Imagine Cup Winners
A Carnegie Mellon University student team named "Dr. Fishbowl" won first place in the Game Design: Windows/Xbox category of Microsoft's U.S. Imagine Cup — the world's premier student technology competition.
The Dr. Fishbowl team members include senior computer science major Steven Blessing, junior electrical and computer engineering major Wilson Pei, senior decision science and human-computer interaction major Christopher Reid, and junior computer science major Yueran Yuan.
"We worked hard and met a lot of great people along the way," said Reid. "We got the opportunity to exchange ideas and we also got a lot of great tools. Winning Imagine Cup itself was just icing on the cake."
Blessing appreciates the recognition.
"I was actually a fan of the fundamental concept behind our game and I really appreciated seeing that idea validated," Blessing said.
More than 113,000 students registered for the U.S. Imagine Cup, and 22 teams qualified for the final competition held April 21–23 at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Microsoft awarded Dr. Fishbowl a $6,000 prize and will split a $10,000 donation among the School of Computer Science, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Engineering.
The theme for this year's competition is "Imagine a world where technology helps to solve the world's toughest problems."
"We chose to tackle sustainable development, and we wanted to introduce the idea of 'Cradle-to-Cradle' product development in a way that doesn't beat the player over the head. Instead, it's simply a part of the way the game is played," explained Reid.
Dr. Fishbowl created Redux, a game that responds to the U.N. Millennium Development Goal regarding environmental sustainability. Redux challenges players to turn waste into profitable, usable products.
"The catch is that there is only ever the same amount of material in the game world, and when you make something, you also have to store or use the byproducts that come out of the production process. Having to be responsible for your byproducts complicates things a bit," Reid explained.
The Imagine Cup also offers a People's Choice Award. Fans can vote now through May 19 for Dr. Fishbowl one time per day via each of the following three methods:
- Visit Facebook and click "vote" on Dr. Fishbowl's icon
- Text "Fishbowl" to 45444
- Tweet @mstechstudent I am voting for #Fishbowl in #ICPeoplesChoice
Pictured above, from left to right: Steven Blessing; Christopher Reid; Mark Hindsbo, vice president of the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism Group; Yueran Yuan; and Wilson Pei. Image courtesy of Microsoft.