Students from Three Kent State Campuses Participate in the Global Game Jam Held at Kent State Tuscarawas

Nearly 40 students from the Kent State Tuscarawas, Stark and Kent campuses participated in Kent State’s first site for the Global Game Jam (GGJ) this past weekend, from Jan. 25 – 27. GGJ is a worldwide game-making event where creators gather at 800+ sites around the world and make games based on a single theme over a 48-hour period. Kent State’s GGJ site was held at the Tuscarawas regional campus and organized through a collaboration between the Kent State Modeling, Animation and Game Creation (MAGC) program and the Animation and Game Creation Club.

The site hosted students from Kent State’s MAGC and Computer Science programs, who together, created eight different video games during the 48-hour game jam period. Friday evening, the jam began with opening remarks by Dean Bradley Bielski as well as a keynote by Ben Cole, veteran game designer and owner of the independent game studio, Pxlplz. Once the jam’s theme, “What home means to me,” was revealed by the organization overseeing the Global Game Jam, students assembled teams and worked over the next two days, including some late nights, on their games.

The project results presented Sunday afternoon include Going Home, a choose-your-own adventure game about a woman working through her feelings as she comes home from college; Woodcutter Adventure, a game where a woodcutter must gather wood for the winter without destroying trees that animals live in; and Pending Failure, a virtual reality experience about watching horror movies with your family.

GGJ is the world's largest game jam event (game creation) taking place around the world at physical locations. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time explores the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. The GGJ encourages people from all 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 and watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers. A secret theme is then 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 2018, GGJ had 803 locations in 108 countries create 8,606 games in one weekend! The jam is known for helping foster new friendships and increasing confidence and opportunities within the community. The jam is always an intellectual challenge. People are invited to explore new technology tools, try on new roles in development and test 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.

GGJ is operated by the Global Game Jam, Inc., an international non-profit corporation based in San Luis Obispo, California, with a mission to foster game design and game education through innovative events. Global Game Jam, Inc. is run by Executive Director Seven Siegel. 

More information about the Game Jam site and a full list of games created by Kent State students can be found at:

POSTED: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 2:43pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 2:43pm