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Friday, January 26 at 5PM to Sunday, January 28 at 5PM
Location: Digital Arts Research Center, Room 308, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Register on the site here.

The Facebook page is here.

Would you like to volunteer? Click here!

Have you ever wanted to make a game? Come to Global Game Jam, a weekend-long event where participants come together to create a game from start to finish in 48 hours! This non-competitive, creative endeavor is free and open to the public, and all ages and experience levels are welcome. Food will be provided, including options for vegans, vegetarians, and those with dietary allergies.

Jammers at local sites worldwide are invited to make games based on a theme, announced on Friday. They can form teams or work solo, on digital or physical games, with projects to be completed by Sunday afternoon. Materials will be provided for those making physical games, and jammers are welcome to bring some of their own. People are invited to explore, in a low-pressure, experimental environment, modes of creation that interest them (whether visual art-making, audio design, level design, storytelling, programming, etc), and draw inspiration and energy from making and learning things in the company of others.

Since 2009, the annual Global Game Jam has been the largest event of its kind, and grows exponentially year-to-year. In 2015, sites in 78 countries around the world made 5,439 games. Be a part of a deeply enriching, international, creative movement!

Prospective jammers should: 

  1. [REQUIRED:] Register and join the UCSC site on the GGJ website.
  2. If you plan to create a video game, bring your laptop and charger.

Why game jam

Some highlights of Carolyn Vaneseltine's recent "Why Game Jams?" blog post, beautifully listing her reasons for attending the Global Game Jam, and game jams in general:

  • To make something in the company of other people.
  • There is no 'you must be this tall to join a game jam' sign.
  • It's a low-stress environment for experimentation.
  • It's a way to connect with people making things, both locally and globally. 
  • It's a source of new inspiration.
  • It's rapid prototyping practice.
  • It's visceral proof of your abilities, and you can access your project in the future.
  • Sometimes what you work on turns into something bigger.


The Global Game Jam is also an invaluable way for UCSC to facilitate collaboration within and between the various academic departments interested in playable media. It creates an opportunity for individuals from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in the Art and STEM fields, such as game development and game asset creations to participate in game development.

As the event is taking place globally, it also serves to create ties between participants and the larger game development communities both within Silicon Valley and around the world. 

Post-event survey

Poster art by Genna Banzuela.