February 2nd, 2010 by Simeon
Global Game Jam 2010 – First Day Reflections from Game Chair Simeon Peebler
On Friday, January 29th, Flashpoint Academy students across multiple disciplines came together to join in a worldwide event called the “Global Game Jam 2010″ held at universities and game studios around the world (well over 1000 participants are now working in 38 countries! — these crazy people are known as “jammers”). At Flashpoint’s sound stage in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart we started a 48-hour marathon to build games according to parameters kept secret from our jammers until the launch of the event at Flashpoint at the start of their 48-hour adventure. Jammers at Flashpoint are working in teams of about ten students to build these games by 3 pm on Sunday local time.
This year the theme is “deception” and jammers must include one or more of the following in their games: a man, a plan or a canal. Key outcomes include providing an intense opportunity for jammers to collaborate and work together in “crunch mode” doing what they love doing…making games. This is not a school assignment and it is not a business-driven game studio console game effort. These jammers are the true artists of the future. This weekend will stay for them for the rest of their lives.
We have a few special guest “judges” for the end of the weekend where we will allow the teams an opportunity to present their games to the judges. Teams will be awarded recognition in different areas, but only one game will get trophies for top honors here.
I started the ball rolling at Flashpoint after we had a student team join in with the wonderful people at DePaul who graciously invited them to be a part of the experience there in January of 2009. We would have been there again this year but we had such high interest here that we had to set up our own location. After months of preparation and the efforts and dedication by a really enthusiastic team of staff and faculty…here we are, starting up day 2. I am honored to be directing our location, but I could not have done it without them — and without our really amazing students who surprise me from time to time when they finally realize that they have the potential to do anything in the world they want to do.
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