Global Game Jam® (GGJ®)

GGJ Group Photo from Curitiba Brazil, 2019

The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in the state of California and our mission is to empower all individuals worldwide to learn, experiment, and create together through the medium of games in a safe and welcoming environment.

The GGJ is the world's largest game creation event taking place around the globe boasting tens of thousands of participants (jammers) at hundreds of physical and virtual sites in over one hundred countries around the world. In January 2020, we had a record-breaking year with 934 locations in 118 countries create 9,601 games in one weekend! In January 2021 we shifted GGJ to an online-only format due to the global pandemic and still hosted a great event with 585 virtual locations in 104 countries which made 6,383 games! In 2022 we welcomed back in-person sites while keeping the option for virtual sites we had over 33,000 jammers register at 681 sites in 100 countries.

A game jam is similar to a hackathon where people come together for a short period of time to create games around a central theme revealed at the start of the jam. The structure of The GGJ is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All jammers worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon.

The GGJ stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a shortened development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity. Jammers are invited to explore new technology tools, trying on new roles in development and testing their skills to do something that requires them to design, develop create, test and make a new game. The GGJ is rooted in the idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we can come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using the universal language of video games.

The GGJ is the starting point for countless game developers who have turned a moment of bravery to join their first GGJ event into a successful and sustainable career in game development. Our vast network of volunteer organizers are vetted and committed to our mission of empowerment and inclusivity, helping us build a safe and welcoming event and community for everyone.

The GGJ helps to foster new friendships, increase confidence in aspiring game developers and creates opportunities within local communities. The GGJ is deducted to collaboration and camaraderie and is not a competition.

GGJ Team

The Global Game Jam and GGJ NEXT events are operated by Global Game Jam, Inc., an international non-profit corporation founded in San Luis Obispo, California, USA. See corporate bylaws

The Global Game Jam is run by a combination of hired staff, volunteer board members, and a small international team of core volunteers organized as the "Executive Committee" (EC).

GGJ Staff

  • Tim Cullings, Executive Director
  • Charly Harbord, Director of Operations
  • Tarja Porkka-Kontturi, Director of Communications
  • Zain Ul Hassan, Director of Technology

GGJ 2022-2023 Executive Committee (led by Charly Harbord): 

  • Sabrina Culyba (US)
  • Jo Summers (UK)
  • Dylan Gedig (Canada)
  • Gustavo Dort (Brazil)
  • Yadu Rajiv (India)
  • Oleksii Izvalov (Ukraine)
  • Sandra Castro (Colombia)
  • Richard Hebblewhite (UK)
  • Johnson Lin (Taiwan)

​The EC is supported by a large number of regional organisers who provide support to all of the local GGJ site organisers within their specific regions.

GGJ Board of Directors (as of 1 April 2022):

  • Dr. JC Lau (President)
  • Joseph Olin (Treasurer)
  • Nourhan ElSherief (Secretary)
  • Hiroki Omae
  • Dr. Loretta Cheeks
  • Kate Edwards
  • Sabrina Culyba
  • Ariella Lehrer
  • Felix Hilgert
  • Johana Riquier

The GGJ depends on the generous work and support of many other people around the world - including sponsors, jam site organisers, and volunteers. 

If you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or otherwise assisting in a GGJ event, please reach out at [email protected]!