The CHI 2018 Game Jam brings members of the community together to make analog and/or digital games (e.g., board games, card games, LARP games, video games, pen-and-paper games, hybrid games, etc.), with the belief that creation is not only collaborative, but an underexplored area of research. CHI 2018 Game Jam participants will rapidly prototype new and innovative games, and will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their games to the CHI community during the conference. CHI 2018 Game Jam participants are expected to create an entirely new game from beginning to end at the CHI conference during prescribed times at the conference (maximum of 24 hours). The brief time span is meant to help encourage creative thinking to result in small but innovative and experimental games. Participants are allowed to use game engines, middleware, and legally obtained assets, or modify existing games, but the project should be completely new.
This year, for the inaugural CHI Game Jam we’ve selected a theme that reflects some of our values around what games are, can, and should be:
We intend the theme to welcome a variety of participants and for the participants to reinterpret it as they wish.
All games created at the CHI 2018 Game Jam will be displayed and playable throughout the main CHI 2018 conference event! There will also be potential opportunities for publication of CHI 2018 Game Jam games following the event.
What are the important dates for the CHI 2018 Game Jam?
Here they are:
- January 2018: Registration opens on the CHI 2018 Game Jam Website
- April 21-22, 2018: CHI Game Jam
- April 23-26, 2018: CHI Game Jam Arcade Open to CHI Main Conference
How do I participate?
You have to be registered for at least one day of the CHI conference to register for the CHI 2018 Game Jam.
In addition to registering for the event on the main CHI registration page, please also fill out our short survey so we can better plan the event. If you are interested in serving as a mentor for a team at the Jam please let us know in the survey. Selected mentors will be notified prior to the start of the event.
Who can participate in the CHI 2018 Game Jam?
The CHI 2018 Game Jam is open to everyone interested in making games. We encourage participation from members of the broader CHI community and members of the games industry who are interested in a chance to do something wild and creative with their spare time. We currently have no age restriction on participation, however we ask that all minors be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Is the CHI 2018 Game Jam a competition?
No. The theme of CHI 2018 is “Engage with CHI” which we interpret as a mandate for the most inclusive event possible, hence the game jam theme of “AI (All Inclusive)”. Our goal with the CHI 2018 Game Jam is to encourage as many different participants as possible to get involved, and to broaden participation in games among the CHI community.
Do I need to come to the CHI 2018 Game Jam with a team already formed?
Part of the fun of Game Jams is getting a chance to connect with other designers and game makers, so we strongly discourage doing any teambuilding before arrival. Think of the CHI 2018 Game Jam as an opportunity to meet new people and to explore game design ideas that you might not get to explore under other circumstances. The CHI 2018 Game Jam is a great environment to take risks and learn new things with individuals from a very broad range of skills and talent.
We suggest arriving to the CHI 2018 Game Jam with a sense of what you are interested in doing: are you a writer? an artist? a programmer? a designer? a musician? a playtester? You don’t have to be an expert at any of these things to have a good time, although it is very helpful to be at least familiar with games, and to have some experience with either game design, or with production and development more broadly. We will do our best to match people up into teams that have a good balance of skills and experience, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, but it is important to remember that the central objective of the CHI 2018 Game Jam is to find the fun in game design.
Do I need special skills or programming experience to participate in the GGJ?
Games require a very broad range of skills and abilities: not just programming. We’ve been to game jams where none of the participants were programmers, and all of the games that were made were pen & paper games, card games, and board games. Chances are there will be many people at the CHI 2018 Game Jam with programming skills, but also plenty of people there who are good at other things. Everyone should be able to participate in a meaningful way, and we will work to help you find a spot where you can make a contribution.
We at the CHI 2018 Game Jam encourage participants to innovate and experiment with both digital and analog forms of game making. This is an opportunity for an All Inclusive game making experience!
I can’t make it to the CHI 2018 Game Jam site. Can I participate remotely from home?
Because the organizing committee of the CHI 2018 Game Jam is focused on inclusive game making, we are happy to accept teams with remote members. However, we require that at least one person on each team is present at the main CHI 2018 Game Jam site. Ideally that person is the team lead as they will have to handle the logistics as well as any presentations. CHI Game Jam is not a virtual event, though we do want to accommodate those who cannot be there in person and will work with the telepresence chairs to support remote participants.
What if I do not have prior experience with game making?
The CHI 2018 Game Jam is a great learning opportunity for those interested in game making: group-based work, mentors, and an inclusive learning environment will enable anyone to participate and produce innovative games. We are also open to all kinds of games, including analog games: no game design or programming experience required!
What if I have a lot of prior experience with game making?
Great! We welcome you to the CHI 2018 Game Jam. Feel free to participate to mentor other Game Jam participants, experiment with a new style of game making, or develop new and innovative mechanics that you might otherwise not have explored. We also encourage our more experienced game makers to invite newcomers to your group to improve their Game Jam experience!
What should I bring to the CHI 2018 Game Jam?
Please bring any materials that you might need for making your game. This might include: a laptop computer, tablet with keyboard, or comparable device, digital instruments, paper, pens, crafting supplies, etc. We will update this page with further instructions prior to the event (e.g. regarding drinks / meals / snacks and supplies that will be provided).
What is the event schedule? What accommodations will be provided?
(This schedule is subject to change, but should give participants a rough sense of how the jam will proceed)
- 8:00 am: Chair’s Welcome
- 8:15 am: Overview of core game jam values
- 8:30 am: Teambuilding Activities
- 9:00 am: Ideation around the Theme of A.I. as a group.
- 9:30 am: Teams break off and start brainstorming/designing/jamming.
- 12:00 pm: Break for lunch (provided on-site)
- 1:00 pm: Continue making games
- 6:00 pm: Break for Dinner (not provided on site)
- 7:30 pm: Continue making games
- 10:00 pm: Venue closes – get some rest!!
- 8:00 am: Venue opens – game making commences!
- 12:00 pm: Break for lunch (not provided on-site)
- 1:00 pm: Game making continues
- 6:00 pm: Game making wraps-up. Break for Dinner (not provided-on site)
- 7:30 pm: Reconvene, and present/debrief on games made.
- 9:00 pm: Mix, mingle, play, and help clean-up
- 10:00 pm: Venue closes – get some rest!
- During first coffee break: Lighting Talks/Demos
What is the official hashtag for the CHI 2018 Game Jam?
Inclusiveness Policy & Code of Conduct
The CHI 2018 Game Jam site is an inclusive environment that welcomes a diverse group of participants! Please read and abide by the official ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and refer to the Inclusion and Diversity Statement of CHI 2018. Please respect the facilities and clean up after yourselves as needed. We reserve the right remove any Game Jam participants who violate either the letter or the spirit of this policy.
Roger Altizer, University of Utah
Nicole Crenshaw, University of California, Irvine
Gillian Smith, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Joshua Tanenbaum, University of California, Irvine