[games_access] Global Game Jam contest & diversifier

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 23 15:52:43 EST 2013


This weekend is the weekend of the annual Global Game Jam, a hack weekend where teams at venues around the world work to produce a finished game over the same 48 hours, all working to the same overall single theme with some optional extra things to aim for too, called diversifiers.
Outside of the theme and diversifiers, in 2011 jam Tara kicked off an accessibility challenge at the Orlando venue. In 2012 that was expanded to several venues in the UK (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/jan/27/global-game-jam-accessibility). Both years as well as awareness raising and myth busting it produced some nice stuff, 20 games such as these:
http://archive.globalgamejam.org/2012/super-space-snake-space/playhttp://archive.globalgamejam.org/2012/mini-freerunner
If you take a look at the feature lists for those games and consider they were each made in 48 and 20 hours respectively, by people who hadn't before attempted accessible game design, they're pretty powerful arguments against the common myth that accessibility has to be difficult and time consuming.
This year the contest is running again, including venues in Australia as well as the UK.
More importantly though, after the success of last year's challenge the organisers of GGJ have decided to include an accessibility diversifier.
This means an extra optional goal together with some supporting information about accessibility will be presented to all of the GGJ developers.
Global Game Jam is the largest event of its type, with approx. 10,000 developers at 300 locations in 60 countries.
Ian
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