The Global Game Jam was the brainchild of Susan Gold, in collaboration with Gorm Lai and Ian Schreiber. GGJ was founded in 2008, inspired by the many game jams before it, such as the Indie Game Jam, Ludum Dare and Nordic Game Jam. GGJ was a project of the International Game Developer's Association (IGDA) from 2009-2012. Starting with GGJ 2013, the event is managed by Global Game Jam, Inc.
The 1st annual Global Game Jam was held January 30-February 1, 2009 to much critical acclaim and success. With over 1600 participants in 23 countries, and a theme of "As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems," the GGJ produced 370 games. In 2010, the number of participants increased to over 4300 with 900 finished games on the theme of "Deception" (see the 2010 recap). In 2011 there were 6500 participants in 44 countries, who created over 1500 games, and in 2012 the numbers soared to over 10,000 participants in 46 countries, with over 2100 games made in a single weekend!
GGJ is a volunteer-run organization, built upon the very hard work of its leadership, site organizers and of course the participants.
GGJ History Video
(intro for GGJ13 keynote video)
GGJ Themes throughout the years:
Each GGJ edition has a theme distributed worldwide through the local organizers at the start of the jam. Participants start to work in teams, brainstorming and creating games around the theme. The theme is decided by the "Theme Committee": a team of game industry professionals that discuss different themes and options for a period of time (often a couple of months) before the jam occurs. For GGJ2013 it was the first time that everyone in the world could submit ideas for the GGJ13 themes as inspiration for the Theme committee.
2009: "As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems"
2012: An image of "Ouroboros"
2013: The Sound of a Heartbeat.
2009: (30 Jan - 1 Feb): 53 sites, 23 countries, 1650 participants, 370 games
2010: (29 - 31 Jan): 138 sites, 39 countries, 4300 participants, 900 games
2011: (28 - 30 Jan): 169 sites, 44 countries, 6500 participants, 1500+ games
2012: (27 - 29 Jan): 242 sites, 47 countries, 10,684 participants, 2209 games
2013: (25 - 27 Jan): 319 sites, 63 countries, 16,705 registered participants, 3248 games
Global Executive Committee
2008 - 2009: Ian Schreiber, Susan Gold, Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood
2009 - 2010: Ian Schreiber, Susan Gold, Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood
2010 - 2011: Ian Schreiber, Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood, Zuraida Buter
2011 - 2012: Ian Schreiber, Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood, Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Laurie Gloge
2012 - 2013: Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood, Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin
2013 - 2014: Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood, Zuraida Buter (Dir), Elonka Dunin, Ciro Duran, Kimberly Voll, Giselle Rosman
Global Game Jam, Inc. Board of Directors
2012 - 2013 Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Susan Gold (President), Foaad Khosmood, (VP / Secretary), Gorm Lai (Treasurer), Ian Schreiber, Dustin Clingman
2013 - 2014 Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Susan Gold (President), Foaad Khosmood (Treasurer), Gorm Lai (VP / Secretary), Romana Ramzan, Sheri Rubin