RIYADH: Gamers8 on Thursday night launched the week-long Gameathon competition at AlFaisal University in Riyadh, with prize money of $530,000 up for grabs.
The university is a partner in the competition, which is similar to a hackathon, in which competitors try their hand at developing a game prototype from scratch.
Gameathon runs until Aug. 24 and provides a platform for individuals to showcase their creative skills by utilizing video games as a common language.
With more than 600 participants expected, Gameathon is open to people from all ages and backgrounds to explore new technology tools in 10 different educational zones.
Turki Alfawzan, chief executive officer at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “We aim to develop an industry ecosystem in which different disciplines collaborate for the advancement of the gaming community, and in this case focusing on the educational aspect of esports.
“Gameathon is a bridge to greatly enhance gamers’ ability to professionalize their passion into the world of esports. Developers, designers, and artists will enjoy this experience where they can learn many new, and unexpected, skills while supporting their team by contributing ideas, and playtesting.”
Meanwhile Dr. Yousef Al-Yousef, vice president of Graduate School, Research and Innovation at AlFaisal University, commented: “One of the university’s goals is to partner with industries that positively impact the local economy and the society we live in. The gaming industry — bigger than the movie and music industries combined — is well known and acknowledged as a sector in Saudi Arabia that is immensely capable of achieving those impacts. Gameathon is a big part of that.
“One of the major ambitions of Gameathon is to bring the community together at the junction of art and technology, as well as to offer a space and platform for gaming studios to present their work.”