Spreading Virtual Jam: Highlights from the S21 Game Jam

Monday, November 1, 2021

From June 23rd to 27th, 2021, the Games Institute (GI) held its third virtual GI Game Jam event. Run independently from the Global Game Jam, the Spring’s 2021 GI Jam brought in a total of 8 teams who presented on the final day. The Jam organizers collaborated with start-up Quickscope, a platform focused on bringing game developers, employers, and researchers together, and took the opportunity to explore new ways of discussion, voting, and celebrating final submissions.

The Jam’s theme this term was “It Spreads” which resulted in a lot of “quirky and fun games, including a cleverly designed zombie platformer and a conga-line creation game” said the Jam co-captain Ekaterina Durmanova. Although participation in this term’s Jam was smaller in comparison to previous years, those who attended the Jam were active, enthusiastic, and “felt really closely knit … this may have been one of the most wholesome Jams to date,” Ekaterina fondly described. Arielle Grinberg, the other co-captain summed it up best: “People just had a heckin' good time.”

As with other GI activities, the GI Jam once again was completely virtual. While core Jam activities were hosted on the GI’s Discord Server, keynotes were hosted on Quickscope and included: Renee Gittins, Executive Director of the International Game Development Association (IGDA), and Francisco Garcia-Jimenez, Jake Nissen and Vishal, developers at the award-winning indie gaming studio HitGrab, the creators of Clan O’Conall.

If you missed out on the event itself, you can find all previous GI Jam Showcases on the GI's Discord under “Our Collections, or find previous showcases on our website.