The Global Game Jam is an annual worldwide event where participants have an entire weekend (48 hours to be exact) to create a game from scratch based on that year’s announced theme. This can range from physical games, such as boardgames and cards, to games that are completely digital and playable online. 

Many Stevenson students have participated in past GGJ events, either through personal interest or through English 225: Writing Video Games & Other Interactive Stories and Math 490: Math & Games.

One student who has participated in past Global Game Jam’s is Julian Cha, a Stevenson Junior and an Applied Mathematics Major and English Minor.

“I first started doing the Global Game Jam in my senior year of high school, so 2019. I was doing a Python coding class, and my teacher had us all participate in it. I don’t recall what the theme was, but I remember it being a passing joy. I didn’t think about trying it again until Dr. Wilson mentioned it last year, and I decided to rekindle the joy.”

Last year’s theme was “Lost and Found,” for which Julian and his team created a game called “An Awakening,” where the player plays a character who has lost their meaning in life and is trying to find it again. (Here is the link to the playable game.)

This year, Stevenson University students were encouraged to participate once more, with this year’s theme being "Duality." Currently, the school has a total of 36 participants!

You may be wondering, who can participate in Global Game Jam?

Well, the answer is anyone!

As I walked around the event and spoke with the participants, I learned just how diverse everyone was. Many of the students were English and Math majors, but there were also a few other majors like Nursing and Business. One thing that all these people had in common was that a majority had no coding experience whatsoever! While some students decided to create video games, others opted to create board and card games for this year’s theme.

“All-in-all, the GGJ doesn’t require any strong knowledge of coding. As long as you have the patience to work through your problems and the diligence to keep going, anyone can make anything,” said Julian Cha.

The games the students created will be revealed Sunday night during the virtual presentation on Bluejeans. I will be writing a follow up article soon talking about some of the trials the students went through, sharing some screenshots of students' games, and linking all of the playable games for everyone to enjoy!

Until then!