SOLD OUT! We are currently trying to secure some more spots for this weekend, and since it proved so popular are looking to hold another one in the future. If you're interested in going on the waiting list, or hearing about a future event, please contact Andrew at (aparson [at] microsoft.com) or leave me a comment/feedback on this post.

Ever thought "hmm, I wonder how hard it would be to build a video game?" or "man, I have this fantastic idea, but I bet I couldn't make it myself"? You're not alone - and while it is true that developing a successful video game takes a lot of talent and technical knowhow, it actually turns out to be not so difficult to get a good introduction to creating your own simple games that can entertain your friends and family.

So, we're holding a 2 day event at St Francis College in Brooklyn Heights for students to come face to face with a fantastic opportunity - develop their own video game for Xbox 360 or the Windows Phone 7.

We're going to kick off the weekend on Friday evening and go into what's cool about video games and also talk about how easy it is to enter Imagine Cup's Game Design category and potentially win thousands of dollars and get your game showcased to people in the games industry.

We'll also give you the chance to install thousands of dollars worth of software on your laptop - at no cost to you (check out www.dreamspark.com to get more information on the software we'll give you)!

But then Saturday we kick into gear with hands on labs to teach you XNA to build games for Xbox 360, Windows and the Windows Phone 7, and Silverlight to build games and applications for the Windows Phone 7 and your regular web browser.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with game challenges - wanna see if you can be top Spartan in Halo Reach, exercise your lungs in LIPS, or really get physical with Dance Central and Kinect Sports with a Kinect or two? - as well as more serious challenges like "best game concept" or even best "game prototype" for the more keen.

Microsoft people will be there for the entire weekend too - an opportunity not to miss, and lunch and dinner will be provided throughout the event.

The cost? Nothing.

That's right - thanks to St Francis College, we've got the venue and rooms fully covered and Microsoft is bringing software, games, Xboxes, prizes and going to make sure you're fed.

You just need to come ready and willing to learn how to make games - sound good?

Well, don't miss out - you must register to attend this event, and we're limited to 60 spots. You'll kick yourself if you leave it too long - 60 places will go incredibly quickly.

Register here: http://ic11gc01.eventbrite.com/

Details:

Friday February 4, 4pm through to Sunday February 6, 4pm

St Francis College
180 Remsen Street
Brooklyn Heights, New York

(Small note for faculty - please contact me through my blog – feedback or comment on this post – to find out if we have space for you)