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Game Jams have been organised for several years around the world and are a powerful instrument to stimulate innovation in the creation, development and deployment of educational games. They offer the possibility to develop an idea into a potentially innovative solution around specific themes while at the same time offering the opportunity to explore the process of development (e.g. programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression).
Typically game jams last 48hours. Over a weekend people from different sectors are brought together to brainstorm and develop game-based solutions for tricky problems. JamToday is the first network specifically organizing game jams for applied games.
Each year, JamToday will set up game jams in several locations across Europe focusing on a particular theme, namely:
• Improving ICT skills (such as learning coding skills or creating games)
• Adopting healthier lifestyles (such as healthy eating or changing antisocial behaviour)
• Supporting learning of mathematics (such as sustaining engagement)
The JamToday Network
JamToday is the first panEuropean Network dedicated to applied game design. It brings together different types of stakeholders (such as creative clusters, game companies, education and research institutes, public sector institutions, municipalities etc.) from various sectors, fields and expertise for running game jams across Europe.
JamToday aims at making transparent the process at stake in the creation of applied games by providing know-how and expertise and by bringing together the different people who are involved in the process of designing and deploying game-based approaches to learning and in so doing bridging the gap between applied games and their fields of application.
The JamToday Network looks at how applied games can contribute to improving teaching and learning. Each year, JamToday focuses on a particular theme and:
• sets up game jams in several European locations
• defines a common assignment in consultation with experts in the thematic addressed
• provides a framework for evaluating the results of the game jams and their potential impact
• provides a framework for transferring the games into learning contexts
JamToday hosts an annual pan-European Festival dedicated to applied game design and the annual theme.
Gamebased learning and applied game-design
The value of gamebased learning is gradually becoming clearer, with many ‘serious games’ now being developed. However little attention is given to how to implement these games in learning environments and how to make sure there are significant learning outcomes. With the JamToday network, we aim to use game design principles not just to create useful and meaningful games, but also to explicate and design the context (such as the classroom or curriculum) in which games can be most effectively implemented and used.
In this way we try to retain core game design concepts in the areas of application and the context of use. JamToday believes in the right application of game design-based approaches that make use of an "extended user" model involving teachers in co-creation and co-design.
As such, JamToday tries to tackle the complexity at stake by bringing together different components and expertise in order to:
• find the right balance between the fun and applied part of the game
• better understand the problem with experts in the field of application to address it in a meaningful way
• challenge existing learning and teaching models
• maximize impact
… & You
JamToday brings together stakeholders in these areas and provides opportunities to collaborate at local, regional, national and European levels by establishing a series of game jams and festivals around the main areas of application.
We aim to provide a bridge between different sectors to guarantee the successful takeup of the next generation of educational games across Europe. And we can offer you the necessary structure, guidance, tools and support to get involved.
To make this work, we need people from many different perspectives and we invite you to join us as a member, a participant, an organiser, a supporter or a sponsor.
Come and join in!