Blogs

Jamming the games

The idea was simple - get some keen students together into teams, give them a brief and let them go for it

How would you like to sleep at your local TAFE college?

Pancakes for breakfast?

Last week a number of gaming students at Northern Sydney Institute did just that. They participated in the Institute's first "Games Jam" - a high intensity three days of design and production, which led to the creation of a number of games.

The sight of classrooms turned into impromptu bedrooms, of head teachers cooking pancakes on the balcony, and of bleary-eyed but content students wondering around was evidence that the jam was a great success.

The idea was simple - get some keen students together into teams, give them a brief and let them go for it. The object was to produce a game on an agreed-upon theme. Also, film it and stream it live to youTube. It's not all a pretty sight, but it's real and raw.

Have a look at some of the footage (unedited, unscripted, unpolished) on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. A brief ceremony at the end to vote for the best game, and all went home for the reward of a good night's sleep.

This is a great example of innovation in education. If students want to be involved, if they're prepared to throw three days of their life into producing something and with nothing but a bottle of jellybeans as a prize - then the goal of engaging students in their education has been achieved.

Have a great Christmas and new year. I look forward to continuing our chats in 2014. And to the next games jam too!