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Global Game Jam® History

The Global Game Jam® was the brainchild of Susan Gold in collaboration with Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber and Foaad Khosmood. 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., a non-profit with an IRS 501(c)3 charitable designation based in San Luis Obispo, California.


Founding members of Global Game Jam, Inc. (2013) are: Zuraida Buter, Dustin Clingman, Elonka Dunin, Susan Gold, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber.


The first annual Global Game Jam® was held 30 January - 1 February 2009 to much critical acclaim and success. With over 1,600 participants in 23 countries, with 307 games produced around the theme of "As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems." The GGJ has continued to grow every year; see below for detailed numbers and themes for each year. 


GGJ Inc. has a small staff, but the event itself is primarily a volunteer-driven, built upon the very hard work of its leadership, site organizers, and of course the participants.


Global Game Jam® 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 for a couple of months) before the jam occurs. 

Numbers

  • 2009: (30 Jan - 1 Feb): 53 sites, 23 countries, 1,650 participants, 370 games
  • 2010: (29-31 Jan): 138 sites, 39 countries, 4,300 participants, 900 games
  • 2011: (28-30 Jan): 169 sites, 44 countries, 6500 participants, 1,500+ games
  • 2012: (27-29 Jan): 242 sites, 47 countries, 10,684 participants, 2,209 games
  • 2013: (25-27 Jan): 319 sites, 63 countries, 16,705 registered participants, 3,248 games
  • 2014: (24-26 Jan): 488 sites, 72 countries, 23189 registered participants, 4,292 games
  • 2015: (23-25 Jan): 518 sites, 78 countries, 28,800 registered participants, 5,438 games
  • 2016: (29-31 Jan): 632 sites, 93 countries, 36,164 registered participants, 6,866 games
  • 2017: (20-22 Jan): 701 sites, 95 countries, 36,401 registered participants, 7,263 games
  • 2018: (26-28 Jan): 803 sites, 108 countries, 42,800 registered participants, 8,606 games 
  • 2019: (25-27 Jan): 860 sites, 113 countries, 47,006 registered participants, 9,010 games
  • 2020: (31 Jan - 2 Feb): 934 sites, 118 countries, 48,753 registered participants, 9,601 games
  • 2021: (27-31 Jan): 585 sites, 104 countries, 28,825 registered participants, 6,383 games (Online only due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 2022: (20-30 Jan): 680 sites, 100 countries, 33,000 registered participants, 5,860 games
  • 2023: (30 Jan-5 Feb): 800 sites, 108 countries, 40,000 registered participants, 7.637 games
     

Games

Game archives200920102011201220132014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Info on ggj games releases, kickstarters etc.: http://globalgamejam.org/ggj-games

 

GGJ Keynote Speakers

YT Keynote Video playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLABD0BC5F8602A2C8

  • 2009: Kyle Gabler
  • 2010: Ste Curran
  • 2011: Keita Takahashi
  • 2012: Brenda Romero & John Romero, Gonzalo Frasca, Baiyon, Will Wright
  • 2013: Erin Robinson, Bret Victor
  • 2014: Richard Lemarchand, Kaho Abe, Jenova Chen
  • 2015: Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris, Amora Bettany, Pedro Medeiros and Reiner Knizia
  • 2016: Siobhan Reddy and Ramez Naam
  • 2017: Extra Credits
  • 2018: Robin Hunicke and Thorsten Storno
  • 2019: Brie Code & Eve Thomas, Limpho Moeti, and Rami Ismail
  • 2020: Chris Avellone, Eve Crevoshay (& Take This team)
  • 2021: Guy Blomberg & the Games Industry Gathering group
  • 2022: Tanya X. Short, Daniel Cook, Chase Bethea, Elaine Gomez
  • 2023: Mary Kenney, Oleksii Izvalov, Fereshteh Forough, Jabari Alii
     

Global Executive Committees

  • 2008 - 2009: Susan Gold, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber
  • 2009 - 2010: Susan Gold, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber
  • 2010 - 2011: Zuraida Buter, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber
  • 2011 - 2012: Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Laurie Gloge, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Ian Schreiber
  • 2012 - 2013: Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai 
  • 2013 - 2014: Zuraida Buter (Exec. Dir.), Elonka Dunin, Ciro Duran, Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Giselle Rosman, Kimberly Voll
  • 2014 - 2015: Ashley Alicea, Bill Crosbie, Bruno Campagnolo de Paula, Ciro Duran (Exec. Producer), Rebecca Fernandez, Ian Schreiber
  • 2015 - 2016: Ashley Alicea, , Eoin Carroll, Bruno Campagnolo de Paula, Rebecca Fernandez, Lucy Morris, Giselle Rosman (Exec. Producer), Jo Summers
  • 2016 - 2017: Eoin Carroll, Bill Crosbie, Bruno Campagnolo de Paula, Rebecca Fernandez, Brian McDonald, Giselle Rosman (Exec. Producer), Jo Summers
  • 2017 - 2018: Rebecca Fernandez, Lorenzo Pilia, Anna Prein, Jung-Sheng, Jo Summers (Exec. Producer), Hernán Valdés, Claire Wilgar
  • 2018 - 2019: Lorenzo Pilia, Anna Prein, Jung-Sheng, Jo Summers (Exec. Producer), Hernán Valdés, Sabrina Culyba, Gwen Foster
  • 2019 - 2020: Jo Summers (Exec. Producer), Jung-Sheng, Hernán Valdés, Sabrina Culyba, Gwen Foster, Tim Cullings, Elif Karaata
  • 2020 - 2021: Tim Cullings (Director of Ops), Jo Summers, Jung-Sheng, Hernán Valdés, Sabrina Culyba, Dylan Gedig
  • 2021 - 2022: Tim Cullings (Director of Ops),Dylan Gedig, Gustavo Dort, Jo Summers, Sabrina Culyba, Yadu Rajiv
  • 2022 - 2023: Charly Harbord (Director of Ops), Dylan Gedig, Gustavo Dort, Sabrina Culyba, Yadu Rajiv, Jung-Sheng, Alexey Izalov, Rich Hebblewhite, Sandra Castro, Jo Summers
     

Global Game Jam, Inc. Executive Directors

  • 2017 - 2019: Seven Siegel
  • 2019 - 2022: Kate Edwards
  • 2022 - present: Tim Cullings
     

Global Game Jam, Inc. Board of Directors

  • 2012 - 2013 (Founders GGJ, Inc.): Zuraida Buter, Elonka Dunin, Susan Gold (President), Foaad Khosmood (VP / Secretary), Gorm Lai (Treasurer), Ian Schreiber, Dustin Clingman
  • 2013 - 2014: Zuraida Buter (ED), Elonka Dunin, Susan Gold (President), Foaad Khosmood (Treasurer), Gorm Lai (VP / Secretary), Romana Ramzan, Sheri Rubin
  • 2014 - 2015: Dustin Clingman (Treasurer), Susan Gold, Lindsay Grace, Foaad Khosmood (President), Gorm Lai (VP), Romana Khan-Ramzan, Giselle Rosman
  • 2015 - 2016: Dustin Clingman (Treasurer), Susan Gold, Lindsay Grace (VP), Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai (President)
  • 2016 - 2018: Justin Berenbaum, Susan Gold (VP), Lindsay Grace, Foaad Khosmood (Treasurer), Gorm Lai (President)
  • 2018 - 2019: Houssem Ben Amor, Justin Berenbaum (Treasurer), Alex Fernandez, Susan Gold (President), Lindsay Grace (VP), Gorm Lai, Astrid Refstrup
  • 2019 - 2020: Houssem Ben Amor (Treasurer), Justin Berenbaum, Ashley Brown, Alex Fernandez, Susan Gold (VP), Foaad Khosmood, Gorm Lai, Joseph Olin (President), Astrid Refstrup
  • 2020 - 2021: Houssem Ben Amor (Treasurer), Ashley Brown (VP / Secretary), Carl Callewaert, Lenore Gilbert, Foaad Khosmood, Kevin Miklasz, Shelley Miles, Joseph Olin (President)
  • 2021 - 2022: Carl Callewaert, Dr. Loretta Cheeks, Nourhan ElSherief (Secretary), Lenore Gilbert, Dr. JC Lau, Kevin Miklasz (President), Shelley Miles, Joseph Olin (Treasurer), Hiroki Omae, Taha Rasouli
  • 2022 - 2023: Dr. JC Lau (President), Nourhan ElSherief (Secretary), Joseph Olin (Treasurer), Kate Edwards, Dr. Loretta Cheeks, Hiroki Omae, Sabrina Culyba, Ariella Lehrer, Felix Hilgert, Johana Riquier