2 Hour game jam at SLQ Garage Gamer - Live performance with crowd participation

Turner, Jane, Owen, Cameron, & Moyes, Gordon (2013) 2 Hour game jam at SLQ Garage Gamer - Live performance with crowd participation. [Performance]

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The 2 hour game jam was performed as part of the State Library of Queensland 'Garage Gamer' series of events, summer 2013, at the SLQ exhibition. An aspect of the exhibition was the series of 'Level Up' game nights. We hosted the first of these - under the auspices of brIGDA, Game On. It was a party - but the focal point of the event was a live streamed 2 hour game jam.

Game jams have become popular amongst the game development and design community in recent years, particularly with the growth of the Global Game Jam, a yearly event which brings thousands of game makers together across different sites in different countries. Other established jams take place on-line, for example the Ludum Dare challenge which as been running since 2002. Other challenges follow the same model in more intimate circumstances and it is now common to find institutions and groups holding their own small local game making jams. There are variations around the format, some jams are more competitive than others for example, but a common aspect is the creation of an intense creative crucible centred around team work and ‘accelerated game development’. Works (games) produced during these intense events often display more experimental qualities than those undertaken as commercial projects. In part this is because the typical jam is started with a conceptual design brief, perhaps a single word, or in the case of the specific game jam described in this paper, three words. Teams have to envision the challenge key word/s as a game design using whatever skills and technologies they can and produce a finished working game in the time given.

Game jams thus provide design researchers with extraordinary fodder and recent years have also seen a number of projects which seek to illuminate the design process as seen in these events. For example, Gaydos, Harris and Martinez discuss the opportunity of the jam to expose students to principles of design process and design spaces (2011). Rouse muses on the game jam ‘as radical practice’ and a ‘corrective to game creation as it is normally practiced’. His observations about his own experience in a jam emphasise the same artistic endeavour forefronted earlier, where the experience is about creation that is divorced from the instrumental motivations of commercial game design (Rouse 2011) and where the focus is on process over product. Other participants remark on the social milieu of the event as a critical factor and the collaborative opportunity as a rich site to engage participants in design processes (Shin et al, 2012). Shin et al are particularly interested in the notion of the site of the process and the ramifications of participants being in the same location. They applaud the more localized event where there is an emphasis on local participation and collaboration.

For other commentators, it is specifically the social experience in the place of the jam is the most important aspect (See Keogh 2011), not the material site but rather the physical embodied experience of ‘being there’ and being part of the event. Participants talk about game jams they have attended in a similar manner to those observations made by Dourish where the experience is layered on top of the physical space of the event (Dourish 2006). It is as if the event has taken on qualities of place where we find echoes of Tuan’s description of a particular site having an aura of history that makes it a very different place, redolent and evocative (Tuan 1977).

The 2 hour game jam held during the SLQ Garage Gamer program was all about social experience.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 64523
Item Type: Creative Work (Performance)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Jane Turner (truna aka j.turner)
Other Contributors:
Role Contributors
  • Arash Mohebbi
  • Tyson Foster
SLQ Facilitator
  • Susan Kukucka
  • Zed Games
Material: Digital Creative Works
Measurements or Duration: 2 hours
Publisher: State Library of Queensland
Location: From date: To date:
SLQ Gallery, State Library of Queensland 2013-01-11 2013-01-11
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Game Design, Game Jams, Creative Process
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Computer Gaming and Animation (190202)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: SLQ / Game On / brIGDA and Jammers
Deposited On: 15 Nov 2013 00:42
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 04:39

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