1 Carleton University (CANADA)
2 Global Game Jam (UNITED STATES)
3 University of Northern Colorado (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 1735-1741
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0504
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is an international event organized by the Global Game Jam® Inc. and hosted by partner sites worldwide. During the GGJ, participants have 48 hours to create a game based on a given theme ( The first GGJ in 2009 was held in 53 locations with 1650 participants. In 2018 these numbers increased to 803 and 42,811 respectively, in 108 countries creating 8,606 games. The significant increase in the popularity of the GGJ is due to various positive outcomes of this event and the diverse group of participants who can enjoy these outcomes.

Game jams are shown to be effective learning methods; they can also help increase social engagement and inspire design and innovation. While the GGJ has been successful in providing many benefits to its participants, it has been generally targeted toward an adult audience. With the increased attention to both game-based learning and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education, and also initiatives such as that aim at computer literacy for children (and adults), the Global Game Jam®, Inc. organized the GGJNext-2018 – the first game creation challenges for young creators worldwide, ages 12-17.

Our aim was to establish a model and curriculum for students anywhere to learn basic game development skills (programming, art and design, storytelling, in combination with communication, collaboration, and planning), as a basis for STEAM education. Partnering with schools and skilled facilitators to deliver the content, we developed a scalable program that can be integrated at large or small levels both in terms of duration and difficulty level.

The expected learning outcomes that are the basis of our curriculum development included:
• Cognitive Outcomes (such as logical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and vocabulary)
• Skill-based Outcomes (STEAM skills including programming, math, physics, art, and design, and other skills such as research, planning, communication, and organization)
• Affective Outcomes (motivation, exploration, confidence, friendship, fun, etc.)

Based on these outcomes, the curriculum was defined as a series of small modules grouped into the following categories:
• Introduction to Jamming
• Game Design
• Making Analog Games
• Making Digital Games with Visual Tools and Coding/Scripting
• Visual Arts
• Audio
• Production

Curriculum content modules were made by a global group of volunteers in fall 2017 and winter 2018. They were then edited and made available to interested teachers in spring 2018 to prepare for the GGJNext event.

Running through the month of July, with a flexible schedule for different sites, the GGJNext included a week of activities by children, mentors, parents, and facilitators. It provided a series of workshops and educational material to be used by instructors and parents prior to the event to prepare the children. The GGJNext week wrapped up with the final Jam event with a common theme that was revealed at the start of the Game Jam. 39 location in 20 countries joined the first GGJNext with over 800 participants.

The initial results of the inaugural GGJNext show its great potential not only as a learning venue but a global effort for introducing children to career potentials and other cultures. This paper will report on the content design and development process, event organization, the use of educational content, and lessons learned.
Global Game Jam, STEAM, game-based learning, children.