2010, BGCA chapters in Larimer County, Colorado and Marlborough, Massachusetts kicked off new “Game Tech” programs that teach club members how to understand game design and create their own games.
  • Co-sponsored the Malaysian Cybergames Festival 2010, including the “Dare to Create” digital game design and development workshop
  • Co-sponsored the 2008 and 2009 Games for Change Festival
  • Funded an online toolkit to help nonprofits create games on social issues
  • Sponsored a video contest exploring the intersection of education and gaming
 Source: AMD

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