Annual event challenges veteran and amateur game developers to create games in 48 hours
Green Bay, Wis.—After a two-year hiatus, Green Bay will once again host a site for the Global Game Jam (GGJ) over the weekend of Jan. 21-23, 2022. Since 2008, this annual, international event challenges new and experienced developers to create original games in 48 hours.
Digital and non-digital games will be designed to follow a loose theme that will be revealed by Global Game Jam headquarters at 5 pm on the event’s opening night. The theme for last year’s virtual event, for example, was “Lost and Found.” Organizing the Green Bay site is UW-Green Bay lecturer Ben Geisler who has overseen three previous GGJ sites in Green Bay. A veteran game developer himself, Geisler brings industrial experience to the Game Jam.
This year’s event will follow previous years’ schedules: after the reveal of the theme at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, there will be a brainstorming session followed by pitches from participants. These pitches will include game ideas but also offer skills to other participants. Those not already in groups can join others with compelling ideas and skillsets necessary to create an original game. Guest speakers will also make appearances throughout the weekend. At 4 p.m. on the final day of the game jam (Sunday, Jan 23), there will be a “show off” session where participants can show their games and potentially offer for players to experience their creations. All disciplines of game development are welcome and encouraged to participate; this includes programmers, artists, designers, musicians, actors, writers, producers and more.
“Video game development is an incredibly diverse experience, and we welcome the diversity at every Global Game Jam event. What’s more, you don’t have to be a pro to attend since this is a non-competitive event in a no-pressure atmosphere,” Geisler says.
The event is also being supported by UW-Green Bay’s Center for Games and Interactive Media (CGIM), a research and development organization that is new to the area. Sponsoring the event will be the Greater Green Bay Chamber and The Urban Hub in downtown Green Bay which will be hosting the event. Urban Hub Community Manager Lamarr Banks is thrilled to bring the Global Game Jam to the collaborative space.
“The Urban Hub supports the Greater Green Bay Chamber’s overarching goals by bringing people together in the community to share ideas,” says Banks. “The Global Game Jam does the same with a focus on game development,” he continues. “New friendships and opportunities within the community are the byproducts of brainstorming new ideas. Both, The Urban Hub and Global Game Jam have the same goals.” Site organizers are actively monitoring COVID-19’s impact on the Green Bay region. Founded in 2008, with the first event held in 2009, the first Global Game Jam event hosted 1600 game creators in 23 countries. In 2020, over 9600 games were created by 48,000 participants in 118 countries. More information about the event, the Game Jam’s history, and statistics may be found at the Global Game Jam website. Information specific to the Green Bay event may be found on the Global Game Jam Green Bay site page.