As I write about communications with aliens, I have found out about the Imagine Cup, and my discussion about game design can certainly be used to win some very large coinage!  Like 15,000 dollars in coinage!

Imagine that you, a friend or relative could win $8,000 for taking some pictures about the environment?  Imagine that you, a friend or relative could win $25,000 for creating a game that help people understand the problems with the environment better?  Imagine that you, a friend or relative could win up to $25,000 for creating a project to help save the environment?  (Note: All links on this page go through a tool to measure the number of click through's).

To sign up for the Imagine Cup go to the , some of the rules are, (see the Imagine Cup rules and regulations about the Imagine Cup):

  • You are 16 years of age or older; and
  • You are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants high-school or college/university (or equivalent) degrees any time between January 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008... (There are other rules, these are the ones you need to know to determine if you can play!)

You do have to sign-up, which requires some information, here are the screens that you will see, the first part is the initial sign-up page, then I go through the profile component, if you are under 18, make sure your parents know what you are doing.  If you are over 18, your parents will think that it showing a lot of initiative to play this game, so you might want to mention it to them as well.  Anyway:

To sign-up, you will see this registration page, I used my Live ID, this filled in my profile automatically which saves time, but in your case you may have to fill in the profile information later in the process (this is a long table that tells you about the sign up process on the Imagine Cup, it would just be easier to go to the site and fill it out, but in case you are cautious, a good thing):

You will be ask for your name and a screen name, if the screen name is in use, you will see a small red bar indicating that your selected screen name was taken.

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You should select "Yes" saying that you would like to receive the Imagine Cup Newsletter.  To participate you need to say yes, otherwise you may miss important information. 
Microsoft as a matter of practice is protective of your personal information.
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You will need to decide if you want to receive information about offers exclusive to Imagine Cup participants.  Your information will be treated carefully, but it is your call, I would go ahead and check yes, but again: Up to you.

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To participate, you have to select the "I accept the ..."
check box and then click the "Register" button.
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Once you have completed your registration, you are taken to the "Update Profile" here you control the categories you participate in as well as mailing address, etc.  This is the first section of a long web page.

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You can correct your personal information, remember there are LARGE money prizes connected to the Imagine Cup categories, so you want to get this right!  This is a another section of the same page that has the Competitors Sign Up.

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Here is another section of the Competitor sign up page, you will need to select the name of your school.  There may be a number of school names that other's have entered, pick the one that matches your school.  THIS IS IMPORTANT: Make sure to get your school name in to the profile.  It will help to market your school for free, always a good thing!
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You can share your website information, occupation, interests, preferred language and your signatures.  Add your Avatar, I need to as you can see.  As you can see by the frame below and to the left that you can some information using the bio field, and to do some other set-up things.

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 As you scroll down, you can see that you can add your biography, whether or not you can have your email always shown, online status (which is useful if you are on a team with others).  If people reply to your forum posts, should you receive an email or not, also do you need to be notified of private messages and if you want your signature attached to the posts, etc.  All of this will aid you in communicating with others.
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Finally!
Again you can choose to receive the newsletter (which you should) or receive stuff from the sponsors.  As to the sponsors, I would recommend it, but you should decide, there isn't usually very many emails.  Finally, you can as for which type of email you want to receive, HTML or Text, not sure why people want to receive Text it seems boring, but it is your choice!
There you have reviewed your address and updated your profile, now let's have fun! 
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Back to game design in the next posting!