Microsoft's Kodu is a free Windows-based program that anyone can use to create video games without writing code. The drag and drop interface relies on users being able to manage "if/ then" scenarios to design a rich gaming experience. Kodu users create the setting (trees, mountains, rivers, etc), specify the roles and place characters in their games, and program what players can and cannot do in their games.
To encourage game development through Kodu, Microsoft is hosting the Kodu Cup. The Kodu Cup is a contest for kids between the ages of nine and seventeen. The contest asks entrants to design their best games and submit them for judging. There are two age groups and the winner in each will receive $5,000 cash and a trip to New York.
Applications for Education
Microsoft has published a selection of guides for teachers and trainers and a classroom kit for teachers who are interested in using Kodu in school. Click here to view the suggested math lessons associated with Kodu.
There are a lot of Kodu tutorials on YouTube, below are a couple to get you started.
H/T to Audrey Watters at RWW.