Game On will challenge young people to leverage gaming technology to increase outdoor activity.
With spring in the air (at least in some places), the game industry is trying to encourage people to get up and movie (and not just on Kinect, Wii U or PlayStation Move). Outdoor Nation, a national initiative that reconnects youth and Millennials to the outdoors, and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the U.S. video game industry, launched Game On: Challenge Grants to connect young people to the outdoors through entertainment technology. This pilot program will invest in youth-inspired projects that leverage entertainment gaming technologies to get a new generation outdoors, active and engaged in conservation challenges. Adrian Peterson talks NFL Play 60 and Kinect in this exclusive video below.
“For many years, technology was considered a contributor to Americans disconnect to the natural world – until recently. Today, technology is seen as a potential pathway to increasing or enhancing outdoor experiences,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started the Outdoor Nation movement. “We are excited to partner with ESA and conservation communities to support innovative youth-led projects and initiatives that get young people outside and active.”
Grants of $5,000 will be awarded to the top four individuals or teams that either create a new app or mobile game or promote an existing game to inspire youth to get outdoors. Proposals must be submitted by individuals ages 18 to 28 or teams (could include public, private or nonprofit organizations) with a project leader who is in that age range. To apply, visit www.outdoornation.org/grants and submit your proposal by March 27, 2013. Winning projects will be selected by an experienced, high profile advisory council, full list below.
Outdoor Nation makes it easy and provides resources so that anyone to apply, regardless of programming experience. For example, the Game On grant materials provide information on FreshAiR, a platform that makes creating and experiencing outdoor games and challenges a snap, with zero programming required. http://playfreshair.com Likewise, App Inventor is a free to use program that uses drag-and-drop blocks to develop code – no programming experience required. http://appinventor.mit.edu/