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Game On gamemaking contest connects video games with the outdoors

Game On: Challenge Grants, a new program from Outdoor Nation and the Entertainment Software Association, will challenge participants to create outdoor-themed games that encourage young people to go outside.

Game On awards $5,000 in grants to the four individuals or teams that create either the best new game or app promoting the outdoors. Applicants need not be experienced in programming; the grant provides an app and game-making platform for those that wish to use it. Each team must include individuals or a project leader ages 18-28.

According to the Outdoor Foundation's executive director, Chris Fanning, technology previously acted as a "contributor to Americans' disconnect to the natural world."

"Today, technology is seen as a potential pathway to increasing or enhancing outdoor experiences," Fanning said. "We are excited to partner with ESA and conservation communities to support innovative youth-led projects and initiatives that get young people outside and active."

Applicants must apply by March 27. Project winners will be given the chance to attend E3 2013 in Los Angeles.