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A healthy gaming appetizer at Macworld 2010

Sections: Apple News, Conferences, Games, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod touch, Mac Software, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Macworld, Software

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Macworld 2010 GameSalad ChallengeAnyone who’s attended the last few Macworld Expos in San Francisco can tell you that Mac gaming has been fading to a distant memory. With no Apple at Macworld 2010 in February, Mac gaming is a blink away from disappearing completely; stalwarts such as Freeverse, Feral and Ambrosia will not be attending. In a last second effort to save the day, Gendai Games and IDG World Expo have announced the “Macworld 2010 GameSalad Challenge.”

From December 21, 2009, through January 25, 2010, teams of game creators can participate in a contest to make the most innovative, creative, and fun video games for the Mac and iPhone. In other words, make a game and promote it at Macworld without having to buy a booth. It’s not a bad idea, actually, as it aims to bring developers and the gaming community together; Macworld 2010 attendees and fans will be able to participate in the judging via Twitter, creating an interactive experience that continues on-site at Macworld 2010, scheduled for February 9-13, 2010.

” ‘Macworld 2010 GameSalad Challenge’ is a great way for game developers in the community to participate in a different way at Macworld 2010,” said Paul Kent, Macworld 2010 General Manager and Vice President at IDG World Expo. “We are excited to see what kind of innovative games are created, as well as how our Macworld 2010 community votes to select the ultimate winner.”

What do developers get?

Entrants must use GameSalad Creator for Mac to create their game. Games will be judged on overall fun, quality and creativity. The games will be available to play for free on gamesalad.com. Finalists will be announced January 29, 2010, and the Grand Prize Winner will be decided by 50% vote of the judges and 50% of the audience participation from Twitter. All Finalists will receive a Macworld 2010 Platinum Pass (a $1,600 value) and have their game showcased during the awards presentation at Macworld. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced on the show floor during a live awards presentation on February 13, 2010, by judges from the Mac and gaming communities: Jason Citron, Founder and CEO of Aurora Feint, and Michael Agustin, Founder and CEO of Gendai Games. During the awards presentation, the judges will demonstrate the games and offer their insights. The Grand Prize winner will receive a Platinum Pass to Macworld 2010, a GameSalad Pro Membership and an iPod touch—all totaling a $3,800 value.

What do gamers get?

During the expo, attendees will have the opportunity to play each of the game entries and vote for their favorite through Twitter. Expo attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the GameSalad Bar, a space on the show floor open to all attendees where group tutorials provide free training on how to build games using GameSalad technology. Each day, attendees will have the chance to participate in a mini-game jam on the show floor where the winner receives a GameSalad Express Membership as a prize.

Granted this is a far cry from the days of the gaming pavilion where a dozen companies would should off a half dozen games each, with contests and Lara Croft statues and developers camping in military tents to stick with the themes of their recent releases. But do you know what? It’s something. The climate has changed, with this gives those of us attending the show something else to look forward to. We’ll be covering the GameSalad Challenge up through the show, and we look forward to seeing what the winners bring us.

For additional information the Macworld 2010 GameSalad Challenge, visit gamesalad.com.

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