Thank you for an amazing Global Game Jam 2023!

Global Game Jam® (GGJ) 2023 has come and gone and we couldn't be happier with the results. It was wonderful to see so many people be able to get together in person again for the common goal of creativity, community, and collaboration.

The events of the past few years have taken their toll on everyone but we were uplifted to see close to 40,000 people smiling, creating, laughing, and supporting each other at 800 online, hybrid, and in person sites in 108 countries around the world combining their talents to make over 7,600 games on this year's theme of Roots.

Group of game jammers in a computer lab smiling at the camera
Large group of GGJ Jammers in Istanbul, Turkey gathered outside with the city skyline behind them

This year we started things off with the first ever GGJ Prep Week where we streamed over 60 hours of content on Twitch and YouTube from sponsors and the GGJ community to get you prepared for GGJ 2023.

Screenshot of a twitch stream featuring 4 people in a grid view talking about the Unity game engine

Then we presented a fun stream hosted by Alanah Pearce, Mary Kenney, and MacNcheeseP1z where we revealed this year’s theme and gave our jammers, organizers and sponsors from around the world a chance to talk about their experiences and involvement with GGJ.

The stream kicked off with a talk from co-host Mary Kenney called Our Games, Our History AKA Why we need Gamer Girls on the history of women in game development and why it is important for the future of games. The keynote video itself featured a welcome message from GGJ Executive Director Tim Cullings and inspirational addresses from Oleksii Izvalov of GGJ Ukraine on the impact of GGJ in his country and how the community is staying connected during the Russian assault on Ukraine, Fereshteh Forough, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Code to Inspire a non-profit aimed at bringing STEM education to Women and Girls in Afghanistan, and Jabari Alii, Systems Designer from Skydance Interactive gave us some advice on how to have a great jam.

Image of GGJ Founders and stream hosts on a Twitch stream

We always look forward to seeing the amazing and creative site posters and this year's set did not disappoint!

GGJ 2023 poster from GGJ Istanbul, Turkey

GGJ 2023 officially kicked off on 30 January 2023 and the GGJ Discord was buzzing with activity and creativity as our online jammers started working on their games and game ideas.

People sitting around a table working on computers, woman on the right pointing to the middle of the table
Close up of a person working on a Wacom tablet

For the first time ever we welcomed our young creators participating in GGJ Next to join in the fun and jam at the same time as the main event! You can see and play some of their submissions here!

Image of an adult and two young creators working on a game on a computer
Image of an adult instructing a child on game creation tools both looking at a computer screen

We made a lot of different games

Collage of computer screens showing games created at a GGJ 2023 jam site
Image of a paper prototype tabletop game being worked on at GGJ 2023
People sitting around a table with a game board on the table and electronics connected to the game
Video game made at GGJ 2023 being projected on a screen

We ate a lot of pizza

A lot


Piles of empty pizza boxes
Tall stack of empty pizza boxes on top of a garbage can


Woman smiling holding a piece of pizza up close to the camera

And saw the return of GGJ cakes!

Image of a group of smiling people sitting around a table with a cake on the table. The cake has the GGJ logo.

GGJ would not be possible without the help of hundreds if not thousands of volunteers who generously give their time to host a jam site or volunteer to help out at one, be regional organizers, be members of one of our committees, provided translations, and sit on our board of directors. It is an incredible effort and time investment and we thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to help make GGJ 2023 such a huge success, and to make game development something that anyone can participate in. Read the full list of credits here.

Picture of a group of GGJ organizers from Malaga, Spain

We also couldn't do this without the support of our many amazing sponsors, check them out give them some love for so generously supporting the community and the event and take advantage of some of the offers still available to GGJ participants. There was so much excitement from everyone we talked to that wanted to be a part of the event and support our efforts to make GGJ the best it can be.

Image of cartoon characters sitting around a pink bubble with GGJ 2023 sponsor logos on the inside of the bubble

We especially would like to thank our headline sponsors one last time dot big bang and coherence. Each of them did a fantastic job making themselves and resources available for jammers in the weeks leading up to and during the jam.  

Thanks also to Autodesk for supporting the Accessibility Fund this year! Thanks to their support we were able to distribute funds to 16 sites to help with things like services for non-neurotypical jammers, sign language interpreters, software licenses, transportation expenses, food costs, mentors, mental health counselors, and so much more to make it easier for jammers to participate and for site organizers to provide a better experience for their jammers. Look for a full story on that in the coming weeks.

Even though by most accounts GGJ 2023 was a smashing success we still want to hear your feedback and learn how we can improve things for the future. Fill our our 2023 jammer survey here.

Get some well deserved rest and we'll see you again when GGJ and GGJ Next return 22-28 January 2024!

Image of happy GGJ jammers with the text WE DID IT overlaid in the middle
Image of a cartoon astronaut waving and sitting on the GGJ logo. Words thanking GGJ Jammers, organizers, volunteers and sponsors, GGJ will return 22-28 January 2024

Sadly as GGJ 2023 was winding down we heard the tragic news from Türkiye and Syria about the devastating earthquake that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and caused massive property destruction throughout the region. We are praying for the safety of our GGJ community members in the area and urge people to send support in whatever way they are able.

Support resources: