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$10,000 Invent-A-Game Challenge Winner Announced

by Rainier on July 16, 2009 @ 1:19 p.m. PDT

Earlier this year Best Buy and EA in association with The United Inventors Association and By Kids For Kids launched the Invent-A-Game Challenge competition offering America's young people a chance to design an online game that EA will produce, with as Grand Prize a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

The “Invent-A-Game Challenge” is a national competition offering America’s young people a unique chance to design an online game that Electronic Arts (“EA”) will produce. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a $10,000 (face value) U.S. Savings Bond. Complete contest rules can be found at By Kids For Kids' official website.

Dan Slutz, 17, of Canton, Ohio has won the National Invent-A-Game Challenge, a national competition for America's youth to create their own video games. Dan Slutz won for his original game concept Rhythm, a music-based platform game where players battle evil forces utilizing various musical styles as weapons to advance, conquer and defeat their enemies. On Tuesday, Dan was honored at EA's offices in Los Angeles, and received his Grand Prize, a $10,000 U.S. savings bond, in front of a rapt audience of EA creative game developers.

In the game, the player assumes the character of 'Rhythm'. The object of the game is to return the 'Platinum Record' back to Rhythm's hometown, Melody. The Platinum Record holds the key to the enjoyment of music for all ages. Rhythm fights enemies who seek to rob the world of music, through the various tools in his arsenal. Players switch between different genres of music, which have a dramatic effect on the landscape according to the genre's characteristics. Strategic players gain new abilities and secret knowledge along the way. Players traverse ten worlds in their ultimate quest to rescue the Platinum Record and return the beautiful gift of music to the village.

"This is a dream come true!" enthused Grand Prize Winner Dan Slutz. "I am very serious about a career as a video game designer, and could not be more appreciative of this great opportunity. It will be a thrilling experience to see the world playing Rhythm."

"Best Buy was extremely impressed with the talent and innovation brought forward in this process," said David Benson, Merchant Director, Gaming. "We congratulate Dan for a job well done and are excited to see Rhythm come to life."

"For more than 25 years, Electronic Arts has been making dreams a reality through world class interactive entertainment, so we were thrilled to be involved in a competition like this," said Daniel Hagerty, Producer of EA Casual. "We are extremely excited to work with such a promising young talentand help bring Rhythm to life."

Norman Goldstein, the founder and CEO of By Kids For Kids, commented: "Dan Slutz is a perfect example of the power of youth to create engaging and compelling products. We know Dan's success with the 'Rhythm' game will inspire other kids to create great ideas in the rapidly evolving video game industry. This is just the beginning for youth to impact their play world!"

Patrick Raymond, Executive Director of the UIA and member of BKFK's board of advisors, was also one of the VIP judges for the Challenge. He expressed delight at the quality submissions. "In a time of economic uncertainty, it is heartening to see young people turn to inventing as one way to express their belief in the future. With such a variety of quality ideas, it was hard to pick a finalist. Our congratulations go to Dan and all those who participated."

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