The Video Game Odyssey: Get Ready To Jam The Night Away!

This weekend, aspiring game developers and game designers have the opportunity to show off their skills in a special videogame design challenge called The Global Game Jam. Even now, game developers from around the world are toiling away on a 48-hour development cycle to create a game. Participants register beforehand and gather together at various sites in local community. On the Friday night beforehand, a special keynote video is released to help inspire the participants and then they are presented with the theme to use when crafting their game in the challenge.

“Get your friends together and bring you’re A-game! It’s time to show off that imagination!” Image courtesy Google Images. “Get your friends together and bring you’re A-game! It’s time to show off that imagination!” Image courtesy Google Images.

For young and aspiring game developers, programmers, artists and designers, this event presents a wonderful opportunity to get together and make new connections, foster friendships and build their experience.

With 321 sites in 63 countries around the world all working at the same time, the Global Game Jam represents more than just a simple challenge. It is an expression of creative and passionate individuals all over the world, experimenting with new development tools and strategies, joined together in their love for games.

The event was first envisioned by Susan Gold, currently a professor at Full Sail University who specializes in digital art, new media and videogames. In collaboration with Gorm Lai and Ian Schreiber, both active game designers and programmers in the industry, the Global Game Jam was founded in 2008. With each passing year, the event has seen considerable growth in participants. In 2011, they reported having 26,000 participants in 44 countries, who created a whopping 1500 games. Then in the following year of 2012, the number soared to 10,000 participants in 46 countries who managed to put together 2,100 games. All of that, in just one weekend.

Here in Arizona, local game jammers are gathered at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. Coming up in my next post is my interview with a local group of young designers who participated in the event for the first time.

So gamers, how many of you are looking to break into the game industry?

Below is the The Global Game Jam 2013 Keynote:


What to get in touch and talk gaming? Contact the reporter at or via Twitter at @p_sotelo

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