Shenandoah University seeks participants for Global Game Jam

shenandoah universityShenandoah University is seeking creative minds to design, test and create a new game over the course of 48 hours during a Global Game Jam event from Friday, Jan. 31, to Sunday, Feb. 2.

This is the second consecutive year that Shenandoah will serve as a Global Game Jam host site. The Global Game Jam is a 48-hour international event during which participants create both digital and tabletop games, such as board or card games. Participants can use any engine, tool, software, person or physical object to make their game. Last year, 25 people participated in the local event.

“We learned so much hosting our first Global Game Jam site at Shenandoah last year,” said host Graham Spice, M.S., assistant professor of music production & recording technology (MPRT). “I am really looking forward to seeing the returning ‘jammers’ from last year build on their knowledge at this year’s jam. It was inspiring to watch so many people come together with little or no background in game development and leave with tangible skills in such a short time. Each participant was also able to add this employable experience to their portfolios.”

The Global Game Jam starts at 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, and runs until 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in the Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCiL) on the lower level of the Health & Life Sciences Building on the Winchester campus. The jam is co-sponsored at Shenandoah by the university’s music production & recording technology, sport management, and virtual reality design programs.

The event kicks off with video keynotes and advice from leaders in the game development industry. Then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are challenged to make games based on that theme to be completed by Sunday afternoon.

Participants at Shenandoah’s site will have access to computers that can be outfitted with virtual reality hardware and software such as Oculus Quest, 360 cameras, ambisonic audio capture, 3D modeling software, the Unity game engine, and more. Specialists from Shenandoah University faculty and staff will be on hand throughout the weekend to offer mini-workshops and guided instruction.

In January 2019, 47,006 jammers created 9,010 games at 860 sites in 113 countries — all on the same weekend. The jam encourages collaboration and is not a competition. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Experience is not necessary. Teams will be created at the event.

Spice said the event welcomes anyone, no matter their expertise.

“I encourage everyone to join us,” Spice said. “You have nothing to lose and you might just walk away with your very own video game, new friends, improved coding or art skills, and the profound sense of satisfaction that comes with overcoming ‘the wall’ and reaching the finish line.”

To sign up for the event, please visit this link.

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