WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Children from Westchester and Fairfield counties put their creative and technologic skills to the test at the White Plains Digital Art Experience's (DAE) second Minecraft Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The center held two competitions, one for kids ages 8-12, and one for ages 13-16. Over 50 kids participated, double the amount from the previous.
The prize at stake? A gift certificate for one of the DAE's innumerable classes, and a replica of a Minecraft axe crafted by the resident 3D printer.
Minecraft is a game with no particular goal, otherwise known as a sandbox game. Players are left entirely up to themselves to creatively earn achievement points by building structures and towns while warding off monsters.
The game is most known for its creative mode, which allows players to casually construct oftentimes elaborate landscapes. This mode was used in the competition. Whoever creates the most interesting landscape wins.
The winner of the 8-12 category was Chloe Ammerman-Gerke of Stamford, age 11.
Ammerman-Gerke, according to her father, Chris, has been playing the game for about a year.
The winner of the 13-16 category had yet to be determined at the time of publication.
DAE co-founder and director of operations Christina Calabrese said she came up with the idea for creating the tournament after many of the students began mentioning Minecraft.
"Our students would always talk about it, and there was a 90-percent chance if we gave a tour to a parent, they would mention how much their kid loves Minecraft," she said.
She added that she felt the tournaments would be a good form of community outreach and a great way to get people to stop in and see the center, which is relatively new.
Meg Karaher, of Stamford, said her son Shane, 8, heard about the tournaments from his two best friends. Now, the three boys play and attend tournaments together.
Though she was initially hesitant about the amount of time Shane spends on the computer playing the game, she has come around considerably.
"I've had my moments with it, but seeing how creative he gets and all the work he puts into deciding what to make...I've come a long way with it," she said, "But, there's still limits."
Animation instructor Nick Sceusa judged the tournament along with student judge Victoria, 10.