EA Invests in Colleges; Unveils Competition

Electronic Arts today launched “Tank Wars,” a one-of-a-kind competition that challenges Computer Science students to compete for the title of “Best of Breed” and take home a new gaming computer complete with an EA line-up of PC titles. The “Tank Wars” competition invites computer science students to demonstrate their skill by writing an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) program that pits one military tank against another in a battle for supremacy. EA will provide the software code free of charge to participating students and all entrants will retain ownership of their intellectual property.

EA has simplified the controls, graphics, menus and overall development environment to allow students to pour 100% of their brain power into exploring new approaches that demonstrate their mastery of A.I. The concept is simple: in a 100m x 100m world, two tanks are locked in an arena where only one will survive. The challenge is to program the tank which will exit victorious. The finalists will present their completed A.I. designs to the EA judging panel and the winning entries will be chosen based on technical ability, originality and creative merit.

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John Buchanan, University Research Liaison Dude at EA noted, “As we move into the next-generation, the task of rendering stunning graphics in games is slowly being handed over to specialized hardware. We have reached the point where we can easily produce highly realistic and incredibly impressive visuals with relative ease. In this competition, we have deliberately downgraded the graphics to emphasize the importance of A.I. Over the next five to 10 years, A.I. is going to differentiate great games from the rest. With this competition, we hope to find people with a passion for A.I. and understanding of the magic that makes a game truly fun to play.”

The by-invitation-only competition is open to the following schools: Carnegie Mellon University, Florida Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Morehouse College Georgia, San Jose State University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California Davis, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Illinois Urbana-Champlain, University of Michigan and University of Southern California.

The “Tank Wars” competition follows last year’s acclaimed Electronic Arts Great Canadian Art Competition which saw top Canadian graduating post-secondary students submit 3D digital animated shorts for judging by EAC senior graphic artists. The “Tank Wars” competition is the latest step in EA’s ongoing education initiative which already includes a lecture series at top North American Universities, a robust paid internship program and the EA Interactive Entertainment Program MFA at the University of Southern California.

EA is accepting entries from US citizens and residents who are currently enrolled in a recognized Computer Science program at the designated universities. No purchase necessary. Submissions will be accepted from January 15, 2006 – January 31, 2006. Prize winners will be revealed on March 15, 2006. For eligibility restrictions and complete rules please go to: http://www.info.ea.com/downloads/EA_Tank_Wars_USA.doc.

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