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Gamers invited to take part in 2011 Global Game Jam

December 15, 2010

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies is partnering with the School of Education to host a site for the 2011 Global Game Jam, the world’s largest game development event.

gamejamA project of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the Global Game Jam challenges thousands of participants each year to rapidly develop a game prototype that shares a common theme and constraints during an intense weekend charrette. This year, the event will start on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 28, and run through Sunday, Jan. 30. The SU site will be located in Huntington Hall.

The two SU schools have teamed up to be one of 120 sites globally that will bring together designers, developers, artists, programmers and brainstormers. Participants work concurrently with others around the globe and have 48 hours to create a game built around an assigned theme.

In the past, the Global Game Jam was only for people interested in developing video games. This year, it has expanded to include board, card and physical games as well. The selected themes typically involve ideas that aren’t common in games, such as “taboo” or “deception” or the 2009 theme of “as long as we have each other, we’ll never run out of problems.”

iSchool Professor Scott Nicholson, director of the Library Game Lab, and School of Education Professor Alan Foley will be on hand for this year’s Global Game Jam. Nilay Yildirim, a Ph.D. student in the School of Education, is the SU site organizer.

“Many people have played games all their life, but have never thought about what goes into creating something for other people to enjoy,” says Nicholson, who is a published game designer. “It is an engaging and creative process, and the Game Jam is a chance to explore the game creation experience with a group in a short timeframe.”

The event is open to anyone with an interest in games older than 18; participants do not need to have technical skills. The cost is $10, and preregistration is required. For more information, visit: http://gamejam.syr.edu.

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