The world’s largest game creation event officially starts today, but you don’t have to jump right in. The Global Game Jam celebrates its 15 year anniversary in 2023 and spreads the event into a full week of jamming if you so desire (30 January – 5 February).
The first decade of Global Game Jam (GGJ) was all about coming together for a weekend and jam until the buzzer went off on Sunday afternoon. But a certain worldwide pandemic forced the organisation to be more flexible both in location and time. This year they allowed 6 days for the event. Site Organizers can choose themselves which 48 hours to have their jam. Participants are even free to keep on jammin’ the full 6 days. As long as they rally around the central theme. This year the theme is:
The Global Game Jam truly is a global event boasting tens of thousands of participants at hundreds of physical and virtual sites in more than one hundred countries around the world. 2020 is the record holding year so far. That weekend, 934 locations in 118 countries created 9,601 games in 48 hours. The next year Covid had a hold on the world making it impossible to physically come together to jam. But the online-only format still managed to produce 6,383 games from 585 virtual locations in 104 countries.
Global Game Jam Junior
The GGJ organisation is best known for the big event in January every year, as well as GGJ NEXT – a game jam designed for younger creators (students aged 12-17 years). They also partner with various organisations to organise and host game jams of various scale to help promote cultural connection and the exploration of game education. The Executive Director of GGJ is Tim Cullins. Check out his interview on IndieGameBusiness.