This is nice to see, especially after decades of seeing the mainstream media constantly ripping into the video game industry.
Buffalo, New York mayor Byron Brown has announced a "Serious Game Design Competition," asking novice creators to build a game about the city of Buffalo that "teaches life skills, highlights the importance of diversity, and is fun to play." They also want you to create a game that's playable on multiple formats (console, smartphone, tablet, etc.).
The first stage runs between March 20 and 22 at the Buffalo Game Space in the Tri-Main Building Suite. Designers only have those two days to make the game, so they need to act quickly. The top three finalists of the first round receive prizes of $1,250, $750, and $500 respectively, and they move on to round two. That event takes place in April and the three finalists have to submit their games to a panel of expert judges.
The grand prize is $5,000 and maybe the game will actually be released to the public at a later date. As Przemyslaw "P.J." Moskal, Associate Professor in the Department of Digital Media Arts at Canisius College, said:
"I'm excited and surprised that the mayor proposed this type of competition because it rarely comes from government. We’re like underground game developers in Buffalo, and all of a sudden the mayor's office is contacting us to do this. So that was really, really great."