Applications to run a The Global Game Jam will close this Sunday, January 12th, 2020.
Now offering entry to developers from five countries that have never participated in GGJ before – Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Cyprus, Sudan, and Mauritius – so far over 11,000 “jammers” have registered at 749 jam sites across 104 countries.
The Global Game Jam is an annual competition that “unifies professional, student and hobbyist game designers in an international unified effort to create game experiences based around a central theme”. Every year the theme remains a surprise until the jam starts, providing “a fair and even challenge” to all participants.
“If you’re new to organising a GGJ site, try not to be overwhelmed,” the organisation says. “The only things you need to open a jam site are a dedicated organiser and a jam venue with internet access. You can also find plenty of support from the GGJ community.”
“Hosting a Global Game Jam site in your local community is an activity that is fun and brings positive changes to all who participate,” said Joseph Olin, president of Global Game Jam. “Our continued growth, year-after-year is a testimony to the value of the event. We welcome all to the GGJ family and are always thrilled by the incredible games that our ‘jammers’ create each year.”
Last year, the organisation welcomed over 47,000 jammers in 860 sites across 113 countries who created over 9,000 games around the theme of “What Home Means to You”.
“GGJ 2020 marks my first year as Executive Director for the Global Game Jam, and I can’t express what an honour it is to see the hard work from our amazing team over the past year coming to fruition,” added Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the Global Game Jam.
“Working with this amazing charity has opened my eyes to what a great impact a small staff and a massive team of volunteers can have on a global scale.”
On the subject of Kate Edwards, the Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) has already revealed the recipient of 2020’s Ambassador Award is Kate Edwards. Formerly executive director of the non-profit International Game Developers Association between 2012 and 2017, Edwards is now executive director of the Global Game Jam. They also worked at Microsoft for 13 years as a geopolitical strategist before establishing their own consultancy, Geogrify, which helps developers maximise their international reach by “making content accessible to local markets through translation”. Edwards is also on the board for gaming mental health advocacy charity, Take This.
The Ambassador Award is rewarded for “helping video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action” and is selected each year by the Game Developers Choice Special Awards Jury, which currently includes Frank Cifaldi (The Video Game History Foundation), Ed Fries (1Up Ventures), Tracy Fullerton (USC Games), Raph Koster (Playable Worlds), and Erin Robinson (Guerrilla Games).