Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Global Game Jam in the DARC

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 8:00am to Sunday, January 31, 2016 - 8:00am


The Global Game Jam took place in the DARC building January 29-31. There were gamers in the Light Lab the Dark Lab (pictured) and in the Seminar Lab. 


Make a game in a weekend at the UCSC site of the 2016 Global Game Jam! This non-competitive, creative endeavor is free and open to the public, and all ages and experience levels are welcome. Jammers at local sites worldwide are invited to make games based on a theme, announced on Friday. Some form teams or work solo, on digital or physical games, with projects to be completed by Sunday afternoon. People are invited to explore, in a low-pressure, experimental environment, modes of creation that interest them (whether visual art-making, audio design, level design, storytelling, programming, etc), and draw inspiration and energy from making and learning things in the company of others.

There will be free meals throughout the weekend for jammers, and free introductory-level workshops preceding the event (starting Thursday evening). Topics include Unity, Twine, GameMaker, PCG, AI, and game design. Since 2009, the annual Global Game Jam has been the largest event of its kind, and grows exponentially year-to-year. In 2015, sites in 78 countries around the world made 5,439 games. Be a part of a deeply enriching, international, creative movement!

Prospective Jammers Should: 

  1. RSVP through Facebook as soon as possible.
  2. Set up an account on Slack, which is what we'll all be using to communicate during the jam. (If you don't have an email address, send an email to for an invitation.) 
  3. You may optionally join the UCSC site on the GGJ website. You'll need to do this eventually, but we'll have time during the event.

Why Game Jam:

Some highlights of Carolyn Vaneseltine's recent "Why Game Jams?" blog post, beautifully listing her reasons for attending the Global Game Jam, and game jams in general:

  • To make something in the company of other people.
  • There is no 'you must be this tall to join a game jam' sign.
  • It's a low-stress environment for experimentation.
  • It's a way to connect with people making things, both locally and globally. 
  • It's a source of new inspiration.
  • It's rapid prototyping practice.
  • It's visceral proof of your abilities.
  • Sometimes what you work on turns into something bigger.