Global Game Jam: A Unique Opportunity to Create and Connect

When was the last time you spent 48 hours on YOUR hobby? In a row? Without sleeping? If you love video games, and are looking for more time to spend designing and coding them, we have the Perfect event for you – Global Game Jam.

Create a Game in 48 Hours

Global Game Jam is a weekend-long event where groups of video game enthusiasts get together at physical locations around the world to make a new video game in only 48 hours. Last year gamers at 700 locations in 95 countries created over 7000 games in one weekend. This year, Global Game Jam is coming to Nevada City and YOU are invited.

Global Game Jam in Nevada City

Co-organizer Gerritt Dorland was frustrated because he didn’t have enough time to dedicate to his favorite hobby – making video games. After participating in several Global Game Jams in Chico, he and Dillon Lankenau decided to host their own Jam. They got support from local tech companies AJA Video and Traitware, who are sponsoring the event. Nevada County’s very own Global Game Jam will take place January 26-28 at the Connected Communities Academy at 104 New Mohawk Road in Nevada City.

Innovation, Experimentation, and Collaboration

The event is a marathon of unbridled innovation, experimentation, and collaboration. Participants find groups to work with when they show up at 5:00pm on Friday evening, and some work all the way through 5:00pm on Sunday. Others take breaks for sleeping and eating. Sound crazy? Dorland gets an immense sense of accomplishment from creating a game in 48 hours. And it’s easier than you think: “It’s not 1980 anymore, where you need to know how the computer functions,” he said. “If you want to make a game, you can walk out of a GGJ event with a game that you have made.”

No Coding Experience Required

It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people. Plenty of attendees have coding experience, but you don’t need to know how to code to participate, just an interest in playing games. Not just video games – some participants create card games or board games. Artists and other creative types are welcome. And after 48 hours with the same team of people, you get to know them pretty well.

Bringing Local Techies Together

Dorland brought the event to Nevada City to get techies together: “I wanted to create something for young people who are interested in the game industry to get together and pursue this interest locally,” he said. He also wants to make sure people know about tech career opportunities in Nevada County. Dorland grew up in Grass Valley, but didn’t realize he would be able to pursue a tech career in his home town until the year before he graduated from college. Dorland now works as a software engineer at AJA.

Sound like fun? There is still space in the FREE Nevada City Global Game Jam for gamers of all ages (participants who are under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Visit the Nevada County Tech Connection website for more information.

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