The Java.net development community has launched a Game Development Contest and with around $50,000 in prizes. According to the post, Sun would like to further encourage great game development and continue to grow the adoption of the Java technology by sponsoring the 2004 Java Technology Game Development Contest. This is for independent video game developers. The entry period begins at 9:00am Pacific Time on March 24, 2004 and runs through 9:00am Pacific Time on June 7, 2004.
More details can be found at https://games-contest.dev.java.net/