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Microsoft Announces U.S. Contest For Kid-Centric Kodu Game Lab On PC

Microsoft said is now accepting U.S. submissions for the kid-friendly Microsoft Kodu Cup 2011 game design contest.

Contestants age 9-17 are invited to create a game using Microsoft's free kid-centric game design tool, Kodu Game Lab for PC. An Xbox 360 version of the tool launched on Xbox Live in 2009.

The software giant and Xbox house said the announcement of the contest marks the "full release" of the PC version of Kodu Game Lab, developed by Microsoft Research. Previous builds of the PC version have been available for some time.

Microsoft is accepting submissions for the contest through May 10, with winners announced later that month. The Kodu Cup will be broken up into 9-12 and 13-17 age groups, with a grand prize winner and first- and second-runners up in each group.

Grand prize winners, along with their respective schools, will receive $5,000. The winners will also receive a trip to the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York.

Microsoft said it hopes the contest will stimulate kids' interest in science, technology, engineering and math -- areas in which President Barack Obama recently said the U.S. needs more expertise.

Those interested can download Kodu Game Lab for PC for free at the official Kodu website, and can view all the guidelines at the contest's website.

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