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Campus participates in Global Game Jam

Posted 01/25/16

Fitchburg State University will be among hundreds of locations across the world hosting the Global Game Jam from Friday, Jan. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 31, in which participants will be tasked with creating a game from scratch over the course of a weekend based on a single theme.

The public is invited to view the final showcase on Sunday, Jan. 31 between 2:30 and 5 p.m. in Conlon Hall, 316 Highland Ave.

The event is not a competition but is instead designed to promote collaboration wherein participants come together to make a video game or a non-digital product such as a board or card game. Within a 48-hour window, participants rapidly prototype game designs and come up with new ideas that can help grow the game industry. The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking to result in small but innovative and experimental games.

Fitchburg State is the only public university in Massachusetts with a major in game design. The campus’ Global Game Jam site is being coordinated by Assistant Professor Jon Amakawa, a member of the game design faculty.

“After last year’s Jam, I noticed a clear difference in the attitudes of many of our student participants,” Amakawa said. “Something clicked. Perhaps it was a new understanding of what they were capable of. I believe participation in the Jam is a formative experience for our aspiring game designers.”

The Global Game Jam will bring together participants across nearly 500 sites on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 29, when a secret theme for the weekend’s game will be announced. In 2015, more than 5,400 games were created by nearly 29,000 registered participants in 78 countries.

For more information on the local event, contact Amakawa at jamakawa@fitchburgstate.edu. To learn more about the Global Game Jam visit globalgamejam.org.

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