Global Game Jam has announced the results from the first ever remote Global Game Jam NEXT. The GGJ Next event is a yearly initiative aimed specifically toward the younger age range (12-17), encouraging budding talent and creativity. Each year the Global Game Jam NEXT works with educators to teach them how to instruct students in various areas of video game design, providing curriculum, lesson plans and projects they can apply in the classroom to hone students’ game design skills ahead of the actual game jam.
Despite the global pandemic and the necessity to rework the logistics of GGJ NEXT to accommodate a more distance learning approach, the event proceeded successfully during the month of July with 21 sites from 16 different countries participating. At the end of the jam itself 74 games were submitted to the GGJ NEXT’s Itch.io page, and there were a reported 530 participants across all channels, with 470 active members on the event’s Discord server to answer questions, brainstorm, discuss ideas and collaborate.
“Despite these unprecedented times of COVID19, we felt it was more important than ever to carry on with GGJ NEXT this year. Our young generation is full of unbridled creativity and promise, and we want to continue to nurture this blossoming talent in game design,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Global Game Jam, Inc. “This event couldn’t have taken place without the cooperation and collaboration from our amazingly dedicated educators across the globe whose passion to teach and foster this next generation of game developers has been truly inspiring. It has been an honour to work with you all, and myself and our organization thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
This was the third annual GGJ NEXT event, sponsored in 2020 by Microsoft Xbox, the Core platform by Manticore Games, and GameMaker Studio 2. As part of the Global Game Jam, Inc. GGJ NEXT is an offering of the much-larger Global Game Jam event held every January that is specifically intended for young people aged 12-17. While the event leverages an interest in video game creation as its focal point, its larger purpose is to provide a safe space in which to teach important creative thinking skills and explore systems design, in addition to the technical skills they will need to bring their ideas to life.
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