Dear Global Game Jam Community,
First the short version. For legal and liability reasons, the Global Game Jam Board of Directors has, after careful deliberation with our board members and legal resources, come to the conclusion that GGJ must remain an adult activity, only available to jammers who have reached 18 years of age or the age of majority (whichever is lower). Minors are only allowed to participate, if they are accompanied by their legal guardian at all times while attending the jam (subject to the rules of each location. Some may not allow minors under any circumstance). You can see the full age policy at the bottom of our legal page here globalgamejam.org/legal.
The long version
Being part of the Global Game Jam community has always meant having a good time and allowing everyone else to enjoy themselves as well. That's part of what makes the Global Game Jam so special; we are global and inclusive. Not only are we very focused on our safe space policy, but locations are vetted by an awesome team of Regional Organisers, jammers have to participate from one of the approved locations and are encouraged to participate in a team. On a global scale GGJ has never been a competition, instead we encourage experimentation and focus on the process of making games rather than the end product. All these are things we do to make sure the Global Game Jam feels like a great experience on a personal as well as a community level.
As the same time, the Global Game Jam has grown big, really big. So big in fact, that we have now been accepted into the Guinness Book of Records. That amount of popularity also comes with responsibility, and we want to make sure GGJ continues to be a feel good event. The Global Game Jam Board of Directors has therefore , after careful deliberation with our board members and legal resources, come to the conclusion that GGJ must remain an adult activity, only available to jammers who have reached 18 years of age or the of majority (whichever is lower).
We do recognize, that many sites in previous years have done a good job working with under-age jammers. It is therefore with regret that we announce that from the 2017 Global Game Jam and onwards, for the reasons mentioned above, it is a site requirement that under-age jammers do not participate unless accompanied by their legal guardian at all times while attending the jam (subject to the rules of each location. Some may not allow minors under any circumstance). Sites that are found to violate this rule, will have the choice of either excluding their under-age jammers or be unable to continue being a Global Game Jam site.
We did not take this lightly and spent a great deal of time looking at options before making our decision. It is not without regret however it is important for the safety and security of minors and our events.
You can see the full age policy at the bottom of our legal page here globalgamejam.org/legal.
This is a decision made by the board of directors of Global Game Jam, Inc. Our executive producer (Giselle Rosman) and her executive team had no part in it.
A note about the future
Recently, many jam sites have expressed interest in hosting younger participants. As GGJ is a legal entity based in the United States, we must follow the laws of this country. We realize this may disrupt some plans for some of our jam sites and make it impossible for others to participate to the extent they wish. We hope to find a solution in form of an alternate game jam that welcomes youngsters very soon, but for GGJ 2017, we have to ask that all jammers and organizers respect and enforce our age policy.
Thank You for our cooperation.
Board of Directors