Global Game Jam 2020 Will Happen On The Weekend Of January 31 To February 2 (And How It Is Being Affected By The Coronavirus).
The Global Game Jam <https://globalgamejam.org/> is almost here! Around the world on the weekend of January 31 at 5:00 pm Friday local time, various sites all around the world will have videogame developers of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals — including programmers, artists, and musicians — break into teams who will work to create games based on a theme.
If people are interested in watching the Global Game Jam and not necessarily participating, you can also join them in their Twitch channel.
What is the Global Game Jam?
For those of you who don’t know, the Global Game Jam (@globalgamejam) is an annual event that happens around the entire world, wherein participants form teams to make videogames in a game jam, which is a hackathon-style setting, but for videogames. This game jam is called the “Global Game Jam”, because there are jam sites in various cities around the world, all making games with the same theme. The themes are discussed and decided by by the Global Game Jam’s “Theme Committee” around two months before the weekend of the game jam.
In 2018, the theme was “Transmission”; and in 2019, the theme was “What Home Means To You”. The themes are intentionally vague, so that participants can interpret them as freely as they want. This results in a wide variety of interpretations and a diverse array of games that can come out with it.
Local Jam Sites In San Francisco
In San Francisco, California, U.S., this year only two jam sites opened, which are Noisebridge <https://noisebridge.net/> and a newcomer called Uncanny Valley.
The jam site at Noisebridge also hosted 2 prep
Concerning The Current Events ~ The Coronavirus Outbreak:
Under ordinary circumstances, the Global Game Jam is an in-person game jam, as opposed to the various online game jams like the Ludum Dare, which is more lax on whether or not participants jam online or in person only if they want.
But because of the ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak, the executive committee of Global Game Jam has made an exception for the safety of the participants. For example, the site organizers at the XR Pioneer jam site in Shenzhen (Shekou) have put out this message:
To ensure safety due to recent events, the GGJ Shenzhen 2020 location will cancel the in-person GGJ gathering. We are looking at alternative solutions where Shenzhen jammers can potentially participate in GGJ remotely. Remote jamming is not normally allowed, but due to extreme circumstances it is being considered.
We will be hosting make-up game jam event locally at a later date. Follow @XRpioneer on WeChat and Twitter for further updates.
Thanks everyone and jam safely.
-GGJSZ2020 SO TEAM
A similar message has been posted in the registration page of a jam site in Chengdu (成都-GameHub站):
(translation: Due to the new developments of the coronavirus, as the epidemic continues to worsen. For everyone’s safety and to reduce the chance of virus transmission, this event has been changed from offline to online.)
Other jam sites have just cancelled their events altogether.
(My opinion: I think that seeing the Wuhan jam site and the Beijing jam site not holding any events this year just made it really hit home how sad and serious the situation is, and made me really feel for all the people affected, not just the game jam participants.)
Health And Safety Precautions:
In any case, even if we are not in the areas heavily affected by the Coronavirus, we should still take precautions for the health and safety of ourselves and of the people around us, since it is still winter and cold in the northern hemisphere. If you live in the United States, this place is currently experiencing a pretty bad flu season, and the advice below applies to the flu as well.
Please take care to:
- always wash your hands with warm water and soap before eating or touching your face or rubbing your eyes. This is the most effective thing to do, according to the CDC.
- take care of your own health by hydrating, eating food that is good for your health, and having adequate sleep/rest so that your immune system has more resistance.
- get a flu shot if you haven’t done so already.
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- if you are eating family-style / shared meals, use a separate utensil for getting the food and eating it.
- if you do feel sick, stay home (if that is an option for you) and have plenty of rest and hydration. If you absolutely need to go out when you are sick, wear a medical mask. Go see a doctor as soon as possible.
- If you want to wear a mask for protection, make sure that it is the right kind of mask. Masks that are N95 Respirators WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT WORK in this situation, because protection from disease is not what these masks are made for. They are for protecting against air pollution and airborne particles.
The CDC only recommends that people wear face masks or respirators if they’re travelling in China, or are a medical professional caring for a coronavirus patient, or have already contracted the virus. However, if you’re in a place where coronavirus is present, or are especially concerned about the disease for another reason, a medical mask can’t hurt. To protect against viruses, the mask needs to be an anti-viral medical mask. This is how the San Francisco Department Of Public Health teaches as the most effective way to don a medical mask: https://www.sfcdcp.org/communicable-disease/healthy-habits/how-to-put-on-and-remove-a-face-mask/
I hope that all of you stay safe and healthy.
Anyway, what do you think? Are you going to the Global Game Jam this year? Let us know in the comments below!