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PFW students participate in the 2023 Global Game Jam.

Global Game Jam event offers collaboration across disciplines

By Blake Sebring

January 24, 2024

Almost every college student has played them, but have you ever wondered how video games are created?

Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Association for Computing Machinery chapter’s annual “Global Game Jam” can explain and give players a chance to develop their own game from 5:30 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. That’s followed by a three-hour reception showcasing the finished products. The event is free to join and held in Neff Hall, Rooms B27 and B88. Participants may also work remotely from locations off-site.

“It’s not a competition, but a collaborative learning experience,” explained Sean Tierney, secretary for PFW’s ACM chapter. “If you are an artist who has never done this before but would like to take part in the experience, you are welcome. If you are a math major who doesn’t do a bunch of coding but would like to do coding and the algorithms behind it, you are welcome. This can be a great place to learn.”

The opportunity is open to the public, including experienced programmers who will guide the newcomers. Last year, 31 people participated; the maximum is 55. Food will be provided, which is partly why it’s important to register in advance.

The jam is also an opportunity to meet those with similar interests. Teams are formed when the event begins.

“I think it’s one of the very few multidisciplinary events on campus,” Tierney said. “Art and English and math and computer science and music rarely all come together for an event. I think this event is the coolest we do all year, reaching across other disciplines to collaborate and work together.”

Because the rooms are set up with integrated learning systems, participants are not required to bring computers.

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