At 8AM this morning, judging for the US Imagine Cup finals began. Ten software design and ten game design teams each had 50 minutes to “Wow!” the judges with their presentations and demonstrations of their projects. By 12:30 it was all over but the judges decision meetings. Results Sunday late afternoon. The afternoon was tours of Washington DC. Some by trolley, some by Segway and some groups visited either the Spy Museum or the Air & Space museum. Dinner and games at ESPN Zone capped off the day.

There were four groups of judges – two each for SDI (Software development invitational) and game development. Each team had a few minutes for setup and then 20 minutes for a formal demo and presentation. This was followed by questions from the panel of judges. Lots of questions. Following the presentations some of the teams were interviewed for both video and print media. Other teams took part in focus groups. Others just hunted down food and a quiet corner to unwind.

After lunch was some social time. One group went on a Segway tour of Washington. I travelled with a good sized group of competitors on a “Trolley” tour with stops at the Jefferson, Lincoln and Marine Corp memorials. Near the Lincoln memorial is also the Vietnam and Korean war memorials. Korean military officers were leaving a wreath at the Korean War memorial which was moving. The war memorials also had a large group of World War II veterans visiting. I didn’t quite have enough time to visit the World War II memorial but the Vietnam and Korea memorials were emotional for me in part because of all the veterans who were also visiting.

The night finished up with dinner, socializing and video games at ESPN Sports Zone. Everyone seemed tired but happy. Tomorrow we’ll be running a number of what would best be described as training sessions. Personally I am looking forward to the Natal presentation among others. The top four teams in game and SDI will be announced around 4:30 PM tomorrow. I’ll have those team names here once they are official.

BTW Microsoft Press pass has the story with pictures at http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/Features/2010/apr10/04-24ICday2wrapup.mspx?rss_fdn=Top%20Stories

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