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Global Game Jam Launches Its First Game Jam For Kids

Nonprofit organization Global Game Jam is launching its first ever game jam for aspiring developers under the age of 18.

GGJ Next takes place throughout July in more than 50 locations around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, China, Chile, Egypt, Finland, France, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, the U.K. and U.S.

The month-long event encourages young creatives to come together and make a video game, board game, or card game. Jammers must quickly come up with new ideas adhering to a specific theme, then sketch out how the games might work to prototype and playtest. The brief time span encourages creative thinking, GGJ said, and gives kids a chance to make innovative experimental projects. Participating locations will host workshops and tutorials prior to the jam. Global Game Jam will also showcase “Let’s Play” videos created by jammers on its official website.

“I am so excited to see such broad global participation for Next’s first jams,” said founder Susan Gold in a press release. “I know this event will continue to grow, as will using games and game jams to stimulate the next generation of students. To be able to impact over 2,000 kids in our first year is a major accomplishment. Game education and jamming gives young people a large dose of the skills necessary for preparing students for the 21st Century. Game development is all about critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.”

“We have been working hard with all of the locations to create a safe space for the kids to jam in,” said GGJ Next executive producer Jo Summers. “We hope that everyone will work hard, meet new friends and have a lot of fun. We can’t wait to see what they make for us.”

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