Global Game Jam® (GGJ®)
GGJ Group Photo from Curitiba Brazil, 2019
The GGJ Mission: To empower individuals worldwide to learn, experiment, and create together through the medium of games.
The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world's largest game creation event taking place around the globe, typically at physical locations. A "game jam" is essentially a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.
The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. In January 2020, we had a record-breaking year with 934 locations in 118 countries create 9,601 games in one weekend! And then in January 2021, we shifted GGJ to an online-only format due to the global pandemic and still hosted a great event with 585 virtual locations in 104 countries which made 6,383 games!
The jam is known for helping foster new friendships, increase confidence and opportunities within the community. The jam is always an intellectual challenge. People are invited to explore new technology tools, trying on new roles in development and testing their skills to do something that requires them to design, develop create, test and make a new game in the time span of 48 hours.
The GGJ stimulates collaboration and is not a competition.
The Global Game Jam and GGJ NEXT events are operated by Global Game Jam, Inc., an international non-profit corporation founded in San Luis Obispo, California, USA. See corporate bylaws.
The Global Game Jam is run by a combination of hired staff, volunteer board members, and a small international team of core volunteers organized as the "Executive Committee" (EC).
- Kate Edwards, Executive Director
- Tim Cullings, Director of Operations
- Tarja Porkka-Kontturi, Director of Communications
- Zain Ul Hassan, Technology Manager
GGJ 2020-2021 Executive Committee (led by Tim Cullings):
- Jung-Sheng (also known as Johnson Lin)
- Sabrina Culyba
- Jo Summers
- Dylan Gedig
- Hernán Valdés
The EC is supported by a large number of regional organisers who provide support to all of the local GGJ site organisers within their specific regions.
GGJ Board of Directors (as of 1 April 2021):
- Kevin Miklasz (President)
- Joseph Olin (Treasurer)
- Nourhan ElSherief (Secretary)
- Carl Callewaert
- Dr. Loretta Cheeks
- Lenore Gilbert
- Dr. JC Lau
- Shelley Miles
- Hiroki Omae
- Taha Rasouli
The GGJ depends on the generous work and support of many other people around the world - including sponsors, jam site organisers, and volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or otherwise assisting in a GGJ event, please reach out at [email protected]!