GGJ announces GGJ NEXT Online for 2020

The Global Game Jam, Inc. has opened up jam leader and mentor registration for its popular youth-oriented game jam, GGJ NEXT®. For twelve years, the Global Game Jam has been empowering game creators and students around the world in record numbers, and for 2020 it aims to bring a truly global impact to young creators aged 12-17 all around the world.

The 2020 online GGJ NEXT event incorporates one week of learning through a carefully designed game development curriculum and then one week of a youth game jam. The curriculum is a series of micro-lessons for educators covering topics of jamming, game design, coding, and much more. We have created this curriculum so that teachers, camp counselors, youth leaders, or anyone can learn to teach game development, and run game jams.

“We’ve created GGJ Next with educators in mind. The program is designed to build upon adolescents’ love of video games,” said Joseph Olin, President of Global Game Jam and Professor of video games at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. “It is a complement to high school academics offering a structured program to introduce computer programming, art, animation and teamwork with the goal of sparking young minds.”

GGJ NEXT for 2020 has been redesigned as an online-only event so that young people interested in learning about creating games will still have the opportunity to take part. And this format also expands to provide teaching resources not only to jam leaders and educators, but also to parents who may want to facilitate their child’s participation.

“While originally hosted as a live, on-site event similar to our larger GGJ event in January, GGJ NEXT has pivoted to an all-digital format for 2020,” said Kate Edwards, GGJ Executive Director. “Like many events affected this year by the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it’s imperative to make this shift and offer the online format so that young creators, parents, and educators can all feel welcome to participate with the assurance of a safe learning environment.”

GGJ NEXT provides game creation resources and lessons from a diverse, international group of game designers and educators and delivers the curriculum directly to teachers, parents, and communities. The lessons lead into the GGJ NEXT jam where educators and young creators will be creating games and sharing their ideas and culture with the rest of the world. Young creators participating in GGJ NEXT will be able to showcase their new skills, creative ideas, and personal self-expression through games on the GGJ NEXT website where videos created by the young jammers will be hosted.

“We want to give our youth participants an outlet to show off their work in a playful manner, so we’re reaching out to educators, parents, and youth leaders around the world to say: ‘Help us bring GGJ NEXT to your community!” added Kate Edwards. “Head to the GGJ NEXT 2020 website today to sign up to become a Jam Site Leader or a Mentor!”