Game Jams for Learning and Teaching: A Review

Game Jams for Learning and Teaching: A Review

Mikko Meriläinen (Tampere University, Tampere, Finland), Riikka Aurava (Tampere University, Tampere, Finland), Annakaisa Kultima (Aalto University, Espoo, Finland) and Jaakko Stenros (Tampere University, Tampere, Finland)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2020040104
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Abstract

Game jams are intensive events focusing on creation. Their popularity and visibility have soared in recent years. The phenomenon has attracted the attention of scholars interested in education and learning, and the potential of game jams has been studied in various ways. Increasingly, game jams have come to be viewed as a site for learning. They are seen as activities for developing technical skills needed for digital game development, developing so-called soft skills such as collaboration and communication skills and as a way to teach and learn science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics (STEAM) skills. In this article, the educational aspects of game jams are explored from multidisciplinary points of view. Combining education science, design research, and game studies, the authors position game jamming at the intersection of these disciplines to explore its various learning dimensions. This positioning provides a starting point for future studies of game jamming in the context of learning and teaching and invites discussion from diverse fields of study.
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Background

Following Annakaisa Kultima (2015), in this paper we define a game jam as an accelerated opportunistic game creation event where a game is created in a relatively short time frame exploring given design constraints, with the end results shared publicly. While game jams usually feature digital game creation, according to the definition the games created do not have to be digital, but can for instance be tabletop games (e.g. Pollock, Murray, & Yeager, 2017; White et al., 2019).

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