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Game Jams: Community, Motivations and Learning among Jammers



Game jams are events that allow game designers to develop innovative games in a time-constrained environment, typically within a 48-hour period during a weekend. Jams provide participants an opportunity to improve their skills, collaborate with their peers, and advance research and creativity in the field of game design. Having coordinated numerous jams locally and as one of the largest venues in the world for GGJ 2011, the authors present learned lessons on how to make these events into amazing collaborative opportunities and their results from research in surveying game jam participants before and after the authors’ most recent jam weekend.

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Preston, J. A., Chastine, J., O’Donnell, C., Tseng, T., & MacIntyre, B. (2012). Game Jams: Community, Motivations, and Learning among Jammers. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 2(3), 51-70. doi:10.4018/ijgbl.2012070104

About Casey O'Donnell

Casey O'Donnell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. He is part of the games faculty and Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) lab at MSU. He is also part of the game development collective Affinity Games. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His research examines issues of work, production, copyright, as well as third world and postcolonial aspects of the videogame development workplace.

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