Guildhall at SMU and Indie Game Challenge Name Winner

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Indie Game Challenge (IGC) officials today named Derick Janssen as the winner of a $50,000 scholarship to The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, one of the foremost graduate level video game development education programs in the country. The scholarship rounds out more than $350,000 in cash and prizes awarded by the IGC at its inaugural winners’ ceremony held February at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.

"Derick has excelled in academia, is truly passionate about game development and is extremely talented; all three elements are absolutely necessary to be considered as a potential candidate to our program," said Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, an IGC co-founder with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and GameStop Corp. "The IGC was introduced to help launch the careers of independent game developers, which complements our goal to cultivate next-generation video game developers and leaders who will shape the landscape of the industry as it continues to evolve. As founders of the competition, it is exciting to follow the various paths of last year’s winners, and we look forward to discovering untapped talent during the 2011 Challenge."

The University of Central Florida computer science major, who was also a team finalist in the competition, credits video games for his interest in computer programming and a love for mathematics. "I enjoyed playing countless video games as a child and created my first one when I was 12 years old. Thirteen years later I’m still a fan of games, programming, and math." Janssen went on to say, "A career in the gaming industry is a no-brainer and now I have the opportunity to better prepare myself for it. You can’t beat that, right?"

The IGC kicked off its second annual game competition in May and expanded it to include international professional and amateur video game developers competing in different categories for two grand prizes of $100,000 each plus additional prize monies and scholarships in excess of $350,000. Game submissions are due by Oct. 1, 2010. For more information about the IGC, visit www.indiegamechallenge.com.

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