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Duke of York to chair ‘Appsolute Genius’ competition

Prince Andrew is to chair a panel of judges for a new children’s competition, as part of a new television series by the BBC.

HRH The Duke of York meets pupils at the Malet Lambert School, Hull

HRH The Duke of York meets pupils designing their own enterprise game at the Malet Lambert School, Hull in 2014.

The competition, named ‘Appsolute Genius’, forms part of the BBC’s ‘Make It Digital’ initiative which aims to inspire a new generation to become creative with programming, coding and digital technology. The competition is open to children aged between six and 12 and will be accepting entries until the 23rd October when The Duke of York will chair the panel of judges to choose the winning idea.

The judges will be looking for unique and original ideas that have humour and get people excited to play the game. Alongside The Duke, they include:

  • Cheryl Taylor, Controller of CBBC;
  • Alice Taylor, Founder/CEO of MakieLab and Digital Games expert;
  • Divinia Knowles, COO/CFO of Mind Candy – creators of Moshi Monsters;
  • Jake Manion, Creative Director at Aardman Animations;
  • Joseph Garrett, AKA Stampy, Minecraft commentator and YouTube sensation;
  • Peter Vesterbacka, game developer and the former Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio, who played a central role in creating the Angry Birds phenomenon.

Parallel to the competition will be a new factual television series on CBBC. The series, hosted by award-winning presenters Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood – commonly referred to as Dick and Dom, begins on the 7th October at 6pm. The presenters will discover the geniuses whose ideas, creations and discoveries have shaped the world of coding, computer programming and gaming.

From Walt Disney and Sonic the Hedgehog’s Yuji Naka, to JRR Tolkein and Jim Henson, they will learn the facts and science behind the work and take up practical challenges that demonstrate how the genius has helped to shape the world of gaming.

The series will also feature Toru Iwatani, creator of Pacman; Allan Alcorn, creator of Pong; Brian Henson and the Henson Creature Workshop and Stampy, Minecraft commentator and YouTube sensation.

The winning competition entry will be announced in the week beginning 18th November; the winner and their process of developing their idea from paper into an actual app, will be filmed for a special Appsolute Genius programme to be shown in March 2015.

McCourt and Wood will then travel with the winner to Aardman Animations to see how the winning game idea is developed and made into a gaming app.

Speaking of the new competition, the Controller of CBBC, Cheryl Taylor said:

“Children are amazingly creative and imaginative and we’re excited and curious to see what the Appsolute Genius audience invent for us. This is a thrilling opportunity for someone to grow the germ of an idea into a full-blown game that their friends, family and the rest of the UK will be able to download and play. We’re expecting to unearth the next big games designers of the future.”

Prince Andrew has been particularly busy over the recent weeks with his passion for young entrepreneurship. As reported on Royal Central, the Duke has attended numerous engagements to see how young people are becoming more enterprising and his support for initiatives iDEA and Pitch@Palace are some examples of how dedicated the Duke is to the cause.

Buckingham Palace declined comment about the new venture.

Full terms and conditions for the Appsolute Genius competition and an entry pack can be found on the CBBC website from 7th October.

Image Credit: The Duke of York’s Office

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