Maps will be selected from the British Library's extensive cartographic collections, and could depict anything from London in the aftermath of the Great Fire to some of literature's best-known fantasy worlds.
Copyright: GameCity'Off The Map' was officially launched at London's British Library by Eidos life president Iain Livingstone CBE, who believes it will start new conversations about video games.
"I'm delighted to see the launch of this new project, bringing together the heritage and esteem of the British Library's collection with the bleeding-edge technology," Livingstone explained.
"Once again, GameCity are starting new conversations about videogames and pointing to the future for this most vibrant of art forms."
GameCity director Iain Simons echoed Livingstone's words, adding: "This is a unique invitation to explore the world's knowledge with cutting edge-technology."
Describing the competition as an exciting opportunity, British Library cartographic curator Tom Harper said: "The results of this innovative competition will be another important stage in our evolving understanding of these places."
Judges will select a group of stand-out designs and display them at this year's GameCity 8 festival in Nottingham.
Peter Molyneux was among the special guests at last year's GameCity festival, which took place in October.
Thatgamecompany's evocative adventure game Journey scooped the GameCity Prize, beating the likes of Mass Effect 3, Fez and Super Mario 3D Land.
> GameCity 7: Gaming festival highlights in pictures - gallery
Watch the GameCity 'Off the Map' presentation below: