The UF Digital Worlds Institute will host Global Game Jam (GGJ), a hackathon held at various sites worldwide in which participants from across multiple disciplines work together to create stand-alone games in just 48 hours, from Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. to Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.

Registration is still open and the event welcomes students of any and all skill levels. So far, about 60 people have registered.

A theme will be announced on the first day of the event. Students are challenged to create games based on the theme. The creations must be finished by Sunday afternoon.

According the GGJ website, in 2018 in only one weekend, a total of 8,606 games were created at 803 locations in 108 countries.

Nick Heitzman, a UF digital arts and sciences lecturer and co-organizer for GGJ, said that the event will stimulate collaboration and is not a competition.

“The main goal of Global Game Jam is to bring together people from different disciplines related to game development, including artists, engineers, and designers, and giving them the opportunity to develop something together as a community,” said Jeremiah Blanchard, co-organizer for GGJ and a UF computer & information science and engineeringassistant lecturer. “It’s a global community effort.”

Last year, the institute held a similar event to GGJ, the Gator Game Jam. The Gator Game Jam was a 40-hour team-based video game development local competition during summer 2018.

Some of the games created at Gator Game Jam 2018 were an isometric tile-based puzzle game, a multiplayer game with cat wizards battling by shooting spells out of their paws and a survival space experience game in which the user collects oxygen tanks while trying to avoid floating rock debris.

“Going into Gator Game Jam was my first time attending any sort of hackathon event. I went in nervous and self-conscious about what to do, but I got a lot out of it,” said Yong Qi Zheng, a 21-year-old UF digital arts and sciences and economics senior. “If it’s something new, consider giving it a try. You might be surprised by the outcome and what you are capable of making.”


A worldwide event makes artists and coders work together to create video games in just 48 hours.