(L-R) Team Signum Fidei Jeriah KJell Miranda, Thomas Tiam-Lee, Keven Hernandez, and Jenina Chua as they emerge in the top three of this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup Game Design Competition in New York, U.S.A.
Despite the number of teams who competed this year, Philippine team Signum Fidei emerged as winners, placing second in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 World Finals Game Design Web Subcategory with its entry titled Conjunct!, a puzzle game where the player is required to clear boards overlaid with photos of real-life problems around the world.
The Imagine Cup is the world’s premiere student technology competition, which gathers the best developers around the world and harnesses the creative minds of the youth to address problems faced by the world today using the power of information technology.
“Winning in this year’s Imagine Cup is a big achievement for the Philippines . This is the second consecutive year that our students’ talents were recognized, even placing in one of the top spots in the competition,” said Tim Vergel de Dios, Academic Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Philippines .
“We at Microsoft congratulate team Signum Fidei as they have given their best to create a game that is both useful and entertaining, addressing the most important issues faced by the world today. With this triumph, we have once again demonstrated the ingenious and innovative skills and minds of the Filipino students, as well as their capabilities to leverage on technology in addressing real-world problems,” added de Dios.
Hailing from De La Salle Univerisity, Jeriah KJell Miranda, Thomas Tiam-Lee, Keven Hernandez, and Jenina Chua form the winning team Signum Fidei. According to group, the concept of Conjunct! was inspired by the game Tetris and the millennium development goals.
“As we realize the vast problems faced by the world today, we saw how Filipinos can make a difference and through our game Conjunct!, we have combined social awareness concepts in order to help make a difference by showing the people the various realities taking place in our world. We saw them with our own eyes and we hope to be able to make our own contribution in solving the world’s problems in our own simple ways,” said Thomas James Tiam-Lee.
This year, the projects were inspired by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and focused heavily on environmental concerns and issues, where the student participants seek to solve the world’s toughest problems through the use of technology.
Microsoft recently announced the winners of the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center , New York , where 400 students from 70 countries gathered to share their ideas and projects on how they can help change the world. The five categories students from all over the world competed in were: Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media, and Windows Phone 7.
For the Game Design Web subcategory, as the Philippines won second, Poland took first while Slovakia , third. Two teams from France made it to the top two spots while a team from the United States grabbed the third one in the Mobile subcategory. Brazil , Thailand , Czech Republic were the teams who won in the Windows/Xbox Game Design Category. Ireland bagged first in the Software Design category, followed by United States of America and Jordan. In the Embedded Development category, Taiwan , China and Romania garnered first, second and third places, respectively. Romania won first, Oman second and Taiwan third in the Digital Media contest. Lastly, in the Windows Phone 7 category, two Korean teams dominated the top two places while a team from the United States entered third.
Aside from these five categories, the Imagine Cup likewise included four challenges, which provided more opportunities for students to win cash amounting to $215,000, and other prizes. The following are the challenges: Interoperability, IT, Orchard, and Windows 7 Touch Challenges.
“We have worked very hard into putting Conjunct! together from the simple ideas we had, primarily, into the game it is now. All great things in our world start with simple ideas and the Imagine Cup is the perfect place where you can showcase these ideas and evaluate, improve, and nurture them. We encourage everyone to join next year’s contest, to be proud of your ideas and to treasure all the learnings that you will get from the experience,” Tiam-Lee shared.
Microsoft also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million grant program to help participating Imagine Cup students. The grant will include a combination of cash, software, training, consulting and other support to the Imagine Cup teams.
“Microsoft is very committed to nurture the talents and skills of all its students and through the grant, we hope to be able to further enhance their capabilities with the help of innovative technology,” said de Dios.
“Our Philippine teams have shown potential in the aspect of using technology to help transform simple ideas into technologies that can help transform the way people work. We are very proud to tell the world that Filipinos always have a chance to demonstrate how technology can bring about change to the nation,” de Dios concluded.