June 18, 2020

Global Game Jam NEXT - Games Education for the NEXT Generation

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**This page is regularly updated with information on the Game Jame NEXT - Please check in regularly for updates and news**

Are you between the ages of 11-17 years and interested in making games? Challenge yourself and try it out at the Global Game Jam NEXT this summer 13 – 24 July.

As has been the case for many events worldwide this year, we will unfortunately be shifting the 2020 edition of the Global Game Jam next into virtual format.

It is not all bad news though, as the virtual format gives us the opportunity to jam for longer and have access to a whole array of educational materials (tutorials, recommendations, etc) and mentorship.

What is GGJ NEXT®? Games for the next generation

Similar to our GGJ® event for adults in January every year, GGJ NEXT is designed to stimulate collaboration and teamwork; it is not a competition.

It is a time to explore, learn, and experiment. Honestly, there are and there will be plenty of competitions related to videogames, we don’t need another one. What we do need as a place to meet people who want to work on projects together, a place where you can go to ask questions, and a place where you can see first hand all the awesomeness (and the hard work) that goes into making a game.

This year the Institute of Digital Games and the Directorate for Digital Literacy & Transversal Skills (Ministry for Education and Employment) are running the Global Game Jam NEXT after the success of last year’s pilot. Last year the jammers only had 4 hours at the workshop, so it was difficult to complete anything at all, but plenty of time to learn. Ian Caruana went home and finished his nice little Cheese Platformer.

(Apologies for audio quality it was a noisy, echo-filled room).

What is a Game Jam? Make games like a real game designer

The goal of a game jam is to come together and make a game (be it a videogame, board game, card game…) Jammers quickly come up with new ideas, and make quick sketches of how they might work to prototype and playtest. Often jammers have a theme or central idea to work with. The brief time span will encourage creative thinking and hopefully innovative experimental games.

The GGJ NEXT jam will happen all over the globe based around a central theme.


GGJ NEXT 2020 will be running online with a combination of:

  • 1 week of teaching videos and worksheets to guide and teach your jammers

  • Extension tasks for kids who want to take their learning further

  • 1 week of guided jamming

  • Support from industry mentors

  • Support from GGJ NEXT staff and volunteers

  • A Discord server for GGJ NEXT participants, with your own private channel to support your jammers through the 2 week event

Parents are requested to register their children here.

More information about the schedule and events will be posted on this page as it becomes available from the central organising team of the Global Game Jam NEXT.

You can contact us via contact form on the website, Twitter, or Facebook if you need any additional information.

After registering keep an eye on this page as we'll be regularly updating it with the schedule, new speakers, and activities!

In addition to a number of international game developers, Malta will have a local guidance from the two main organisers:

Dr Iro Voulgari - Institute of Digital Games

She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Digital Games and teaching staff at the Department of Early Childhood Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She has studied Educational Sciences at the Department of Education Sciences in Pre-School Age, Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, holds an M.Ed. on Information Technology, Multimedia and Education from the University of Leeds, UK, and a PhD on Massively Multiplayer Online Games & Learning from the Department of Educational Sciences & Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, in Greece. Her research focuses on game based learning, game studies, and digital literacy. She is teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses on digital games, virtual worlds, and learning technologies. She has organised several workshops and events relevant to game based learning, Information and Communication Technologies in Education, and Digital Storytelling in local and international venues. She has worked on several Nationally and EU funded research projects on the design, implementation, and assessment of learning technologies and digital games in teaching and learning.

Jasper Schellekens - Institute of Digital Games

Jasper is one of the organisers of the Malta Global Game Jam. He has been part of the organising committee since 2016 and is a veteran jammer having completed a number of Game Jam Games including a couple of digital games like How was you day? and a few board games like Babelship. He has been supporting the research and communications of the Institute representing them at international trade events and festivals such as Science in the City. He was involved with the design of Xtreme Yoga a small game for eye-tracking research and Construction BOOM!